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“Not quite up to the reviews” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shiva Garden

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Shiva Garden
Ranked #18 of 95 Varkala B&B and Inns
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Not quite up to the reviews”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2012

I'm not fussy in the slightest, especially after three months of travelling in India...but this place just does not live up to the reviews! The 'gardens' aren't up to much, thought the sitting/dining area is a nice touch, and the rooms were only just better than average - the severe smell of moth balls in ours was off putting! The other guests all seemed to have been staying there a while and were very cliquey which we found a little awkward. It took us twenty minutes from getting there to be shown a room, but all that changed when Jayan showed up - the owner - he is excellent and clearly working in the right industry. He is very easy going whilst still taking charge and taking care of his guests. The balcony was a nice touch, and hot water was provided for us to wash a couple of bits of clothing. I wouldn't recommend their laundry service - we were told they had a washing machine so handed our stuff in, and didn't get it back for two days because it had been sent out and wasn't ready! Personally, I think there are much nicer places for the same money.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Vicky M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    133
    41
    7
    5
    16
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14
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
Fleamike
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2012

Writing a review about Shiva Garden is like writing a review of the Sistine Chapel. How could I ever do it justice? After 11 months on the road, this remains my very favorite guest house. I stumbled on it by luck and made friendships with people who I traveled with, met up with, and am still in touch with. It is run by wonderful people who make you feel at home immediately. From the moment I arrived to a smile and chai from Jayan, tired from my journey, to jam sessions on the pillows, to our own little South India Holi, to parting farewells. There are rooms to suit every budget and I splurged a bit for one of the rooms in the building where the kitchen is. Quite a lovely room! I have recommended this place to other travelers and when I return to India, Shiva Garden will be one of the reasons I do.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Fleamike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2012

I came to Siva Garden after a friends recommendation and felt totally at home for the first time in my 4 month stay in India. (which included changing accommodation every 3 dayd so by this point i had been resident jn ALOT of guesthouses) Owner Jayan and the staff immediately made me feel welcome and comfortable. It offers excellent value for both accommodation and food/drinks. Set back from the main hub of Varkala yet still minutes from the beach, the atmosphere is peaceful and relaxed as well as offering you the opportunity to be a social butterfly should you wish thanks to it's communal garden complete with hammocks and swing. For me Siva Garden offered the perfect place to relax, read and meet new friends (cheesy but true) and lead me to extend my stay from 5 days to 2 weeks simply because I didn't want to leave!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Oneblondejess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2012

We loved staying at Shiva Garden.
Location is good, walking distance to beach. Breakfast included and delicious.
Deluxe room was not so deluxe but clean and comfy beds.
Thank god for the fan!
Owners and staff were very friendly and helpful.
One negative - a bit overpriced. There are cheaper (and newer) rooms around closer to the beach if you are prepared to rock up and find accom on the spot.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ELB5555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2012

We had an incredible two week stay at Shiva Garden in Varkala!

The owners, Jayan and Sonia, made us feel at home and are two of the kindest people I've ever met! The food there was incredible. We ate a traditional Keralan thali almost every day, and the prices were more than reasonable. The accommodation was lovely, and after a week in one of the regular rooms, we were allowed to move into one of the apartments for our final week, with no raise in price. Sonia and Jayan were incredibly helpful during our stay and for my birthday they took us out onto the backwaters to visit Golden Island. My girlfriend was having yoga lessons every morning with Sonia up on the rooftop, despite Sonia being eight months pregnant. The location of the guest house was perfect too. Just a five minute walk from the beach and only a two minute tuk-tuk drive to get to Varkala town. Every time we wanted to go somewhere, Jayan would call for a tuk-tuk for us so we barely had to lift a finger. Subash was one of the staff at the guest house and though he didn't speak much English, he was an incredible worker and saw to all our needs. Lots of young travelers would show up to stay for a night or two and the dining table was a great place to meet other people from all over the world. If you're traveling alone, as a couple or in a group, Shiva Garden is an ideal place to stay when you're in Kerala. I highly recommend it!!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank caipriestley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colombo, null, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
98 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2012

I stayed at Shiva Garden twice - once in high season, once in low season. Both times were fantastic - Jayan and Sonia are so down to earth, and really will try to accommodate you no matter what you budget and requirements are. It's tucked slightly back further from the beach, which means it's a total square of peace, away from the hustle and bustle. There are big tables for people to meet, games and books, hammocks and my favourite - A GIANT SWING. That's a reason to visit on its own. There are basic dorms for those on a real budget as well as pricier but prettier rooms. In short, something for everyone.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lucy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2012

We stayed at Shiva Gardens at the start of our India trip and found it a great place; slightly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Cliff and so close to the beach; We felt really taken care of by Jayan, Sonia and all the staff; everybody always tries to meet your needs. The food coming out of the little kitchen is just great; we specially love the garden and the outdoor lounge area; we made also some good friends during our stay there. Throughout our travelling we always missed this place as we never found any other even closely like it, so we decided to end our India trip at Shiva Gardens, which proved to be the ideal place for a nice respite from the dust of the Indian road. To get the best out of your stay we suggest the Shiva Garden breakfast, walking to the Black beach and Kappil beach, lots of sunsets on the beach and a trip to the Golden island... We will definitely return!

Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank CristinaSantos656
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shiva Garden

Property: Shiva Garden
Address: North Cliff Kurakkanni | Kurakkanni, Varkala 695141, India
Region: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 95 B&Bs / Inns in Varkala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SHIVA GARDEN is one among the most reputed home stays in Varkala. Perched near a majestic red cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea, this charming home stay offers many warm hospitable services as well as a fantastic garden view. Here we have a magnificent garden growing many famous Ayurvedic plants and trees, surrounding the resort. Guests are only minutes away from the famous 2000 years old Janardhana Swamy Temple, Kappil beach and Angengo Fort built by the British East India company in the 17th century. Shiva Garden is the perfect base for leisure and you may never forget this in your life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shiva Garden Hotel Varkala
Shiva Garden Varkala, Kerala

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