My blog article on Kerala tour planning have crossed 3800 viewers per month and I am extremely happy to know that my blog helps many people who are planning Kerala vacations.

Every day  I get a lot of email appreciations and the most interesting part is that some guests admit that they could plan Kerala tour without the help of a tour operator after going through the blog. Though I loose some business here, I feel proud and honored to be known as a blogger.

Kerala Hotel Booking Guide
A tour operator can plan a great vacation for you, however,  he can never select a hotel of your choice unless you are involved in this exercise. The reason is simple, planning a tour require expertise on the area but hotel selection is subjective, hence I have written this blog article on ‘How to Select a Hotel of Your Choice’, not on ‘How to Select the Best Hotel’.

And believe me you will be able to select the best hotel of your choice after reading this blog.

Hotel selection is subjective, which means no one in this world can assume to know which hotel you will like as this depends on your style, budget, standard of living, requirements, expectations and other personal factors. If you are planning for a great vacation and if you are particular about where to stay, don’t leave this element completely on a tour operator. You should get involved, spend some time, do internet research and always make sure the hotel selected is as per your preferences.

Tour operators always recommend hotels, they get good feedback from previous guests. You can take their recommendations and check reviews about the hotels yourself before confirming. Keep in mind, finding good hotels on your own is a time taking process. But you can take the hotel recommendations and do your own research before finalizing.

Please remember that a tour operator never recommend a hotel which get bad feedback regularly irrespective of what best rate he gets from the hotel.  It really doesn’t matter which hotel you select, he gets his profit. That’s how this business is run. I am being open here and sharing the fact with you…!

BookIng Hotels in KeralaWhile planning for a vacation, finalize your Itinerary and have a rough idea about your budget. Ask tour operator to give hotel choices as per budget and give him your preferences in selecting the hotel. Once he come back to you with the choices,  do an in-depth research of the hotel through Google search. You will get relevant details  and reviews about the hotel, based on which you can make the decision.

Things to be taken care while selecting a hotel :

  • Budget should be the first preference. You will have choice of different hotels on your budget.
  • Location of hotel is really important as some people like to stay in city, some outside, some with good view, etc.  All options has its own advantages and disadvantages which we will cover in detail below.
  • Hotel category should be your next preference which again depends on budget, your standard of living and expectations.
  • Food quality and food options should be enquired especially for pure vegetarians and Jains.

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Let us discuss each of them in detail :-


If you are concerned about overall travel budget, you can give preference to that and select a hotel accordingly which suits your requirements. There will be lot of hotels at all places for all budget categories. But my personal suggestion is not to go for cheaper options as they lack cleanliness, service and most important safety.

You can expect decent hotels ranging from 1500/- at most of the places. When you take budget hotels you cannot expect anything extraordinary in the hotel but with basic amenities. Budget hotels are preferred if your mindset is to have a decent stay with more emphasis on sightseeing or else please go for a higher category hotel.
You get the best rate from tour operators rather than booking directly with hotels as very often hotels have a special offer rate for tour service providers. Rate of hotels vary according to locations which will be discussed in later in the article.

 Location of Hotel

This is another important aspect to consider while choosing your hotel. Do consider hotel location and its proximity to town. At most of the tourist places,  majority of  good resorts and hotels are outside the town area; but there are good options very close to town center as well.  This selection should be as per your preferences. If you are choosing one outside city, you get to enjoy the best view.  While staying in a city hotel, you can always roam around city.

I personally like to stay outside the town when I am on holiday. As we live everyday in city and during vacations, I want to relax  and enjoy the natural beauty. And of course, this concept varies with person! Always check location of hotel before confirming the same and make sure its as per your preferences.

 Hotel Category

At all locations, you will find hotels ranging from budget to 5 Star.  You can also opt for Resorts at tourist places rather than going for star hotels. They seem to have good service and room amenities.


Most of the hotels will have their own restaurant and provide food. If you are a pure vegetarian and never take food from mixed restaurants, make sure this aspect is checked on priority basis. Most of the hotels cook both Veg and Non Veg in the same kitchen. Jain food is also available at most of the hotels.

