“On the beach at Marari, within a whisper of the sea, these boutique villas for 2-6 offer a rare combination of luxury, personal service and private space”
There are 5 villas: 2 set back from the beach with private pools (Orchid and Hibiscus) and 3 on the beachfront with a shared pool (Lotus, Palm and Bougainvillea). It is also possible to book individual rooms or suites within certain villas (with shared access to the communal spaces).
Hibiscus Pool Villa (sleeps 2 + 2 children) is a beautifully carved old wooden ‘heritage' cottage, that has been updated to give a more modern feel. There’s a semi open-air bathroom with a monsoon shower under banana palms. Off the main bedroom, there’s the kitchenette; French doors open onto a small shaded terrace and a perfect little walled garden with private pool.
Orchid Pool Villa (sleeps 2 + 1 child) sits next door. Whiter, brighter and more contemporary, there is a small kitchenette, a living space and a sky-view shower bathroom. The terracotta pool terrace leads to a pool and small tropical garden.
The 3 beachfront villas are larger and blend traditional and contemporary design. They feature open-plan 'seabreeze lounges', spacious bedrooms with contemporary ensuite bathrooms, lazy verandas and beach gardens with fabulous ocean views.
Bougainvillea Beach Villa (sleeps 4 + 2 children) has 2 bedrooms and a kitchen.
Palm Beach Villa (sleeps 6 + 3 children) is the largest, with 3 bedrooms and a kitchen.
Lotus Villa (sleeps 4 + 2 children) has 2 bedrooms, but lacks a private kitchen. Lotus also houses some communal spaces accessible to guests staying in any of the 3 beachfront villas (yoga decks, massage areas and a swimming pool), so it’s less private than other villas.
All villas are equipped with emergency supplies of candles and mosquito repellent (we found both useful), a torch, and a mobile phone with Indian SIM card (so you can call staff at any time). The fridges are stocked with complimentary milk and mineral water, and there’s tea and coffee (the latter grown in the Keralan hills). All bedrooms are air-conditioned.
Orchid Pool Villa and Hibiscus Pool Villa share an in-house chef, and Palm Beach Villa, Lotus Villa and Bougainvillea Beach Villa each have an exclusive chef, always on-hand to prepare your meals and snacks from breakfast to dinner. Specialities are local Keralan cuisine, but they can cater for continental palates, too (sandwiches, for example, soup or chips). Many of the dishes are a fusion of both.
For breakfast, there’s a choice of eggs to order, toast, fresh fruits and juices, muesli and other cereals, or you can go native and order idli (savoury cakes), hoppers, poori (wheat flour puff served with a spicy masala) or rice-flour dosas served with a light potato curry - all typical of South India.
To ensure freshly cooked seasonal food, the lunch/dinner menu changes daily, and offers a choice of a fish, prawns, meat or chicken dish, served with vegetable or salad dishes plus rice and/or breads (appams, chappatis). Typical dishes include: fish mollee (white fish cooked in mild spices with coconut milk), prawn malibari curry (cooked in tamarind) or snake gourd vizhiki (fried in coconut oil with Kashmiri chilli powder, mustard seeds and curry leaves) among a variety of vegetable dishes using beetroot, okra, aubergines, cashews nuts, tapioca, green lentils and yam. On Sundays, you can try a traditional Keralan Thali - various dishes served with red rice on a banana leaf.
The continental menus feature tiger prawns in a honey sauce, pasta with fresh tomato sauce or fish and chips (king fish, pomfret, karrimeen or tuna). Finish off with pineapple crumble, sautéed banana with homemade ice-cream, or steamed rice flour balls filled with coconut.
Each villa has a barbeque. Orchid and Hibiscus have kitchenettes with a sink, fridge and kettle (and can be provided with a little mobile gas hob, pots, pans and utensils on request), but those who’d like to do a bit of self catering should stay in Bougainvillea or Palm Beach Villa which have a gas hob and fridge. On request, they can also give a guided tour of the local markets, Keralan recipes and a private cooking class with advice on preparing local dishes. If you want to eat out, there are a few resort restaurants within walking distance or a short auto-rickshaw ride.
Marari Villas are great for families as you have the privacy of a villa plus room service and a chef to look after you. They are also right on the beach and there are plenty of kids activities and heaps of equipment provided.
Travel items can be purchased with a little notice such as nappies, wipes, sun cream, mosquito repellent, toiletries etc. A mobile phone and local SIM card is available in each villa.
Opt for the Orchid Pool Villa (2 adults + 1 child) or Hibiscus Pool Villas (2 adults + 2 children) for a private pool, or the Palm Beach Villa (6 adults + 3 children), Bougainvillea Beach Villas (4 adults + 2 children) or Lotus Villa (sleeps 4 + 2 children) if you want to be right on the beach. The villas have fenced/walled private gardens.
Available on request
Digital audio baby monitor available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The chefs usually prepare continental meals (pasta, chips, salads, fish, boiled vegetables etc.) for families with children, and a kids' menu is available 8am-8pm. Bibs and baby-proof crockery and cutlery are supplied. Each villa also has a simple kitchen or kitchenette.
Take care on the beach; the sea is prone to swells and strong undercurrents, so is unsuitable for young, inexperienced swimmers. There is a lifeguard on duty. Orchid Hibiscus and Lotus have unfenced pools; Hibiscus has a temporary fence on request