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10 things to know before you book an Alleppey houseboat

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The Venice of the East, Alleppey, is known for its scenic charms and the lovely natural aura. Every year, honeymooning couples, anniversary planners, photographers, adventure seekers and many groups of friends visit Alleppey houseboat and backwaters to experience the mystical aura which exists here. The tranquil beach life, the scenic sunset of Alappuzha beach, the lovely food and the fresh air makes Alleppey look very pretty.

Among all the places to visit in Alleppey, the backwaters hold a tranquil charm unmatched to anything in the world. Filled with greenery, charming villages, and a thriving birdlife, these backwaters are worth exploring and spending your time at. The pleasure of holidaying in Kerala backwaters is second to none.

What makes these backwaters so wondrous is the presence of hundreds of houseboats in which the travellers come and spend their vacation. While the houseboats are in plenty, and the booking is easy, still the visitors need to keep certain points in mind before finalizing one.

1. Must book in advance during the peak seasons

Alleppey houseboatImage Source

The winter season and the early summers are considered as the peak tourist season in Alleppey. Travellers come here to experience the charming weather and the turquoise Alleppey backwaters filled with a number of local and migratory birds. Because of the Alleppey Beach, the weather gets humid as summer arrives.

During the peak season, getting a booking in the houseboats is practically impossible. Most of the houseboats increase their prices during this time.

It is recommended that one must make their Alleppey Houseboat bookings in advance or through a reliable travel company if they are travelling during this season.

Recommended: Why Alleppey Is A Sweet-Spot For Romantics This Valentine’s Day

2. Price range of the houseboat

Prices- Alleppey houseboatImage Source

Alleppey houseboat rates start from INR 5k and goes as high at INR 50k and even more. The Alleppey houseboat packages also include sightseeing trip of the city, visit to Kottayam and trip to Kumarakom backwaters.

It is not possible to book your personal room in a houseboat. In general, an entire boat is booked and they provide a number of facilities during your stay in Alleppey backwaters. Some of the amenities included with a houseboat stay are –

  • Backwater tour (depends on the price, you can either enjoy the morning tour or an evening tour or both
  • Birdwatching tour
  • Island visit
  • Village visit
  • All meals
  • Some houseboats also arrange for weddings
  • Village walk
  • Food walk

Also keep in mind that none of the houseboats (or hardly any) provides the facility of air conditioning during the afternoon. AC is operational during the night when the houseboat is stationed on the lake. Many travel websites provide the best Alappuzha houseboat rates with a clear detail of the facilities offered.

The best way to experience Alleppey is by booking a resort near Alappuzha beach for a day and then visiting the houseboat the next day.

3. Include Birdwatching at Patharimanal Island in your Alleppey houseboat itinerary

 Bird Watch -Alleppey houseboatImage Source

During the winter season, the Patharimanal Island is visited by the migrating birds in folks and folks. The island located on a distance of Alleppey backwaters, houses more than 90 species of avifauna out of which 50 species are local. This island is one of the most beautiful and charming places to visit in Alleppey.

The houseboats provide a guided tour of this island. At the same time, you can also stay in an Alleppey resort or hotels in Alleppey and arrange for a visit to this island. This amicable settlement is filled with sheer greenery and balmy surroundings.

A trip to this island is a treat for the birdwatchers as well as the casual tourists.

  • You can sight some of the exquisite species of birds on this island –
    • Pintail Ducks
    • Night Heron
    • Indian Shag
    • Cattle Egret
    • Pheasant-tailed Jacanas
    • Bronze-winged Jacanas
    • Stork-billed Kingfisher
    • Whistling Duck
    • Cotton Pygmy-Goose

4.Have a taste of the local food

Local food- Alleppey houseboatImage Source

Alleppey houseboats offer you a peek into the local life of the natives of Kerala. All the houseboats have meal options and everything comes in a local flavour. The local food restaurants are considered among the mandatory places to visit in Alleppey because of the eclectic surprises.

With all meals included during your stay on Alleppey houseboat. You’ll also get a chance to take a look inside the kitchen and try making the food by yourself.

The breakfast, lunch and dinner timings at Alleppey boat house are decided keeping the guest’s convenience in mind. Usually one needs to inform the staff an hour before they’d like to have their meal. Some of the must-have Kerala cuisine that you should try during your houseboat stay are –

  • Rice Sambar
  • Banana Fritters
  • VendakkaMezhukupurathy
  • Fish fry
  • Kerala style Biryani (chicken and veg)
  • Idly
  • Dosa
  • Meen (Fish) Vattichathu
  • Kozhi (Chicken) Curry
  • Puri
  • Appam and Vegetable
  • Puttu and Kadala Curry
  • Tharavu (Duck) Curry
  • Banana Kalan
  • Gobi Manchurian
  • Fish Molly
  • Appam and Egg Roast

Apart from this, you can go fishing and request your chef to prepare the catch for you. Houseboats also provide the facility of candle light dinner on request.

Before booking the houseboats, make sure that the meal included is pure veg or non-veg is there too.

Must Check:30 Best Indian Cities For Food Lovers

5. Houseboats are not operational during the monsoon season

Alleppey houseboatImage Source

Most of the Alleppey houseboats stop operating once the monsoon arrives in Kerala. It rains non-stop during this time and the Kerala backwaters start flooding. This is a dangerous time and the drowning of houseboat is pretty imminent.

During this time, it is advisable that you don’t book any Alleppey houseboat, doesn’t matter how lucrative the offer is. The stay homes in the villages around the Alleppey boat house are operational all year. You can book one and experience the same serenity while sitting in the courtyard or while enjoying a sunset next to your Alleppey beach resort.

