Varkala Marine Palace
20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Wonderful place that's hard to leave
"We booked for five nights but ended up stayong for eight. This place grows on you - at first it doesn't seem very special but the rooms are great, very stylish and comfortable and the staff are really fiendly and helpful. Best of all, you are a stone's throw from the beach and can watch the sunrise or set from your verandah. Highly recommended."
- Travel date: Wed 30th of September 2009
GREAT location on teh beach, good value!
"Very good accomodatioon offer for all budgets, should book in advance though as it fills up, friendly staff, massage offered although facilities are rudamentary!! Restaurant is good and the treehouse tables are lovely at night, v romantic, fresh fish of the day on display and cooked to your liking!! We had a room with ensuite bathroom and kitchenette, very spacious although quite warm the fans do the best they can but.... Moskito nets provided and needed! Bathrooms are modern and v clean, nice furniture and each room has outside table & chairs on the veranda. Very friendly staff, we bargained 1100 inr incl breakfast!"
- Travel date: Sun 16th of August 2009
enhhhh, TA let me down big time on this one... why such high reviews?
"This place was a major shocker to me--rated #1 but such a let down for me. Granted we paid next to nothing Rs 800 for two rooms since they were entirely empty. The entire place was run down from the rooms to restaurant to the landscaping (barely noticable). We were the only guests staying here (talk about low season).
The staff was friendly and accommodating. The train station is very close by. Although Varkala has a beach, it is by far from what I would consider a nice beach. The sand was not well maintained and the water not clear at all.
Pluses: nice staff, super cheap rooms, super close to the beach, restaurant has good food.
Minuses: Very very run down, no rooms with AC (although it cools down at night), staff while nice are not the most professional looking, an appointment was made at the salon and the hairdresser turned out to be a no show (not even an apology from the staff about this)."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of August 2009
Amazing place - best in Varkala!
"We stayed here for ten nights back in April as it was hard to leave. We had read reviews on this site and they were all very positive. We found them all to be true. The staff are very nice and very helpful. There is a really nice vibe overall here. It is right on the beach and I think VMP has the best location in Varkala. Food in the restaurant is fantastic. It is lovely to read and relax looking out from the restaurant to the Arabian Sea - sunsets are fab. Rooms are nice. No air con, they get a bit hot but you can ask for a fan plus there are Mossie nets. I normally suffer really badly from bites but didn't get bitten here. Cliffs and all local amenities are all close by. Can't wait to go back one day!"
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of May 2009
Great value and a great find
"We had a wonderful time. The location is great, the staff is very pleasant and eager to please. The restaurant on the beach is a big plus. It is a great value for the price. We spent a whole week here, and wished we could have spent more time. We would definitely like to go back to Varkala and the Marine Palace. It is a very quiet and relaxing holiday. The beach is real close, and the activities are not too far either."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of April 2009
truly lovely place
"we arrived in varkala after three hours on the road and as we turned into the marina place we felt nervous to say the least - the main gates and entrance looked ramshackle, especially compared to some of the fabulous places we had passed on the way. BUT that feeling disappeared in minutes when we were taking to our "high end keralan style cottage" (about Â£30 a night) - i dont know what the other rooms are like here but ours was superb - it had a huge balcony area with a wonderful view of the ocean, a very useful kitchen with fridge and kettle and was overall spacious and well furnished. While there didn't seem to be much in the way of a reception area, the staff were always on hand and very helpful. the open air restaurant was cheap, did great food and even better was quite literally ten steps from the beach. The cliffs are a five - ten minute walk away which we loved, we were minutes from the action but still felt secluded. we passed lots of great looking places in varkala but I couldn't help wondering if they had the same fabulous view and sense of space we had. Its an odd place in some ways - it does look a little neglected, and if you opt for the on-site ayurvedic massage you cant be shy (there is little in the way of preservation of dignity!) but we loved it and would recommend it to anyone looking for peace and a spot right on the quiet end of the beach. Cant fault it - we also checked out at 2am but the receptionist guy was right there grabbing our bags even though we had clearly woken him up - we loved it."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of April 2009
coolest place ever
"WOW!!! What a location... and then to top it off: the soothing sounds of the ocean dancing upon your ears while you eat a freshly cooked meal in a cozy outdoor setting. Most importantly, the staff was ALWAYS there for me. Yes I suggest it and YES I will go back."
- Travel date: Sun 12th of April 2009
Surpassed even our high expectations!
