Travellers are increasingly choosing local experiences over crafted luxury stays. Opting for homestays in Kerala is now a popular way to experience God's own country in a way that offers an insight into the life of its residents without compromising on basic comfort.
Here are our top picks of the homestays in Kerala.
1. Vini's Farm, Kollam
Vini's Farm is located on a small island in a fresh water lake in Kollam and is a perfect spot for those who want to escape from the humdrum of city life. The entire island, along with the services of a cook, is at your disposal as you revel in uninterrupted privacy and enjoy delectable organic food.
The Munroturuttu Railway Station is a Rs 60 auto ride away from the homestay. The nearest airport is in Trivandrum (85km away). You can take a boat ride to the nearest village or spend your time experimenting with water sports here.
2. Lakeside Cottage, Kumarakom
Situated by the Vembanad Lake and shaded by the fragrant trees of nutmeg, clove, coconut and cacao, the cosy cottages appear straight out of a wallpaper. Built with palm tree planks, the cottages provide a natural cooling effect in the summer, and keep warm during winter. The place is ideal for families and couples in search of a homestay in Kerala that is a destination in itself.
The airport nearest to Kumarakom is Nedumbassery at Kochi (85km). The nearest railway stations are Ernakulam (60km) and Alappuzha (40km). You can drive down here from anywhere in Kerala; the cottages provide free parking space to its visitors.
3. Johnson's Music Theme, Alappuzha
Johnson's homestay in Kerala has been wowing guests with its warmth and comfort for 16 straight years. Now, it is a popular option for travellers finding their way to the backwaters of Alappuzha. Along with a beautiful decor, the homestay is equipped with all the basic requirements and has a lovely garden of flowering jasmine, orchids, hibiscus and fruit plants.
The homestay is just 6 minutes from the Alappuzha railway station and, as the host claims, is only 20 minutes away from a secret beach in Alappuzha, which boasts quiet stretches of sugary white sand.
4. Chekkal Homestay, Arthunkal
The Chekkal Homestay in Arthunkal is one of the few homestays in Kerala with antique architecture, and it is ideal for couples and backpackers who chase peace and isolation. The place is equipped with all the basic requirements, and for any other needs, the hosts are available at all times.
The airport nearest to Arthunkal is in Nedumbassery (70km away). The Chertala Railway station is just 7km from the Chekkal Homestay and a regular bus service can be accessed from the bus stop, which is only 5 minutes away. You can also drive down here as there is free parking space available for guests.
5. Kerala Wooden House, Kozhikode
If you are in search of an authentic experience like sharing a home and living like locals, then this is the ideal pick from the list of homestays in Kerala. The hosts serve traditional meals whenever desired by guests, and are also known to be warm and welcoming. The peaceful neighbourhood can be explored on a quiet walk from the homestay and the nearest beach is just 15 minutes away.
The nearest airport for Kozhikode is in Calicut and the nearest railway station is just 7 minutes away. For more details on how to reach the homestay, contact the host.
6. Bamboo Hut, Anachal
If you like travelling in a sustainable and eco-friendly way, then definitely checkout the Bamboo Hut homestay. It is one of the few homestays in Kerala that practices bio-friendly methods of consumption and construction. From organic food on your table to the home built solely from palm leaf and bamboo, the Bamboo Hut homestay is perfect for an eco traveller.
The central town of Munnar is just 10km from the homestay. The airport nearest to Munnar is Cochin International Airport (110km away) and the closest rail-head is in Aluva.
7. Amaryllis, Wayanad
The Amaryllis Homestay offers an experience like no other. Situated by the picturesque backwaters of the Karapuzha Reservoir and in the foreground of the mighty Western Ghats, Amaryllis Homestay is perfect for a relaxing vacation in the lap of nature. If you are planning a holiday with your family or a set of friends, then definitely head to Amaryllis, as the hosts promise warm hospitality with delicious traditional home- cooked food.
Amaryllis, one the most tranquil homestays of Kerala, is situated on the Daydreams Farm, Narikund in Ambalavayal, Wayanad. The closest rail-head from Wayanad is Kozhikode (110km away) and so is the nearest airport.
8. White House Homestay, Alappuzha
If you are confused and unsure about where to get the best experience of homestays in Kerala, then head to one on the backwaters. The White House Homestay is one such place in Kuttanad, which gives a traditional and authentic experience of living in South Kerala. The homestay also provides access to several Ayurvedic treatments, houseboat cruises and hikes around the area.
If you are coming to the White House Homestay by boat then take the Alappuzha jetty to Kannitta via Kainakary Kallara jetty. The closest bus station is in Alappuzha, from where you will have to take the Kaninakary Kolath jetty to reach the homestay.
9. The Colonial Quarters, Kochi
The Colonial Quarters Homestay is a cottage that holds deep personal and emotional value to the host. Built by the host's late father, the cottage captures the spirit of an era gone by. Situated in Old Kochi, the cottage is only a 10 minute-cycling distance away from Fort Kochi. The host organises heritage walks around the property, making the Colonial Quarters ideal for young and old lovers of history.
The airport nearest to the homestay is the Cochin International Airport. Local buses from Fort Kochi and Mattancherri frequent the housing colony the cottage is located in. You can hire a vehicle or a bicycle to reach here or bring your own vehicle since the host provides parking space for guests.
10. Marigold Villa, Kochi
When it comes to interior design, the Marigold Villa gives the best homestays in Kerala a run for their money. The villa combines the best of both worlds as it brings together traditional Kerala architecture with contemporary aesthetics. The villa accommodates upto 5 people and even has a private pool at your service. The host and neighbours are friendly and welcoming.
The airport nearest to the homestay is the Cochin International Airport. The host also arranges transportation from the airport and railway station, so ask if you need it. For more details, contact the host.
This article was originally published on Tripoto authored by Sreshti Verma