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Kaiya House
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Reviews (412)
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Reviewed 20 March 2014

Kaiya House is a rare thing. With only a handful of rooms nestled beneath a huge open-air roof terrace, this place has all the attributes of an intimate homestay but at the same time it enjoys the luxuries of a boutique hotel.

Debra and her staff (who are more like family) made us feel extremely welcome. The rooms are coolly decorated along a theme and are immaculately clean, in fact cleaned every afternoon which is a relief when you're coming in from the beach covered in sand. The breakfasts are delicious and healthy, there's a delicious juice service in-house, laundry, rooftop yoga on request and a host of other activities (we went to see elephants) which Debra can organise for you on request.

But the best bit about our stay was Debra herself. She cares for her guests like long-lost friends - giving everyone a tour of the locality on arrival with helpful advice such as where to buy beer (important), what you SHOULD be paying for a rickshaw to and from the beach and tips on personal safety. I don’t want to give the impression that this is some sort of happy-clappy commune however - you can chose to join in with Debra and the other guests as much or as little as you might like – for us, we particularly enjoyed a household dawn walk along the beach and even a session with an Ayurvedic palm reader...and if you’re not feeling like doing anything at all but lounging on the terrace, there's a ton of great books, games and artwork to enjoy. Personally, I’d get Debra to share some of her fantastic stories from her rock ‘n roll past if you get bored.

The only potential down side to the house is the fact it’s not directly on the beach. Now depending on your outlook this is either a benefit (it’s cheaper, there are less rats,it's quieter) or a negative (you have to either walk for 10 minutes or take a 3 minute rickshaw). For us, it barely mattered.

What more to say, other than we’ll definitely go back, I hope to stay in touch for a long time…Debra’s a cool lady, it's a great house, you'd be crazy not to stay here.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank berts13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2014

Oh yes, those rock n' roll stories! Too funny. Thank you so much for the extensive and gorgeous review! I do hope we meet again!

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Reviewed 13 March 2014

I have only good things to say about our fantastic stay at Kaiya House. Debra is incredibly welcoming, nothing is too much trouble for her or her wonderful team. I had lots of questions before our trip (as a first time visitor to India whilst 5 months pregnant!!) and she was great at responding via email and giving me the information I needed. My flight arrived in the very early hours but she was up, coordinating my taxi and there to let me in at 4.30am! My husband had arrived the previous day and said the walking 'orientation' tour was great for first time visitors to Varkala to get their bearings. We stayed in the Japanese room which was lovely, no A/C but the fan was fine for us, in fact we prefer it. There was 1 night in the middle of our stay where the room was unavailable (we knew this when we booked) but Debra arranged for us to stay at the hotel next door and we were welcome for breakfast and to hang out in the communal areas at Kaiya House the whole time regardless- it was all very painless!

The roof terrace is a great space for breakfast, lounging, reading, yoga or whatever takes your fancy- including impromptu dance lessons one evening ;) Breakfast was fab, I usually chose the daily Indian option but western is available for the less adventurous. Debra was great for recommending things to do but equally encouraging to take things at your own pace, no matter how leisurely that might be ;)

To wrap up, I just need to mention the spotless condition of the guesthouse, the comfy 4-poster bed, the free wifi, safe bottled water that was provided whenever we went out, guidebooks, the FANTASTIC boat trip with Vijesh that Debra recommended and the overall deeply relaxing, friendly atmosphere. We loved every minute of our stay. Thank you, we will be back some day!

Room Tip: Japanese room has fan instead of air conditioning
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank scousey1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2014

Aw, thank you so much for your very lovely review! If I've got this right in terms of your tripadvisor name, please send photos of your baby which is likely arriving any day now! What a great adventure!

