15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great Holiday! Ignore the Bad Reviews!
"Great quiet location, beautiful hotel, and fantasic hospitality. Ignore the bad reviews, I booked before reading them and it worried me, but they couldnt be more wrong. The grounds are excellent, the pool is adequate, and the weather was awesome.
The staff are very hospitable, and will do anything for you. The hotel massages are a bit expensive, if you go into town it will be cheaper, but getting a taxi into town makes the price equal. Save money by going as a group to do your tourist activities and book a driver for the day, its much cheaper if you go 4 or more and haggle a taxi. Taxis can be found at the towns jetty or if you cut through into the neighbouring hotel and walk to their front gate you will find taxis there.
There is a floating restaurant visible from the jetty, a taxi boat will be lurking in the darkiness by the jetty that will take you. The hotel staff do not advise you to go, but I had some great food and cocktails there on a number of occassions. It makes a nice break from the spicy buffet food. They do charge tourist prices but its worth it.
The staff are paid very low wages and instead of tipping all your waiters, you can give one tip when you leave that's spread amongst all staff.
Buy shirts and trousers in town, its dirt cheap, I wish I had bought more!
I recommend staying for a week, two weeks can be a bit boring as its quite isolated and not much to do on site. You can nip over to the Maldives from here at a good price maybe worth taking up the opportunity if you dont plan on having a honeymoon!
Staff were unbelievably friendly
The food is great, grab the roti and paratha first!
Stephens floating restaurant has great western style food and fish dishes
The rooms were immaculate and comfortable
Slightly isolated but thats the whole point
Crows hovering around the pool
Large families dominate the pool on the weekends
Not much entertainment"
- Travel date: Tue 26th of February 2008
"We booked this hotel because it looked lovely, at the time we had not read any reviews. After the holiday was booked we found and read some awful reviews and were worried about what we had booked. Our fears were totally unfounded. The hotel was fantastic! The setting was beautiful and the holiday was totally relaxing.
Our room was spotlessly clean, all the staff we encountered were friendly, polite and could not do enough to help you.
We booked on a half board basis and found the meals varied and of a good standard.
The restaurant was a bit disorganised a couple of times in the morning due to there being a few large parties in the hotel at the time but this certainly didn't spoil our holiday - we were in India, afterall!
We loved the short boat trip to and from the hotel and although there is not a lot to do at the hotel itself, you can venture further afield for very little cost - we took the boat to the jetty and then hired a tuk-tuk to get about. The driver will take you to your destination and wait for you to take you back or to your next stop.
We found this to be a great experience and had no complaints about our holiday!"
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of February 2008
Perfect chill-out place.
"During our stay at Estuary Island resort we found the place to be in a beautiful location. The hotel was clean and the grounds were kept very well. Quiet and relaxing - not much to do in the evenings, but we expected that. Food and service at the hotel was generally good, but on occasions we did have to ask a few times before we were understood. Drinks in the hotel bar were by comparison very expensive which probably accounts for the place being virtually deserted most of the time. We chose to eat and drink cheaply at the two nearby floating restaurants, Stephens and the Sea Queen. Although Sea Queen has only been open a couple of months it is well worth a visit and the manager Pradeep and his team make you very welcome, especially when the bill is less than half of what you would pay at the hotel. Overall our holiday was very enjoyable and the hotel was not the nightmare expressed by some other reviewers.Chas Mitchell, England."
- Travel date: Wed 13th of February 2008
"We stayed here for 3 nights during the beginning of our holiday in South India. Location was not what we expected as it meant that we would have to get the boat to the car park each time we wanted to go out somewhere. However the views were lovely and the location is very picturesque.
Staff were friendly and helpful especially in the restaurant.
Pool seemed like a decent size, although we didn't use it.
We booked two rooms and the rooms were clean, The only problem was that our rooms were facing each other and we could hear everything from the other room so no privacy."
- Travel date: Sat 26th of January 2008
Do NOT Stay Here
"I booked this hotel because our travel agent (Thomas Cook) recommended it and because of the reviews on this site. It was a very disappointing experience. This hotel is only 4 years old, but it looks about 15 years old. It is managed extermely poorly as compared to the Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom or to the Lake Palace in Periyar. The staff are not trained at all. I don't expect everyone to speak perfect English. However, I do not expect a response of " Yes "or "5 min" when they have not understood anything that I have said. After about 10 minutes, someone else would come over to clarify my request. During dinner one evening, we were constantly interrputed because there are about 10 waitstaff to only 3 tables. I suppose the waitstaff had to look busy.
