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.
- 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