The Travancore Heritage Beach Resort
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Tranquil and lovely food!
"We have just returned from a two week stay at the Travancore Heritage. The hotel restuarant is beautiful as are the gardens and general setting. The choice of food at both breakfast and dinner I thought was excellent with great choices for all. We had a ground floor beach pool rooms - convenient for early evening drinks. Although the little villas were built like little keralan palaces I understood there were quite dark - so I think we had the best location in the hotel grounds even if it did involve a reasonably challenging but lovely walk to the restaurant. The staff were exremely courteous and freindly.
The down side is alcohol and wine was expensive and not that great - best stock up with duty free and buy your mixers from the little shop opposite the hotel as it is much cheaper. Also the area of beach to the left where the fishing boats are is ....shall we say is unsuitable recreation due tio the human excrement. Having said that the area to the right is quite pleasant with not a lot of hassle from beach sellers - most were happy just to chat."
- Travel date: Mon 12th of February 2007
A perfect holiday
"I could write pages on our fantastic holiday at the Travancore and our wonderful stay in Kerala, but simply to say our family had the most wonderful Christmas and New Year imaginable. The accomodation in the Beechgrove was wonderful - huge and clean and the location set in beautiful gardens overlooking the ocean was just magical. The Staff were just charming , and nothing was too much trouble. The food choice was extensive but fresh and tasty and something for everyone. We organised trips through the hotel and first choice and independently - all gave us a taster of Kerala and we are now keen to explore further."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of January 2007
heaven on earth
"In April 2006 we stayed at the Tranvancore in Kerala for a two week Ayourveda treatment. It was wonderful. We had a nice cottage in the typical Kerala-style with an open bathroom. The cottages are set in a beautiful park which overlooks the Indian ocean.
The Ayourvedic treatment was perfect and the food was so excellent you could feel how you were getting stronger and healthier every day.
Staff at the hotel is very friendly and helpful and we spend time between our treatments relaxing at the pool with sitar music and cold drinks. The waiters are always there when you need them and fulfill every wish.
We flew from Frankfurt with SriLankan airlines, which is great but the room between the seats is too small. I just didn t fit in, so we had to upgrade to business class. (see my article on SriLankan Airlines)
The Travancore Hotel is the perfect place to spend a relaxing time and the get a wonderful Ayourvedic treatment."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of December 2006
awful, never again
"we were originally booked at this hotel for 5 nights following a tour of kerala, booked through kuoni. After two nights we were moved as it was so bad. The room had mould growing on the ceiling, the service was awful, we couln't go on the supposedly private beach because hotel guests were accosted and assaulted by gangs of local youths demanding money! The food was mediocre at best, the fish restaurant was appalling, hardly anything on the menu was available and what we did receive was inedible. When we contacted kuoni to ask to be moved the management refused to put the agent through to our room citing telephone faults whilst repeatedly visiting our room trying to get us to stay! Awful, awful place. we moved to the Taj Green Cove which was a world apart."
- Travel date: Thu 26th of October 2006
What the brochures don't tell you!
"We do not have any complaints about the hotel, we found the staff very helpful and friendly. Our bungalow was in a great position, basic but comfortable. The food in the restaurants offered a good selection, fairly reasonably priced -but a lot more expensive than Goa. But the brochure said the hotel had a scattering a restaurants nearby -no it didn't -there were not any within walking distance, you had to take a 20 minute taxi ride to Lighthouse Beach to have any choice.
The gardens in the hotel were immaculate and well maintained and the views from the cliff top, of the beach, were spectacular - but this is what they don't tell you. The brochure described the beach as "virtually untouched except by local fishermen" -yes that's right -you can watch them bring in the catch each day (and can even go out with them) - but what it doesn't tell you is they use the beach as a toilet.
You know driftwood at high water mark? -not quite! Our romantic walks along the sandy beach were somewhat spoilt by stepping over the human excrement or stepping around the fishermen whilst they defecated in front of us!
We went to Kerala as we had been told it was less commercialised than Goa -but we have to say compared to Goa, this just was not value for money."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of June 2006
we loved the Travancore
"Have felt a little sad to see that this lovely hotel doesn't get FAB ratings! I stayed at the Travancore with my two daughters in April. It was so peaceful, and we had a very special stay. The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful. Food was very good especailly the evening buffet. The ayurvedic massage was just wonderful. We stayed in the beach grove block and I think that probably the little houses in the main hotel are are more pleasant and a bit more authentic. However it was two weeks of peace and calm. We loved it and would definately go back. And, if anyone remembers us we'd love to say hello!"
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of May 2006
"We have recently returned from a 2 week package trip to Kerala. We stayed in the 3/4 star Travencore Heritage hotel in Chowara 9km south of Kovalam. The hotel was clean as was the pool & restaurant. The food was not too expensive for hotel standards (and cheap compared to UK prices). The staff were polite but not always very helpful. We were also disturbed by the bell ringing of the nearby church that often started at 4am!
Would not recommend this hotel but others on the same flight stayed at the Leela hotel (5 star) in Kovalam & said it was stunning."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of May 2006
Good, but a bit more commercial.
"Stayed here for the last five nights of our holiday. Lovely grounds, lots of flowers, good food with loads of choice, pleasant staff. Our room was a standard one and not so great (we counted 21 bakelite switches!) but it had a spacious verandah from which we could see the beach and the sea. Sitting on the loungers on the beach was great, watching the fishermen going out and the crabs running about on the sand. You had to run the gamut of the local school kids to get there which got a bit wearing, but is all part of the experience, I suppose. The hotel pool was disappointingly warm, but everything is made so easy for you, the staff arrange the loungers, towels etc. We had an ayurvedic massage which was ... interesting! Took a while to wash off all the oil, but I'm sure I was more relaxed afterwards. This hotel felt a lot more commercial than the others we stayed in, less special, but it was still an enjoyable place to stay and very relaxing."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of April 2006
Thoroughly enjoyable week at the Travencore!
