Homestays and Guest Houses
With a couple of exceptions, Trivandrum's hotel and guesthouses are functional and pleasant. Visitors tend to avoid spending a night in the city unless they have to, though tariffs in all categories are easier on the pocket here than at nearby Kovalam. They prefer to travel in to the city from the coast to see the sights.
Literally dozens of options lie within ten minutes walks north of the railway and bus stations. This place is known as Thampanoor-the best of them up Manjalikulam Road, which runs due north from the main road outside the station. As ever with state capitals and other larger cities, it pays a book ahead, and reconfirms the day before checking in.
Varikatt Heritage (Homestay)
Tel: 0471 2336057
Trivandrum's most charismatic place to stay is the 250-year-old house of Colonel Roy Kuncheria. It is a wonderful bungalow flanked by verandas and a cinnamon tree, orchids in hanging pots. Every antique has a family story attached to it. Lunch and dinner available.
Philips Hill Tel: 0471 2444358
In Trivandrum leafy suburbs, this is owned by Sylvia and run by her brother Giles, and is an attractive house set in a couple of hectares of garden opposite AJ Hall. The pick of the rooms has an amazing covered terrace overlooking palm trees.
YMCA International Guesthouse (Hostel)
Tel: 0471 2330059
Offers great value for money-one of the less institutional among its brethren: rooms are spacious, spotless and come with tiled bathrooms and TV Both men and women accepted.
Wild Palms Homestay
Tel: 0481 2471175
Trading on its touches of character and quiet setting, this is overpriced. Still, nowhere else has a Venus de Milo statue greeting you in the front garden. The ornate, comfortable family home here has well-furnished though faded rooms. The best has a terrace.
Sunday B and B (Guesthouse)
Mob: 0 9746957056
This was fantastically well placed for a dawn flight, opposite the former international terminal. The terminal's move a few kilometres away has made it a little less convenient, but it is still handy, well priced and friendly with nicely kept, clean rooms with hot water.
Muthoot Plaza (Hotel)
Tel: 0471 2337133
Even though the arctic-level a/c would make penguins shiver, this ultrachic business-focused hotel is still a great place to stay. The plush rooms are stuffed with pillows, couches and all mod cons.
Greenland Lodge (Hotel)
Tel: 0471 2328114
Close to the muted mayhem of the train station. Greenland lays out lots of serenity-inducing pastel colours to greet you. Inside, the rooms are spacious and come with hybrid squat/sit-down toilets. It is efficiently run, but expect to pay a hefty two-night deposit.
Princess Inn (Hotel)
Tel: 0471 2339150
In a glass- fronted building, the Princess Inn promises a relatively quiet sleep in clean surrounds, plus satellite TV and immaculate green-tiled bathrooms.
Mascot Hotel (KTDC)
Tel: 0471 2318990
Period touches, massive hallways and an imposing reception lend this place an aura of old-world charm. It has a monster pool and ayurvedic spa.
Manjalikulamn Cross Road
Tel: 0471 2330377
Offers small, cosy rooms with satellite TV a leafy entryway, lots of hush and plenty of smiles at reception.
Kukie's Holiday Inn (Guest House)
Tel: 0471 2478530
At the end of a small lane in an appealingly quiet spot, this is centred around a little courtyard and offers bare-bones accommodation at rock-bottom prices. Rooms have hard beds and a cold water tap in the bathroom.
Tel: 0471 2333200
The rooms in this lower mid-range option fail to live up to the promise of the six-storey concrete and tinted-glass facade, but it is well managed, only a short walk from the stations, and easy to find. The "economy" non-a/c options are dowdy, with grim bathrooms; the a/c ones are worth the extra. If it is full, try the Highland Park.
Manjalikulam Tourist Home
Tel: 0471 2330776
Don't be fooled by the gleaming glass and marble ground floor-above lurks a basic budget place offering variously priced rooms, all of them clean and with good, comfy mattresses.
Tel: 0471 2477308
Spotless en-suite doubles on the fourth floor of a rubby, run-down office block. Friendly, safe and central, with some non-a/c rooms, but the place is locked at 10.30pm sharp. Primarily for women, although couples and men are welcome.
Tel: 0471 2333555
This Best Western affiliate- "a Sanctuary of Reassure and Style"- offers formulaic four-star comfort (including a rooftop pool, multi-cuisine restaurant and hi-tech gym) in a tower block just up the road from the train station. It offers three grades of room-the only difference between them being the size of their beds. The standard "classic" one are much the best value.
Opposite the Secretariat
Tel: 0471 2471286
Smart business hotel in the city centre. The "standard" rooms are on the small side of two, but cool and quiet. The "executive" options on the top storey are larger and more plush, with the best views. There's also a quality a/c veg restaurant, Swagat, on site.