Beach Vacation, Taj Varkala
Varkala Resorts and Guest houses sums up to more than fifty in numbers. Rooms in private houses are apart from this. The North Cliff area is compact, so look around until you find what you want. The northernmost area has budget options and has the most character, while the far south side has a few fancier places.
None of the resorts in Varkala are actually on the beach. Outside the high season of Nov-Mar, prices drop by up to 50%. During the monsoon (Jun-Jul) many Varkala resorts close down.
Hindustan Beach Resort
Tel: 0470 2604254
Not much to look at from outside, but inside is well-appointed rooms with amazing sea views. Pool set in small lawn and rooftop restaurant. Executive rooms have balconies; suites have lounges. All a/c, easily the smartest place to stay in Varkala India if you need all modern convenience.
Temple Road West
Tel: 0470 2610296
A delightful guesthouse, home with 5 huge rooms. Jasmine, birds of paradise and magnolia blossoms are tucked into alcoves, there is a lotus-filled pond and tropical garden and everything is spotlessly clean. Guests have their own keys and entrance. Really special.
The Gateway Hotel (By Taj)
Tel: 0470 6673300
The most luxurious option in Varkala. Rebranded, revamped, refurbished, the Taj Varkala is looking hot-especially the new rooms, with beds covered in gleaming linen and mocha cushions, and with glass shower cubicles in the bathrooms, complete with electric blinds. There is a fantastic pool in the resort.
Varkala Deshadan Kurakkanni Cliff
Tel: 0470 3304242
Very clean Chettinadu-style a/c bungalows set around a large pool. Price includes breakfast.
Papanasam Beach Tel: 0471 2603204
12 rooms in total with 3 lovely old-style wooden rooms with balconies and a sea view. The honeymoon suite has a truly gigantic bed. Good service and nice tandoori restaurant on the beach. Recommended for your Varkala beach vacation.
Tel: 0470 2601414
One of the efficiently run Varkala beach resorts with spotlessly clean bamboo and wood cottages set around a manicured lawn. Cheaper, non a/c rooms are inside house. All have modern baths. French-run bakery for excellent pastries. Internet, restaurant and cooking classes are available in this Varkala resort.
Akshay Beach Resort
Tel: 0470 2602668
Wide variety of bright, clean rooms. Quiet location away from the cliff. Restaurant, TV lounge, good value.
Nikhil Beach Resort
Tel: 0470 2605191
Friendly little complex with good-sized rooms, some with a/c.
Hill View Beach Resort
Tel: 0470 2600566
Self-contained cottages and budget rooms in a smart resort. Internet, airport pick-up, hot water.
Sea Pearl Chalets
Tel: 0470 2605875
Circular thatched huts perched scarily near the cliff edge. Great views, breakfast included.
Tel: 0470 2600200
Excellent location close to beach. Very clean and secure with simple rooms. Budget rooms very good value. Restaurant, helpful staff recommended.
Colourful, chilled-out Rasta house set back off the cliff. Bongo drums and Marley posters abound. There is a variety of rooms, some with balcony, plus a little standalone thatched cottage out the back. The cafe does pastas, noodles, fish and chips - but in its own sweet time.
Government Guest House
Tel: 0470 2602227
Immense, high-ceilinged rooms with marble floors and big baths, in the leafy former summer residence of the maharaja. Isolated, idyllic and quiet. Book in advance, recommended.
North Cliff end
Tel: 0470 2662120
Homely choice with simple rooms in retired teacher's guesthouse. Excellent home cooking, very peaceful.
Varkala Resorts North of Papanasam Beach
Simple but spuerbly situated budget homestay run by a welcoming young couple, Shaiju and Jesni. It is nestled under the palms moments away from one of the loveliest, remotest stretches of coast north of Varkala. The rooms are very small and basic, but attached. Scooter hire, Wi-Fi and home cooked meals are available.
Near Parambil Temple
Mob: (0) 9446848534
A nicely set up, welcoming option in Odayam. It has nine varnished palm wood chalets with tiled roofs comfortably furnished, with cute little touches such as floating flowers in terracotta pots, cane blinds and silk throws on the beds. The cottages are not all that spacious but they all have sea views. The open-sided restaurant, overlooking the waves at the bottom of a terraced plot, is also the best place to eat and drink hereabouts.
The First Place
Tel: 0470 2992090
Mob: (0) 9746983783
Eco-friendly, Swedish-run guesthouse on the bluff overlooking the beach, with its own shady garden. The room aren't large, but they are nicely done-freshly painted with little wooden shelves, glossy red-oxide floors and mozzie nets. One of them serves as a class room for Swedish kids, making this a particularly commendable for young families.
18km north of Varkala at Nedungolam
Tel: 0474 2524000
Luxury resort on a secluded backwater midway between Varkala and Kollam. Its flagship options are the "Premium Lake View Villas", which have highly-pitched roofs and wooden decks overlooking a peaceful lagoon. Styled in earthy colours using natural materials, they're private and relaxing, and altogether more appealing than the more recently added "Lakeside" chalets. A large curive-form pool, multi-cuisine restaurant and wellness spa are added attractions. Tariffs include a sunset cruise on a rice barge.
Tel: 0470 2664218
Small but well-run ayurveda resort in neo-Kerala style, next to a lovely little cove that is deserted most of the time. All three types of room are neat, clean and spacious, with a/c and good-sized balconies looking over the hotel's well-tended gardens to the sea. Some rooms have better sea views than others, if it is free, book #107.
Kattil Beach Resort
Tel: 0470 2662226
Mob: (0) 9895582740
One of the best-value lower-mid-range Varkala resorts in this area, offering a choice of 14 en-suite rooms in three different wings, all on high ground above the beach, with pleasant views from private or common verandas. The ones in the block called Sona are the pick of the crop, looking through the palm groves to the nearby stream gulley and beach.
Mob: (0) 9895528150, 9846689912
This no-frills budget guesthouse, situated on a palm-shaded terrace that is open to the sea breezes on one side, is the northernmost mark of tourism in the Varkala area, and an absolute steal, with rooms form only Rs 500. They're very basic, but those on the upper floor share a common veranda looking straight out to sea. If you're happy with simple amenities and can sort out transport (Edava beach is bit cut off), you'll probably end up staying for weeks in this Varkala resort.
Mob: (0) 9895056543
Easily one of the best-value Varkala resorts to stay in Odayam, behind the beach with uninterrupted ocean views from just four large thatched bamboo huts. They're cool, well spaced and nicely furnished (with thick mattresses and sizeable bathrooms) and reasonably priced considering they're so near the sand. Kid's beds available on request.