We booked months in advance to attend the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat race, as the hotel was recommended on the race website & well reviewed here. The location on the banks of the lake, a few km outside of the city proper, is idilc. The water is lapping at walls (and during monsoon season, splashing over the walls despite sandbags) and you couldn't be closer. The cottages are on stilts right over a pond and the other rooms line the lake shore. You can see the race course pavilions across the lake.
The restaurant was really good. During our weekend stay we had all our meals at the hotel (one dinner we had room service). There are enough local specialities to keep you dining Kerala style for the weekend. Breakfast buffet is good, but doesn't change much day-to-day (sufficient variety for a long weekend, but I'm not sure how much longer). The buffet is really picked over about an hour before b'fast ends and you have to ask the staff to replenish it (it's a shame they don't do so automatically). We were pleasantly surprised to find some imported wine at a reasonable (for India) price properly chilled & served. The hotel even had a snack box for us to take to the race.
We had a "recently renovated" room on the lake, a ground floor. The hotel photos accurately reflect what the room looks like: spacious, wooden furniture in the local style, small seating area, terrace open to the lake. The linens were fine, the towels could have been nicer (a little thin and dingy).
Now the maintenance staff were very nice-- but the fact I even know the maintenance staff is an issue. There were numerous problems: we lost power (whilst were charging our cameras/phones before the races) -- a problem unique to our room which did not get resolved before the race (leaving us battery charge deficient); later we lost hot water which resulted in cold showers until that could be fixed - again, unique to our room; the TV wasn't working (apparently the wrong remotes were in the room); and once we finally got hot water, the bath tub started spouting red/brown water (at that point we gave up on using the large bath, we couldn't face another visit from maintenance). I know these are "first world problems", but when your paying for a luxury experience, this is not expected. And recall, this was just a weekend visit.
There are a few other things that are problematical: firstly, there are not enough buggies/golf cart for a resort this size. We waited over 30mins for cart despite numerous calls to reception where the told us one was in its way. Leave extra time for this a checkout and, in the meantime, be prepared to walk everywhere. Secondly, as you're walking everywhere be mindful of polished marble/stone floors without door mats that make building and room (with polished steps!) slip hazards. I fell - hard - at reception. Given the water everywhere (especially during monsoon season), it's like ice skating. Thirdly, and I know the hotel cannot control the behaviour if other guests, but this did impact our stay: the guests in the room above continually threw rubbish (coke cans, water bottles, used tissues) over their balcony down to our terrace. When we complained to the hotel, they shrugged and attributed it to cultural differences (the upstairs guests were not Indian). I confronted the upstairs guests when we caught them in the act -- but what hotel encourages confrontation among guests?
For future visitors to snake boat race: don't think the hotel will be helpful in anyway with respect to the races (aside from the nice box of snacks). Their boat couldn't get us to the pavilion we needed to go to --despite the fact we saw many other private boats, canoes, etc dropping off guests right at the pavilion. They specifically told us NOT to take a boat back when we left the race, but rather to take an an auto rickshaw.... Stupidly, we followed this advice. However, due to VVIP at the hotel (whom the hotel must have know would be visiting), the police shut down the only road to the hotel which forced us to walk 3km over flooded roads and across the paddy field to get back. Of course, once we arrived, there was the 30 min wait for the buggy, and then we had the pleasure of watching all the other race attendees coming back via boat. We felt really mislead & disappointed and tried to raise our concerns to manager --but we were told he was still at the race & would get back to us, but he never did. We had inaccurately presumed that --since they were linked to the snake boat race, which happens every year-- the hotel would provide helpful, accurate race advice and, in all honesty, it felt like they gave us the run around.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lake Palace is a luxury backwater resort located in Alleppey at the banks of Vembanadu Lake, adjacent to the venue of the legendary Nehru Trophy boat race. Lake Palace Resort represents a quaint tradition, blended with modernity. Its architecture is delightfully Keralite yet comfortably modern and rich in contemporary ethos. Each of its rooms is individually decorated with a dramatic blend of old-world charm and modern accessories. While the Lake View Cottages feature a cozy lounge with mini bar, refrigerator, television, king size bedroom, en-suite bathroom with hot & cold running water and 24 hours room service, the Water Villas offer the rare feeling of being afloat. Its facilities include king size bedrooms that are beautifully appointed rooms with wooden furniture, en-suite bathrooms and 24 hours room service. Every balcony at Lake View Cottage offers a unassailable view of the unruffled Vembanadu Lake where the traditional country boats & canoes cruise gently along. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lake Palace Hotel Alappuzha
- Lake Palace Alappuzha
- Lake Palace Resort Kerala, India