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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
This thoughtfully renovated 1860s heritage home is a joy to visit, let alone stay in. The 10 rooms have been restored to their former glory and have bathtubs, antique furniture and period fixtures...
The Malabar House
What may just be one of the fanciest boutique hotels in Kerala, Malabar flaunts its über-hip blend of modern colours and period fittings like it’s not even trying. While the suites are huge and lavishly appointed, the standard rooms are more snug...
This imposing hotel faithfully reproduces 16th- and 17th-century Dutch and Portuguese architecture in its grand complex. All of the rooms look out over the harbour, and have bathtub and balconies with a refreshing sea breeze that beats air-con any day...
A historic 200-year-old mansion overlooking the Chinese fishing nets, this fine heritage property has six characterful suites and an atmospheric, high-ceiling restaurant. Overpriced in season, but worth a splurge at other times.
BethsaidaHermitage is a resort with a difference: this is a charitable organisation that helps support a nearby orphanage...
Close to the ferry point, this is one of the few truly waterfront hotels, though the rooms 16 smart air-con rooms are set back in a lush garden, with the restaurant taking prime waterside position.
You get a fair bit of swank for your rupee at this central business hotel. All rooms are spick and span, while the massive deluxe rooms have views over town. There's a good restaurant and a gym.
This recommended ayurvedic resort overlooks peaceful paddy fields back from the main beach. Stylish rooms come with high wooden ceilings and attractive furniture, set around a lush lily pond...
This CGH Earth place takes its green credentials very seriously and has captivating, spacious cottages that are smart yet cosily rustic, in pristinely kept grounds...
This 1960s hotel, with its polished original art deco fittings, oozes the sort of retro cool that modern hotels would kill to recreate...
Mascot Beach Resort
All rooms are sea-facing at this compact, midrange hotel looking over the small, rocky Baby Beach. Facilities are good, including a pool and restaurant.
This boutique business hotel is a surprise in Kollam’s busy centre, and very good value. Built by a cashew magnate, it’s beautifully designed and mixes traditional Keralan elements and modern lines for a sleek look...
Spread languidly over 9 hectares of grounds, this luxurious resort offers the ultimate in seclusion: it’s reachable only by private boat...
Away from the bustle just south of the main bus stand, Royal Retreat is a reliable midranger with pleasant ground-level rooms facing a pretty garden and others with tea plantation views.
A remote-feeling 9.5km southeast of Munnar, this place houses 11 neat, handsome rooms with balconies and lovely views overlooking a lush valley and cardamom plantation. It’s surrounded by deep forest on all sides...
This mustard-coloured colonial building was built in 1912 as headquarters of a UK spice trading company before being taken over by Brooke Bond tea...
This businesslike hotel has white-tiled and sterile hallways more reminiscent of a hospital, but the lamp-lit rooms are more welcoming and come with spotless bathrooms.
Even though all that glitters is not gold here, these almost-swanky rooms are perfectly comfortable and finished with all the stylish dark-wood fixtures your heart desires. It’s set back from MG Rd enough to shield the noise.
Tharavadu Heritage Home
Rooms are either in the superbly restored 1870s teak family mansion or in equally comfortable individual creekside bamboo cottages. All are excellently crafted and come with arty touches. It’s 4km before the bird sanctuary.
Windermere is a charming boutique-meets-country-retreat 4km southeast of Munnar...
Thapovan Heritage Home
Thapovan Heritage Home has two properties only 100m apart - one is beachfront cottages in Keralan style and the other is the gorgeous hilltop location where Keralan teak cottages are filled with handcrafted furniture and are set among perfectly manicu...
This ornate 10-storey whitewashed meringue caters to Thrissur’s jet set. Rooms have big windows to enjoy the upper floor’s sweeping views. There’s a 2nd-floor restaurant with an outdoor balcony, a bar and a cool glass-fronted elevator.