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“Best Place to Stay in Thekkady”
Review of Aranya Nivas KTDC

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Aranya Nivas KTDC
Ranked #17 of 43 Hotels in Thekkady
Ahmedabad, India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Place to Stay in Thekkady”
Reviewed 8 January 2014

Its in the Periyar reserves boundary walls, in middle of the jungle near to the lake, tracking & other such facilities, apart from it food is quite ok, can be improved. Nice swimming pool & a very peaceful nature loving place.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SAJagad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
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English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014 via mobile

On the positive side:
... Location within park, frankly not much to see or do in Kumily
... Preferential booking for boat ride
...very large rooms maintained fairly well
...good service
...very good buffet arrangements for food
...the beer from the parlor is actually chilled and nice!

The negatives relate not so much to the hotel but the chaos surrounding the boat ride. There is a sea of people all waiting to get on the boat and no system of crowd management seems to be present. My advice is see if you can get one of the friendly staff from the hotel to guide you on o the boat. Once on the boat things are fine all seating is PE booked and there is no free for all.

Would recommend taking the 11am boat getting off for lunch at the Lake Palace and take the 245 pm boat back. That way you get the boat ride and a good flavor of the superlatively pretty location of the Lake Palace. We were fortunate to watch a herd of elephants peacefully geazing away for more than an hour

Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank moth123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pune, India
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

The KTDC hotels are the most logical place to stay is you are visiting Thekkady for the Periyar Tiger Reserve as they are the only hotels which permit guests to book Boat Ride tickets from the reception and avoid the mad rush for tickets.

Aranya Niwas surprised us with it's professionalism and quality. While there was nothing outstanding about the rooms, they were clean and comfortable. Service was courteous and the reception desk is quite helpful.

The food buffet is outstanding (for the price) with good variety as well as taste. There are multiple outing packages available through the hotel whose details are available at the reception. We took the full day Jeep Safari and it was a good experience.

If you can afford it, stay at the Lake Palace hotel for a different experience else Aranya Niwas will meet and exceed expectations considering it is a government hotel.

Room Tip: Take a jungle view room if you don't want monkey's peeping in through the windows all the ti...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MiteshJM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pune, India
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2013

Though this is advertised as a three-starred property of govt-run KTDC, considering the service and location I'd be happy to grant it a 4 star.

Located very close to the Periyar Lake, 5 minute's walk away. Just step out to hear the exotic bird calls & watch monkeys monkeying around :).

We had jungle facing rooms, with large glass-paneled windows (not openable). We could spot a few birds and large squirrels from our room, though the staff claimed that sometimes even deer (sambar) venture close to the hotel at night. The hotel shows an interesting hour-long documentary in their lounge every evening about the wildlife in the Periyar reserve, even repeats show on request. Kids will find the show highly entertaining :)

The hotel guests get priority for Periyar lake boat cruise tickets, which also priced less for the guest, & can be collected from the hotel reception. Though one better inform the hotel well in advance for to book the tickets.

One has to eat dinner at the hotel restaurant, as one can not step out after 6.00pm. But the food is served is good, so no complaints there.

The best part is that the hotel staff is very helpful and accommodating. They served an early breakfast on our request, as we had to leave early for Kochi. A staff member showed us around, pointing out hornbills and a giant squirrel in the trees surrounding the hotel.

The price is a bit high @ 6k+ for a Deluxe non-AC room per night, though it includes one meal (lunch/dinner) + one breakfast. You could get a small 10% discount if you book online from www.ktdc.com.
Additionally, one must pay Periyar Reserve entry fee of Rs. 25/- pp + Rs. 50/- vehicle to get to the hotel. But that's a minor annoyance considering a great experience ahead.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank overplanningkills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Level Contributor
184 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

