This hotel is in desperate need of a refurb. It looks pretty tatty from the outside as they have covered the entire building with netting to keep the pigeons out but it's so old that it's sagging like old cobwebs and there are loads of holes in it so the birds can still get in. There was even a dead pigeon hanging from part of the netting where it had obviously got stuck and strangled itself for the entire time we were there!
Our room was a bit disappointing - it wasn't ready when we arrived so we had to sit in the lobby and wait for it to be cleaned. This meant that when we went in the floor was still wet so we immediately got footprints from our shoes all over the floor. The room was fine in terms of amenities but it was quite old and tatty - the phone and guest information pack were very grubby and the (tiny) bathroom door was scuffed and had old remnants of masking tape by the door handle.
The staff at the hotel were quite a mixed bunch: the reception and swimming pool staff were very pleasant but the waiters in the restaurant weren't very proactive or friendly and we had some real issues with the housekeeping staff as I had some laundry done and one of my tops came back stained - they tried to tell me it had been that way when I'd given it to them which I hotly disputed as it was brand new and I'd only worn it once. Eventually I managed to get some money knocked off the laundry bill but not without a real fight - the 'customer is always right' mentality clearly hasn't landed here!
The swimming pool was ok although, like everywhere else in the hotel, it could do with some money being spent on updating it - the sunloungers are pretty old and tatty.
It's also worth noting that Varkala beach is a holy site for Hindus and the hotel is smack bang on top of the spot where people scatter the ashes of their dead relatives. All you need to do is walk down the beach a bit to the more touristy bit, but it is quite a strange experience opening your curtains in the morning to see hundreds of people in the middle of quite a personal, sad ceremony.
Eating out tips: Cafe Del Mar is a great lunch spot; there's a beach restaurant about two minutes' walk from the Hindustan hotel which is absolutely lovely - unfortunately I can't remember its name but you'll recognise it for the pretty coloured and mirrored lanterns hanging all over the place. That was our favourite spot!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Varkala. The new tourist destination in God's Own Country, Kerala. It is 55 km North of Thiruvananthapuram accessible by road NH-47 via Kallambalam. By train, Varkala is a station from where a short drive by taxi will get you to Hindustan Beach Retreat. Hindustan Beach Retreat is a venture of the reputed Hindustan Textiles Group based in Kannur since 1939. We have 27 well appointed rooms each one with a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea giving you the luxury of the solitude that you can enjoy with the sounds of nature. · Accommodation o Standard Room - 12 (6 king size + 6 twin bed) o Executive Room (Balcony) - 12 (10 king size + 2 twin bed) o Suite Room (Balcony + Living Room) - 03 (3 king size) · Food o Nothin' Doing - The Restaurant near the Pool Side o Wait'n Watch - Coffee Shop on the Roof Top o Slow motion - The Bar. O Room service - 24 Hrs.· Swimming Pool with Jacuzzi (costumes a must) · Kid's Pool · 100 Seater Conference Hall · Turtle - The Souvenir Shop · Travel Desk · Beautiful Lawn · Wi-fi Internet · Television/Cable · Mini-bar· Telephone · Library · Turtle Bay - The Spa · Coffee makers· Doctor on call. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hindustan Beach Retreat Varkala, Kerala