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“Total relaxation”

Lakes & Lagoons Tour Company
Ranked #1,095 of 1,079 things to do in Kerala
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Total relaxation”
Reviewed 30 March 2014

At the Lakes & Lagoons office we were advised to purchase any soft drinks we might wish to consume, as these were not provided on the boats, and having been forewarned, we also had purchased some gin and tonic waters on the way!
We were taken on a small launch along the river to where our houseboat was moored. The boats' appearance with their jackwood hulls and superstructures, thatched with coconut fibre held together with sisal, have been compared to "knitted armadilloes", which I found to be descriptive and amusing.
We had a one-bedroomed (the bedroom was air-conditioned) premium class houseboat for two nights. It was beautifully maintained, with rich wooden panelling, pictures on the walls, comfortable beds and a shower room, with a little staircase to a rooftop viewing balcony (a feature not many of the houseboats had), a dining area with table for four, where we were able to entertain guests to lunch on the full day, a sitting area with armchairs and a chaise longue behind the prow. Here the captain sat (under an umbrella when the sun was strong) and gently steered us through an ever-changing panorama of waterways, where we could view the local human, animal and bird life at our leisure. Outside the bedroom, the sides of the boat were largely open to the air, and we enjoyed this natural air conditioning as we moved. There was also an electric fan, but we didn't need that.On board we also had an engineer and man-of-all-work, and a chef/steward. The staff were totally charming, hard-working and very helpful. We were consulted on the types of food and cooking that we favoured, and the Keralan cuisine was superb, not too hotly spiced, but rich with spicy flavours blended together, just as we like it.
We were holidaying with another couple, who had their own houseboat, and were also enchanted with the whole enterprise.
Our first night we moored by the bank, and were able to take a walk through the houses and talk to some of the people we encountered there. Many of them speak some English. On our full day we saw a variety of waterways, some wide, some narrow, one being deepened and the banks reinforced for the passage of large ships, and for our second night we put down anchor on the huge and busy Lake Vembanad. We had stopped at a village with a beautiful Roman Catholic church and some shops with souvenir items. On the shore of Lake Vembanad we visited a seafood shop where we bought giant prawns (about 8 inches long), but they were very expensive - it is taking advantage of the captive customer / rich tourist situation there, and other tourists should be warned - although they were certainly delicious.
We left our boat at our next destination, quite sad to part with our lovely crew and luxurious boat.

Visited February 2014
4 Thank StephanieO34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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363 reviews from our community

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English first
Tunbridge Wells UK
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Lovely experience with Lakes & Lagoons”
Reviewed 27 March 2014

From start to finish this was an excellent one night cruise which was very well organised by this company. Having checked in and asking to take an additional option during the trip to visit the smaller backwaters we were soon on our way on a two bedroomed boat. The captain Mohan, engineer Joseph and cook Johnny all introduced themselves and in particular Johnny spoke excellent English.

The boat itself was clean, tidy and very well furnished with plenty of space.. The crew made us more than welcome. On arrival we just had to mention that we would like a cup of tea and no sooner said than done, tea and cakes appeared. Throughout the trip the food and service were excellent, in fact our expectations were exceeded on all counts.

Having taken the additional option of a visit to the smaller backwaters we got a real insight into the way of life of the rural community. This was a well worth side visit and one we would recommend.

We parked on a nice riverbank overnight and spent a peaceful evening watching the sunset (we brought our own gin & tonic !) and water traffic from a comfortable distance. Next morning the sunrise and mist over the water were magical.

We finished the cruise at our next destination, the Coconut Lagoon, but that is another great experience.

Visited March 2014
2 Thank MikeHilaryT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
144 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 287 helpful votes
“Relaxing well organised overnight cruise of Keralas backwaters”
Reviewed 25 March 2014

It was extremely busy when we arrived, organised chaos, but dealt with so efficiently our check in went like clockwork.

As you're not able to buy alcohol on the boats they have a little shop at the check in area where you can buy what you need to take on board or I'd suggest buying this before you get there as it was so busy at the check in.

We were taken with our bags by a motor launch to our boat, which was number 16. We were very pleasantly surprised as the boat was very large especially as it was only for the two of us. The crew of 3 were all very welcoming and spoke good English.

As soon as we were aboard the boat pulled out and within an hour we were being given our lunch and oh my goodness there was so much food. I'm afraid my husband and myself are not fish eaters which in a location such as this renowned for it's seafood felt like a bit of a crime but the chef was very understanding and accommodating. We were served a delicious duck curry as well as rice, two vegetable dishes, yoghurt and poppadums followed by a delicious vermicelli desert, we were so full!

We then leisurely cruised for a couple of hours, our boat had an upper deck which gave us a lovely breeze as we were cruising, very welcome as it was so humid. We did also stop at a small village for shopping, we were at the end of our holiday so all our shopping had been done but we didn't feel under pressure at all to buy trinkets and the stop was worthwhile as there was a beautiful church with a ceremony taking place which was just lovely to watch. Once back on board afternoon tea was served with banana fritters - yummy.

After our boat had docked for the evening we were offered a canoe ride, if you get this offer I'd definitely recommend it as for us it was a highlight of the cruise. We were basically taken in a circle around an inhabited island and we could see @ close quarters the village folk going about their daily chores, from bathing to clothes washing, preparing fish for dinner and washing dishes as well as the children! Everyone was very friendly waving and shouting out greetings, we saw 4 kingfishers, weaver birds nesting and many other aspects of wildlife.It was thoroughly enjoyable as was the whole cruise.

Once back on the boat we had our evening meal, it was so relaxing sat in the easy chairs after our meal with our drinks just taking in the peace and quiet. After all that delicious food & drink we went to bed totally satisfied. Our bedroom was bigger than some hotel rooms we'd had and the shower facilities very good as was the air-con, a must for us as I think we would of melted without it.

I'm so glad we took the time to do this trip and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to other travellers.

Visited March 2014
5 Thank diytours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2014 via mobile

We stayed one night on the houseboat. Absolutely beautiful from the time we checked in till the end. Excellent service by the 3 gentlemen. Great cook. Loved the food. Beds were comfortable, appreciated the A/C. At firstly were bit hesitant thinking that boat will park somewhere isolated but once it did park at the hub, we were surrounded by other houseboats. Felt very safe. Highly recommended. Will visit again and use your service. Thank you

1 Thank ninbrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Yorkshire
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
Reviewed 18 March 2014

We had a one night stay on a one bedroom boat. On arrival at the office we were booked in and transferred to our boat and met the staff. As mentioned the staff were excellent but their English was limited but this did not detract from the trip.

The boat was more spacious than we had expected and the beds were comfortable. The shower and toilet facilities were also good.

After setting off we stopped for a lunch and then went on to visit the oldest church in the area. We were taken around by one of boat staff who gave us lots of information about the church. After this we returned to the boat and had afternoon tea which was excellent. Late in the afternoon we were taken out on a small boat to visit parts the rice barge was too big to visit. This trip allowed us to see daily life around the backwaters and also we were lucky enough to see lots of birds. After our return we had time to shower and relax before our evening meal which was of a very good standard and plenty to eat. Although the boats do not carry alcohol we had taken some on board and enjoyed sitting on the deck watching the sunset while enjoying a drink.

The air conditioning which worked after we had stopped for the night was effective and we both enjoyed a good nights sleep before getting up for a relaxed breakfast and the trip back to the boatyard.

We would certainly recommend that a trip on the backwaters forms part of any holiday in Kerala and can recommend this company.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Alchrisuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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