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“Recovery and Self-Recreation with Sonia Indigo”
Review of Shiva Garden

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Shiva Garden
Ranked #12 of 103 Varkala B&B and Inns
Reviewed 29 April 2015

I was traveling in south india last summer and spent about 1 week at the Shiva Garden Homestay. The homestay is beautiful, has good food and is close to the beach. Sonia and her whole family provide a warm atmosphere, and you can have Yoga every morning on the rooftop, which is just amazing.

But the most important thing was the Life Coach Sessions. During Yoga once in the morning, Sonia asked me if I am interesting to get to know me better and want learn how to help myself getting what I want in life. I was quite interested so we started the Life Coach training.

Having access to Sonias knowledge was a huge privilege. Those days in Varkala were some of my happiest and clearest in my life. The life coach sessions opened my eyes and I am still drawing on the energy and ease she shared with me. I am still working on myself, doing meditation every day, preparing myself for my life´s work.

Thank you very much Sonia and I wish you and your family a life full of happiness and good fortune!

Room Tip: Rooms are typically indian, Backpacker style, but with bathroom in most of the rooms
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  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Silvia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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34 - 38 of 213 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2015

Made my trip a dream! The staff are friendly, there's badminton, rooms are enormous considering price, dogs are cute, great for local knowledge, friendly travelers, easy access to the beach, food is malayali, there's a convenience store opposite, nirvana yoga next door. My only complaint is that the WiFi is patchy, but this will be the case literally everywhere. Buy an MTS dongle if you want decent internet. There is some bureaucracy, but it's definitely worth it.

Room Tip: the 800 INR room is incredible
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  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Prabhath P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2015

I visited this hostel for 2 nights in March 2015 and, as the other reviewers have said, it was lovely.

Pros:
-Really nice energy in the garden
-Friendly guests and a welcoming common area (with wifi)
-The staff went above and beyond to ensure that we had a room we liked and felt comfortable during our stay
-Walking distance to the cliff
-Daily yoga classes
-Great value for price
-The biggest pro, though, was the life coaching session with Sonia. She radiates positive energy and wisdom, and created time in her packed schedule to share that wisdom and help me get clarity on a situation I was facing. She went above and beyond, sending me other resources and links so I could continue to benefit from her perspective after the session was over. I highly recommend her.

Cons:
-The rooms are locked by a sliding lock and padlock and have only one key, which means that if you're sharing a room, you'll need to coordinate with your roommate so the other person doesn't get locked in or out
-No air conditioning in the rooms, which can get stuffy if you don't have the windows/door open
-There's also no wifi or hot water in the rooms, which aren't essential at all (you don't want hot water in Kerala in March), but thought I'd mention

Other:
-The area between Shiva Garden and Varkala Cliff gets extremely dark at night and can be a bit isolated if you're returning home when the restaurants around the cliff close, so bring a flashlight (or keep your cell phone charged)
-You should also bring sunscreen and bug spray

Enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank joyb123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2015

Shiva Garden is a really lovely place with lots of different options for rooms. It's a great place to meet people and it's close to the beach. The staff were all really helpful and friendly! You can easily spend all day relaxing in the garden drinking masala chai.

Room Tip: There was free wifi available but my room was too far away to reach it so if you definitely need wif...
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  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Clementine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2015

Accommodation

We were a huge and enthusiastic (read raucous) group of 8 and we found Shiva Garden the best to accommodate us. We had booked two apartments over phone and contrary to quite a few reviews on Tripadvisor, we got our apartments as soon as we arrived. The apartments felt like home. The wash rooms were spacious and clean. There was a well equipped kitchen as well (which we did put to good use).
There was a spacious garden just in front of the apartments which was part of Shiva Garden. There were hammocks strung to trees. There were provision for every sport to be played. You name it and they had it. For a sport enthusiast like me, it was a huge plus. We had a memorable game of volley ball on our second day of stay. There was a huge hullabaloo over the game but the staff had no qualms whatsoever which is worth mentioning.
The dining arrangements were in the garden itself.
There was a small library adjacent to the dining place (amongst the trees) as well.
There were a lot of activities that Shiva Garden offered (though we were out of time to try them out) including boating trip to Golden Island. They even gave bicycles/scooties for rent.
The whole set-up in the garden had an aura to itself which made our stay in Shiva Garden so memorable.
(*There are different kinds of accommodations within the Shiva Garden premises which fits all group sizes and pockets. There are tents, dorms and tree houses as well that you can avail).

Food

The food was on the expensive side (taking into consideration the quantity) and service was a bit slow which we considered given the fact that it is a small, family-run business. The food quality was good though.
Tea and coffee served weren't really up to the standard I must say.

Staff

The staff here needs special mention. They tended to us with a smile all the time. They were gracious and courteous to say the least and they had no complains in spite of us testing their patience at times.

Room Tip: Choose according to your taste. thee are lot of options.
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  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank NiveditaBasu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shiva Garden

Address: North Cliff Kurakkanni | Kurakkanni, Varkala 695141, India
Region: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 103 B&Bs / Inns in Varkala
Price Range: ₹ 893 - ₹ 3,638 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SHIVA GARDEN is one among the most reputed home stays in Varkala. Perched near a majestic red cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea, this charming home stay offers many warm hospitable services as well as a fantastic garden view. Here we have a magnificent garden growing many famous Ayurvedic plants and trees, surrounding the resort. Guests are only minutes away from the famous 2000 years old Janardhana Swamy Temple, Kappil beach and Angengo Fort built by the British East India company in the 17th century. Shiva Garden is the perfect base for leisure and you may never forget this in your life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shiva Garden Hotel Varkala
Shiva Garden Varkala, Kerala

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