Destinations / Asia

Budget-Friendly Luxury in India: Amazing Kerala Hotels

Nature lovers flock to Kerala, where a seemingly endless stretch of Arabian Sea coastline converges with the verdant Western Ghats, wildlife reservations and crystalline streams to create a beautiful tapestry of natural splendour. You’ll feel an immediate sense of peace while exploring the budget-friendly cities and townships of Kerala, including Kochi, Munnar and Trivandrum.

With more than 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve found the best way to enjoy a luxurious holiday in Kerala without crippling your bank account. Whether you’re looking to surround yourself with culture and history in a coastal city or immerse yourself in nature, we’ve got you covered with popular hotels and unforgettable experiences.

Tea pickers from Munnar

Why You Should Stay near Munnar

One of the most sought-after holiday destinations in South India, Munnar is draped in undulating tea plantations, mountains and valleys. The air is tinged with scents of spices and you can discover natural sanctuaries and scenic lookouts throughout the region. The main township is intersected by the Muthirappuzhayar, creating the perfect setting for waterfront dining.

Must-Do Experiences Around Munnar 

  • Watch nightly performances of traditional Indian dances and martial arts at the Thirumeny Cultural Centre Munnar.
  • Soak up those iconic tea plantation and valley vistas from Pothamedu View Point.
  • Hike to the tiered Attukad Waterfall.

Top Hotels near Munnar

Cure Monastery

Cure Monastery
Photo | Cure Monastery | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Nestled on the slopes of the Western Ghats, Cure Monastery is a tranquil holistic retreat where you stay with Carmelite monks. The surrounding nature is truly unique, from the evergreen rainforest home to bison to the muniyaras (stone coffins) dating back to the Neolithic period.

The monastery offers a variety of treatments, including Panchakarma and rejuvenation and relaxation therapies. Designed to alleviate you of ailments, the monastery has an experienced team of therapists and physicians. It also emphasises healthy eating with fresh vegetarian dishes designed to support your therapy. The modest rooms include timber furnishings and wardrobes. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Sandal Reserve (7.2 kilometres)
  • Muniyara – Anakottapara Park (750 metres)
  • Kanthalloor Waterfalls (9 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 35 – USD 44
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Marayoor Road, Pius Nagar, Kanthalloor, Munnar, India

Moonhill Farm Resort

Moon Hill Munnar & Nature Retreat collage
Photo | Moon Hill Munnar & Nature Retreat | Provided by MOON HILL MUNNAR & NATURE RETREAT

Escape to the natural enclave of Moonhill Farm Resort, where you can forget all about the rest of the world while embracing South India’s pristine forests, rivers, waterfalls and wildlife. The cool mountain air and relaxed setting are ideal for making the most of the on-site activities, such as visiting a tribal colony, off-road driving, organic farming and rainforest walks.

On-site dining showcases seasonal local flavours, such as bamboo rice, kurumpulllu, wild honey and fruits. Overlooking a forested valley, the luxurious villa accommodation at Moonhill Farm Resort features a separate living room, king-size bed, bath, full kitchen and dining room. All the villas have access to a communal swimming pool, shuttle court, play area and health club. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Tiger Cave (4.3 kilometres)
  • Nakashatrakkuthu Waterfalls (850 metres)
  • Whispering Glade (7.7 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 51 – USD 56
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: Pambukayam, Munnar, India

Hotel Location

View over pond on gopuram of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram (aka Trivandrum), Kerala, India

Why You Should Stay in Trivandrum

Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) is the capital of Kerala, offering a more urbanised setting with gourmet dining, British colonial architecture and a variety of fascinating museums. The coastal city is also home to a number of sandy beaches catering to families with playgrounds. Numerous Hindu temples are scattered around the city, while a downtown strip provides ample shopping and dining.

Must-Do Experiences Around Trivandrum 

  • Visit Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, a monument Hindu shrine to Vishnu.
  • Swim, sunbathe and play on Shankumugham Beach or Veli Beach.
  • Get up close to exotic and native animals at Thiruvananthapuram Zoo.

Top Hotels in Trivandrum

Apollo Dimora 

Apollo Dimora is conveniently positioned next to the Thiruvananthapuram Central train station. The 4-star hotel features a range of inviting leisure facilities, particularly the sun-drenched pool and fully-equipped fitness centre. Indulge in various cuisines from around the world at Café Hive or treat yourself to expertly crafted vegetarian dishes at Vega Dimora.

