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“Excellent hospitality” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Eco Trails Kerala

Eco Trails Kerala
Ranked #1 of 1 Tours in Kottayam
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Backwaters of Kerala is unique and is found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. The backwaters of Kerala are a self supporting eco-system teeming with life. The most exciting aspect of Kuttanadu is the Kettuvallam (traditional Houseboat) which has become the most popular tourism product in India today.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Excellent hospitality”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2013

My stay at the backwaters was very nice, it is a really charming and different place. Kence was extremely welcoming and took care of organizing all the visits, boat trips on the backwaters, and tasting of traditional local food, including inviting me for lunch at home with his family! His wife is an excellent cook, everything was delicious :)

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mayaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cardamomclub, Owner at Eco Trails Kerala, responded to this review, 18 April 2013
Hi Maya.. Thank you very much for your excellent feedback about our services. We will try our best to improve our services based on customer feedback. We are sure that your feedback will attract more tourists to us. Thanks again & keep in touch.. Kence Georgey
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sukhothai, Thailand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“excelent operator”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2013

I made the Backwaters Cruise on a beautiful houseboat. The food was excelent, and the crew very kindly and helpful. The trip itself was a wonderful one, very calming and refreshing, with scenic views of the channels and the big lake plenty of those exquisites houseboats on the horizon. The agence also provided local transport, on a very reasonable price. I recomend this high standard operator, it was the best one I had in all my trip.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank BrPaulo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Probably the friendliest place on earth!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2013

We wanted to drive ourselves around Kerela and used Kence to organise the holiday for us. It's probably worth saying at this point that this is not advisable to drive yourself unless you are used to Indian driving which isn't for the faint hearted due to a lack of adherence to any rules and the government bus drivers who stop for no one so they can stay on shedule. We also found out that it's not possible to hire a car in Kerela, so you either need to make arrangements to borrow one from someone making sure you are insured for it or would have to hire one outside Kerela and drive in.

It's also worth saying that Garmin sat nav for India only covers big cities and main roads and that the Indians seem to navigate via google earth, which means you need this loaded on a phone with an Indian sim card if you want to stand a fighting chance of finding your way once off the main road for a reasonable price.

We used Kence to book all the accommodation, not just the houseboat. It was a very easy email exchange with some very swift responses which was essential given I emailed him with only one week before we travelled. It was a pleasure doing business with him as there was absolutely no pressure to have anything other than what we wanted on the itinerary. In terms of practicalities we paid the deposit by paypal and paid cash in pounds sterling on arrival which suited us both and saved me having to change currency.

We did the houseboats having started in the Fort Inn Kochi, followed by the Hornbill Camp Thattekad, Aranyaka Resort Munnar, Mayapot near Thekkady, and spent the day before at the Maya Heritage in Aymanam then finished at the Grammam Homestay after the boat which got us back to Kochi but still on the waterfront. Kence made sure we had directions to each place and made phone calls to each place to ensure we had arrived, so couldn't have felt better looked after.

There isn't a huge amount to do in Aymanam but it made a good afternoon/overnight stop as the woodwork of the house was fascinating to see being a heritage building and the interiors were of a high standard with air con in the bedroom. Phillip drove us into town to do some shopping, took us to a local art artist M Somu where we picked up some watercolours and in the evening his wife gave us a a cookery lesson which was great fun, so all in all filled the available time nicely.

The next morning we headed off to the boat. Kence made sure they had the right food on board and at our request sent someone to get us some beer. When we boarded the dining table was set with water and a fruit bowl along with a map card so you get information on what you are seeing which the other boats don't seem to have. The boat was very well finished inside with beautifully varnished woodwork and very clean.

The boat is very slow which means you are probably best off doing this when you are in the mood for lazing around which is probably when you are tired from a flight in or like us had been to a number of places previously, had done a fair bit of active stuff and were in the mood for just unwinding, taking it easy and making the most of the sunshine as you watch the world drift slowly by. There were a couple of comfortable wicker chairs with towels on them to relax in and take in the view and a mattress and pillow at the front if you wanted to lay out in the sun.

I react quite badly to insect bites so we took Life Systems Expedition strength insect repellent with us and used it throughout the holiday, which did the job and prevented any bites while on the boat.

We did the overnight trip which sets out across the Vehmabad lake, into the backwaters then moors up overnight on a strip of land(it's worth being aware that there is no where to really walk or do anything) with fantastic views of the setting sun over the paddy fields and water as we ate our dinner. The food was very good southern Indian cooking and very plentiful so no danger of anyone going hungry with plenty of water and tea to drink as required.

There was a good breeze on the boat while on the water. When we moored up it was pretty warm, but the air con in our room went on after 8 so we spent a very comfortable evening overnight and the en suite shower, basin and toilet were all clean and worked well.

Kerela is probably the friendliest place we have been despite travelling widely, there was great variety of in the scenery and many different things to do in a relatively small geographic area and I would say the rice barges are definitely something you should do at least once in your life to get another very different perspective on the place. We were fascinated by everyone fishing at the front of their houses, the use of canoes as transport for anything and everything and the fishermen on the lake tying their canoes to bamboo poles and fishing by hand.

We would definitely use Kence again to sort out accommodation as he seems to have access to non touristy places which only take a handful of guests (we were on our own at most as it was out of season which was fantastic and really did feel like proper homestays).

When we left we felt we had seen the real India, had met some incredibly friendly, informative and genuinely caring hosts and would definitely come back.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank busylis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
1 review
“Kence runs a wonderful business with excellent employees”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2013

We had such an amazing time on our house boat in Kerala. We took the overnight boat from Kumarakom to Alleppey (which is the better way to go because it is less travelled). The boat was lovely and the staff were friendly, knowledgeable, experienced, and provided a wonderful experience. I have no complaints whatsoever. What makes this boat unique and superior to others is that they hook it up to the electricity from a house at night so that passengers have AC but without the nocie of the motors--much more relaxing and enjoyable. Thank you for a great time.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank JessLyn88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“a wonderful and relaxing trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2013

We were a group of 6 adults and a toddler and spent 2 nights on a houseboat. Kence organised the trip as per our requirements. He was very efficient in responding to my queries and adjusting as per our needs. The crew of the boat was courteous and met most of our needs. The food served was delicious. The rooms and bathrooms were clean on the Houseboat. However, there seemed to be some kind of a wood-borer infestation on some parts of the wood on the boat especially in our room which left a powdered residue on many places most of the time.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Kalimirch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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