Kollam holds several new business-grade hotels offering good value in the mid and upper ranges, but very little of note at the budget end of the scale, other than the charismatic Government Guesthouse, on Ashtamudi Lake, which can't be booked in advance.
The DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council) office keeps a list of homestays in and around Kollam.
This new joint in the list of Quilon Hotels is the only real five star hotel in Kollam.
The Quilon Beach Hotel
Panoramic views of the beach are the big selling point of Kollam's seaside five-star. Both "deluxe" and "premium" have them- the only difference being the angle. You don't get a lot of space for the price, and service isn't great, but there is a rooftop pool, and an infinity pool at lobby level, as well as multi-cuisine restaurant, modest spa and gym.
Fragrant Nature Retreat and Resorts
A 4-star luxury lakeside resort with spa, swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Accommodation in lakeside rooms or villas.
Cambay Palm Lagoon
Delightful setting 18 km from town centre on north side of Ashtamudi lake, can be reached from backwater cruise. Attractive thatched cottages, includes full board.
Club Mahindra Backwater Retreat Ashtamudi
Chavara South (north of town)
30 mins by car, 10 mins by speedboat. Ayurvedic resort with 20 rooms in 5 traditional chalets (Queen's Cottages and King's Palace more expensive), all a/c with good views. Catamaran trips.
15 mins from town by road or boat, Splendid backwaters location, well-furnished chalets (some reassembled Kerala houses) with TV, restaurant, Ayurvedic massage/treatment, boat rides.
Newly renovated rooms in a bland block building. All rooms with a/c, TV. Nice views of the waterway. Quiet location, restaurant, boat hire.
Valiyavila Family Estate
Access by ferry from Kollam boat jetty, 6 bright, breezy rooms in large house right on the lakeside. Peaceful location, lovely garden with hammocks, great views. Friendly, attentive staff. Wide selection of meals available. Eccentric 55-ft statue of Goddess of Light' in garden means you can't miss this place. Good discounts off-season. Canoe trips. Recommended.
5 mins from jetty Busy lndian business hotel. Rooms all with TV and decent bath, some a/c. Cheaper rooms are good value. Restaurant, coffee shop.
Government Guest House
Live like the British Raj on a pauper's budget. 12 simply-furnished rooms, all with attached bath, in the sprawling former residence of the British governor. More expensive rooms have bathrooms large enough to throw a party in. High ceilings, shady veranda, huge garden, bags of character, friendly staff. Some cheaper rooms are in bland modern building at the back. Meals on request. Recommended.
Opposite bus station
Smallish, moderately clean, basic rooms, some with attached bath and TV.
Kollam Beach Retreat
3km south of centre
Situated directly across the road from the beach, and good value considering its lcoation. It is also quiet in the evenings, has a rooftop restaurant with sea views, and an untypically enthusiastic and helpful young staff.
Bright red hallways are moodily lit, if at all, and the rooms here come in shades of lime that could do with a lick of paint. Shame about the lack of windows.
This little budgeteer is starting to show its age but is still maintained in decent condition. The central location close to the train station is probably its biggest asset.
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