“Simplicity beside a truly stunning private beach - 2 homely staffed cottages (sleeping 2-6), quite literally off the beaten track”
Designed by Swiss architect Karl Damschen (creator of the nearby Niraamaya Surya Samudra hotel, which shares the little beach), the 2 cottages are rustic and homely, with palm-thatched roofs supported by casuarina rafters, clean white walls and shady verandas. Windows with wooden shutters frame ocean views, floors are tiled in terracotta and the simple furniture is made from wood and rattan. Outside, tiered terraces are brightened with hibiscus flowers and red tablecloths, sprinkled with crushed shells that feel powdery-soft underfoot and furnished with hammocks and loungers. Practitioners offer on-site Ayurvedic treatments, and a staff of 3 to look after your every need, including cooking up meals if you wish. Your front garden is Karikkathi beach, where you can lie back to the sound of the crashing surf and watch the evening sun dissolve into the sea like a molten coin.
- A stand-out beach setting; the sea views and sunsets are out of this world and with no direct road access it’s all coconut groves, soft sand and crashing waves
- Dedicated staff, who provide friendly yet discreet service
- Authentic meals and curries available daily
- Beautifully quiet at night under the stars - it’s about escaping and enjoying beach life - bring a book and zone out
- It’s a great spot for a chilled-out week of expert Ayurveda treatments
- Bear in mind that this property is much simpler than most in our selection, but we've included it because of its unbeatable location (and great value, and friendly staff)
- During our 2016 revisit, the interiors felt a bit run-down: the soft furnishing were showing signs of wear and tear, but the owner assures us they get refreshed seasonally
- The sea is only suitable for strong swimmers (and not even those when the red flags are out); but you can use the next door resort pool for a charge
- Hard to find (no signs and printed directions don’t help much); get the property to arrange an airport transfer if you can
- If you don't book both rooms in your cottage, you may find yourself sharing with strangers
Best time to go
During monsoon season (June-July and October-November), it usually rains for a few hours each day but temperatures remain still warm (around 28C). This period is much quieter and well suited to Ayurvedic treatments.”
Our top tips
We think it's worth staying for a minimum of 4 nights to really switch off – ideal for an end of India wind down near the airport.”
- Beach Villas
- Restaurants nearby
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
The two cottages are simple and homely, with an emphasis on the location rather than mod-cons; don't come expecting luxury. The original cottage was built as a holiday home for owner Sajjad and his family and sits close to the beach. The newer (upper) cottage followed later, it's set further back but is larger and furnished with antiques.
Both have 2 ensuite bedrooms (with rain showers) separated by a central lounge room. The cottages can be taken as a whole or split for 2 couples (we shared, and found that you get lots of room and never feel on top of each other).
The spaces are refreshingly airy and open to the rafters throughout, with shuttered windows framing sea views like photographs on the wall. Bedrooms have fans and mosquito nets (a necessity in this part of the world), but there are no phones, air-conditioning or TVs to disturb the peace. There’s enough outside space for guests to co-exist happily, although having a whole cottage to yourselves would be blissful.
Each also has access to a simple Ayurvedic treatment room, one under the upper cottage with a consulting cubby-hole, the other in a shed behind the lower cottage.
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Mosquito net
There's an on-site kitchen and staff can provide up to 3 meals a day. Expect unpretentious food; it's local Keralan cooking at its best, although if you're staying a long time it might become slightly repetitive (and it's not as cheap as you might expect).
Dinner is served at sunset by candlelit - it’s a feast. We enjoyed marinated grilled chicken with local spices, a selection of curries (pumpkin, snake gourd cooked in coconut paste), Keralan red rice and Chapatis. They do have beer available, but try and order the night before.
Served on your terrace overlooking the sea, breakfast is a hearty spread of toast, eggs any way, fresh fruit and juice, coffee or tea. Equally tasty, our laid-back lunch was 3 fresh and tasty veg curries with rice, dhal, and chapati’s.
To mix it up a little you can eat next door at Niraamaya Surya Samudra, which has a couple of restaurants and an excellent variety of menus.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Have an Ayurveda consultation with the highly-qualified doctor. Treatment packages or single-session massages are also available from the on-site therapists (there are good deals in low season), as are therapeutic diets if you want to go the whole hog
- Catch up on some reading in a palm-strung hammock, or watch butterflies, squirrels and sea eagles swooping down to catch fish
- Wander the beautiful white sandy beach (check for red flags before swimming)
- Visit Niraamaya Surya Samudra to swim in the pool or relax in the spa (additional cost)
- Take a tuk-tuk to Kovalam or request an on-site yoga session
- For some city buzz, Trivandrum (30 minutes' drive) has a huge Hindu Temple, a 200-year-old palace, various museums and lots of shops
- Book a day trip to Kanyakumari, the point where the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea
- Spend a day in Varkala and chill out with the hippies in a laidback clifftop bar
- Shop for food, fabrics, and even tailor-made clothes in local villages (staff can provide suggestions)
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Ayurvedic treatments
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
The cottages are a great option for families with older kids who like to escape the modern world and appreciate nature.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
You’ll need to book a whole cottage: each holds 2 bedrooms (doubles or twins), with a small extra bed available if required. Older children will enjoy the fact that the rooms are separated by hallways, which gives them some privacy. Couples with toddlers should book the bigger rooms in the upper cottage.
Childminding and babysitting are available on request
Baby cots are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities nearby:
- The beach
- The pool at Surya Samudra
- Backwater boat trips
Families Should Know:
The garden is not fenced, the steps head straight down the rocks to the beach and the strong currents and pounding waves mean the sea is too dangerous for kids to swim in.
- Airport: 30 minutes
- Shops: 5-10 minutes