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Reviewed 12 March 2014

It is indeed a special feeling when you are on a holiday in the backwaters and you are treated as royalty. Kaiya house will be your second home and you will not want to leave. Debra is not only a fantastic host, but also a very lively person and an amazing cook. We made a new friend there

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
Thank gangamisra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2014

Thanks so much for your lovely words. And thank you for the compliment to my cooking but for that I can not take credit, entirely down to gorgeous BABUCHI and Ledah! They thank you also. I hope we meet again.

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Reviewed 9 March 2014

There is almost nothing bad I could say about Kaiya House simply because it was just such a wonderful stay for us. I found out about Kaiya House through TripAdvisor reviews and went there with some expectations in mind, but our expectations were still beyond exceeded with the beautiful home and services from Debra, Babuchi and Heman.

We arrived a little earlier than expected at the house and our room was not ready so Debra brought us to her beautiful rooftop, served us some tea, and spent some time explaining to us how her guest house works and some quirks of dealing with locals around Varkala. We respected and appreciated this. We were then brought to our rooms which were ready quicker than we expected! Did I also mention that her whole house has got to be one of the cleanest I have seen in Kerala!?

The room we got was called "Japanese" and it was simply decorated with Japanese style furniture and paintings. I believe most, if not all, of her guest rooms have a four-poster bed which we thought was so vintage and elegant at the same time! We had chosen a non-AC room which was not a problem in the tropical weather since the fan worked out perfectly fine for us. The toilets are clean and towels are provided. The beds clean and comfortable for a good night's sleep. There was also wifi available in the rooms if you need it.

Debra also brought us on a free walking tour of areas around the beach which was where we wanted to spend most of our time so it was really useful. She showed us some things she enjoyed and also gave her recommendations on restaurants and bars by the cliffs which had a beautiful view of the ocean. Somehow or rather, despite how busy she may get entertaining other guests, Debra is always there to greet you either in the morning or in the night when you return to the house.

Whenever we needed anything, there was Babuchi or Heman to help us, be it with breakfast, laundry services, or just getting a fresh lime soda. One thing I was really impressed with was that they bothered to make us a fresh cup of coffee on our first morning after we got back late for breakfast after some surfing, and the original cup of coffee had gotten a little cold/stale. We were perfectly fine with having that stale coffee but of course having a fresh one without asking too much for it was just perfect.

I would recommend this place in a heartbeat for anyone wishing to visit Varkala and looking for an oasis to rest and relax in. Thank you Debra and team we will see you again some time!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank sabsiow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2014

Thank you so much. It was so nice to have you here and great to keep in touch. I do hope we meet again. May you have glorious adventures!

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Reviewed 8 March 2014

Firstly apologies for the late review Debra and team.

My wife and I "moved in" to Kaiya House for 10 nights in January this year and made the Chinese Room our new second home!
From the moment we arrived to the day we very reluctantly left for our other home, Debra and all at Kaiya House created wonderful memories my wife and I will always treasure.
On arrival we were greeted by Debra who insisted on knowing "What can I do to make you happy". We would like to share a few details that did exactly that:
- Offering a spotlessly clean home that we were openly welcomed to share
- Providing excellent local knowledge through our orientation walk on arrival, restaurant recommendation, shopping hints & tips, festival suggestions etc
- Openly sharing stories of her life (make sure you look through the photo albums!)
- Helping my wife and I achieve our wish of having a Hindu Blessing in the local temple
- Allowing us, and other guests, free rein to assist with re-designing the Roof Top Terrace (we love the new boat/lounger!)
- Tirelessly entertaining us and other guests on the early morning coastal walk - highly recommended and keep an eye peeled for dolphins!
- Accommodating our every request and surpassing our expectations at every turn

This list could go on......

Thank you Debra, Babashi, Haman and all at Kaiya house for making our holiday so memorable.

If you have not done so already, go ahead and book!! You will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: All rooms were nice
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank chunknstump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2014

It was great having you here and interesting that we had 3 sort of long stay rooms at the same time! I'll always remember the late night dancing, laughing, the boat arriving, the temple blessing, it was fab! Hope to see you two again!

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