"When planning our first trip to Kerala, India I relied heavily on the other reviews written by travelers, which has served us very well in the past. Since Varkala is only a small tourist destination with growing popularity, there wasn't much to go on, but travelers were almost unanimous in their praise of the Varkala Marine Palace. So my wife and I had high expectations of a relaxing beach vacation, even if in the back of our minds we had some nagging worries- would the rains come early and cloud our stay? could we survive the humidity without AC? would the location be too isolated or too busy?
It turns out we had best beach vacation of our lives in Varkala, and much of that is due to the Marine Palace, which I can also now enthusiastically recommend. From the first time I emailed, the owner Bhasker was quick to answer my questions, and once we arrived the excellent service continued. For example, the manager Subin went out of his way to call and arrange transportation and reservations for us for the rest of our trip in Kerala.
Besides the friendly service, the Marine Palace also has an excellent location. It is on the south end of the beach, which is less crowded than the area nearer to the cliffs, however all this action is only a short walk (5-10 minutes) away if you're interested in shopping or dining. The rooms themselves are nearly right on the beach, with views of the ocean from your windows- no need to hike up and down long sets of stairs like most of the other places up on the cliffs. Also, because the Marine Palace has a well-priced restaurant that serves up delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners- we ate most of our meals right there, enjoying the superb views of the surf (I highly recommend the generous English breakfasts!)
Even without AC, the rooms were cool and airy, with powerful ceiling fans and comfortable furniture (large beds, chairs for lounging inside and out on the balconies). The rooms are simply decorated and by no means fancy, but for a low-key beach vacation this was just what we needed.
So, if you're looking to wind down by day on a beautiful beach sipping a fresh fruit juice cocktail, and by night roam local shops and feast on cheap, delicious eats- Varkala is the place for you, and the Marine Palace is the place to stay!"
- Travel date: Sun 12th of April 2009
"Lovely location and excellent service. Rooms were basic but clean. Staff were very helpful. Definitely in the best part of Varkala ( the cliff is a bit of a touristy hole!). Ask for the wooden rooms and go for most expensive one (about Â£30)"
- Travel date: Sun 8th of March 2009
Oh to be back in Marine Place and Varkala again.....
"We went to India for 9 days and spent 6 nights at the Marine Place. It is a little gem and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. The rooms are basic enough but have large comfortable beds and very clean bathrooms. Both the bedrooms and bathrooms are cleaned daily. All rooms have a seating area outside where you can relax and read or play cards in the evening. There are no TVâs but believe me this is a blessing!!
Marine Place is located down from the main cliff top area. If you stay on the upper levels of the newly built rooms you can see the sea through the palms from your bedroom window. It is literally a 30 second walk to the beach from your room.
The restaurant staff are a pleasure..always so happy to see you and Bhasker the owner is more than happy to oblige should you have any queries or need something organised such as a car to the airport. We spent two nights in a five star location prior to arriving at the Marine Place and I can honest say that I enjoyed my time at the Marine Place ten time mores. I will be back.....the only problem is when......
- Travel date: Wed 25th of February 2009
amazing position - right on the beach.
"We contacted Babu, the owner,by email a few weeks before arriving and were hoping that he would be there to meet us after our 15 hour train ride from Bangalore. As promised, he was there at the train station. The hotel is a series of straw roofed huts along with a 2 storey keralan building. Being out of season we opted for the whole first floor - a huge room for the 2 adults and another next door for our 2 children aged 10 and 13. The rooms were clean and had a good view through the trees to the nearby beach. They were a little dark - even during the day - get some more lights, Babu or give them a lick of paint. Considering the size of the kitchen the food was pretty good but there is more choice up on the cliffs which is a short walk away. There were a couple of slightly strange guests who seem to have been there for several years but they added to the entertainment. The hotel is actually on the beach which is lovely. Come on Aug 1st when over a million Hindu worshippers descend on the beach. It is a spectacle that we won't forget in a long time. It goes on all night! Thanks to Babu for being such a good host. And yes, the weather is fine in August."
- Travel date: Thu 8th of January 2009
"My wife and stayed at the Varkala Marine Palace hotel for 6 nights in mid-December. We opted for a suite which had the added extra of including a refridgerator - something which comes in very handy for keeping drinks cool! The room was fairly rustic in style and might benefit from a bit of brightening up, particularly since Kerala has so much in the way of decorations to offer; however, the room was kept extremely clean and the staff remained highly professional and tremendously helpful throughout. The location is excellent - virtually on the beach, yet close to where the 'action' is along the cliff top. I would certainly recommend this hotel to anyone."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of January 2009