Tailormade Tours - Kerala

Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Specialist operator who can create customised itineraries to cater to your personal travel dreams
Making travel arrangements in India can be confusing enough without having to choose a reliable tour operator from the multitudes. So on your behalf, we've researched several of the top companies who are based in Kerala and eventually teamed up with Oriental Routes (who also operate in Delhi). Not only is this operator very familiar with all of i-escape's properties, it has unearthed some other lovely resorts for us.

Whether it's a heady but swift sample of Keralan delights, a trip through the backwaters on a traditional rice boat, or simply a private driver for a couple of weeks, Oriental Routes can tailormake your trip of a lifetime. They will suggest itineraries, book the accommodation and arrange private transfers for you. You just need to decide what you want to do, and book your international flights.

Why we chose this partner

  • They're well established, with 10 years' experience and 70 staff, which includes a good mix of foreign and local management. They know about all the new openings and best things to do in and around Kerala
  • They employ their own guides and personally train them, then monitor their ongoing performance through customer feedback. During our trip with their Rajasthani branch, we found the local guides excellent: informative and friendly
  • Clean cars and friendly, careful drivers make for a very pleasant journey, no matter how rough the terrain
  • Drivers and guides tend to shoo away any hawkers; you’ll be extremely grateful at times
  • Being looked after. India is fabulous but overwhelming at times. Having someone to metaphorically hold your hand will help you relax into the experience
  • They take their social responsibilities very seriously

Please be aware

  • i-escape can only vouch for those properties which are featured and reviewed on our website. For other areas and accommodations, while we do trust our operator to provide the best options for your needs, you should make sure that you are happy with their suggestions before confirming

Best time to go

From a climatic point of view, by far the best time to go is from end November to March, when it is dry, clear and not too hot. April and May are normally quite dry, but getting rapidly hotter. From May through October there is first a southwest (June, July) and then a milder northeast monsoon (mid October/November), which bring rain and wind to the whole region, especially the coast. There is usually some respite from the monsoon in August/September.

But, if you are heading inland, visiting cities or taking a yoga or Ayurveda break, the monsoon season is still an option. Empty streets and beaches, fewer crowds and touts, and massive discounts on air travel and accommodation (sometimes as much as 50%) make it especially attractive. But some hotels and tourist attractions close during this time.

Our top tips

Even if you book a private driver for your entire trip, consider taking a train journey at some point. The experience is fascinating and totally immersive - hectic, colourful and exciting.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
Room:

Lodging

Kerala has a whole variety of accommodation, including stylish city hotels, romantic waterfront retreats, traditional rice barges and simple homestays.

We've reviewed many of them in extensive detail, so take a look and ask Oriental Routes to include any you like in your itinerary. Or ask for their advice; they work with hundreds of hotels, so can definitely find ones to suit your budget and preferences.

Food will be a definite highlight, if not the highlight of your trip. Perfectly spiced vegetarian curries and dahls, grilled meats and hurt-your-teeth-sweet kulfi. Our top tip is freshly-cooked appams; fluffy breads like chapatti but infinitely lighter.

Activities

Things we loved...

  • Strolling around historic Fort Cochin, and seeing the Chinese Fishing nets
  • Tiger spotting in the Lake Periyar reserve
  • Visiting tea and spice plantations
  • Cruising the backwaters in a traditional rice barge
  • Ayurvedic treatments at a beach resort

Activities include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga
Activity:
Kid Friendly:

With Kids

Families are welcome at most of the iescape hotels in Kerala. Oriental Routes can suggest activities that kids will love, including boat trips, elephant rides, snake charmers and more.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms

Transport

Your private driver will meet you from the airport and be your main point of contact for your trip, unless you take an internal flight, in which case you will have a new driver from this point on. You will also have direct access to your local tour operator office (s) as you go.

The company uses the following cars: the Ambassador, the Toyota Qualis, or the Tempo Traveller Mini Van. Drivers are fully trained and experienced in all possible terrains, with client safety their ultimate concern. The tour operator is very particular about its drivers and ensures that they are all calm and well-humoured with excellent manners. Drivers are responsible, friendly, helpful and most importantly, they all speak excellent English.

Transport:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Service
9/
Value
8/
Overall

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Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Itineraries