The next night we decided to try the speciality seafood restaurant. We were provided with a menu. After deciding what we wanted, we were told that they kitchen was being remodeled so we could not order anything. My response was okay, but then why did you give us the menus? We were told that we could order from the other restaurant menu and they would bring the prepared food to the seafood restaurant. So, we agreed and again decided what to order. Then someone else told us that we actually had to go to the other restaurant to place the order. We left in frustration. That's when fellow vacationers told us to try Stephen's Floating Seafood restaurant. Apparently, the majority of the guests had started eating there because of the incompetence of the hotel's waitstaff. Stephen's is about 1/2 the price of the hotel restaurant. Food is delicious and fresh. Waitstaff understands what you are requesting. All you have to do is ask the security guy at dock to use his flashlight to signal the restaurant. Within minutes, the restaurant sends a small boat to pick you up and drop you back off.
Also, the bathrooms smelled really badly. The tea delivered to my room was lukewarm and hot usually prepared how I requested. The bedsheets and bedcovers was stained. Please don't get the massage here - it will ruin your taste for an ayurvedic masage experience. I can go on and on, but the point is that staying is a really frustrating experience.
A few good things about the place: location,and food. It's an interesting location. Don't expect Miami beach. You're pretty much in the middle of nowhere (small fishing town), but there is a river, a lake, and the Arabia sea all at the same place. Also, it's only aout 1 1/5 hours away from the very tip on India. The food quality is good when they understand your order."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of December 2007
"Stayed at estuary for 3 regrettable days. The photos of the place look lovely, but on arrival, the heart sinks on seeing the shabby restaurant where all the meals are served. Pathetic service by disinterested staff and a laughable offering for the meal included in the package makes the blood boil. Their standards are far lower than in a South Indian Darshini or Sukh Sagar chain in B'lore, for e.g. It's a shock that we were not prepared for, as we had assumed the place to be on par with a 4 star, on the basis of the rates in comparison with Leela Kovalam for the same period.
For hardly 10% more on the package, you can get absolute 5 star luxury and the best service at the Leela or Taj. Sincerely regret our mistake in booking here.
The rooms were well furnished, but worn. Bathroom outdated, with no ventilation despite the exhaust fan into a box fixture. Our bed had a sheet (the one you sleep on) which was 15 inches shorter than the size of the mattress !! Unbelievably, they expected guests to sleep with their lower legs resting directly on the bare mattress !! When I raised the matter with house-keeping, they were quite puzzled as to why I was upset ! Apparently, they routinely make the beds with these small sheets and think it's okay since it gets covered by the blanket on top! With that logic, why do they bother with the bedsheet at all, one wonders.
There was no hot water for bathing the whole of our last day there and our enquiries from 11 in the morning till 5.30 in the evening were met with a "just 5 minutes more" response, leaving us hanging for hours. A sterner approach from us was met with a hasty 'change of room' arrangement. The second room too had no hot water and my husband even got trapped in the bathroom when the faulty door lock got jammed.
There are no apologies for the errors which keep flowing, and they expect you to basically put up with everything and not complain. I can go on and on, but will end by saying that this has been the most unpleasant stay ever. On my venting, the front desk courteously discounted the bill upon check-out, and their services were appropriate."
- Travel date: Thu 18th of October 2007
Worst experience ever had
"After seeing the reviews posted here, we booked this hotel.
We reached the hotel by 9:30 pm in the night. We had to wait 1/2 hour to board the boat to reach the island. The receptionists greeted saying that our rooms were freely upgraded to Estuary View rooms from Garden View rooms. This was quite confusing because we already paid for the Estuary View rooms to the travel agent. I asked them to give that in writing. Then they said " You are any way getting for what you paid. Why worry ? "
Then we had to wait for another half an hour for the hot water to be switched on. We didnt expect this from a 4 star claimed hotel.
Though they claimed the dinner would be available till 10:30 pm, it was all completed by the time we reached. Thankfully the room was bit large, which was the only good part. There were remnants on which we had to feed. The service was pathetic, in the sense, we had to ask repeatedly for the bread crumbs in to the soup, for the rotis (breads....) and inspite of that there was no response except that "It is coming ..."
