26th January, being a long weekend, we got an opportunity to take a quick break from our hectic schedules. (Shuttling between home & office while managing a baby… it’s a tiring job indeed! )
This time it was Kovalam, although the actual plan was Goa. But Goa being one of the most sought after destinations, we couldn’t get the kind of resort we were looking for! (I am sure my friends with babies will agree that more than the destination sometimes the kind of place you stay maters more!)
Accompanied by a naughty toddler, rather than looking for sightseeing options, I go for an experiential property, which can make the entire travel experience memorable.
I must say, although not as much fun as Goa, Kovalam dint disappointed us at all. The place has got its own charm, which will relax and distress you to the core.
Sometimes doing nothing and having no agenda or plan is therapeutic!
The resort we chose to stay, definitely added to the entire experience (Although not all of it was pleasant.). Here is my experience and some details about the property
Manaltheeram Ayruveda Beach Village
A perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and unwind!
The magical aura and tranquility of this place will leave you spell bound for Sure!
About the Property
Manaltheeram is a beautiful property build on a hillock surrounded by coconut trees and over looking the beautiful golden sand and crystal clear water.
Rustic style, circular cottages, scattered across the property with beautiful artifacts & landscaping gives it a typical Kerala village appearance and is definitely feast to the eyes, mind and soul equally!
Manaltheeram is located about 21 kms from Trivandrum city and 9 kms from Kovalam, overlooking sea. Beach is not even 100 mtrs away and you can walk up to beach in less than 2 mins.
In terms of looks and over all ambiences, this is one of the most beautiful places, I have ever stayed in. Paved path surrounded by the coconut trees, hammocks and lots of greenery with the view of sea accentuates the beautifully designed cottages. Aesthetically placed artifacts gives this place a rustic look. I just loved the beautiful Ganesha statue kept at the restaurant and the big urli at the entrance. I haven’t seen something like this before. Over all the property resembles a small beautiful Kerala village .
Cottages are very spacious and well ventilated. Woodwork is amazing especially the wooden roof caught my attention; all put together th rooms have got a pleasant feel to them. Bathrooms are spacious too with a small glass window on the roof for natural light. Each room has got a hammock and sit out area outside were you can just lye down and listen to the sound of waves along with chirping birds.
Each room has mini fridge, tea coffee maker, and phone. . Our room dint had an AC but thankfully weather was pleasant and fan was good enough
Staff is pleasant and helpful. However at the restaurant if you are ordering something other than buffet it will take a lot of time.
Restaurant & Food
Overlooking the sea, this is probably the best place in the resort. You can sit here for hours enjoying the cool breeze from the sea and an amazing view to die for.
Restaurant offers healthy, traditional vegetarian buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Buffet at the lunch and dinner costs 800 plus taxes where as breakfast is 400 plus taxes. Prices were on the higher side for what it has to offer!
Every evening there is a live performance at the small stage in the open area of the restaurant. You have a choice of candle lit sitting arrangements or choose a hammock for your self and get lost in the beauty, serenity and tranquility of nature.
In addition to the usual amenities like library, swimming pool, restaurant… Manaltheeram has a Ayurvedic spa and yoga sessions which are the specialty of Kerala. Although the spa was over booked still the staff at the resort could arrange an hour of appointment for me!
Since we visited the property during the pick season I definitely found the prices on the higher side. We paid around 8500 / - for the room without AC and breakfast was not included (This we figured out only after reaching the resort)
Well this is the part, which I must say I am not very happy about. Although the services at the resort are very good and staff is friendly.
When we landed at the property, we were informed by the manager that the place is overbooked, we have been given room at the sister concern Somatheeram , which is situated a little away from this property. I feel this was unfair and we were shocked, as we were not given any prior information or no consent was taken from us on this change inspite of making 100 % advance payment 15 days ahead of the booking.
Infact I called the resort a day before to confirm the bookings .We were promised an early check in. Only to find that room was available only at 2 oclk. Being with Baby and tired from early morning flight this was too much for us to handle.
We were told you have booked reservations through Yatra and you should complain with the portal.
After much of arguments we could finally get a room at Manaltheeram at 2.00 oclk (Although at the portal it mentions 12 oclk as the check in time) , to our surprise room was non AC.
Well by than we had no strength to argue further.
According to my view and a sincere advice to the Management. Although the prime focus for the resort is foreign tourists, however they should treat all the guests equally without any biases and should not decide on their own without asking the guests.
Apart from discomfort caused by the management, I must say the over all stay was pleasant and peaceful for us.
However here are few tips:
• If you are booking this property through any travel portal, make sure you take confirmation (written mail) from the resort directly. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises later.
• Yatra.com never mentioned and provided us clear details of what were the inclusions, ensure to get the clarity