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Olavipe Homestay  Price Band:   £0-51 per room / villa per night
Olavipe Homestay
Child Friendly
Dining Room
Swimming
Boat Trips
Vegetarian Options
Dining
Fishing
 

Long, long ago a small island emerged from the Backwaters and was named Olavipe – or 'gift of the waves'. Slowly, over 13 years, a home was built from materials which had to be transported in the large country boats, and has remained in the care of the same family of Syrian Christians ever since. Three generations of the family are involved in the business, so all guests will find company at their level.

The 40 acre farm supports plantations of bananas, coconuts, fruit trees, vanilla, pepper and mulberry. The surrounding Backwaters are no less productive, abounding with large prawns and Pearl Spot, the delicious local fish delicacy.

 Happily family - friendly, children will adore exploring the local village and working the farm, taking a dip in the village pond and joining the local children in the playground designed for them.

The 8 guest rooms are all upstairs – so not wheelchair friendly – and could be considered comfortable and homely rather than luxurious. This is essentially a home stay and guests are encouraged to get involved with their surroundings. Guests will find conversation with their hosts most interesting. Family members run Outward Bound courses, work in the English and Indian media and with Indian airlines, and continue to hold family functions in the manor house – you may be lucky enough to share one.

Opposite the main house and within the forecourt is a gate house turned villa which 100% wheel chair freindly and designed with the infirm in mind.The rear of the cottage opens onto a courtyard garden with a hammock and an openair bath.

The family home boasts many antiques and object d'arte, from heavily carved Burmese teak doors and stunning Tapestry to† bamboo umbrellas and original Singer sewing machines.† One room is dedicated to 250 years of family history, a family tree on the walf†and† a treasure chest full or family archives. Today's family is not lacking stories of interest, with your host having once served†as security for Ghandi when he was in office and your hostess being a familiar sight as a TV presenter.

The discoveries continue into the rear with an original granery barn and a room once for the "ladies of the household". As paper was in short supply, some ancient dress designs can still be found as pencil drawimgs on the walls.

Spend your days in a hammock under shady trees with a novel, cycle or trek the surrounding lush countryside or challenge your fellow guests to a game of cricket or basketball. Unwind for a while, slow your pace of life and enjoy quality time.

Meals are taken at a large dining table with the family. The chef and the kitchen staff prepare delicious Keralan dishes in the vast kitchens at the back of the Manor house. Their forte is non vegetarian- red meat, fish and fowl - but vegetarian meals are also served. All are prepared and served with flavoursome local, subtle spices. I found myself occasionally requesting dishes a little hotter, so no worries about the strength of the Indian curries.

 Though you are delightfully sheltered from the world here, there need be no feeling of isolation. In case of mishap, a doctor or nurse is on call, newspapers are available and excellent dry cleaning, laundry and ironing services are there for the asking. Driver accommodation is available.

Highs Lows
  • A true taste of simple Keralan life.
     
  • You will never be short of¬† something to do on this estate (that's if you wish to learn about local village farming and tradition)
     
  • Many of the rooms are interconnecting so it a rare find¬† for interest and practicality for families.¬† However honeymooners beware!¬†
     
  • Amazing sunsets from your private waterside hut.
     
  • The Syberian ducks that visit in December / January
  • 4 days of family life may be enough if you need "your own space " now and then
     
  • The stairs are steep and windy so not for the infirm.
     
  • The decor focuses more on tradition than high fashion¬† and luxurious comfort but is extremely clean.
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