Coming to the housekeeping, the hotel is supplying used soaps. The first day they supplied the small Medimix soaps and on the second day they kept used soaps in the covers.When this was taken to the notice of the Supervisor he agreed that they were used. But the Manager tried to fool us around saying that they had a new contract and they will supply only the soaps and they will put them in the covers and give to the guests. This is absolutely unacceptable. So we asked him to just provide the Medimix soaps.
Finally, when checking out, I asked the receptionist to provide the complete bill , so that I can claim the difference of the amount from the Travel Agent. The receptionist gave all sorts of lame reasons and wasted an hour time and said that he will post the bill. Till date it has not been received.
There is so much to write, but let me conclude. The food is pathetic, the service is worst and the experience is horrible. I would advice anyone going to this hotel to carry your own soaps, and be in the forefront for the lunch and dinners."
- Travel date: Fri 12th of October 2007
Total Chill Out!
"My wife and I decided we wanted to stay in Kerala for our honeymoon and although we hadn't come across Estuary Island before our stay, we were very pleased with our experience.
The island itself is adjacent to many other similar-looking resorts but provides you with a slice of luxury in the middle of what is still, in reality, quite a poverty stricken part of the world. You arrive at a small dock where you wait for a speedboat to take you to the island which in itself is an interesting ride! Having said that, the staff, security and management are, by in large, extremely helpful and you tend to get quite friendly with a few of them, such is their genorosity.
The beach opposite is quite barren and unless you seriously want to work on that tan, is only worth a short trip. Taking the tour of the backwaters is great and you can manage a few day trips if you have the time. Aside from that, there isn't an awful lot to do, but once you get in the mood of relaxing, you could quite happily spend the days lying by the pool and reading a book.
Our room was good, with AC and a fan. Bathroom was clean and was quite westernised with a nice balcony overlooking the gardens. We even managed an ayurvedic massage on site, which was different! Food was exceptional both for breakfast and dinner with a good variety of North and South Indian dishes plus, in the morning, a chef who makes great omelettes right in front of your eyes.
The only gripe I had was the electricity cuts that occured frequently. The generator they had to back this up only covered about 90% of the hotel, and unfortunately we were in that other 10%. At times, these cuts would last from morning to night, and as the water was boiled using an electric boiler just outside the room, we couldn't get hot water for a shower or get any fan or AC whcih left us baked and quite fed up. Having said that, they did reduce the bill a little to appease us, especially as it seemed that our room was the one worst affected!
Despite all this, I would thoroughly recommend Estuary Island for a relaxing getaway and look forward to our return!"
- Travel date: Wed 19th of September 2007
"we went to estuary island in december 2006 for a stay of 2 days for our honeymoon. we were greeted with a smile and a wonderful mango milk shake as sson as we reached there. our bags were taken care of by the staff. The lunch time is till 2.30 pm only. they dont have a 24 hr service. that annoyed me alitytle bit since we reahced there at 2.00 and had to rush to the hotel. the food is good but could have been spicier. it probably made to suit westerners who dont prefer spicy food. the breakfats was very nice. omlet and southindian food was fantastic. the staff was very helpful. only thing that was misguiding was the parasailing information that had given us. there are absolutely no activities close by. but it didnt bother us much cos we were not much interested. the rooms are clean. the A/C was alittle bit fluctuating. no i woulnt complain about it. happens...
The evening were the best part of the trip. sitting at the estuary edge seeing the sun set was one of the best sunsets i have ever seen. fantastic! the staff came up to the hammocks to ask if we needed anything while we relaxed. the boat drive is okay. i wished they had better boats. but it was exiting to travel through the boat to the hotel. it gave the place exclusivity.
overall i just loved it. no complaints. would recommend it to everyone and would love to go there again!"
- Travel date: Mon 19th of March 2007
A good holiday
"Thought would write a big one as there are no other reviews for this one
I went to estaury Island as I could not get a room at Isola di cocco. Although I did have the pleasure of visiting isola di cocco during my visit. I read some really good reviews for isola but none whatsoever for estuary. So, somewhat sceptical reached there and was pleasantly surprised with what was definitely one of the best holidays I had.
