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“Better than the riverboats”
Review of Riverside Retreat

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Riverside Retreat
Ranked #64 of 199 Alappuzha B&B and Inns
Seattle
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Better than the riverboats”
Reviewed 16 January 2012

Wow, were we glad we chose to stay at the Riverside Retreat than going on the overnight houseboats. If you stay at this place on land, you see less but with way more quality because you get to walk around the fields and towns. The Riverside Retreat is a very relaxing place. It is good for people who like to take it slowly and let a place sink into you over a couple days.

The hotel itself is well-situated along one of the main canals. You can watch everything go by, including tens of loud riverboats carrying your tourist compatriots. The hotel has a canoe you can borrow but it was mysteriously missing when we went to use it.

They have three bungalows and three rooms. We started off in one of the more expensive bungalows. It was charming and more private, but the staff decided to paint the adjoining bungalow with toxic oil-based paint minutes after our arrival. I understand that maintenance is good and needs to be done at some point, but it is inconceivable that a mid-range hotel operator (bungalows are mid-range price, hotel rooms are more like budget) would consider putting guests in such a situation. The owner did not appear to recognize the issue, though he and his wife were open to switching us to a hotel room. Good thing there was one available, otherwise we were pretty far from other hotels and stuck breathing in toxic fumes. Regardless of our toxic experience, it appears as though the bungalows are overpriced.

The hotel room was adequate. Bring some duct tape to fix holes in the screens otherwise you'll be slapping mosquitoes all night and day. Once we fixed the screens, we were fine. No hot water. Bring your own bed sheet and toilet paper. Thin mattress. Standard budget hotel stuff. Considering the location, this is a good value hotel.

Dinner and breakfast served family style. It was quite good and bountiful. Loads of fun if you click with the others at the hotel, uncomfortable otherwise.

Room Tip: Bungalows are overpriced but are much more charming. Hotel rooms are a good budget value if you woul...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Lilacs75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2011

We arrived late night to the Riverside retreat and the owner Jiji directed our taxi driver on the phone to find the homestay and was there to welcome us with dinner ready on our arrival - exactly what we needed after a long day travelling. The cottage was large with a huge bed not much other furniture but what else do you need? Bathroom was outside but was private and the cold showers were no problem at all and were actually a god send in the heat of Kerela!

Breakfast was great and a wide range of indian food was served but also toast, jam and eggs for the not so adventureous. Dinners were amazing and there were always lots of fresh regional dishes served up - better than restaurants we went to,

Jiji and his family could not have done more for us and helped us with our onward travel and also booked a houseboat for us which was also great.

I would recommend this place to anyone and the quiet rural location was just what we needed after spending a week in Indian cities its also not hard to get to with the bus and train service to the town.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Duncan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2011

We were very disappointed with our stay here. The cottage room was barely furnished, the screens on the windows were ripped so we were bitten by mosquitos all night, the outdoor bathroom had no screens at all so it was covered with bugs and we were bitten while showering. There was such minimal light inside the room that we couldn't read in the room without a flashlight. The paint or laminate on the floor peeled off onto the bottom of our feet. The food was quite average and expensive. 350 R for the dinner they serve is unfair, particularly because there are no other options. Not including breakfast is also disappointing. I feel badly to write this review because the owners are nice people, but other travelers should know that there are great homestays in the region and this is not one of them.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank leo6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 5 October 2011

We travelled to Kerala in August 2011 with our two girls, ages 6 & 8.

On a recommendation from a friend we began our trip at Riverside Retreat. It is a fantastic place to rest and enjoy the beauty of Kerala--green everywhere, lilies, coconut and banana trees, and rich red earth. To watch the river flow by. To eat well and relax. And also to experience life in the Keralan backwaters.

The rooms are simple and clean and lovely. Sitting under the eaves as the monsoon rain poured down, looking out on the magical garden, made us feel like the luckiest people in the world.

Jiji and Jisha are kind and helpful. I have already prepared the sambar dal Jisha taught me to cook. Jisha kept track of what she served us, and at every breakfast and dinner she thus shared with us different delights of Keralan food. The delicious red rice was grown in their fields and it tasted so nourishing. We are vegetarian and were well satisfied with every thoughtful meal. Thank you Jisha!

Jiji is a perfect host: he is not imposing at all, which is refreshing and pleasant, but when you do have a request he promptly makes things happen, for example, even arranging for a tailor to come and measure us to sew churidar suits.

The pace was perfect for restoring strength after a busy year. There are little walks to do here and there. Allepey, a very nice Indian city is just a bus ride away. We even visited via public bus the ashram of Amma. So while off the beaten path, Riverside Retreat and the nearby village of Ambalapuzzha is well-connected enough, and one can walk to the nearest place to grab a rickshaw or bus in 10 minutes. You can take longer walks along the canals to get to other roadheads. Or Jiji can arrange a taxi or rickshaw with ease.

Simply lovely.

A memory that will stay with us always.

Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank lisayoga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2011

We travelled southern india for 3 weeks, stayed in all types of accommodation from expensive to inexpensive. Riverside Retreat was the most memorable and the cheapest.
Wish we had stayed there longer. Jiji was wonderful and met us at the "corner shop" then we walked across a wonderful bridge to discover " a little bit of heaven" we were very hungry as we had been travelling for hours and it was no problem for Jiji to make us tea and fried Bananna's, you gotta try the fried bananna's.
The view from the room was amazing, the backwaters were on our doorstep and you could lie in the hammock and watch the world go by, it is a busy waterway.
Kingfishers feeding, locals transporting all necessaries, houseboats cruising along.
At night we sat at the table with other travellers to feast's of local grub, although Jiji is vegetarian, he got us some wonderful fresh fish, ice cold beer and good company. what more could you ask for.
He will arrange any trip for you and is a mine of information regarding local history etc.
I cant recommend it enough.
Although the rooms were very basic, they were clean with mosquito netting on the window's, outside shower, fresh bedding.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chrissie19516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riverside Retreat

Property: Riverside Retreat
Address: Karumady, Alappuzha 688561, India
Region: India > Kerala > Alappuzha District > Alappuzha
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #64 of 199 B&Bs / Inns in Alappuzha
Price range (per night): ₹ 1,862 - ₹ 2,504
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Riverside Retreat Kerala/Alappuzha

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