"Never a truer word said in the last review. We second that 100% For a magical moment walk down to the bottom of the grounds that overlook the sea and spend a few minutes in the evening just looking at the hundreds of lights on the sea - totally awesome!
However good the hotel, it is not for anyone who has difficulty walking as the hotel is situated in grounds that are quite hilly.
Koovlam is only a 20 minute taxi ride away and well worth visiting for your evening meal where the daily catch is fresh and delicious.
Would we return? Most definitely!"
- Travel date: Thu 16th of March 2006
"My wife and I - she is an American, and I am from Kerala, but living in the US for a while now - decided to go visit my parents. While there, when we wanted a break for just the two of us, they suggested Travancore Heritage, and that turned out to be one of the best things that happened to us on that long trip, even though we stayed there only for about 3 days.
The place is a jewel among all the hotels in the Kovalam area. I know, as I have been to almost all as I spent my childhood and some adulthood here. This one is different. Gorgeous scenery everywhere, since it is set on a hillside facing the Arabian Sea. The sunsets are to die for. Landscaping is real personal, and not just a job, for the gardners I met. Swaying coconut trees, with hammocks hidden away in wondeful spots. Tiled walkways that provides a nice walk through all the trees, small and big, while providing that ocean view on one side.
The Architecture: Ancient Kerala architecture is amazing to look at, and to see it these days, you would have to visit an old palace, or something similar. Very rare. But you get to see a lot of it at Travancore Heritage. As the name implies, it does preserve the ancient heritage. Many of the buildings I heard were saved from certain destruction and moved piece by piece over. The Reception area will impress you with it's wood work and airiness, which was important in ancient and current Kerala because of the constant humidity during high summer.
The tiled roof cottages with their red-oxide flooring are so unique in their design, I can bet you will never sleep in some place similar anywhere in the world. A sample cottage will have an anteroom, a bed room, and a bathroom, with a verandah. Our verandah had a view of the blue ocean from high up the hill. The bathroom is unique too - it is not insulated from outside noise, and if you request, you can get the true Kerala style "open to the sky" bathroom. Try it. Else, you might get the one where you hear the wind, the birds, and see some light shining through the terracotta style tiled roofs - which is really nice too. Fresh towels, hot water, and just about all the luxuries you would expect from a high class hotel are present. Super clean, and white linens on the bed. A unique bed even.
The Food: I know good Kerala food when I see/eat it. And this place had it, lots of it. And not just the Kerala stuff, but western/chinese too. An excellent buffet system exists. The bartender makes good drinks, but may be the bar could be made more visible. Please try the uniquely Kerala dishes like Puttu, Poori, etc for breakfast. My wife fell in love with a lot of it - although i must admit my mom had a lot to do with it.
The Pool: One of the best pools I have been in, anywhere in the world. Very clean pool area, lots of towels, shade, etc. They will bring the food/drinks out to you, and that is a blessing when you're curled out in the shade with a book and enjoying that light breeze. You just do not want to get up.
The Staff: They ( I hate to say it, but I forgot most of their names, but haven't forgotten their faces) are the true asset of this place. You can make the best hotel in the world, but it is the people who work there make it memorable. Wanting to please, and always up for conversation either in English or Malayalam ( the language of Kerala). And they dress so nice. Their uniform is a throwback to a golden era in the history of Kerala, when the Nair(a warrior caste) used to dress the same way when serving the King. May be the idea is that in here, you, the customer, is the King.
I have to mention a good friend Janie and I both acquired while there, Mr.Yeldo Kunju. Wonderful person - he was in charge of practically everything there and we very impressed with him. And as long as he in charge there, we are sure this hotel will impress. We still keep in touch. Please say hello to him and pass on our regards (from Janie and Anil)if you go there.
The Ayurveda - the massage of a lifetime. One thing though - prepare to get naked, completely. No Moving the towels from top to bottom business here. You will be give a small piece of cloth to cover your privates. But you will soon feel comfortable with your masseuse, as he/she works you over. It is not just for the massage - this place is a full blown Ayurvedic treatment center. While we were there, there were people from all corners of the world, staying for a weeks at a time, getting treatment every day. If I have to be a patient, I think I will choose this place. Very nice staff, btw. My wife was shy, almost refusing at first to remove her clothes, but you should have seen her about an hour and a half later - blissfully happy.
And for the beach: It is an almost white sand beach, but it is not for swimming like in the Carribean. Atleast I didn't think it was for me. Not that shallow. Besides I was happy with the great pool. Now, if you're interested to see the locals (fisherman folks), wander around early in the morning, and you will get some amazing photos of fishermen going about their business. I loved this part - it's just incredible to see them do this unique style of fishing. Overall though, if you want to avoid all that ( and some curious smiles from little kids) stay at the resort. There is a resort restaurant right by the beach too - we never got to eat there.
Janie and I will be back there as soon as possible."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of December 2005
"We recently returned from a 12 night holiday at the Travancore Heritage in Kerala. We had a two night break in the middle to visit the backwaters. The hotel rooms were excellent although it is quite a walk to the rooms and the beach.
Service is excellent and the staff cannot do enough to help. A short taxi ride takes you to the main 'resort' area as the hotel is very secluded.
I went for a relaxing holiday and was able to pre-book daily yoga classes every morning with a private teacher. This was fantastic and was organised by our operator Prana Holidays. They also arranged a schedule of ayurveda treatments. (www.pranaholidays.com)
The only thing stopping this being 10/10 was that the cost of drinks was very high and it was difficult at times to have a drink. "
- Travel date: Mon 16th of March 2009