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“Shine-On”

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Varkala SeaShore Beach Resort
Ranked #14 of 98 Varkala B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Shine-On”
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Returning to a review of a destination after almost 6 months since visiting is an interesting way to see your real thoughts as to what has stayed with you regarding the experience in this interim.

Wholeheartedly I can say that from many years of travel Shine, his crew and the small plot of the Seashore Beach Resort have a grand, tranquil goldmine here that is thoroughly recommendable to future people.

This was part of the 'parents + sister + 15 month or so niece + girlfriend who have never visited India before' trip that had many options to catapult me into trouble.


Arrival:

We arrived after a hot and emotional journey on the train and Shine grabbed us, gave us a cup of tea and put us straight into an aircon room where calm was restored. We were staying in 3 of the 4 cottages (2 x downstairs and 1 x upstairs room). All aircon and all with relaxing views of the garden and the sea beyond.

Setup:
The setup of the premises from the quiet alleyway goes - entrance, standard aircon and non-aircon rooms. 1st part of the garden, the 2 x cottages (2 rooms in each upstairs and downstairs), 2nd part of the garden, view friendly (but perhaps not nipper - more later) low wall. A few thousand miles of sea.

The cottages don't obstruct too badly the view from the standard aircon/non-aircon rooms. There is no obstruction of view from the cottages - although one of the downstairs rooms is smaller than the others and has heavy grating on it (this is the the left side cottage as you look at the sea). The other downstairs cottage room and upstairs room we had were spacious, new, comfortable and afforded superb views.

The garden and paths are carefully maintained, made of 'Indian grass' with hammocks in strategic positions and flora and fauna about. The view is spectacular, the shade movable (with some careful pre-empting you can find shelter / not find shelter almost the entire day). There is not a moment you cannot hear the sea roaring below the cliffs or see the wildlife soaring on thermals buffeting up from the sea. It is pleasingly put together with simple paths bisecting it. NB. The paths do get super hot in the sun (my niece learnt this the hard way and would circumnavigate them carefully if they were illuminated chanting ‘hot burnies hot burnies') but the airy rooms and location removed from the hustle and bustle provide solace if required from the hot burnies.

The Rooms:
The cottages have a small but compact verandah looking onto the gardens, with furniture to sit on.
The aircon in each of the rooms we had works well, without noise and the rooms and toilets they are very clean and carefully maintained. Linen etc fresh and overall is a feeling of cleanliness and care.

NB. The downstairs room we had mentioned above is being renovated I believe as this is a little darker and smaller than the others - and the bathroom here was quite slippery - you've been warned - we pointed this out to Shine and the crew.

The Beach:
The garden ceases at the top of the cliffs and drops off down to the sea. The barrier here is high enough to not obstruct the view, but a little low for tiny terrors. One moment had me on the upstairs balcony look down to see my niece trundling towards the cliff down the path. In a split second I worked out it would be better to take 4 steps at a time down to the garden rather than to jump from the balcony and shatter my knees, only to skirt round the corner with cartoon skidding noises to see my family looking at me with incredulity from the lower balcony. They were about 5m from my nice who dutifully waddled back to them, never in danger from this unseen angle. The cliff does worry - but you just need to have 1 x set of eyes always on the smaller ones.

The steps down to the beach are fun and just shy of being too much. The natural ambience of the beach and it’s secluded nature mean that for all intents and purposes it is private for the hotel - but be warned that water has some riptide currents in it. And they are very very strong and can pull the young and inexperienced across and out in an instant.

Varkala + North Cliffs:
Varkala is a holy place, the main beach constantly thrumming and the views from the cliffs are wonderful. The North cliff area next to the helipad, some 7 minutes in Dilip's (lovely local chap for lifts) tuk-tuk for about 200Rs is full of wonderful friendly restaurants for families and all (with an eye to the elevation). Thumbs-up from all. It is no longer the 3 or 4 basic premises overlooking the unprotected cliff from when I last visited 12 years ago. Progress (or not..).

Shine et al:
Friendly, helpful, kind, resourceful and caring. Lassi's, cold water and local info whenever needed (drinks etc at an additional charge). Hospitable and family friendly, and situated in the quieter part of the South cliffs - far more favourable than the busier sun baked opportunities of the main drag. Simple but filling breakfasts, no dinner options. Wifi available in the main atrium and at a stretch to your balconies.
Just remember this is a cash only place. Don't get caught out like we did (well almost). It is also a home stay - not a hotel as such. Infinitely more personal and for my experience greater fun..

Room Tip: Those near reception could suffer from some operational noise. The lower ground floor cottage room t...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank Cheekynombre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Munich
Level Contributor
38 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2014

This place is awesome! I didn´t want to leave. Enjoeyd spending hours in the sea and relaxing in the wonderful garden. The sea shore beach resort has a fantastic atmosphere. It is very well cultivated and the service is really good. We had great breakfast on the cliff side with sea view and banana lassie.
The sea on the private beach was great for playing in the waves. I was wondering if it is save for our 8 years old daughter and indeed it was. The beach is much better than the Main Varkala Beach. Most of the time we were the only persons on the beach.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Andrea1207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kochi (Cochin), India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 April 2014