While booking a Hotel room/Resort, you have the following options of booking

EP – European plan where booking is only for room and food is not complimentary

CP – Continental plan where you will get room with complimentary breakfast

MAP – Modified American plan where you will get room with complimentary breakfast and dinner

AP – American plan where you will get room with complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner

Please note that complimentary food is for one person, if your booking is for single room and for 2 people if booking is for double bed room.

It is always good idea to take room on CP basis only. If booking is done on MAP or AP plan, you are paying for the food in advance and you need to pay even if you do not like the food at the hotel.  If your booking is on CP, you have the option of either having your food from same hotel by paying extra amount directly or you can have from other nearby restaurants.

Food menu is at the sole discretion of hotel management and booking agent do not have any role on this. If your hotel is outside city, it is a good idea to have food from city after sightseeing and move to hotel. Otherwise you need to have food from the hotel you stay because coming back to the city at night will not be safe at most times. If your booking is for one room only but accompanied by a child,  you need to pay food charges for the child directly at hotels even if this is not confirmed by booking agent.

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Extra bed/matrress

Extra bed is provided when there is a extra person to be accommodated in a room. This is chargeable as per hotel policies. Normally any child above 5 years is required to take one extra bed where breakfast will be complimentary for the person who takes extra bed  {if booking is on CP for extra bed}.

Some hotels charge for extra person even though you don’t take extra bed for the person accompanying you. Most of the hotels allows only one extra bed in a room. Also please note that they will be giving you just the bed;  extra cot will not be provided.

Hotel Selection Tips

Room types

Different hotels has different room types varying from standard, deluxe, super deluxe etc as per their choice. For some hotels base category rooms are named as standard while some name them as deluxe and so. While selecting room type, you should check difference in amenities for each category of rooms. In most cases when you book a package, rooms included with be from the base category option in the hotels. If you are looking for best amenities and outside view, try to book higher category rooms.

I hope the above details helped you in having an understanding of  Kerala hotels and what you should look for before booking. Now we shall take a brief look into the aspects involved in hotel booking at major destinations in Kerala.

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Munnar Hill StationMunnar is one of the most beautiful places in Kerala. This should be a must-visit place in your Kerala tour. The scenic hill station will enthrall you with its natural beauty.  Normally, two night stay is required to cover everything Munnar has to offer. If you are traveling to Munnar from Cochin, it takes almost 5hrs to reach Munnar. Hence second day should be utilized for Munnar sightseeing.

Munnar has lot of hotel options available from budget to 5 star. When you select hotel here, first preference should be given to location. You will find that most of the good resorts and hotels are outside town.  Most of them are within the radius of 30km from Munnar town. If you love to stay near town, Munnar has lot of budget and few good hotels in and around the town area.  These hotels are within 10km radius to Munnar town.

Do remember that, you won’t find AC rooms anywhere in Munnar; most of the hotels won’t even have fan as this is a cold place. While selecting hotel at Munnar, you can check category of room as only the best rooms will have excellent view to tea plantations depending on the resort/hotel selected.

Sometimes you may even find good resorts which are difficult to reach.  My personal suggestion is to stay away from town and enjoy the beauty of Munnar. But that’s your choice and should be conveyed to your agent at the time of booking.

While at Munnar if your hotel is far away from town, have dinner from city center and move to hotel or plan to have it from the hotel you stay. You might need to inform the hotel beforehand. Traveling to the town at night from hotel is not a good idea as there will be fog and is not safe to drive. The mobile range at most of the hotels in Munnar is very poor.

Read more about Munnar : 13 Must Visit Places in Munnar

We have specially designed a simple and easy to read map with the major tourist destinations in Munnar. Check with the hotel you are staying there  and plan your itinerary accordingly.

Munnar Tourist Destinations Map

Munnar-Tourist-Destinations-Map-freeClick here to download the PDF copy of the above map for free!


Elephant Herd at ThekkadyThekkady is known for Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. There are three KTDC hotels in Thekkady which is near to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Most of the good hotels are in Kumily, about 2km from Thekkady and is the best option. Thekkady also has hotels but only a few good ones.   The hotels are in the same area and are nearby. There are only few A/C hotels at Thekkady and that too only for high category rooms. Most of the tour agents quote with Non A/C rooms rates for Thekkady stay.

