A lovely kerala houseboat that is very clean and comfortable. The stay was beyond excellence, starting from the decor, the ambience, the cleanliness and the hospitality..by far the best I have had till now. We were made to feel completely at home by the Houseboat.
And a few words must be said of the staff. They were ever smiling and ever obliging, pandering us with every detail of comfort. I feel it just like a five star hotel because of the interior and rooms are very well maintained. Highly recommended place for people who are seeking peace and want to enjoy the backwaters trip.
I'm sure that this is the best houseboat in Kumarakom, Kerala and I would recommend Amrutham holidays for this reason.
The idea of a night at the houseboat was a last minute decision after initially wanting to do it for 3 nights. Online rates were prohibitively high and so we decided on a 1 night stay. After another highly ranked houseboat provider backed out, I settled in for the one by Amrutham. They were prompt in their response and confirmed the 1 night stay after receiving an advance deposit. The check-in would be at 12.00 noon and check-out at 9 am.
As I was staying in Kochi, I checked with them as to how long might the journey from Kochi to the houseboat take and I booked a taxi through them. It was to pick me at 10.30am and would allow me to check in at 12 pm. However, the taxi took over 2 hours and I was able to reach the houseboat only by 1 pm. I learnt that the taxi driver was told that the check-in would be at 1 pm. It was probably because the previous occupants of the houseboat had not cleared in time. Within a few 100 meters of the destination the taxi was asked to wait further as the houseboat was not yet ready. By the time the diver was asked to bring us in, it was almost 1.15 pm. Apparently, the houseboat operators and the taxi driver had an understanding which I can only presume. We were assured that in compensation of the late boarding, we would have an extra hour of cruise the following day and check-out would be at 10am. On boarding I was asked to deposit the balance of the amount. The houseboat was priced at Rs. 26K for the night for a two-roomed A/c Super-Deluxe facility. On first look the houseboat seemed tidy, neat and well maintained. However, here are a few of the jarring things:
- For 4 adults and 1 child, they provided just two towels
- Hot water facility was not available. It had to be requested separately and would only be provided in the morning of the next day
- The upper deck toilet was a disaster with petrol fumes coming in and the flush not working.
- Unless specifically asked, the people on the houseboat would not care to explain which areas we were covering and what we were supposed to look out for. The itinerary said the coverage would extend to Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Jetty, Muhamma, Kayippuram, Man-made island, Kaipuzha Canal, Pathiramanal (Sands of Midnight), Thanneermukkam, etc.but we were not pointed out when we reached any of those spots.
The morning after, despite my mentioning it many times over, the houseboat driver would not extend the cruise beyond 9 am despite the agreement with the official the previous afternoon. He just parked the houseboat and got off and away without any explanation whatsoever. I called the person who had assured us of the extra hour the previous day and he said he would come and sort it out but by then the mood was already spoilt and there was no point continuing. Here is another coincidence which shows there is more than that meets the eye. I had called the same taxi driver to drop me back to Kochi and asked him to be present by 10am, but he was already there at 9am ready to take us back. An hour earlier than planned -again a presumption that he and the houseboat operators were in collusion.
Despite the shady practices and poor service by operators, the cruise is great, offers a close contact with the beauty of nature. December is also a great time to be there with the weather being quite pleasant. The backwaters and the beauty of the place has a calming effect.
The good parts now: The food was good with some high quality local dishes. When I had a special food request for my son, they made it available.
On my return in the taxi, after almost an hour, an official from Amrutham called up and offered to compensate the hour lost by picking up the taxi fare for my return trip. It was almost equal to the cost per hour on the houseboat and though I took it nothing can really make up for the after bitter-taste of the experience with the operator.
My family had a wonderful cruise experience at Houseboat in Kumarakom. Houseboat was a clean one which is really big for 10 of us..It was relaly great to taste Kerala food made at boat kitchen..
Stay in the House Boat is something special in Kerala trip. We will be surprised to see how they make beautiful home in a boat. Travel in the water enjoying the kitchen delicacies is a pleasant experience.
I along with my family had the opportunity to enjoy the kumarakom backwaters in Amrutham houseboat. It was a awesome experience as the staff were really friendly and hospitable. The food served was really authentic, healthy and tasty. The boat was also very neat and tidy and well maintained with all required facilities. Really enjoyed my trip and am planning another trip soon with amrutham houseboats.