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Reviewed 21 January 2011

The friend who first recommended the Shiva Garden told me it was the best place in India to chill out.

I rolled in on a late night train. The ambiance immediately set me at ease. Wooden tables set in a candle lit garden under a canopy of palm trees. Since that first night I have returned three times and find it a superb place to unwind.

Since I did not book in advance we had an opportunity to try out some of the different types of accommodation. My favorite is the double room with a back door heading out onto the garden. On another occasion the owner gave us a discount on one of the apartments with a sitting room for a night. The apt was very clean, modern and private and a real treat after North India. The soundest sleep I had was when we arrived late and camped out under the stars on one of the rooftops.

Prices run from Rs150 (dormitory) to Rs1700 (apartments) catering to all bugets in between.

The staff and most of the guests we met were creative and interesting, which made me feel inspired. We heard from them that we missed a belly dancing performance and other special events over Christmas and New Year.
There were Thai massage and yoga courses on when we were there and I heard plans to plant a vegetable garden are afoot.

Full Power Shiva Garden!

May your Thalis always taste fantastic!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank somefantasyname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

We arrived at Shiva Gardens after a long drive from Kottayam. We pulled up at the door and it looked like somewhere you would go on a school trip. After reading the reviews on here, I thought I would give it a chance.
However we were taken out by Jayan to the garden...well I wouldn't quite call it a garden and waited for our room to be made up.
When we got into the room it was incredibly what I can only describe as a hippy prison cell.
The beds had tie dye sheets and there were bars at the window.
Only one towel was supplied and there was blood on it.
I will not go on, needless to say we checked out straight away and in comparison they were charging RS1700 per room, which is expensive in comparison to other home stays of much better quality.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank LittleBee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2010

Me and my colleagues / friends were on a visit to Varkala on 30th and 31st Oct 2010. We contacted randomly a homestay and got hold of Shiva Garden. The property is maintained by Jayan, who is a thoroughly hospitable person. This is a place where you get real value for money and a great staying experience.

Jayan is a rarest of the rare kind, who bothers more about guests comfort than how much to charge them. It was not a surprise when he told that his business is growing by word of mouth than by planned promotions.

In our short stay of two days (effectively 1.5) he planned for cliff visits, boat ride, temple visits and excellent kerala cuisine. He procures whatever you ask him, just that he needs time to make them ready. If, by any chance, it is not possible to get what you asked for, he does not mince words and clearly conveys the inability.

We strongly recommend this homestay for people who more come as friends. We have also given feedback to Jayan, to provide few more amenities, to make it a family resort. I'm sure, knowing Jayan, he would do that without fail.

If you plan to be in Varkala, on a limited budget, this is a great place with a great experience...!

Cheers / Ram

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank RamkumarR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2010

I found Shiva Garden while looking for homestays on the internet. I loved the vibe on the photos and decided to check it out. Jayan was helpful and informative and even came to escort us to the place in his car.
The thali they serve there is authentic, kerala family style. No frills, just good wholesome food. The apartment we stayed in was clean, spacious and comfortable, though we spent most of our time in the hutch chatting with other travellers. There are 2 friendly dogs to keep you amused.
Will definitely stay here when I visit Varkala again in January.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank rahuldeshpande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2010

Hi,

I came to know about shiva garden through some traveler’s forum..Initially I was bit skeptical about the place but I was wrong in all possible means..Shiva garden is one of the best places I have stayed in wile I was on a holiday..In a town where there are almost 300 resorts/hotels..Shiva garden stands right on top, and different from the rest..I have stayed in 5* hotels in India and in Europe but staying at Shiva garden was an equally good experience.

The place in nice, clean and with lots of greenery..the owner Jayan is a gentleman and a very sensible, well mannered person. I have met very few people like him. He has maintained the place well and even in off season, the service remains perfect. He would take you around places you have never seen before and yeah the food cooked at Shiva garden is 'DAMN TASTY'..Every one going to Varkala has to stay there.

All in all, I had a wonderful experience there..I say if you want peace in its true meaning, Shiva garden is the place for you..

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank Anand_Wanderlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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