There are a few luxury resorts also at Thekkady. Some of these resorts have tree houses too! Number of hotels are less in Thekkady compared to Munnar.

For more info read our blog post : More info about Thekkady 

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 Alleppey & Kumarakom

How to Select the Right Hotel in KeralaKumarakom lake Resort – Image by mystikalindia Via Flickr

Alleppey and Kumarakom are two different places which are 40km apart. Alleppey is a place where you can see backwaters as well as beach and Kumarakom has only backwater stretches.  At Alleppey, there are few beach resorts and some back water resorts. You can also find lots of good hotels inside the city.

There are even hotels 30km away from Alleppey towards Cochin with good view of backwater. There are hotels at Marari, Thannermukkam etc , which are about 25km from Alleppey but are good choices. Always check the facilities of the resort and proximity to water before confirming your stay at Alleppey or Kumarakom resort.

Kumarakom resorts are ideal if you are on honeymoon or for extended stay where you can relax and enjoy all the facilities of a good resort like swimming pool, pedal boating etc.  Check for rooms  with good outside view during your stay at Kumarakom or Alleppey. Book only hotels with A/C rooms at Alleppey.


Varkala Beach
Varkala has few hotels and resorts. But it is ideal place for relaxation with extended beach view. There are good Ayurvedic resorts here.



 For more info read our blog post : Exploring Varkala and Nearby Tourist Places

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Kovalam BeachFor a tourist, Kovalam is the ideal place to stay instead of Trivandrum. Most of the hotels at Kovalam are near to sea, though they may not be along the shore. Some hotels have good view to sea but most of the hotels have only partial view of sea.

If you really want to stay in a resort or hotel with good sea view, you can make your choice accordingly and sometimes you may need to  select the best room in the hotel for that which will cost you few thousands extra. Staying at Trivandrum is not a good idea if you are planning to spend most of your time at Kovalam. Also book only A/C rooms as it might get hot!


Kanyakumari has few good hotels. You can try to book sea view rooms if available during your stay at Kanyakumari.


Cochin City at Night
Cochin has hotels near to airport, Ernakulam city and at Fort Cochin. If you are staying at Cochin to board next day flight or for late arrival at airport, then opt to stay near to airport as it is more than 30km from city. Traffic can be  pretty hectic, so staying close to airport will be wise. Stay near to railway station if arrival or departure is by train.

If you are staying at Cochin during your tour, you have good options at Ernakulam city itself. You may not find lot of hotels with good view in Cochin city. Make note of the proximity to the nearest point of visit in your tour itinerary while selecting hotels for Cochin stay.


Guruvayoor is a place where hoteliers never have to hunt for travelers.  As the location is famous for Sri Krishna temple, Guruvayyoor most of the hotels are full throughout the year.  And one cannot expect extraordinary service at most of the hotels here. Try to select a hotel which is near to the temple so that you can have darshan easily.

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This is a place where you should stay only at resorts. You can get hotels at Sultan Batheri, Vythiri etc but most of the good ones are resorts. You can choose one according to your preference and number of days you are planning to spend there. There are some exceptionally good resorts which are worth staying for few nights and there,  you don’t even have to go outside..all the facilities are right there inside the resort!

 Athirapilly & Vazhachal Waterfalls

Athirappilly WaterfallsThere are very few resorts and hotels near to Athirapilly. You can either see waterfalls and stay at a hotel nearby or can come back to Cochin for stay. Most of the hotels will not have view to waterfalls.

I sincerely hope this article helps you in selecting a good hotel for your Kerala tour. Always make sure hotel is selected as per your preferences only. Changing a hotel after reaching the destination will not be easy; neither for you nor for your agent. Most of the hotels charge full amount for last minute cancellation. You may not get a good hotel while searching at the last moment.

You can reach me any time for any clarifications. I wish you and your loved ones a great Kerala experience.

Thank you

Ratheesh R. Nath

Managing Director
Paradise Holidays, Cochin

Mob: 9947876214

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