Rooms on Estauary island are big and spacious. Estuary view room are the executive rooms which you can get for an additional payment. They are worth it because they give you good views (pool, front of the hotel and the backwaters)
Where you want to go Isola DiCocco / Estuary Island depends on what you want to do. Estuary has beautiful views overlooking the beach (which is barren and is a boat ride away). The beach I would think is not as much of an attraction as its too hot anytime of the day. But Estuary gives you plenty to do (or nothing to do whichever u think is better), as u can relax by the pool, hammocks are amazing as they overlook the backwaters and onto the beach. Isola di cocco unfortunately does not have similar views and is further away from the backwaters. They are both equally good for the ayurveda I hear. My fiance did go to have a full body massage at Estaury (Rs 900, approx GBP 10 - 12) . When they say full body massage, they mean a full body massage Lasts approx 45-50 mins. (obviously they have men and women masseurs). Food at Estaury island was fantastic. I was there for 3 days 4 nights and all the food was Punjabi / moghlai / north Indian, which was cool. You will get your south indian dosas and idlis for breakfast in the mornings. Staff are humble and will make every effort to make your stay pleasurable. There is a snooker table which you can play by the hour. Overall a relaxing holiday in estaury. but I guess people visiting Isola Di Cocco will probably have similar experiences.
We did have a group staying when we were there 'Titan'. It did seem like they took over the whole hotel. I guess big groups have that affect. Music and entertainment especially for them caused some loss of sleep during the night. If the hotel can make sure they put their feet down and say no music after 9pm, it would help.
There were instances when pepsi / coke was not available in the restaurant because they were taken away for the Titan Dinner (not something you want to hear. discrimination between guests) But I guess this happens everywhere. Big groups spending a lot of money can cause the individual traveller to be second best.
I would suggest give Estuary island a go and you won't be disappointed. Just make sure you dont expect too much and get annoyed when they are unable to provide everything you want (you are almost on an island u know). Also suggest carrying mineral water with you so you dont think u are being looted @ Rs 40 / 35 cant remember a litre (I guess if you are from abroad it doesn't sound much 50p is quite cheap when u can get a bottle of 500 ml water from Boots for Â£1). Food is usually included in your packages (DBB) and there is no point in going to the outside restaurant for food (there is one floating outside). Restaurant serves breakfast lunch and dinner and food is good for the curry lovers. I did find that nans and rotis were always missing or finished early, but if you let them know they will get some hot ones to your table (not bad).
We had some British people there who had booked through Kuoni and they were not picked up from the airport after having paid for airport pick-up. Apparently it was not communicated to the hotel by Kuoni. So Brits, you better watch out. you could do a cheaper deal for yourself if you pay directly to the hotel and book it through them.
Someone booked through a travel agent in Dubai and when they arrived at estuary they were told their booking was not confirmed because they had asked the travel agent for payment and he never paid them. make sure your travel agent is a reputed one and if possible contact the hotel and reconfirm your booking and ask what all is included, check on pick-ups if applicable etc.) These people had to leave the hotel and go find someplace else as the hotel was full. Estuary island Gm helped them with this. They have their own website. They may not be very particular at answering emails but they answer phone calls.
I got my holiday booked through the Overseas Tourism in Pune (guy named ranjan murthy) and they organised everything from flights, airport pickups / drop and making sure u get a good room. One good thing is they give u a mobile number you can contact someone 24 hrs a day so if u have any problems, they can sort it out with the hotel immediately.
Staff are hardworking and try not taking out your frustrations on them. They only do what the management asks them to. They work around 15 hours a day and 7 days a week (apparently they are entitled to 4 days off a month and if they want the 4 days together, they work 26 days non stop and get 4 days off.
There were staff in the restaurant we saw everytime we passed through the restaurant. working breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Overall a relaxing holiday with the exception of the 'Titans'"
- Travel date: Wed 28th of February 2007
very bad hotel estuary island
"what they show on internet and what you actually get, is exactly opposite.. pl dont stay at estuary island... pathetic rooms and equally bad service... worst stay in kerela.."
- Travel date: Tue 7th of June 2011
3-star hotel; 5-star treatment
"Reading trip- advisor reviews I wonder what planet some of these "reviewers" are from? .Four of us Brits stayed at this resort for 4 weeks feb/march.The resort gave us 1st class service, the food was 1st class the staff bent over backwards to celebrate two wed. anniversaries and a birthday party [ me 68] the staff from managers to pool-boy always smiling [genuinely].We were originally on a 2centre holiday BUT the other hotel [goverment run] was an absolute dump;hence our return to estuary island where we were welcomed back with open arms"
- Travel date: Fri 25th of March 2011