The quaint homestays in Kerala add to its beauty and charm manifold. They make you feel at home even when you are miles away. A day, a week or a month – irrespective of the duration of the trip, warm Kerala homestays ensure a blissful time, pouring love in the form of local, homemade delights.
With all its natural beauty and serenity, Kerala never ceases to mesmerise. Various attempts made by the mortals in this Land of Gods to preserve, nurture and use its natural beauty for the good of its own fellow beings, lend Kerala a unique spot among the bests. A part of these attempts are the homestays in Kerala. Brimming with the rural charm and stunning serenity, they make you crave to be there the moment you discover them – as if the romantic hotels and resorts in Kerala, were not enough!
1. Hari Vihar, Calicut – One of the best homestays in Kerala
The name goes well with this 170 years old beauty among the homestays in Kerala. It is an old heritage home and an Ayurvedic resort, which has been painstakingly restored to its present form. It was originally built as a manor house by the then ruling Kadathanad family and was then bought by a practising doctor, Mr Nair. Dr Nair lived in the house with his family of 40 members and almost 40 years later, the family relocated. After a sad and dilapidated phase of two decades, the grandchildren of the family decided to restore this royal property.
What’s special: Spiritual connect, Ayurvedic courses and spa treatments, and recreational activities
Must do: Join Ayurveda and Yoga courses, attend weekend performances on Indian and South Indian mythologies, and enjoy canoeing
Tariff: INR 11,000 onwards
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2. Vismaya Villa, Vembanad – Live the Kerala vibes here
This is about four centuries! 400 years of some 6,000 m square property, preserved with good nursing and care. This ancient retreat among the homestays in Kerala is believed to be a gift by the king of Travancore to one of his Chieftains who helped him. The house has found a mention in the famous Aithihyamala – an ancient Kerala legend. Vismaya Villa has Vembanad as it private lake; two bedrooms, designed and decorated by wood and both with personal bath gardens. Vismay(magical), it is!
What’s special: Three side lake view, private bath gardens, wooden interiors, and a lobby with a library
Must do: Laze around the lake and feel the nature. Actually a stay at Vismaya Villa is a waste if you don’t feed your soul. It has the perfect ambiance for reading, writing, sketching, meditating and soul surfing.
Tariff: INR 8,000 onwards
3. Ayisha Manzil, Kannur – Indulge in the heritage
Now, this one is a manzil in true sense. Originally built in 1862 by an East India Company trader Murdoch Brown, tit’s one of those homestays in Kerala that offers a one stop destination to mingle with the Indian culture, music, food, spice and what not! Ayisha Manzil in Kannur is presently run by the Moosa family and the interiors of the house reflect perfect fusion of the colonial and South Indian decor styles.
What’s special: 300 acres of spice plantation in the vicinity, fish and fruit market in the neighbourhood, and Ayurvedic spa
Must do: Watch the Theyyam – a ritual dance performed at Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple, and go cycling along the beach
Tariff: INR 9,000 onwards
4. Vembanad House Homestay, Vembanad – Refresh yourself
This one seems to be a real family heritage. Owned and established by the grandfather of Mr Balakrishnan Mayithara, Vembanad House Homestay is a rejuvenating retreat. It was set up in the year 2000 by Mr Mayithara and is currently maintained by his wife Mrs. Sandhya Balakrishnan.
The Vembanad House has an 800 m of waterfront with fishing options, an extensive farmland to meet the needs of the residents, and an array of activities to provide for that feel of traveling while staying home. Also, there are rooms for every budget.
What’s special: First and foremost – the hosts themselves, as Mrs. Sandhya is a writer, trained musician and a scholar. Besides, there is home cooked food from organically produced vegetation, hammocks in the garden and village walks to absorb nuances of the local lifestyle.
Must do: Night fishing in the Vembanad lake, canoeing, swimming, and cooking classes for Kerala cuisine
Tariff: INR 7,000 onwards
5. Akkarakalam Memoirs, Alleppey – A lovely retreat near the backwaters
150 years of history, 10 acres of land and a brook flowing by the door – Akkarakalam Memoirs homestay is pure bliss. Made of wood and bricks, it was passed onto the 4th generation of the family that has justifiably preserved the heritage. The homestay is an ideal excuse to experience the backwaters from closest quarters. Almost everything about this homestay is historic – porcelain flick-switch, rocking chairs, wooden walls, red oxide floors; all reminiscent of the golden past of the family.
What’s special: Farm full of guava, coconut, cinnamon, mangoes and other tropical trees; homemade food from the organic produce from the farm; river flowing by the door; AC rooms that are not so common in the locality; Ayurveda lessons; and Yoga sessions
Must do: Spear fishing, night fishing, cycling, and canoeing
Tariff: INR 6,000 onwards
Planning your holiday in Kerala but confused about what to do? These Kerala travel stories help you find your best trip ever!
Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.
6. Ashley Bungalow, Peerumedu – Relax amid the nature
Ashley Bungalow is an absolute stunner at 4000 ft. Hosted by the oldest of the tea planters – the Baker’s, Ashley Bungalow is all the reason you need to ditch the city noise and pollution. The building architecture is a sublime fusion of colonial and local designs. The peaked roofs of the house overlook the ghats, and have breathtaking views of the valley from their balconies. The house is pretty spacious, with loft domes wood ceiling maintaining the rustic history of the property.
What’s special: Vicinity of Periyar Tiger Reserve, and breathtaking views of the suicide point (actually a beauty)
Must do: Explore the surroundings by trekking, cycling around , and chilling at the Valanjanganam waterfall
Tariff: INR 7,000
7. Marari Dreamz Homestay, Marari Beach – An ideal beach homestay
This one is about hipster-living by the beach – in a villa actually. Marari beach to chill out, casual palm style roofs for shelter, red stone brick villa to dine and authentic local cuisine prepared by the owners themselves – Marari Dreamz homestay is totally cool! Proud to be low on luxury, the owners boast of style, nomadic setup and sound of the sea as the key attractions of their setup.
What’s special: Authentic home cooked local food, sunbathing on the beach, fishing, beach dinner on demand
Must do: Take a tuk tuk ride to the backwaters, trek to a working coir factory, and enjoy amazing massages at this relaxing homestay.
Tariff: INR 2,800 onwards
8. Sui House, Cochin – Experience the best of Kerala
Sui House is an old colonial house turned into a lovely antique home of four bedrooms. This glamorous bed and breakfast accommodation in Kochi belongs to a merchant dealing in antiques. Along with his wife, he has renovated the house into an elegant home decorated with indigenous antiques and modern amenities. Sui homestay has a small courtyard that allows one to sip tea and munch over breakfast in the ultimate serenity.
What’s special: Cozy interiors, antiques, an extensive menu, and an elaborate buffet dinner
Must do: Go hiking in the neighbourhood, and the delectable breakfast in typical Kerala style
Tariff: INR 5, 000 onwards
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Yup! They are utterly romantic, platonic, utopian, out of the world… blah blah blah…! Go…! Plan! And in case, circumstances are not allowing you to plan for South, try these secret homestays in Himalayas, up north.
Further Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Kerala
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