  • Some of the best stay homes in Alleppey are –
    • Nomads Hostel
    • Ashtamudi
    • Al Asr Heritage Home
    • Orchid Homestay
    • Kalappura Homestay
    • Johnson’s homestay
    • MarariPeterland
    • Angeo beach home
    • Bella Art and Meditation House

Most of these homestays charge between INR 800 to INR 5000 for a night. The ones with higher prices also include breakfast and dinner with the stay.

You can also book hotels in Alleppey if you want luxurious amenities. Hotel and homestay facility is available at both Alleppey beach and backwaters village.

Must read: Everything You Need To Know About Houseboats In Kerala Backwaters

6. Book your spa session on the boat

Spa- Alleppey houseboatImage Source

A majority of Alleppey houseboats either arrange for a spa session for you during your stay or take a halt at one of the many spa centres. These spa centres offer a number of healing and therapy sessions. They use ancient Ayurveda and herbal methods to relieve the body from pain.

A single session starts showing results in moments and once you are done, you’ll feel rejuvenated and relaxed like a new soul.

  • Some of the best spa clinics in Alleppey that you can consider are –
    • Keraleeyam
    • Carnoustie
    • Vibrance Spa
    • Ayurbhadra
    • Matt India
    • Samanga Ayurveda
    • SanthiSukham Ayurveda and Siddha Hospital

There are different sessions and programs at these centres. A program can be an hour long or may take 4 to 5 sessions to heal the body completely.

The charges for the spa session vary according to the plan. The prices begin at INR 1200 and go up to 50k+. Spa centres are also available at Alleppey beach while many Alleppey resorts provide their in-house spa facility.

7. Other places in Kerala where houseboats are available

It is not just the Alappuzha tourist places from where you can hire the houseboats. There are a number of gorgeous destinations in this jewel of a state which offer houseboat facilities. Located nearby is Kuttunad with similar backwaters and has been declared as one of the most tranquil places to visit in Alleppey.

  • While Alleppey being the most diverse in the terms of houseboat experiences, you can hire a boat at the following places –
    • Kumarakom
    • Kottayam
    • Alinkadavu
    • Cochin
    • Varkala
    • Kottayam
    • Kuttunad

8. Alleppey to Kumarakom Backwater round houseboats

Kumarakom backwaters- Alleppey houseboatImage Source

After all the Alappuzha tourist places, it is the nearby Kumarakom that is loved by visitors on the same scale as Alleppey. A combination of houseboat cruises takes you on a trip from Alleppey to Kumarakom backwaters through the well-made channels of canals, natural lakes and lagoons.

This scenic route is designed for the travellers who want a holistic experience of travelling in Kerala. The houseboat trip doesn’t provide you with the option to stay for the night but offers meals during your trip. Once you are in Kumarakom, you can spend your night in your host houseboat.

Alleppey houseboat rates for the single trip tillKumarakom costs around INR 6000 and this doesn’t include the night stay in the host houseboat.

9. Booking and cancellation policies

Before you book your houseboat, make sure that they have easy cancellation policies. Since houseboats are expensive and for some reason if your trip postpones then the cancellation charges should not burn a hole in your pocket.

Most of the houseboats guarantee easy cancellation. Full money is refunded unless you are putting your request a day or two before your trip. Even then, a little negotiation would get you a refund.

A better way for not to be in loss is by booking your trip through a reliable travel company and get clarity on all the cancellation policies. Alleppey houseboat booking is also possible through many portals which provide clear details on cancellation policies.

10. The category of houseboat you are planning to book

Alleppey houseboatImage Source

You can book from three different categories of Alleppey houseboats. Kerala Government gives official rating to houseboats. These ratings are platinum, green, gold and Silver. Not many houseboats rely on this rating system and use their own branding methods.

The common way to identify a houseboat and its facilities is by checking if they belong to Standard, Deluxe, Premium or Luxury category. Here the standard stands for the most basic and luxury is for best houseboat in Alleppey. You should make sure of the categories before making Alleppey houseboat booking. A cheaper trip may end up in a regretting experience for every member.

Standard Houseboat – These basic houseboats are congested and old. They don’t have a really nice rating online. The information about many is not even present on the internet. The food is basic which includes a simple Kerala veg meal during lunch and dinner, while the breakfast will offer you idli or dosa with sambar. These houseboats come with the cheapest Alappuzha houseboat rates but the facilities are minimal too.

Deluxe houseboat – Deluxe houseboats usually provide AC facility for 10 hours during the night. Most of the travel companies have these houseboats in their budget category travel plans. The meals are usually vegetarian but have more options to choose from while non-veg meal is only available on demand.

Luxury and Premium houseboats – This category includes the best houseboat in Alleppey. They are usually preferred by travellers in big groups or by the high end premium guests. Apart from more rooms, spacious area, these houseboats also offer a number of facilities like guided village tours, birdwatching tours and party with DJ. The meal includes at-least one variety of non-veg items for breakfast, dinner and lunch.

Keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make sure that your trip to Alleppey and houseboat experience stays etched in your memories forever.

For a better and luxurious experience, Thomas Cook has designed trip packages for Alleppey and Kerala. Our plans keep your facilities in mind while providing you the most luxurious amenities along with best houseboats and hotels in Alleppey. These trips are curated under the expertise of our highly trained trip co-ordinators. Connect with our experts for a detailed understanding Alleppey tour packages.


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