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“A great introduction to Kerala”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Kaiya House

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Kaiya House
Ranked #1 of 49 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A great introduction to Kerala”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2014

Kaiya House is really all about Debra, who turned a rather run down house on the edge of town into a stylish and really comfortable home.
It was our first visit to Kerala and this was our first stop...what made it an ideal introduction was Debra's insistence on making sure we knew where to go, what to see, what to pay, where to eat and so on.
On the day we arrived she took us on a walk round Varakala to get us oriented, then a couple of days later on her 7km dawn walk up the coast which takes you away from the cliff top cafes and deep into fishing villages and coconut palm forests. Definitely the highlight of our visit.
Nothing is too much trouble, and Debra helped us organise other trips and stays beyond Kaiya house, which were also great (Monroe Island Canoe tour and a stay at the Maanas Veedu spa in Pathananmitta)
Don't stay anywhere else in Varakala!

Room Tip: Depending on the season, ask for one of the rooms with a/c
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Jon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
I'm so happy the 4 of you had a great time and we're happy with the places I recommended for you. Thank you so much for your lovely words!
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2014 via mobile

Our stay at Kaiya house was really lovely thanks to Debra. She has filled the house with lots of great art, furnishings and pieces which make it really unique. Although the highlight staying there is her helpfulness and dedication to making sure her guests have a great stay and become educated about Kerala's customs, traditions and people. You can tell she enjoys having people stay although it must be tiring! I thought it was really wonderful when she called us on the taxi driver's mobile when we arrived to check we were ok and welcome us and advise the time it would take and asked if we were tired or if we would Iike to go on a walk around town with her. The walk was interesting and we learnt a lot of great tips on travelling india, from the meaning of the head shake, to how to barter. Debra is constantly trying to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. We went on a long walk early in the morning with her to see the villages and fishermen and the empty beaches. Debra is a great host with lots of info and personal service and she deserves top place on trip advisor for that. #1 from Rachel & Ollie. Xxx

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rachel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
I'm so pleased you had a nice time with us. It was a true pleasure to meet you. Til next time, enjoy!
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2014 via mobile

I stayed in a hotel at last year and loved Varkala so much wanted to return ( something I don't usually do ) . This time I wanted a different experience and chose Kaiya House . Travelling alone it's very important to me that I feel safe where I stay and I certainly did at Kaiya . Debra and her team made me feel so very,very welcome. Nothing was too much trouble; in fact they went over and above to ensure that my stay was everything I wanted it to be , and more . My birthday was celebrated in style with a fabulous cake and dancing on the roof terrace. Debra was so knowledgable and recommended lots to see and do . Breakfasts were delicious with no pressure to eat at a set time and my room was kept spotlessly clean. Two weeks this year but three next , so much to do and see .

Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank Mo H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
Thank you so much for your lovely words and I'm delighted that you've already booked your return for next year! See you then if I don't see you in the U.K. first!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014

Kaiya house is an extremely well run, organised, friendly and clean place to stay. Deborah is an absolute diamond and will do anything for her guests and her loyal staff are also incredible. We arrived a day earlier than Deborah expected (nobody's fault, just a mix up) but Deborah was more than accommodating and managed to organise a bed for us all for the first night. The staff structure is extremely attentive to the guest's needs without being intrusive, and some loyal, local business people offer fair priced services to Deborah's guests in the form of yoga, Rickshaw rides, palm readings and massage etc. Kaiya house is not as close to the beach as many other cheaper places to stay, but having Deborah's knowledge, company and connections was worth paying the extra and the beach is only a 10 minute walk, or alternatively a Rickshaw ride for 40 pence!

I'd highly recommend staying here if you are visiting the area for the first time and I'd also recommend getting to know Deborah as she is an extremely interesting lady with lots of great experiences and stories. Her early morning walks are fantastic too.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Carl H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
It was lovely to have the 3 of you stay, lots of laughing...and late nights! I hope we meet again!
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Bristol
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014

Stayed here for 3 nights as a group of four ladies. The owner, Debra, was so helpful with local information. She took us out on an 'orientation' tour on our first evening, recommended an excellent, and very cheap, restaurant. She also took us on a 7km walk along the coast very early, 6am, on our last morning to show us the fishermen hauling in their nets on the beach. The rooms are basic but extremely clean with fans but no AC. The beds are quite firm but that is the way in India. There was also some traffic noise but ear plugs sort that out. There is a choice of Indian, or more European breakfast cooked by Debra's staff who will also help in whatever way they can. I would definitely stay here again if I return to Varkala.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TinaandBri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to meet the 4 of you and I hope you had a great time at the wedding.
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Newbury, Berkshire
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2014