Those seeking upmarket luxury should book the Suite Room, which has a separate living room, two bathrooms, two LED TVs and heavenly bedding. You can save more money by opting for the Deluxe Room with timber floors and a spacious lounge area or book the contemporary Standard Room with a king-size bed.

Nearby Attractions 

  • Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Palace (1.2 kilometres)
  • Uthradam Aquarium (650 metres)
  • Jayalakshmi Silks (400 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 61 – USD 171
Guest Rating: 9.3
Address: Opposite Central Railway Station, Thampanoor, Trivandrum, India

The Central Residency

The Central Residency bedroom
Photo | The Central Residency | Provided by THE CENTRAL RESIDENCY

Nestled in Trivandrum’s business, shopping and entertainment hub, The Central Residency is a sophisticated hotel with sprawling Suite Rooms. These opulent abodes have king-size beds, work desks, separate living rooms and exclusive privileges, such as complimentary fruit baskets and breakfast. You could also opt for the business-friendly Executive Room with a king-size bed and glass-topped desk.

Along with a 24-hour reception and valet parking, this hotel has a well-equipped fitness centre and the stylish Black Pepper Restaurant where you can dine on various global cuisine. Duck into Cafe Central for a fresh coffee and snack or head to Infinity Bar to watch major sporting events while drinking beer, wine or cocktails. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Pet’s Land (1 kilometre)
  • Ananthapuri Auditorium (1.3 kilometres)
  • Central Stadium (900 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 53 – USD 119
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Opposite Malayala Manorama, Thampanoor, Trivandrum, India

Hotel Location

Athirapilly Waterfalls

Why You Should Stay near the Athirappilly Falls

Nicknamed “The Niagara of India”, Athirappilly Falls is a 100-metre-wide and 120-metre-high segmented waterfall on the Chalakudy River. The waterfall has a scenic lookout, while a small resort town nearby boasts top restaurants and shopping. This is a true escape for nature lovers, providing the opportunity to see Asiatic elephants, leopards, tigers, bison and lion-tailed macaques. 

Must-Do Experiences Around the Athirappilly Falls 

  • Embark on an enthralling jungle safari through the surrounding area.
  • Combine the Athirappilly Falls with the nearby Charpa Waterfalls and Vazhachal Waterfalls.
  • Dine on local ingredients while admiring the waterfall at Foliage.

Top Hotels near the Athirappilly Waterfalls

Athirapilly River Resort

Overlooking the Chalakkudy River, the peaceful Athirapilly River Resort captures the natural beauty of this region through large gallery-style windows in its Executive Rooms. These riverside accommodations also boast comfortable beds, separate lounge areas and furnished balconies with uninterrupted river views.

Along with ample car parking, Athirapilly River Resort has a grassy outdoor dining and play area with umbrellaed tables and chairs for tasting local produce while admiring the free-flowing water. Positioned between two water parks, the hotel is also a 25-minute drive from the town of Chalakudy, where you’ll find local markets, shops and restaurants. 

Nearby Attractions 

Star Rating: No Rating
Price: USD 59 – USD 69
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: Viripaara Road, Chalakudy, India

Willow Heights 

You’ll be hard-pressed finding more affordable and luxurious accommodation near the Athirappilly Falls than Willow Heights. The hotel is a rainforest oasis with its outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour coffee shop serving local fare and various viewpoints overlooking the towering waterfall. Willow Heights also offers a jungle safari, granting you unbridled access to the surrounding nature.

Many of the rooms feature large windows overlooking the river and falls, such as the opulent River View Premium with a king-size bed and private balcony. The Duplex Premium offers two storeys of comfortable living, while the Honey Moon Suite is perfect for couples seeking subtle romantic touches. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Athirappilly View Point (1.1 kilometres)
  • Foliage restaurant (1.2 kilometres)
  • Charpa Waterfalls (4.3 kilometres)

Star Rating: No Rating
Price: USD 56 – USD 83
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: Chalakudy – Anamala Road VI/248A, Kannamkuzhy, Vettilappara P.O, Athirapilly, Chalakudy, India

Hotel Location

Fort Kochi

Why You Should Stay in Fort Kochi

The seaside neighbourhood of Fort Kochi is easily recognisable for its traditional bamboo fishing nets at Fort Kochi Beach. This area is dotted with Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial architecture, which sits alongside upmarket restaurants, charming cafes and handicraft stores. You’ll also find numerous parks near the central shopping and dining hub, which is home to most of the main attractions. 

