FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Our Private Pool Villas are in a rural location 300m from beach and have private gardens and private beach facilities (hammocks, sunbeds, umbrellas and beach attendant).
Orchid: Sleeps 2 Adults + 1 Child (open sky view bathroom)
Hibiscus: Sleeps 2 Adults + 2 Children (sky view bathroom with mosquito screen roof)
Frangipani: Sleeps 4 Adults or 2 Adults + 2 Children (shared bathroom with 2 separate access doors and 2 basins)
Orchid, Hibiscus and Frangipani are 300m from the beach (5 mins walk), but have private beach facilities (shower, sunbeds, umbrellas, hammocks and beach attendant service).
Flights to Cochin (Kochi) Airport generally go via the Middle East or Delhi/Mumbai/Bangalore. You can try the following (in order of preference, based on our experience and other guest feedback):
• Qatar Airways (via Doha) – A380 on some European flights www.qatarairways.com
• Etihad (via Abu Dhabi) – A380 on some European flights www.etihad.com
• Emirates (via Dubai) – A380 on some European flights www.emirates.com
• British Airways (via Mumbai or Bangalore) www.britishairways.com
• Oman Air (via Muscat) www.omanair.com
• SriLankan Airlines (via Colombo) www.srilankan.com
Cochin airport is 75km (approximately 2 hours’ drive). Our English-speaking driver can meet you with our large AC Toyota Innova (6 seats). Our superior taxi service provides complimentary drinking water, WiFi, Bluetooth music, child car seats, window shades and cushions (oh, and a very calm and safe driver!).
We have an excellent English-speaking driver who can meet you with our large AC Toyota Innova (6 seats). We strongly advise using our taxi service as there are many other properties with similar names and it is not easy to find our location – even local drivers get it wrong! If you are travelling yourself, then a Google Map link is here and we strongly advise that you call our manager on +918606110070 in advance to get directions.
Express trains stop at Alleppey (ALLP). You can check routes and availability online with Indian Railways www.irctc.co.in, but will require an Indian phone number and bank account to book train tickets. If you don’t have these, you can book train tickets through a travel agent such as Carnival Tours in Cochin www.carnivaltourskochi.com
e-Tourist Visas are now available online for many countries through https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
DO NOT TRUST ANY OTHER SITE OR ONLINE AGENT! There are a few websites that offer express Indian visa services, but all they do is fill in your online application and charge you much more for the privilege!
The official e-TV system allows visas to be obtained online for tourism purpose between 4-120 days prior to arrival from $10 (April-June) or $25 (July-March), depending on your passport nationality. You will need at least 6 months passport validity from the date of arrival and at least 2 blank pages. You should have a return/onward journey ticket, enter India via one of the recognised airports (Cochin and Trivandrum included) and have enough money to support yourself during your stay. You may choose the e-TV validity for either 30 days, 1 year or 5 years from the date of arrival.
Please make sure you carry a copy of the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) along with you at the time of travel.
More details under the ‘Instructions for Applicant’ tab on the left side of the web page here
Early check-in (prior to 12pm) is only available if you have booked the room for the previous day. We can arrange an airport pickup in the middle of the night and someone to show you your room on arrival at Marari Villas. Alternatively, there are a few airport hotels (Marriott Courtyard, Flora, Abad) that offer very reasonable hourly rates and breakfast and we can then arrange a 10am taxi pick-up, so you can check-in with us at the usual 12pm. Houseboat check-outs are usually around 9:30am, so you will arrive at Marari Villas around 10:30am if you travel directly to us without a stop in Alleppey town. You are welcome to wait in our garden until your villa is ready, but we won’t be able to offer bathroom facilities until previous guests have checked out!
Late check-out (after 10am) may be available, if confirmed in advance, and is charged at Rs.5,000 per room including lunch for 2 pax. Please advise us at the time of booking. Alternatively, if your flight leaves late, you can do a day-tour of Fort Cochin on the way to the airport or we can arrange a day package at a nearby beach/backwater resort if we don’t have availability.
Yes, we offer various Packages with our recommended boats, partner resorts/hotels and our taxi service. Contact us with your preferred dates and approximate budget per night and we can suggest a package for you.
You can consider doing a day cruise on the backwaters as an alternative to an overnight Houseboat:
• A smaller ‘country boat’ or ‘shikhara’ can travel in the smaller canals – we usually recommend a 3-hour cruise. The rate is approximately Rs.700 per hour (lunch and guided village walks are available at additional cost). You can choose hand paddles for a true tranquil backwater experience (minimum 4 hours) or an outboard motor, so you can travel further and see more (minimum 2 hours). This can be arranged with the Villa Host at any time during your stay.
• A day cruise on a Houseboat without overnight stay (usually 12pm-5pm) gives a taster of backwater life with lunch, tea & snacks onboard. The rate is approximately Rs.10,000 for 2 pax for a round-trip from Alleppey.
Usually the sea is safe for any reasonably experienced swimmer between September to May, although it can vary from day-to-day. It is calmer in the mornings. There are no strong currents / rip tides once you get past the waves that break on the shore.
Yes, we have a dedicated chef and kitchen assistants that cater for your private dining. Breakfast is included and lunch/dinner/snacks can be chosen from our menu (Kerala and Continental options). Most guests love our extensive 7 day ‘Kerala Delights’ menu that includes a traditional ‘Sadhya’ feast on banana leaf, seafood BBQ and toddy shop experience. We also have a special ‘Kids Menu’. Each villa has private dining in a covered ‘al-fresco’ dining area.
Our chefs can cater for food allergies and dietary requirements (please advise us at the time of booking in case we need to arrange special items such as soya milk). Kerala is an ideal choice for vegans/vegetarians/gluten & lactose intolerance as there are so many vegetarian dishes and use of coconut milk and rice-based carbohydrates.
Yes. Kerala has strict alcohol licensing laws, so we purchase drinks on your behalf, which you can keep in the fridge in your villa – let us know if you have any particular requests.
There is plenty to do in the area if you don’t want to just eat / read / sleep / swim / sunbathe! See the Activities page of our extensive Visitor’s Guide on arrival for details of cooking classes, yoga classes, Ayurveda massages, elephant rides, private swimming classes, boat trips, village crafts tours…. We also have 2 mountain bikes for guests’ complimentary use.
You can arrange most activities with us when you arrive. However, if you require a longer-term yoga or Ayurveda package, then we will need to agree the availability and rates with you in advance. Please email us to discuss the options.