We spent four nights here in late February and were not disappointed. We had planned to chill out in Varkala having had a busy trip up to that point. Debra made us very welcome from the moment we arrived (earlier in the day than she had expected as my email had gone astray), and nothing was too much trouble for her throughout our stay. She really puts a lot of effort in to ensure her guests are comfortable and have everything they need, and she lets you know of any interesting things happening around which you might like to experience. We went with her and other guests to a festival one evening which we enjoyed and wouldn't have known about otherwise. We stayed in the Chinese room which was very clean and comfortable. Breakfast was excellent and served on the roof terrace which was huge and proved a great place for relaxing and doing yoga. Mats are provided. We were happy to be a short distance away from the hustle and bustle of the cliff top and either walked or got an auto rickshaw to and from the beach and restaurants. Debra's staff were delightful and the whole house has a lovely relaxed atmosphere. Do stay here if you are visiting Varkala.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank newbury_england
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
I'm so glad you got to experience a festival in Kerala and had a good and relaxed time with us. Thank you so much for your kind words!
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2014

After trawling the internet and doing far too much reserach we decided to book into Kaiya House for the duration of our stay in Varkala, all of the reviews were amazing and we thought it was a no brainer to choose there above other hotels in the area. Debra (the owner) was super helpful from the minute I made email enquiries and answered any questions I had really quickly even from her holiday. We turned up a day earlier than expected (my fault entirely) and Debra had a room available so all was resolved seamlessly which we were very grateful for. The roof terrace is great and we took a seat upstairs for the house rules, we appreciated that we were in fact staying in somebody's house so didn't mind but you can't help feeling like a kid that's being set straight by its parent! We were in the Japanese room which was nice, bed was ok the pillows were pretty huge though so we did wake up with neck ache a few times. The showers are cold which Debra is upfront about when booking so no surprise there. The breakfast is lovely, you're given a choice of Indian or Western each morning and can have it whenever you wake which is also a nice touch not having to set an alarm to make sure you don't miss it. Location is ok.... it's a 10/15 minute walk down to the beach/main strip, we walked down during the day but got a rickshaw back at night as it's not that well lit in some parts. Debra does offer an orientation walk when you first arrive which is useful, we also did her sunrise 7km walk which was nice too. If you are going to be back from your evening out later than 10pm you aren't allowed to ring the doorbell because of the dogs (you knock on the window instead) - again, we kind of felt like teenagers creeping back in from a night out.

There are a couple of reasons we didn't rate Kaiya House higher and I have to stress they aren't a reflection on the property or ownership, just sharing our experience with you:

1. The beach at the North Cliff really isn't anything to write home about which I wasn't expecting, the sand is rock hard and you'll want to make sure you've had a tetanus shot before you rent a sun lounger. We found ourselves most afternoons longing for a pool to lay around. The beach at the South Cliff is much nicer but gets no breeze and the tide comes in really early so you can't stay down there that long without getting swept away.
2. Leads on from point 1 - we discovered that we could have actually booked a really nice resort with a pool and beautiful communal areas for not much more than it cost us to stay at Kaiya House. I have travelled extensively and am fully aware that a guesthouse is not a hotel etc.etc. and we would never choose a resorty type place over something more boutique but we did wish we'd booked into one of the beautiful bungalows we saw (with hot water showers and a pool!) for only marginally more than it would have cost us to stay at Kaiya House.

Obviously it depends totally what you're after from your break but I would have found a review like this pretty helpful before our trip to Varkala. I should let you know we're a couple aged 26 and 31 and this was the second week of our trip to Kerala where the plan was literally just to chill out, i'm sure if you're purely using your accomodation as a base you'd probably have a very different opinion.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CR1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KaiyaHouse, General Manager at Kaiya House, responded to this review, 18 May 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write for us. My only sadness is I had no idea your pillows didn't work well for you which I could have easily remedied. It's not fun to have a stiff neck. That comment led to making sure I ask about comfort of sleep. Thank you.
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Additional Information about Kaiya House

Property: Kaiya House
Address: Kaiya House,, Varkala 695141, India
Region: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Varkala
#3 Family Hotel in Varkala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located only a 10 minute walk from Varkala's famous cliff tops, this lovely boutique hotel, Kaiya House, offers the traveler a calm and beautiful environment to enjoy the sights and sounds of India in a relaxed atmosphere. The 7 guest rooms all have a theme from different parts of the world ranging from the African room to the Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Native American and English.Suraj and Debra offer a unique experience of India in this family run business. Babuchi, Ledah and Ajit are there to take care of the guests needs and to provide a traditional Kerala breakfast. Other options would also be available with advance notice.Also available are private Pilates classes, yoga by appointment and massage. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kaiya House Varkala, Kerala

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