Must-Do Experiences Around Fort Kochi 

  • Shop through local clothing and craft stores along Princess Street.
  • Visit the Vasco da Gama Square, where you can see the iconic bamboo fishing nets and browse food stalls.
  • Visit St. Francis Church, India’s first-ever European church dating back to 1503.

Top Hotels in Fort Kochi

Tea Bungalow

Combining luxury, heritage and a boutique style, Tea Bungalow is one of Kochi’s most coveted hotels where every room has been inspired by an exotic trading port. There are only 10 rooms at this intimate hotel, all of which are adorned with exquisite artwork and feature handcrafted sandalwood soap, timber beds and wide verandas with armchairs.

You’ll find numerous reasons to hang around the hotel, including the serene garden with umbrellaed lawn chairs and cinnamon trees. Chill out in a sun lounger around the aquamarine swimming pool, which is finished with Italian tiles. There’s also a poolside barbecue lounge, the multi-cuisine Café Du Mahe and a home theatre and library in the Travancore Lounge. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Princess Street shopping (700 metres)
  • Loafers Corner Café (600 metres)
  • Indo Portuguese Museum (600 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 49 – USD 78
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 1/1901, Kunumpuram Fort, Fort Kochi, Kochi, India

Fragrant Nature Kochi

Fragrant Nature Kochi
Photo| Fragrant Nature Kochi | Provided by FRAGRANT NATURE KOCHI

The 5-star Fragrant Nature Kochi has a prime location with tranquil harbour vistas and easy access to Fort Kochi’s coastal attractions. Seek out some holiday pampering at Prana Wellness Spa or simply relax with a cocktail or a swim in the outdoor pool. The boutique hotel houses artwork and hosts cultural experiences while also providing global cuisine at Zamorin and top-shelf liquor at Purple Dusk.

The exquisite rooms and suites boast imaginative and stylish decor, such as the colonial-style Duke’s Chambers with a rain shower, king-size bed and lounge seating. Opt for an Ocean Blue Suite to enjoy a private balcony overlooking the water or book the Royal Dutch Suite for a Jacuzzi, dining area, balcony and living room.

Nearby Attractions

  • Vasco da Gama Square (1.4 kilometres)
  • Mattancherry Palace (1.4 kilometres)
  • Aspinwall House (850 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 78 – USD 513
Guest Rating: 9.7
Address: Near SBI Calvathy Bazar Road, Fort Kochi, Kochi, India

Hotel Location

Kochi

Why You Should Stay near Kochi

Kochi (Cochin) is nestled on the Malabar Coast and offers a tantalising blend of traditional and contemporary art scenes, more than 600 years of international trade history and cosmopolitan shopping and dining. Kochi’s architecture has been influenced by the Dutch, Portuguese and British, while the laid-back cafe scene and verdant estuary nature expose old and new delights. 

Must-Do Experiences Around Kochi 

  • Venture slightly north to visit Cherai Beach for swimming and spotting dolphins.
  • Visit the 15th-century Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese.
  • Explore the archaeological and heritage museum at the historic Hill Palace Museum.

Top Hotels near Kochi

Le Meridien Kochi

Le Meridien Kochi bedroom
Photo| Le Meridien Kochi | Provided by LE MERIDIEN KOCHI

Occupying more than seven hectares, the glamorous Le Meridien Kochi is surrounded by the Kochi backwaters and promises contemporary luxury in its rooms and suites. The Deluxe Rooms have marble bathrooms, mini fridges, sofas, king-size beds and views of the resort, river or city. Upgrade to a Junior Suite for a loft-style bedroom and separate lounge or splurge on the Presidential Suite for a living room, dining area, library, balcony and butler service.

On-site dining is highlighted by authentic North Indian cusine at Ember, locally-sourced ingredients at Latest Recipe and juicy burgers at The Burger Junction. Stay active in the state-of-the-art gym or relax in the swimming pool and Jacuzzi. There’s also an Activity Zone with games and a bouncy castle for the kids. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Kerala Folklore Museum (2.5 kilometres)
  • Thattakkattu Shri Krishna Temple (1.4 kilometres)
  • Maradu Vegetable Market (1.8 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 88 – USD 227
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: Maradu, Ernakulam, Kochi, India

The Gateway Hotel Marine Drive Ernakulam 

You’ll have ample opportunities to relax and unwind at the waterfront Gateway Hotel Marine Drive Ernakulam. Located in the neighbourhood’s commercial hub, the hotel creates a valued haven for indulgence, whether you’re enjoying a therapeutic treatment at the spa or tasting Pan Asian cuisine at Sian.

