We spent three nights over a long weekend in Ayanat house. This is a true homestay in the sense, that one is almost treated like family. We immediately felt at home and were able to completely relax in this traditional environment. The living and dining areas are open and airy, the bedrooms with AC a guarantee for a good nights sleep. You live in the middle of nature, this gave us new experiences (how to grow nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper). The house has been in this family’s hands for a long time and the owners are happy to share the story of the family and their endeavors. This was very interesting and gave us a better knowledge of the traditions of this country and region. Last but not least: the food we were served was simply outstanding. This variety, the flavors, the freshness we never experienced before. Thank you, Rani and Johnny, for an absolutely marvelous stay.
We spent three nights here at the end of our India trip, and Ayanat House was the perfect wind down after the bustle of touring. Previous reviewers have covered Ayanat House's very thoroughly, and its consistent five star rating is fully justified. To highlight a few of the qualities that make it special:-
It is a genuine family home and the Tharakan family have lived in this area for two hundred years.
Johnny and Rani are delightful, articulate and generous hosts. The experience they provide is very personal.
The Art Deco house is marvellous, with spacious bedrooms, and a sitting room/bar for guests as well verandas, and a lovely internal courtyard complete with resident sunbird in a nest.
The food is varied, consistently excellent and quite different from the fare we had on the rest of the trip. The menu is decided by Rani, who guarantees the variety and quality. It is cooked by Shivan who has worked for the family for fifty years.
The setting of the house is perfect, in a garden, within a plantation and set back from the lake where you can watch the sun setting. It is in a tourist free part of Kerala. The village is within strolling distance. Kochi and Alleppey are only an hour's drive away. So Ayanat House can be used either as a base for some modest touring or simply to soak in the beauty of the Keralan countryside and the traditions and slow rhythms of rural Kerala.
All this one hour away from Kochi's domestic and international airport! Build four nights at Ayanat House onto the end of an Indian holiday and go back relaxed.. Recommended without reservation..
We could not hope for more in a homestay. There was the perfect balance of things to do like bike riding, badmitton, canoe ride and swimming in river and also a quiet setting for reading and writing. There are wonderful spaces in this beautifully restored art deco home- balcony, round room, courtyard and veranda. Rani is a gracious hostess modifying the level of chili so we could taste the local flavors. Johnny was a font of local knowledge and so accommodating. It was fascinating to learn about the local history and cultural. They arranged a morning boat trip so we could see some of the area.Our family was truly welcomed. I would recommend to anyone wanting to experience Kerala and also wants to relax and come away rejuvinated.
We stayed at Ayanat House for 4 nights in January 2009, and our stay was simply EXCEPTIONAL. Our hosts, Johnny and Rani Tharakan, were some of the nicest people we have ever met and truly made us feel like a part of their family. We decided to try a homestay experience over a 5-star resort because we wanted to get a real taste of what life is like in a Keralan village. We could not have been happier with our choice. At Ayanat House, we got to observe and experience traditional Keralan lifestyle, and the finest hospitality. Johnny himself took us around, showing us the rubber and coconut plantations, and how fishing and farming are done. We got to observe coir rope-making and see how sap is harvested from rubber trees. We even got to take the family’s boats out on the backwaters, and enjoy the pristine and incredibly lush surroundings. It was an amazing learning and cultural experience, not to mention very relaxing. Johnny also took us around the village, showing us the local church which was built by his family, and some of the town’s oldest and most historic homes, which are all owned by his family. We would also take bikes out on our own and ride around the town in the mornings. The experience we had while staying at Ayanat House could not have been surpassed by any 5-star resort. The house itself is beautiful and impeccably maintained. Our bedroom was extremely spacious and had a private verandah. Nothing was lacking…the beds were made for us every day, and toiletries and fresh towels were provided daily. Mineral water is all that is consumed at the house and is available to you, free of charge. We felt as though we were being treated like royalty, with 3-5 courses at every meal. Rani went more than out of her way to ensure that we got ample taste of all their local cuisine. She even arranged for us to learn how to make some of our favorite dishes with their cook. We always enjoyed a drink in the evenings with Johnny before dinner, along with games of karom, table tennis, and badminton with the entire family. With their warmth and generosity, the Tharakans have taken hospitality to a whole new level. Our stay with them was certainly one of the highlights of our trip to India, and we look forward to visiting them again someday with more of our extended family. I highly recommend this homestay for anyone looking to have an unforgettable experience in Kerala.