Illikalam Lake Resort – Kumarakom, Kerala, India
Stay: Jan 2016
Lady: and how was your stay ma’am?
The hotel itself is in the middle of nowhere. No walking distance shops or sight seeing. I guess that’s what you are coming here for? Peace and quiet and sanctuary.
We got there a little after 11, so understandably the room was not quite ready. We waited in the bleak reception room whilst we were handed a couple of forms to fill in. A welcome drink was offered, which tasted allot like a mixed fruit cordial?! I gingerly sipped it, unsure as to whether it was made with filtered water.
A half an hour later we were led to our room. No porter to take our bags, my husband carried them both back towards the car park behind some buildings to a small door. This was our room.
The view was a white wall. Inside the room was two single beds pushed together, a small desk and a wardrobe. It looked nothing short of a prison cell.
The walls were filthy, no pictures, and a curtain, which when pulled back showed a tiny window that was frosted (so we couldn’t see out of it) and had metal bars in front! Although the view would have just been a white wall anyway!!
The bathroom wasn’t too bad, standard Indian wet room with toilet and basin. Although when we came to use the toilet, I used it after my husband and couldn’t get it to flush again! Water just kept filling slowly like the valve was broken? Turns out the push button flush sticks and you have to push it in further to pop it out again for it to start working again!
Also none of the other facets will work whilst another is on….
I immediately rang reception, saying there must be some mistake, we were surely in the wrong room? Apparently not, apparently we had booked a ‘basic A/C room” and to get a standard room closer to the backwater would be an extra Rupees 500/ and to upgrade to the lakeside view room an extra Rupees 750/ !
We decided to have a nosey at what the upgrade would get us and wondered back towards the reception, through to the other side and we were welcomed by some lovely gardens. They were very picturesque! Butterflies everywhere and very green.
As we walked further, we found the lake, it was peaceful and quiet, but not an amazing view. Some plastic chairs were dumped by the railing for guests to sit on, and glancing in the lakeview cottages, there was not much difference. They had deckchairs to sit on, on the veranda and a coffee table and two chairs inside as opposed to the desk we had. But actually not that much better in terms of atmosphere.
So we decided to stick with it. It was just one night after all right?
We walked back to the room to have a minute, and asked for the WiFi password en route. The newest revelation, WiFi is only available in the reception! Oh well.
I decided to have a shower after the journey, only to realise we only had hand towels, which was all we were getting!
So I lay on the bed. Oh. My. God. Under a thin sheet, the mattress was covered with a cheap plastic. Which made a god awful sound every time you moved on it, let alone sat on it!
At least the TV worked and we had two English film channels. To the side of our building there was a covered area with a ping pong table and a few chairs. I asked reception if there were any bats and was handed one mouldy and one with both sides of the bat in dire need of some super glue. But beggars can’t be choosers. We decided to play and indeed it got hot and sweaty pretty quick. I noticed that there were fans above us, and located the switches. None seemed to turn on the fans? Except one that turned on a fan to the far right of where we were playing.. I for some reason left it on, thinking it might provide at least a little relief. Big mistake.
Some dude (who I can only assume was the owner/manager) came running towards us tutting. He turned off all the switches and proceeded to tell us off for wasting electricity and did we really need the fans on? “Power is precious” he told us. We apologised and went back to our room with our tails tucked behind us, feeling like naughty school children!
The dining room is a stone square in the middle of the resort with mesh for walls and a couple of fans on the ceiling. As I said earlier you are in the middle of nowhere so we had no choice but to eat there. The deal was to ring the restaurant number provided in the room beforehand with your order and they would tell you when to come to the restaurant to eat your food. All food is apparently made to order, so can take up to an hour from ordering.
Food wasn’t too bad, and not overly expensive either.
Conclusion : probably wouldn’t stay here again or recommend it.. If you do, then opt for the lakeside view room to ease the pain a little at least.