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“Paradise Lost”

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Paradisa Plantation Retreat
Ranked #25 of 43 Hotels in Thekkady
London
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Paradise Lost”
Reviewed 7 January 2011

First of all I want to point out that this is a fair and balanced review and not some tripadvisor hatchet job that you do come across. Feel free to read my other reviews of places we stayed in on this trip around India.

Paradisa plantation was the low point of the whole trip and I couldn't recommend people more strongly to stay away from it. If you look at their website or the info on i-escape which is a very good site, you are presented with a place that says luxury, amenities, highest standards. None of which are on display.

First of all we had to pay RS1800 (£25) to get there. This is a cost that they should absorb to ferry guests to such a remote location, as when you are there you are literally a hostage so you have no choice but to spend money there, so why charge for your guests to get to you. However this was just the beginning, insofar as you literally had to pay for everything. After having drinks we were given a bill before being told that the nuts were complimentary because of some earlier problem we had on arrival! Bizarre. I don't have any recollection of paying for a bowl of nuts in any other bar on the planet, but here, it was a grand gesture!

Simon, the owner, reminded me of a bond villain circa Sean Connery. He talked a lot but I couldn't see anything around me of what he was talking about. There was no phone or Internet. Everything is run from his home three hours away in the Backwaters. Which makes things very difficult when you just want to leave. He told me I'd have to ask a member of staff if they would let me borrow their mobile! This was before we had decided we wanted to get out of the place.

Roy, Simons head henchman in the bond villains lair, and who was a very nice guy, did his best and I couldn't help think that he knew that the place wasn't up to scratch. He never argued against anything I raised with him, as he couldn't. After all, you're paying five star prices for 2* accommodation. Filthy, wet floor towels, 1970s mohair bedspread, it was like being in a hostel. The floor was dirty. About two dozen ancient light switches were randomly dotted around the room, that hardly created much light. I'm sure someone, somewhere in India was staring at their lights going on and off as we flicked endless switches to make light happen.

The pool is small which isn't necessarily a big problem except that the photograph on the website is misleading. It was covered with a line of film and dead flies which a little Asian girl pointed out loudly to her brother. That family of four were the only other people there on the 22nd Dec.

The yoga that is advertised as every morning at 7am requires 24 hr notice, because the teacher has to drive 40kms and obviously that cost is absorbed by the guest! So you end up paying London prices. Simons problems suddenly become his guests problems. The advertised ease and availability of all the activities is completely misleading.

On another point, we were told by his friend and driver that there was no alcohol available. So we stopped at a government liquor store and bought alcohol only to be offered drinks by Simon when we sat down to talk about the state of the place that evening. He was very charming and courteous as has been mentioned by many reviews but I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him and after sitting me down to talk about the problems I was having at Paradisa and trying to sort them out he then charged us for the drinks he offered when we sat down.

Simon knew the place wasn't what is was supposed to be which is why he hung around waiting for our decision to leave so he could get money from us, before he left for the Backwaters. Cash, of course! Then he tried to charge for a driver to take us the hell out of there, which I refused to pay but by that stage Simon was long gone and poor Roy was left to deal with me as we horse-traded over the bill. It was a disgrace and I couldn't wait to get out. It was a 5 day stay cut to 48 miserable hours, 2700ft up a mountain that had two fit people wheezing to get from their room to the pool or restaurant. Even poor Simon who's been there for 14 years was in a heap when he arrived at the restaurant from the pool and had a small boy run and fetch him a glass of water before he sat down to talk with me about my 'decision'.

One good thing I'd mention is the chef who cooked some really outstanding food. But again there was no menu or pricelist anywhere to be found.

The only thing I did at Paradisa was submerge myself in the film of dirt and flies and then drink half a bottle of government liquor bought gin to ease the pain and create my own stupefied paradise. Albeit looking over an amazing view. The remote location certainly has an incredible vista. It was such a disappointment that the facilities couldn't match it.

As we drove down the mountain with Simons driver! I kept waiting on an "Italian job" mafia standoff to happen as we rounded a bend to find Simon and Roy waiting for us...

Avoid at all costs, a complete and total rip-off, so overpriced and not even close to the pretty pictures that accompany its website or i-escape info. 'I' literally "escape"d from the place..!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
15 Thank MaxGaffney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ParadisaThekkady, Owner at Paradisa Plantation Retreat, responded to this review, 22 February 2011
We regret that the reviewer did not enjoy his stay but he does not seem to have paid attention to, or understood the information he read about Paradisa. Our website gives the location and setting of the property, clearly mentioning that it is far away from the city and on a plantation, which should have prepared him at least a little bit for our remoteness.
The I-escape website mentioned by the reviewer has highlighted the highs and lows of our property, giving a clear indication of what to expect, so we wonder why he was surprised at what he found with us.

We wish to respond to the issues raised in the review.
Transport is arranged through local drivers who are neither employees nor friends and definitely will not provide free services to us or our guests. We paid for the transfer which the reviewer did not pay.

Our website gives the tariff on a bed & breakfast basis, which would indicate that other services will be charged separately.

