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Looking for a tropical escape, off the beaten track and are travelling with little children? Ready to feast on some exotic traditional delights with a friendly relaxed atmosphere? Kerala, India might be the adventure you are looking for.

Your name – Lizzie
Who were your travel companions – Husband, Miss 3 and Master 1
What was the location of your holiday – Kerala, India
How did you get there – 4 hour flight from Dubai to Cochin, 2 hour drive to the villa
What time of year did you travel – April 2016
Length of stay – 4 nights
What was the weather like – HOT! Humid and sticky with thunderstorms over night.

STAY

AccommodationMarari Villas
Style (Hotel, Apartment, B&B) – Villa
Room type booked – Bougainvillea Villa
Facilities – 2 bedroom villa, large open plan living and dining area, private courtyard, outside seating area, outdoor massage room. Most baby items available – portacot, highchairs, small amount of toys. Private chef for all meals. Full cleaning staff. WiFi. No laundry for private use but the staff happily did our laundry for a small fee.

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Pro’s

  • The FOOD! I think this might go down as one of the most incredible food destinations that I have visited. The children enjoyed fresh fish most nights at 5pm and then once the children were in bed we enjoyed our Indian feasts at 7.30pm.
  • As it was our first time to India I wanted a smooth and easy holiday and we absolutely got this with Marari Villas. In some ways maybe we had a western view of India but I feel we needed this for our first time. We didn’t have to think while we were there and felt safe with the staff organising all our tours and day trips.
  • The Staff were incredible, always happy and smiling. Very kind to the children and always wanted to please us which they did with a relaxed attitude.

Con’s

  • Even though this is most definitely a private villa, the 2 bedrooms are separated by an outdoor walkway. We felt a little uneasy the first night as we couldn’t hear the children over the roar of the waves. Once the baby monitor was set up we felt fine.
  • Choose your time of year to visit, it was super humid when we stayed and this made getting around a little difficult.
  • Bougainvillea doesn’t have it’s own pool (yet!) but we were lucky as the Lotus villa was vacant so we were able to use that villas pool – which was amazing. We really needed the pool.
  • It’s an ‘Eco’ resort, so you have to be mindful of the water usage and the AC. We didn’t feel pressure from anyone regarding this but making sure we turned off lights etc was a priority for us. This might be a ‘Con’ for some people.
  • I was a little disappointed with the beach. From the photos I thought we would be swimming out the front of our villa everyday but there were loads of big boulders at the foot of our sandy area. To go for a swim we only had to walk a little to the right but the beach was pretty filthy. To be honest, we never once went in the ocean which is pretty strange for Australians!!

Would you stay there again? Yes, at a different time of year.

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EAT

Any restaurant/cafe/bar recommendations for eating out with children?

We had all our meals at the villa. We were asked at breakfast what we would like for the day and what time would suit. They were more then happy to do 2 seatings (children then adult) for lunch and dinner.

They had a children’s menu to choose from which included Western and Indian meals. The main menu had a daily plan that you could stick to and also a A La Carte menu with Western choices. We were very happy to stick to the Indian meals and were never disappointed.

We bought some alcohol duty free with us, which I would recommend, but the staff can also fill the mini bar fridge with whatever you might need.

DO

Things to do?

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We had an excellent driver who collected us from the airport and then continued to be our driver for our stay. His air-conditioned car, with car seats, was just perfect. No matter what we wanted to do he would do the thinking for us and take us where we needed to be. I wanted to buy some silver anklets like the local girls wear and he took us straight to a lovely jeweller.

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We spent lots of time at the villa, swimming in the pool and playing in the sand. Watching the fishermen in the morning was a highlight for us (me!) and we also walked up to where they were selling the catch of the day and watched the fish auctions.

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We took a 2 hr private boat cruise through the Kerala backwaters which is a must do. Watching how people live on the water was pretty eye-opening and trying to keep Master 1 from jumping off the boat kept me on my toes! There are little shops and restaurants along the water where you can stop for a drink or ice-cream and we took some snacks on-board as well.

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Have you explored India? We would love to hear about your experiences.

Thanks for stopping by!

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