Must-see hotels in Kerala

  • Lake Palace

    Periyar Tiger Reserve

    There's a faint whiff of royalty at this restored KTDC-operated Travancore summer palace on Periyar Lake, accessible only by 20-minute boat ride. The six…

  • Bungalow Heritage Homestay

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Just 300m north from Vypeen Island's ferry dock, this beautiful 1930 Keralan heritage house is a delight, with two large connecting rooms featuring quaint…

  • Hibernest Chembra

    Northern Kerala

    Chembra Peak looms high above this peacefully positioned, red-brick, colonial-era bungalow turned boutiqueish hostel, set in leafy gardens 6km south of…

  • Maadathil Cottages

    Varkala

    With an excellent location on tranquil Odayam Beach, this cluster of delightful beachfront cottages is designed in traditional Kerala style, flaunting…

  • KTDC Waterscapes

    Kerala

    With its location on Lake Vembanad, near the entrance to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, this government resort is a good deal for visiting birdwatchers…

  • Ganesh House Homestay

    Kovalam

    Seek out a family-style stay at this peach-orange, efficiently run modern home surrounded by greenery, down a dirt path just five minutes' walk inland…

  • V Retreat

    Northern Kerala

    Around 10km northwest of Payyanur and 5km southwest of Ayitti Jetty, this tranquil homestay, sandwiched between a near-empty golden-sand beach and the…

  • Maritime

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Behind a red-and-white facade, this branch of the Goan Hostel Crowd chain is just west of the Customs jetty. The nautical theme is a characterful touch;…

  • Villa Jacaranda

    Varkala

    This intimate, romantic and elegantly understated boutiquey retreat just inland from southern Papanasham Beach revolves around four bright, spacious rooms…

  • Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram

    Varkala

    Varkala's flashiest hotel, the hillside Taj-Group Gateway is all gleaming linen and mocha cushions in smart contemporary rooms overlooking manicured…

  • Ayisha Manzil

    Kannur

    The six rooms tucked into this 19th-century rust-red heritage home are enormous and filled with antique furniture, but most guests come for the Mappila …

  • Kallanchery Retreat

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Escape the Kochi crowds at this peaceful waterside homestay and expansive garden in the village of Kumbalanghi, 13km south of Fort Cochin. Tidy rooms are…

  • Marari Green Villas

    Kerala

    Fresh on the Marari scene at research time, this charmingly personal guesthouse-hotel sits 1km inland from the beach, with five smart, modern cottages and…

  • Zina Cottage

    Munnar

    If you want to be immersed in lush tea plantations but still close to town, Zina is the budget choice. While it looks slightly run-down, this fading, rose…

  • Fort House Hotel

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Around 200m west of Fort Cochin's Customs jetty, this family-owned hideaway is one of the old core's few truly waterfront hotels, though the 16 smart,…

  • Cruise ‘N Lake

    Kerala

    Surrounded by backwaters on one side and a lawn of rice paddies on the other, this is the affordable Kumarakom getaway. The eight rooms are plain but…

  • Hotel Luciya Palace

    Kerala

    In a cream-coloured, colonial-style building, this is Thrissur's most characterful midranger, and its spacious, modern rooms are great value (desks,…

  • Somatheeram

    Kerala

    One of the area's original retreats, award-winning Somatheeram provides a full range of ayurvedic and panchakarma treatments, ayurvedic food, yoga (three…

  • Raviz

    Kozhikode (Calicut)

    A smart, contemporary, good-value five-star with all the business trimmings, popular for its professional service, outdoor pool and spacious, well…

  • Mango Villa

    Varkala

    Hidden just inland from the southern end of the North Cliff, Belgian-Indian-run Mango Villa lives up to its alluring name with six airy, spotless,…

  • Shade

    Munnar

    Folded into a verdant valley, 13km south of Munnar, Santhosh and Maya's tranquil family home is encircled by palms, betel-nut trees and their own cardamom…

  • Vivanta Trivandrum

    Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

    With a lobby larger than most hotels in town, this towering Taj-Group property offers Trivandrum's smartest accommodation. Rooms are washed in calming…

  • Tharavadu Heritage Home

    Kerala

    Around 3.5km south of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Tharavadu offers peaceful slumber in a superbly restored 1870s teak family mansion (now sporting a cool…

  • Zostel

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Zipped away down a small lane, Kochi's popular and sociable Zostel ticks all the right backpacker boxes. There are personal plugs, lights and lockers in…

  • Kanan Beach Resort

    Northern Kerala

    Comfortable whitewashed cottages with terraces and traditional Mangaluru-tile roofs surround a pool amid shady grounds of palms and hibiscus at this warm,…

  • JJ Cottage

    Munnar

    The charming family at this long-standing pink-walled spot 1.5km south of central Munnar (tucked into a lane just far enough from the main bus station)…

  • El-Paradiso

    Periyar Tiger Reserve

    An immaculate and friendly family homestay with fresh, modern rooms, most opening onto a terrace overlooking greenery and featuring fun touches like…

  • Tharavad

    Alappuzha (Alleppey)

    Glossy teak and antiques, shuttered windows, five characterful rooms, cordial service and well-maintained gardens set the tone at charming, 118-year-old…

  • Ezhara Beach House

    Kannur

    Under the watch of welcoming Hyacinth, this character-filled heritage home fronts unspoilt, palm-fringed Ezhara Beach, 9.5km southeast of Kannur. Rooms…

  • Thekkady Homestay

    Periyar Tiger Reserve

    Murals of leopards, jungle-clad landscapes and Periyar Lake line the stairs to this genial, characterful homestay, where a handful of rooms unfolds across…

  • Ivory Coast'e

    Kannur

    Hidden amid greenery above quiet Kizhunna Beach (just south of Thottada Beach), this warm, yellow-walled guesthouse makes up for its lack of beach views…

  • Happy Camper

    Kochi (Cochin)

    Billing itself as a boutique hostel, Happy Camper is a relaxed place with three en suite, air-con dorms (for four or eight; lockers provided), a small…

  • Anna Homestay

    Munnar

    Near Anachal village, 12km southwest of Munnar, Anna is more of a cosy guesthouse than a homestay, with 11 very tidy modern rooms, spacious rooftop common…

  • Indigo

    Varkala

    A soothing palette of greys, whites and pale woods infuses the smattering of comfortable, contemporary and charmingly chic rooms at Indigo, a five-minute…

  • Blue Water Beach Resort

    Varkala

    Overlooking relatively peaceful Odayam Beach, this sweet, gorgeously positioned resort has attractive earthy-red timber cottages with tiled roofs,…

  • Travellers Inn

    Kochi (Cochin)

    In the heart of Fort Cochin, with a handy travel desk, this welcoming, efficiently operated Indian-Italian-run guesthouse has six unpretentious modern…

  • Waves Beach Resort

    Kannur

    Crashing waves will lull you to sleep at these four simply styled, very cute hexagonal laterite huts and adjacent four-room cottage above a semiprivate…

  • Delight Home Stay

    Kochi (Cochin)

    One of Fort Cochin's original homestays, this charming whitewashed house is adorned with elaborate woodwork and dangling terracotta plant pots, while the…

  • Boat Jetty Bungalow

    Kochi (Cochin)

    An 1891 former jetty-manager's house and ancestral home has been thoughtfully refurbished into budget-to-midrange accommodation, its palette of greys and…

  • KK Heritage Home

    Kannur

    Slightly back from Thottada Beach in the palm groves, this long-established two-storey home pleases with its six spotless rooms, good food, deckchair…

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