This property is one of the few which is located inside the forest, which makes easy access to jungle safari by boating. However, you would not be able to access the town and enjoy other activities, as the gate closes by 6 P.M. The resort, though located amidst the jungle, does not give you a particularly 'wild' feeling. Rooms are decent and bathrooms are just O.K. It is well maintained in comparison to typical Government hotels. We stayed on the Christmas Eve and got a good dinner ( charged extra for the special dinner), but the breakfast spread was miserable. The only huge plus point of this property is that it ensures your easily accessible boating , as the boating starts right from front of the hotel and they issue tickets to the Lake Palace and Aranya Nivas guests in preference , before issuing tickets to other hotel customers. This is a big benefit , specially during peak seasons, as was in our case. Otherwise, there is nothing much to recommend about this property - it depends on individual taste whether to avail this hotel or stay outside the jungle area.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank drkaushikmandal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IPOH
Level Contributor
80 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2013

Stayed one night in this hotel which is in the Peryiar Tiger Reserve and very close to the lake boat jetty from which most Reserve activities start. Room was clean and staff was friendly. Do not open the room windows as the monkeys will come in out of nowhere [these mammals can be fierce too!]. Room price included breakfast which we ordered from the menu. If you have a rented car, no problem for lunch at the town, Kumily, just outside the Peryiar Tiger Reserve.

If you are a nature lover, would recommend TWO nights stay to take advantage of the activities of the Reserve like boating [go for the morning ride and the evening ride to experience the changing scenery and different types of animals], nature walk [accompanied by an experienced forest ranger], rafting, etc. Bookings for the boat ride are a must and can be done by Aranya Niwas if you are staying there. If your got some money to splurge, you can ask the hotel to book you for lunch at exclusive Lake Palace Hotel which on an island on the huge lake. Tickets for other activities, like nature walk, rafting , etc have to be purchased from the tourist office in the Kumily town outside the Peryiar Tiger Reverve. Wished the hotel in future make arrangements to purchase these tickets for its guests.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AvidTraveller007Ip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 December 2013

Staying in Forest controlled areas have been one of the toughest choice any family with kids goes through. It needs a right balance of vacation and relaxation needs that hotel can provide and at the same time sacrifices are needed to adhere to forest guidelines of visiting hours and maintaining the ''part of nature'' hierarchy as we humans belong to.

The KTDC Aranya Niwas is inside the periyaar sanctuary at Thekkady , so the gates close at 6 pm and all the shopping areas are out side this gate, so one is better off with a car or a tieup with some local car / rikshaw for such requirements that take one out of this controlled area

Some tickets and entry passes are to be purchased outside of this gate , so plan accordingly.

We had good support right from reservations to our entire stay at hotel. The rooms were big and cozy , this being a vintage hotel constructed in 1951 or so , carries that old stone property looks and being inside the jungle has its own charm.

The breakfast and lunch- dinners were of good taste and ample variety so kids could not complain and we also got the packed breakfast for our early morning check out for Kochin flight.

The thekkday to Kochin can take as long as 5 hours due to long descend from mountain tops to sea level.

Activities we enjoyed were , jungle trek with forest guide - This being not for people who prefer standard tourist activities as it required serious walk for about 2+ hours , often brushing off leeches that crawl up on ur protective socks. For nature lovers , it is a big treat. This forest has 7 months of rains , so it is very different than forest reserves from north and MP or Maharashtra. Lots of wild life such as elephants and birds and flora - fauna is very diverse.

The other things one can do are , Boat ride , Bamboo rafting in periyar dam back water , bird watching and night jungle walks of various kinds.

So , nature lovers , go for it !!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rahulnp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aranya Nivas KTDC

Property: Aranya Nivas KTDC
Address: Kumily, Thekkady 685536, India
Region: India > Kerala > Idukki District > Thekkady
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Spa Hotel in Thekkady
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Aranya Nivas KTDC 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aranya Nivas is the only premium jungle lodge of its kind situated inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve(Thekkady). The resort provides avenue for close interaction with the tropical rain forest and wild life. The resort is located on the banks of Periyar lake. Entry to Periyar Sanctuary will be closed by 5.00 pm. Hence please ensure to reach inside the sanctuary before 5.00 pm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aranya Nivas Ktdc Hotel Thekkady
Aranya Nivas Idukki
Aranya Nivas Hotel Idukki
Aranya Nivas KTDC Thekkady, Kerala, India

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