Most days, Daniel and Ken meet home for lunch, the same house where Daniel and his three younger sisters grew up, the houseboat up on blocks in the driveway.
—mike sager, Esquire, "Growing Almonds in the Desert,"25 Feb. 2015
Being the most notorious film buffs south of Hollywood, these two just can’t pass up the opportunity to soak up the cinematic vibes of Cannes and of course sleep, drink, and sun their days away on the houseboat Kourtney is renting for the occasion.
—mariah smith, The Cut, "The Kardashian Sisters Are Trying to Figure Out Relationships,"30 Oct. 2017
The storm swamped and sank what appears to be a 30-foot houseboat and left several others sitting up on shore.
—lauren ritchie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Hurricane Irma destroys Tavares marina, seaplane base,"12 Sep. 2017
Options include a houseboat in Hackney, a loft in Islington, an apartment in Chelsea and a townhouse in Notting Hill.
—shivani vora, New York Times, "Looking for a London Vacation Rental? We Tried the Plum Guide,"1 Sep. 2017
Shrimp boats that used to line the dock five deep have become a rarity, replaced with houseboats and pleasure craft.
—nick chrastil, Slate Magazine, "Of Shrimp and Petroleum,"16 Oct. 2017
That's according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in their Facebook announcement of Wyatt's Sunday afternoon capture on an East River houseboat.
—miami herald, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Florida couple paid for drugs by pimping child, deputies say,"11 Oct. 2017
Kevin Wyatt Gadsen County Sheriff’s Department That’s according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in their Facebook announcement of Wyatt’s Sunday afternoon capture on an East River houseboat.
—david j. neal, miamiherald, "This Florida couple paid for their drugs by pimping a child, cops say,"10 Oct. 2017
Welch attacked a 6-year-old girl in her sleep on a houseboat, according to two law enforcement officials and to the victim, who spoke with The Washington Post in an interview last year.
—dan morse, Washington Post, "It wasn’t just the Lyon sisters he harmed: Lloyd Welch set to plead guilty in two child sex assaults,"21 Sep. 2017
A monsoon houseboat experience in Kumarakom by Kerala Houseboat Retreat
Posted Date: |Updated: 21-Jun-2015 |Category: Kerala|Author: Tony John|Member Level: Diamond|Points: 80|
During my recent holidays in Kumarakom, I enjoyed a house boat trip with Kerala Houseboat Retreat. Read this review to learn how we enjoyed the day trip in a houseboat in Kumarakom in the peak of monsoon.
Houseboats are not new to me and my family. My last trip in houseboat was in 2012 at Alleppey. This time, I chose to go for a day trip at Kumarakom during my vacation in June 2015. I personally prefer day trips in the houseboats especially when the kids are with us. Instead of sleeping overnight in a boat, I would rather sleep in a resort or a hotel but enjoy the day cruise through the backwaters.
Also See: Get the best out of Kerala's backwaters
One of many houseboats we saw at the canals of Kumarakom
Our itinerary at Kumarakom
This was a short trip which included 2 days and 1 night. We started from our home at Ernakulam at about 7:30am and reached Kumarakom by 9:30am. We took short breaks at Thanneermukkom Bund and in another place for breakfast.
We had booked a short, customized day trip in a houseboat through Kerala Houseboat Retreat, which is one of the reputed houseboat service providers in Kumarakom area. They own 2 or 3 hourseboats and also run a heritage-homestay style budget resort in the banks of the Aymanam river at Kumarakom. The one we booked was a 1-bed room boat with standard amenities just like most of the other houseboats.
We chose a short trip of 4 hours in the boat since we had only 2 days to spend there and wanted to visit a few other places. Our trip started at 10 am and the cruise was finished at 2 pm. After the boat cruise, we went to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and then checked in at Kerala Backwater Retreat, which is a heritage style budget resort, owned by the same family who owns the houseboat we booked.
A cruise through the serene backwaters of Kumarakom
Review of Kerala Houseboat Retreat
They own 2 or 3 houseboats and it is a family owned business. We spoke to the owner Mr. Kurian who was very helpful and flexible on timings and he accommodated our other preferences like customized timings, food choices, route of the cruise etc.
The staff in the boat was very cordial. I have heard complaints from some friends that some staff in other houseboats are always behind the guest offering help with the expectation of some "tips" at the end of the trip. In some other boats, they don't serve enough food and sometimes the quality of the food is not up to the expectations. In one of my houseboat trips a few years ago, they refused to serve food for an extra kids with us who was not included in the booking. I didn't have any such issues with this trip. The staff kept a distance from the guests and never involved in our talks and enjoyment. They were always there to answer any questions and were accommodative about our food preferences.
Here is a video of our houseboat experience in Kumarakom
Are houseboat trips safe in monsoon and heavy rains?
It was monsoon and it started raining very heavily during the trip. Staff had warned us about the rain and wind beforehand and we were told they may have to stop the cruise in case of heavy wind. Luckily, the wind was not really bad and at some point of time, they pulled the boat to a safe canal instead of stopping the cruise due to wind. The canals are usually safe even during heavy wind.
It is off season during monsoon and there weren't many tourists at Kumarakom. Most houseboats are booked only during week-ends. Due to off season, rates were also relatively low. Most of the tourists seem to be avoiding the monsoon. But we wanted to enjoy the houseboat trip in the rains and we were waiting for the rains. When the lunch was served, they pulled down all the curtains to keep the food warm and safe from the water but otherwise we enjoyed the rain throughout the cruise.
More reading: Compare houseboat cruise in Alappuzha and Kumarakom.
Lunch during the day trip
We hadn't booked lunch since our trip was very short and we were expecting to get out of the boat before lunch time. However, they prepared very nice Kerala style lunch with Pearl Spot Fish fry, Chicken curry and a few vegetable dishes. We really enjoyed the food served, thanks to our chef Mr. Sumesh.
Lavish Kerala style lunch
Review of Kerala Houseboat Retreat
I have only positive experience to share. No issue or complaints during the cruise. The boat is well maintained and clean. The rain caused some mess, which was expected. Great food. Staff is very friendly, helpful and flexible. Bed room is clean and comfortable even though we didn't use it to sleep. The room is airconditioned. Bathroom is very clean. So is the kitchen too.
Rates are pretty standard with all houseboat service providers. In Alappuzha, we can negotiate with the boat owners and due to very high competition, sometimes you may get a good deal there. At the same time, you could get cheated as well. If you negotiate a lot and think you made a good deal, probably you are going to get an old houseboat with poor maintenance! Before you book a houseboat in Alapuzha, ask for a recent photo of the boat to avoid last minute surprises.
However, in Kumarakom, there are limited number of boats and I didn't feel any sort of cheating is involved. All the boat owners ask for the same rates and there was not much room for negotiation. According to our boat driver, all boats in Kumarakom are well maintained and customers never had to fight with the staff for the status of the boats, which is not the case in Alappuzha. There are a total of about 350 houseboats in Kumarakom. District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPC) is promoting "Responsible Tourism" and the houseboat owners are offering their full support to this initiative to protect the tourist destinations.
Visit http://keralahouseboatretreat.com/ for more details and house boat booking.
Houseboat booking phone number: +91 94970 89361