Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kairali – An Experience

 

I just returned from 3 day expedition to Kairali Ayurvedic resort and this blog might help a lot if you are visiting to this place or something similar.

The whole thing started with a telephone call from my friend Sameer that there is a salesperson promoting Kairali resorts to recover from reduced business due to violence in Kerala!!! Well the offer was great and place sounded nice, hence I bought 2 vouchers.

While advertising the seller claimed following,

# Voucher cost was around 2900/- for 2 people for 3 days and 2 nights, only for accommodation

# Just for endorsement they are giving this out for 85% reduction

# There are 4 different classes of quarters in the resort,

  • Deluxe
  • Classic
  • Royal
  • Maharaja

but we will be given only Royal or Maharaja for 2 people, meaning booking will be done from bottom to top availability.

# If we are not getting car of our own the resort will arrange a car/taxi at no cost for us to go around the city.

We made a plan right away and 4 of us headed to the Kairali resort, Palakkad

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http://www.kairali.com/kairali_index.asp


The Booking

I mailed Kairali resort to book the rooms well in advance and in return I got booking confirmed for 2 classic rooms. It was acceptable to me but just because the sales guy guaranteed to give superior room; I wished to verify, so I called the salesperson. I asked him why we were not given the better rooms. And he replied contradictory to what he assured that the voucher booking is given from top to bottom availability. So I requested him to upgrade it as he promised, he kept me on hold and asked his superior for the raise. I could listen to their conversation and as soon as he ended explaining what I want she yelled back on him,

Experience 1: “How the hell can they get an upgrade, tell them no”, which was easily audible to me and I am 200% sure that she wasn’t worried if I heard her. Hence I let it go because that day I wasn’t in mood to argue with a person who does not even care about her customer-u.

The Start

All buses till Palakkad were either booked or were way expensive due to the stretched weekend but then upon confident information we booked our trip up and down from Coimbatore in KSRTC Airavat Volvo buses because the resort is just 49 km away from Coimbatore main city.

We started the journey with absolute exhilaration but we were led down by the Volvo buses from KSRTC which are called AIRAVAT as they are worthless. The all night ride ended in a bit strain and back ache. We arrived at Coimbatore in the early hours and we now had to locate and get on a different bus to Palakkad. According to the info we must get this bus where the KSRTC bus dropped us but sooner we figured out that we must board a bus to another bus stand to get into the bus for Palakkad. We did that and after 30 min we finally embarked our expedition to Palakkad. On the way we discovered that this bus will not go to the resort straightforwardly because resort is inside village; this bus will drop us at a spot which is around 10 km to resort and from there we need to make yet another bargain to reach till the destination.

Experience 2: We called up the resort and asked if they can pick us up but the receptionist guy explained his incapability to do that because all resort vehicles were engaged.

After an hour we were abandoned at Palakkad intersection but we were still far-off. We had no clue about which bus will go till resort.

Experience 3: We called up the resort again to pick us up but again the receptionist directed us how to hire an auto and get to the resort. Thus we signed up an auto but our luck wasn’t with us, the auto broke down in middle and we were still 6 km away from resort.

Experience 4: We decided to call resort one last time but as expected the receptionist again guided us how to board a different auto.

The flavor of sour hospitality from Kairali resort began even before our arrival.

Tip – It’s better if you can take your own car and go OR go by train because then it will be trouble-free to reach. Also, have 1-2 taxi contact info handy while planning. Ask someone who knows the local language to pre-book these taxis so that your stay is anxiety free. The numbers I used are displayed below,

For Auto Rickshaw – Mustafa (9744475815)

For Taxi – Mustafa (9846581042)

The Stay

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Well after a frantic voyage we just wanted to take it easy and loosen up. We just disregarded everything and gave Kairali one more opportunity to flatter us up by their generosity. We were given a welcome fruit drink and were guided to the buffet breakfast

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The resort fundamentally is meant for the massage healing and therefore the food provided is very low in cholesterol and seasonings. Each dish made here is with vegetables grown nearby and hence you can appreciate the taste of freshness. The food is priced pretty rich here,

Buffet Breakfast – 200/- per person

Buffet Lunch – 300/- per person

Buffet Dinner – 300/- per person

And in addition to the cost the selections are very restricted,

Breakfast – Cut Fruits, Juice, Bread butter jam, Tea Coffee and a south Indian dish (Dosa, Idli etc), in case you don’t like the key breakfast dish then you will have to deal just with breads.

