I have been thinking a lot about what to say in this blog because there are two sides to each location.
The location themselves were nice, interesting. The people were also nice, friendly.
Cleanliness was the issue.
When I lived in Qatar and worked at an international school, when someone was traveling to India they were usually forewarned that cleanliness will be an issue.
Maybe to most, they can overlook it.
I struggled with it, as I’m such a clean freak. I didn’t mind unclean when we were out and about between Alappuzha and Kochi, but when we returned to where it was we were staying in Mararikkulam North and cleanliness was still an issue – I felt like I couldn’t escape the dirtiness.
We stayed at Arakal Heritage Homestay for five weeks.
Then at Karapuram Village Resort & Spa for the final week.
We were in India during the off-season. Meaning at both locations we stayed, Michael and I were basically the only guests.
How our being the only guests and the level of service manifested itself was unique to each.
Arakal Heritage has lovely grounds and interesting villas. The internet was excellent. Air conditioning works. The homestay family lovely.
The homestay host informed us he gave us their “best villa” for our long-term stay, but based on what we observed of the other villas, not so true.
The best way to describe the villa we stayed in is interesting on the outside, very rustic on the inside. The bathroom with an open shower was fun at first – but so rustic that after a while, I tired of ants on my toothbrush.
We stopped eating at the homestay because of high prices and how dirty the kitchen is.
There is much I could comment on, about the small details. I’m a small details kinda gal – those details matter to me. But, I’ll summarize in saying if cleanliness and service matters to you, then this homestay might not be the best fit.
If small details and cleanliness don’t matter to you, you don’t mind using the same towels for a week and swimming in a pool that isn’t properly maintained – then go for it!
Pool when there was more than just Michael and I staying at the homestay:
Pool when it was just Michael and I staying at the homestay:
Here is the homestay’s family home:
The villas next to ours and the cool wood work in one:
The bathroom – this is while it is raining.
Arakal Heritage Homestay might be a nice place to stay for a night or two – but for five weeks – for us anyway, it didn’t give us the value we paid for it.
We relocated to the Karapuram Village Resort & Spa, not far from the homestay.
The rooms were modern and clean!
The bathroom was modern and clean!
I think my first shower was almost a half-hour long!
But here is what it was like once we left our nice, clean air-conditioned room:
- there was a bad food smell in the non-air -conditioned hallway – meaning the only air-conditioning turned on in the entire hotel was in our room! The smell was so horrible in the hallway that I had to put a towel along the bottom of the door in our room to keep the odor out.
- the small dining area was like sitting in a sauna
- the only food we ate was the breakfast omelette because most of the food was not available on the menu!
- the cutlery and dishes were not really clean
- I walked back into the kitchen and wish I hadn’t
- the internet was iffy
- at times, we couldn’t even locate staff because we were the only guests there!
But the pool was clean and so was our room!
Overall, the people were nice. The locations interesting. But at each location I had an issue with cleanliness – both locations having incredibly dirty kitchens and poor food service, eg – unclean dishes, cups & cutlery, stained table clothes, drinking glasses with fingerprints….
Because Michael and I could not get a break from dirty at the locations we stayed at, I found it difficult to overlook, overcome, not be bothered by uncleanliness during our entire time in India.
It was a constant struggle for this clean-freak, sometimes overshadowing the natural beauty around me…