The resort is built in the south cliff facing the sea. Some steps have been made for people to get down and enjoy the beach which you can call it a private beach. There is ample space for those who want to enjoy the natures beauty by sitting in the lawn. Morning breakfast is well served and you can enjoy the hot tea by sitting in the cliff and watching the sea. The rooms are well maintained and linens look new.The toilets are clean and fittings look new.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank Homely2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Located on the south cliff only a 5-10 minute walk from the main beach and a few (steep) steps down to a smaller quieter beach. The hotel is located next to soul and surf a popular resort which offers daily yoga classes, surfing lessons and massage (however guests at soul and surf get priority with bookings so you may be unable to get on the surf classes in particular). We loved staying on the south cliff as we were away from the hassle of all the touts on north cliff. Also within walking distance of Marina bay restaurant which serves delicious seafood, Indian food and western dishes. The hotel staff were friendly, breakfast tasty and the rooms clean and comfortable.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Cara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014

This is a very mixed review as some parts of Sea Shore were very good and others were poor. For this reason I sadly don't feel I can fairly give more than an average review.

The positives first: the setting is gorgeous, the grounds are beautifully kept with a lovely view to the sea. Hammocks and swings outside are a really nice touch. The hotel has steps down to a stretch of very private beach which is much nicer and less busy than further along. Being on south cliff is peaceful compared to north cliff, but only a 15 minute walk away. The breakfast at the hotel was simple but very well done and we enjoyed eating overlooking the sea. All of the staff are very kind, friendly and helpful - they gave extras such as beach towels, beach umbrellas and mosquito plug ins which were much appreciated.

Unfortunately, we felt the room was poor. Please note that the following is only in reference to the standard room that we had - I believe the pricier cottage rooms are much nicer.

The room is described as having a sea view, however the window has frosted and patterned glass, plus a metal grill, plus a thick mosquito net pinned to the frame, so even if you opened the windows you would see nothing. This made the room very dark.
The rugs and bath mat were both stained.
The green bedside lamp shade had brown and black burn marks all around the top.
While the pillowcases and fitted sheet were clean, the flat sheets to cover yourself with were all stained - they were obviously freshly washed and ironed, but they had yellow/orange marks on them which was really off putting. We asked for two fresh ones but these were also stained. When the room was cleaned on our third day, we had new sheets and again these had stains on too.
The bathroom was not nice - a dark blue suite, the shower in the middle of the room with no tray or screen, which meant water went everywhere and caused the room to smell damp - we didn't expect western standards but did not enjoy being in there! Having said that, it was clean.

We did not choose this resort expecting luxury, however we do feel the standard rooms need improving.

Overall this is a lovely place to stay if you are looking for a beautiful setting with helpful staff and a great beach, but be aware that the standard rooms are quite hostel in style.

Room Tip: Go for a cottage!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kitkatkitkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfax, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2014

North Shore on Varkala Beach is noisey, crowded and the beach area is not so nice if you want privacy. Here on South Cliff and Seashore Beach Resort we found serenity and ultimate beauty. The staff is excellent the rooms and suites are beautiful, relaxing and very welcoming. While in India, everyone needs a rest and this place is exquisite...don't miss it. Shine, the owner, is just what you want in perfection and attention to detail. He will have someone waiting for you at the train station! Beach gorgeous and water is clean!

Room Tip: South Shore...all rooms are equal, suite cost more but you have more room, the other rooms are just...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Liisa O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chennai
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2014

Varkala is fast growing and North Cliff is bustling with activity. And so one can head to South Cliff for more calm and quite. And would definitely recommend Seashore as the best icing on the cake. We blocked a cottage online and the wonderful Mr.Shine replied. Arriving in March end, it was almost off season, and there was less occupancy and made the experience even better. Seashores staff is its greatest asset. Senior Saj, Younger Vishal and Arun with cook Rekha are the wonderful people who take efforts to run the place with utmost sincerity even if there is just one couple on the whole resort (us).
The great advantage is the view. Its bang on the South Cliff and you can peep into the bay where there is the south end of Papanasam beach where waves are crashing. You hear the waves 24/7.
Breakfast is simple and filling and fresh. Rooms are extremely clean and is top notch. AC and lighting are like home and furnishing in tastefully done. It has access to beach via a cliff stairs on rocks. Lots of privacy on beach and you can walk few hundred meters towards the main beach. So its a package with great stay, privacy and quite, walkways and best lawns and giid breakfast, (They dont have a full time kitchen for rest of your day). Mr.Shine and Seashore have been in Varkala for years and hence the best in service. (Take Auto or long walk via beach and again climb if you need to go to North Cliff and Market area. Night time, beach avoidable)

Room Tip: Rooms are smaller and set back. Cottages are wonderful spacious with sea view balcony. Opt for upper...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank ArjunKarthikeyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Varkala SeaShore Beach Resort

Property: Varkala SeaShore Beach Resort
Address: South Cliff | West Janardhana Swamy Temple, Varkala 695141, India
Region: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 98 B&Bs / Inns in Varkala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It's a very beautiful piece of paradise. It's a guest house (I couldn't call it something so cold as a resort) that delivers excellent service with a low key spirit of wanting to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. The rooms are clean, comfortable and the higher-end suites are exceptionally lovely and all for prices that make this the very best value I have almost ever experienced in all my travels. 'taken from guest review'. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Seashore Hotel Varkala
Varkala SeaShore Beach Resort Kerala

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