Swirl is ideal for cocktails and finger food, while the Deli offers high-tea spreads of scones and petite cakes. Don’t forget to organise a private rooftop dining experience overlooking the city. Finally, at the end of the day you can rest in pure comfort in the Executive Room Sea View or Executive Suite. The latter has a separate living room and views of the Arabian Sea and Cochin Harbour. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Subhash Bose Park (650 metres)
  • Coconut Museum (1.7 kilometres)
  • Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary (1.7 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 69 – USD 169
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: Marine Drive Ernakulam, Marine Drive, Ernakulam, Kerala, Kochi, India

Hotel Location

Lighthouse at Kovalam Beach, Kerala

Why You Should Stay near Kovalam

The coastal town of Kovalam is one of South India’s best destinations for a beach holiday, home to three crescent beaches with soft golden sand and blue-dappled water with small waves. Kovalam translates to “a grove of coconut trees”, so don’t be surprised to see numerous coconut trees shading the waterfront restaurants, parks and scenic outlooks.

Must-Do Experiences Around Kovalam 

  • Wander up to the red-and-white-striped Vizhinjam Lighthouse for incredible views over the ocean and Kovalam.
  • Enjoy beautiful sunset views from the terrace at Beatles Cafe & Grill House.
  • Visit Vellayani Lake to embark on scenic boat rides, wander walking trails and spot native wildlife.

Top Hotels near Kovalam

Turtle on the Beach

Turtle On The Beach bedroom
Photo | Turtle On The Beach | Provided by TURTLE ON THE BEACH

Overlooking Kovalam Beach, the luxurious Turtle on the Beach is a coastal enclave offering easy access to Kovalam’s three beaches and various ocean-facing restaurants. There are three swimming pools to choose from, including a sprawling pool with umbrellaed loungers. The gym has cardio machines, while a small deck is furnished with a pool table, ping pong table and chessboard.

Relax with an indulgent treatment at the day spa or pair gourmet dishes with Hawa Beach views at Catamaran. WWW offers a comprehensive wine and cocktail list and ocean vistas, while Centre Point is the ideal spot for a morning coffee. Looking for unbridled luxury? Don’t overlook the Signature Suites, which boast separate living rooms and private balconies overlooking the beach. 

Nearby Attractions

  • Kovalam Beach (450 metres)
  • Edakkallu Rock Garden (500 metres)
  • Halcyon Castle Trivandrum (650 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 77 – USD 222
Guest Rating: 7.9
Address: ITDC Road Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Kovalam, India

Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel & Spa

Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel & Spa
Photo| Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel & Spa | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel & Spa is renowned for its beachfront location, immaculate gardens and various wellness services, including spa treatments, yoga and health centre. You can enjoy seafood and live music on the beach at Waves on the Beach or drink top-shelf liquor at Horseshoe Bar.

Book the Superior Suite for one-of-a-kind timber furnishings, including a king-size bed, along with a Jacuzzi and sea-facing balcony. The Premium Bay Room also has a king-size bed and private balcony overlooking the beach, while the Premium Grand Family Suite also boasts a cocktail bar, two bedrooms and a living room. 

Nearby Attractions 

  • Samudra Beach Park (20 metres)
  • Vellar Tourist Village (1.2 kilometres)
  • Vellar Mahadeva Temple (1.2 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 54 – USD 373
Guest Rating: 7.8
Address: GV Raja Road Samudra Beach, Kovalam, India

Hotel Location

Opulence, Culture and Nature Await in Kerala

You don’t need to stress about the price tag when organising a luxurious holiday in Kerala, where you can explore verdant inland areas with waterfalls and mountains, historically rich cities and laid-back coastal towns. These high-rated hotels not only offer opulence and comfort but also keep your travel budget in check while providing on-site swimming pools and restaurants.

Where do you want to go for your Kerala holiday? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Ben Stower

I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.

Ben Stower
I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.
Posted on Categories Asia, DestinationsTags ,

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Ben Stower
I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.
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