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Reviewed 20 February 2012

I arrived in Varkala a day ahead of my original schedule so needed somewhere for one night. I called Jayan at Shiva Garden on the recommendation of a friend and he said he had a room for me. When I arrived, he wasn't there and a young guy called Vishnu told me the original room was no longer available and offered me another one, adding on 30% to the price. I can honestly say it was the worst room I've ever been shown, with the most basic bathroom, one tiny towel, ancient electrics and a wire strung across the room with a couple of coat hangars on it for storage. There were also no nets on the windows to prevent bugs/mosquitos etc. Luckily, I had noticed a place next door when we arrived so I called them (the Akhil or Preeth resort) and booked into a room there. When I told Vishnu I wasn't staying he immediately backtracked and offered me the room at the original rate.

Maybe if you're a backpacker with very low standards or a very low budget you would put up with this, but I certainly wouldn't. I wasn't expecting luxury for the price, but I was expecting something simple and welcoming. I saw that another reviewer described their room as a hippy cell and that's spot on. You can get much better value in Varkala than this place.

Room Tip: Don't - go somewhere else!
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Carol16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2012

Very helpful manager before and during our stay. You will not feel a stranger here, there is a good vibe and everybody seems open for a talk. They seem to have people staying for long periods. It is a good place if you are traveling solo and want to meet other travelers or just chat for a while.
We took a double bungalow with one room each, but effectively you can sleep up to 6 or 7 people there. This place is not right by the beach and you would need to walk about 10 minutes to get there. Not a big deal, but a closer place will allow to go down to the beach early in the morning when it is at its best.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank NachoTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2012

what a great place! if varkala is amazing, its this place that will make it.
the variety of very clean rooms and nice airy dorms are spread around in 3 or 4 building (and a couple of tree houses), all around a huge, well landscaped garden, with hammocks strown about between the palms and banana trees. centering it all is a great seating area which is the key, the place to sit around comfortably and meet the most lovely people all in one place. they serve a great thali and reffreshing juices, the staff are really warm, laid back and helpful there's also a badmington net, chess, karom etc all you need in anywhere to make it the number one backpackers/triavellers place i'vve found on any continent. I'm sure there is one, but i havent found it yet.
and to top it all off, the beach and the great variety of restaurants are all in just a couple of minute walk.
its my second time back to wonderful home from home and i'm sure it wont be too long before returning again. the only problem with the place is trying to leave!
enjoy x

Room Tip: just pick to suit your budget, you'll be content.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank pickledginger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2012

I stayed in Shiva Garden (October 2011) cause a good friend told me I should do, she was so right! I arrived and Jayan the owner said hello with a big smile and I already felt home. The staff is helpfull and friendly. Good rooms for a fair price. I stayed 9 nights there and I'm sure I'll go there again as soon as I'll travel trough India again...

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank Somanija
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2012

I stumbled upon Shiva Garden 3 years ago and planned on staying for a couple of days. I ended up staying for a month and even then had a hard time leaving. Jayan the owner and the rest of the staff make you feel at home and take care of your every need. I am back for a second time and after a month still cant bring myself to leave. I have met so many amazing people here and the food is the best in the whole town. There are beautiful private rooms, dorms, apartments, tents and i have the luck of being able to stay in one of the 2 tree houses, which i would highly recommend. I have been travelling all over the world and Shiva gardens is one of my favorite places to stay anywhere on the planet. Enjoy your stay here and say hi to Jayan and the gang for me.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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4  Thank hankshead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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