Nowhere have we advertised yoga at 7 am every day and we would be grateful to know where the reviewer came across this information.

We are on an organic plantation bordering the jungle following an open pattern of construction. We try to be as ecologically sensitive as possible and insects will normally be found in such locations. We use natural repellents, not poison, so insects do sometimes get past the repellent which is generally considered a minor issue by most guests. Mosquito nets are provided at night.

We are at a loss to understand why he felt so intimidated and afraid, as the common thread through our other guest reviews is the kindness and caring hospitality of Simon, Roy and the staff. Every help was extended to facilitate their departure. The usual peak season policy is full prepayment 30 days in advance and no refund for cancellations within this period, but they were only charged for the two nights they stayed and cancellation charges were not even mentioned. We also wonder why they chose to stay the second night if it was so unbearable.

Simon had gone to procure supplies for the Christmas Eve dinner and to collect the gifts for our guests. Though we knew that the reviewer was leaving, in keeping with the Christmas spirit, Simon brought their gifts along with their family’s Christmas wishes which were sent to us to be handed over on Christmas day. Unfortunately, they had left before he arrived.

Lack of clarity in our communication or their understanding of the property could have been the cause of some of the issues they did not anticipate.

We have since had a guest who threatened to write a poor review on Trip advisor if we did not give him a 30% discount, so we know we will encounter different kinds of people, all of whom our property is not suited to. We urge prospective guests to mail us and ask all the questions that are necessary to make an informed decision about staying with us. We would be happy to address your questions to help you make the right decision, even if it means suggesting an alternative if we are not suited to your needs.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Santa Barbara, California
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2010

We stayed at Paradisa for four nights toward the end of our 6 week trip thru India. We had such a relaxing and interesting time, going around the area to see tea plantations and other sites. The food was wonderful, accomodation simple and serene. Our daughter was able to stay in her own cabin at no extra charge. The owner was most welcoming and generous in every way. He even drove us to his private golf estate so we could experience the real Kerala. There was a yoga class one morning, looking off to the far beautiful hillsides. Just a great all around experience that I would recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bonavent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2010

Roy, the manager, is the treasure of this resort. He looked after our every need, is a wealth of information and will take you walking to cultural sites nearby. Wonderful swimming pool!
The meals we had here were the best of our 2 week stay, thank you chef. Cooking lessons are free.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank meandwotshisname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oregon
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 April 2010

Paradisa was one of the nicest hotels we stayed in on our vacation in India. The rebuilt Kerala houses are unique and gorgeous, the setting and food are both fantastic. Another highlight was listening to Simon, the owner, tell us local legends on a trek up to the Hindu temple nearby.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sh12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2010

Set on a hillside with an enchanting view to the mountains across a wooded valley, Paradisa lives up to everything it claims to be. There is little I can add to the comments of already made by other visitors. This is a place that treats you as an honoured guest, and the food is out of this world. Kerala cuisine is my favourite, and Paradisa' s must be up there with the best in Kerala. Check out the archeological artefacts, be pampered by Simon and his staff, kick back and relax. Great for honymooners.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank worldcitizenPerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2010

From the moment we arrived we fell in love with the Paradise plantation resort. The setting is fabulous overlooking the beautiful valley below and the mountains opposite. Our private bungalow was delightfull, beautifully furnished and even had a mosquito net. The restuarant food was first class with lots of fresh fruit at breakfast and freshly prepared fish and curry for dinner. We went for a evening stroll with Roy the hotel manager who told us splendid stories about the area and the Hindu religion. We highly recommend the Paradise Plantation Resort to othert travellers.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank martin3352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2010

The place has the chance to be in a beautiful mountainous settings, but other than that you can see that it has been built on the cheap side. The rooms are very basic and are way overpriced!! Furthermore it is much too far from the attraction in the area: Peryar park. You have to drive there and back to visit the Park. The owner is nice, but obsequious. He tries to give you the impression that the world stops at his place. A bit unnerving. The great thing the owner organized however : traditional South Indian dances performed by two small girls, one was 8 years old and the other 11years old. The 11 years old was truly amazing.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ascagne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paradisa Plantation Retreat

Property: Paradisa Plantation Retreat
Address: Murinjapuzha P.O. | Idukki District, Thekkady 685532, India
Region: India > Kerala > Idukki District > Thekkady
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Thekkady
#7 Romantic Hotel in Thekkady
#7 Family Hotel in Thekkady
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Paradisa Plantation Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paradisa Plantation Retreat is set on an organic coffee and spice plantation in the hills of Kerala. The Retreat comprises traditional wooden cottages, embellished with invaluable antiques. The activities available are yoga, cooking lessons, visit to the tea factory(12 kms), visit or massage at the Ayurveda centre(8 kms), and Periyar Tiger Reserve (40 kms). There are many spectacular walking routes. One leaves the Retreat invigorated by the fresh air, pampered by the caring staff and visually delighted. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradisa Plantation Retreat Hotel Thekkady
Paradisa Plantation Retreat Idukki

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