Lunch/Dinner – Soup, Salad, 2 side dishes, 1 Dal, Rice, Chapati, Curd, Sweet, here also you don’t have much preferences if you don’t like the dishes presented.

Experience 5: We made an observation that they provide limited varieties with expensive cost because you don’t have any other option as the nearest eating place is about 10 km far!!

Apart from standard meal you can ask for room service, they supply

Dish

Price

Value for Money

Veg Pakoda

100/-

7/10

Onion Pakoda

100

8/10

Tea

50/-

9/10

Basic Non-Grilled Sandwich

125/-

3/10

French Fries

125/-

3/10

Breakfast (Limited)

200/-

6/10

Lunch/Dinner (Limited)

300/-

6/10

After the breakfast we went to our rooms, they were tidy and spotless. Soaps and shampoos that were kept were incomparable. For the first time I used shampoo made out of orange skin and it was just wonderful and after a shower with sandal soap just rejuvenated us up. We were given a short excursion of the resort after which we went out for leisurely walk and photography.

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We had a great fun, we did not go out of the resort because we did not have our own car and moreover we just wanted to laze around. You can take massage treatments but let me assure you that they are way too exclusive. You can buy different shampoos, herbal oils and ayurvedic medications from the pharmacy; they aren’t economical though but not very pricey either.

There are only 3 free things in the resort,

# Wi-Fi at reception area

# Herbal Tea near Doctor’s office, basically pepper boiled water

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# Swimming Pool

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It’s correct that the voucher that was sold to us costs roughly 85% less than the standard package but it’s not discounted 85%. The charge for the entire package inclusive of meditation, massages and food is around 13,000/-. If you pull out all and just keep accommodation then you will end up at the promotional offer of the voucher which is 85% less. It was just a brilliant advertising modus operandi but I would say the deal wasn’t bad at all.

Experience 6:- Housekeeping did not visit our room and eventually we had to call them which was very strange. They came and just cleaned the room, they did not substitute the fresh towels and soap. And in addition to this we were never supplied with drinking water from start; we had to ask every time for the refill.

Tip - It’s better that you carry some snacks with you because you cannot order every time you are hungry because of the price tag involved and you can’t also go out to buy unless you have got your own means of transportation.

The Depart

Since we had a dreadful experience while reaching the resort; we just wanted a relaxed and joyful journey back to Bangalore. Hence we decided to book a cab, since we did not know anyone there, we requested at Kairali reception and they confirmed that they can organize a cab. I asked for Cab from Resort to Coimbatore and receptionist told me 1000/- which was respectable enough. I had chat about it with all and thought that we will book the cab in evening.

In evening I went to the reception and asked him to reserve the taxi. The reception guy again asked me till where do I need the cab for and I said Coimbatore.

Experience 7:- He said that it will charge around 2800/- !!! I was stunned because till morning it was 1000/-. He simplified that 1000/- is for railway station drop which is 16 km from here. And then we understood about the kind of additional mean business the resort is into. Just because a vacationer will not know the language and the place; they want to exploit the guest to the extent that is possible. Why I made this declaration is because when we tried taking help from junior staff like gatekeeper, waiters or housekeeping staff; they told us that they can’t assist because if Kairali management comes to know then it could be threat to their employment!!! Can you believe that? Is it not abuse? On the whole it was very obvious that the resort is meant only for overseas travelers because they can shell out heavy cash for just everything and apparently Indians can’t.

We somehow with the help of our local friend booked an expensive taxi which was still way cheaper than the offer made by Kairali, 1500/- till Coimbatore. I have never done such a luxurious road ride before, 1500/- for 50 km, 30/- per km!!!

Why don’t such resorts recognize that if a person like me can visit and write truth about their resort then it will hit their business more than they are trying to endorse!! We spent a good 10,000/- in 2 days in which 6,000/- alone was on food but we were not delighted just because of the discourtesy revealed by them. The overall incident was good but it could have been wonderful.

We said Tata bye bye to Kairali and pledged not to come back just because of the kindness offered but my recommendation is that the place is pleasant and stunning, please go and stay there but take all preventive measures from this blog.

If you require some more help then mail me at ankkkit@hotmail.com

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