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“Varkala, Not for the sophisticates”

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Hindustan Beach Retreat
Ranked #6 of 52 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 January 2010

Stayed at the Hindustan Beach Retreat for 12 nights in January. Booked the hotel in October. I x twin and I x single occupancy. Arrived to find we'd been given 2 twin rooms with no balcony. After much consultation with the useless front desk staff we were shown around various rooms. All the twin rooms are on the 1st floor almost level with the pool. The rooms were dark and had a restricted view of the sea. We decided to settle for the room we were first allocated (Room 401). This was a very lage end room with good funishings and a huge queen size bed. Although it had no balcony it had panoramic views on 2 sides. only marred by the fact that the windows needed a clean!
Breakfast was served on the top floor with spectacular views. A buffet with eggs cooked to order. There seems to be a lot of staff aimlessly wandering around. Everything takes ages. The only time the staff sprang to life was during a 2 day visit from the managing director. The hotel is located right on the beach, at the south end of the North Cliff, the pool over looks the beach.
Varkala life itself seems to centre around the north cliff wich is a haven for young back packers and hippies of all ages. Every restaurant serves the same food with varying degrees of success. Seafood, curry and chinese with an attempt at pasta thrown in. After 4 or 5 days of this even a seafood and curry lover like myself was crying out for something else. We did find a Thai place called Hungry Eyes but my partner and my best friend both had upset stomachs the next day?
The only good places I can recommend are Cafe Del Mar on the north cliff, (a fine selection of eastern and western dishes). The Marine Palace and The Theeram both on the beach by the Hindustan Beach Resort.
Kerala is a dry state so alcohol is not readily available. Most places in Varkala sell beer, However it is served in mugs and the bottles have to be hidden under your table. You can get vodka, gin and rum in some places. Wine is not easy to find and is about £15 a bottle and of very poor quality.
Most of the accomodation in Varkala seems to be of the cheap and cheerful or not so cheerful type. Well suited to backpacking on a budget. There are 1 or 2 good quality hotels around, the Hindustan being one of them.
If you're looking for a holiday with good nightife and decent food with lots to do during the day. Varkala is not the place for you. Try Goa.
If you're backpacking and want a couple of lazy days on the beach then it's fine. However I wouldn't recommend more than 4 days unless you really like doing nothing and are prepared to eat the same things day in day out.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Paulo59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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261 - 267 of 307 reviews

Reviewed 10 January 2010

We stayed at Hindustan for ten nights in a room room overlooking the beach.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. Breakfast was good, other food OK, but there are plenty of options nearby. The Christamas dinner was great, and a bargain at Rs 750.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank Brobro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2009

Our stay at the Hindustan came off to a bad start when the hotel reception staff failed to inform us about the additional charges and the compulsory Christmas dinner buffet charge of 750R per head (to be paid whether we wanted to eat or not).

The shift manager was not the least apologetic although he did admit that we had been misinformed... still, he offered us a discount which took the price down to almost the originally quoted price. As we were getting desperate and were so impressed with the location, we decided to give the place a go...

The Hindustan is perfectly located on the beach in Varkala with great views from our sea facing room.
The hotel pool was a lovely treat and the pool guy, Robert, was attentive and friendly at all times. We were really pleased with him.

The restaurant was empty most of the time and upon ordering lunch we realised why. The breakfast buffet was good though and had a wide selection of everything from traditional south Indian dishes to omelettes (cooked on the spot) and pancakes.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank EmliLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2009

This hotel is literally ON the beach and simply amazing. We had a room on the top floor and the views of the Arabian Sea were stunning from the huge windows. In addition, the rooftop restaurant offered equally mouth-watering food and views -- it was simply fantastic. The swimming pool looks out into the sea as well. The rooms were clean and had all the comfort amenities. Room service was available and affordable, so we used it a lot. Wi-Fi internet access was also available. The only thing I wasn't too impressed with was the extremely slow customer service from both the hotel and restaurant staff. Other than that, two thumbs up! I would definitely stay here again in a heartbeat and recommend the same to anyone else.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TravelAdvice101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2009

I stayed at this hotel by accident really - my original booking was disastrous and I ended up here, luckily!! The recaption staff are so, so helpful and will go the extra mile for you.The restaurant is very comfortable with delicious Kerala dishes and outstanding service from very efficient waiters. The rooms are extremely comfortable with all luxeries including beach views, chaise lounges and you can hear the waves from the bedroom. Pool is such a haven, great pool man, super pool, very refreshing. Great location if you fancy a treat, close to Varkala cliff and actually on the beach itself.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank maddybarnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2009

Great location in Varkala with great sea views from some of the rooms. I was upgraded to a side (suite?) room which had both large side and frontal windows. The room was immaculate and the general service good for this price hotel. Some of the front desk were extremely helpful and friendly; others lacked knowledge of local things when asked. The food is average but acceptable. If you come to Varkala in general, you probably won't want to eat at the hotels with the fresh seafood options on the beachside restaurants available nightly. Lack of internet access is an issue but you can walk down the road a few minutes and use (a very slow) connection at an internet café on the same road.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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1  Thank OwenLondon30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2009

We stayed in one of the standard rooms for 2 nights. The view was terrific, the room clean, and the bathrooms clean and modern.
The staff was exceptionally friendly and very attentive. We had to leave for our train at 5 am...before the restaurant opened for breakfast. They let us order food the night before and delivered it to our room at 4 am!
The rooftop restaurant was fabulous...the views from there are unbeatable and the food was delicious.
Highly recommended to anyone visiting Varkala.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank gt5309a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hindustan Beach Retreat

Address: Papanasam Beach | Janardhanapuram PO, Varkala 695141, India
Phone Number:
Region: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Varkala
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Varkala
Price Range: £51 - £110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hindustan Beach Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
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

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