I have been coming back to KR House every winter for the past eight years, spending a month or more every time. This is an unbeatable choice for those seeking a longer stay without breaking the bank. For a very reasonable price you get a highly picturesque and peaceful location, basic but spotlessly clean rooms with ceiling fans or AC and own bathroom, compact but nice and tidy territory stretching all the way to the edge of the tall South Cliff, with private access to the broad sandy beach away from the main crowds, stunning sunsets unobscured by other buildings or hoards of tourists (the way it gets at the North Cliff), sunbeds and hummocks, palm trees, and a relaxed homestay atmosphere that reminds me of lazy summers at my grandparents' seaside bungalow when I was little. There are only 12 rooms so everyone soon gets to know each other. The hotel nearby has a nice cafe, a tad bit more expensive than average but the views from their huts at the edge of the cliff are worth it. There is a night guard after dark, and always a member of staff on hand to help you book a rickshaw etc. All the local destinations (the main North Cliff drag, the more local Papanasam beach with a nice selection of cafes, the nearest gym) are a 15-20 minute walk away or 5 min by rickshaw; town center under 10 min by rickshaw. I've seen some people complain about the host - in my experience he is not fawning but very reasonable and helpful; never had a single problem with him. You do have to buy your own toilet roll after the first couple of days, but once you realize how thin his profit margins are it kind of starts to make sense; in the next hotel down the road you get enough free toilet paper to wrap yourself up like a mummy but their cheapest room costs three or four times as much. Also, you do have to tell them when you want your bed linen changed, but they do it promptly and free of charge if the cleaning lady is still there, or the first thing next morning. I would, however, advise against choosing KR House if you are travelling with small children because the stairs to the beach are very steep for a child of under 8-9. Also, don't come if you want nightlife; there is none to be had within a 60-mile radius. Otherwise I would not hesitate to recommend the place, and will happily answer any questions if you are considering a stay at KR.
The sunset from KR is fine. The location is good. South Cliff is a nice peaceful area. Next time we will choose another guesthouse, there are plenty of others to choose from.
The owner strives to be helpful and provide everything. When our AirCon broke down it was immediately repaired. But we've never been in a place where you had to ask to get the room cleaned, we were there for 10 days and it took a long time before we found out about that. If the owner is not present, you can not get clean linen and toilet paper because everything is locked in.
We had the expensive room with hot water. If not, you have to pay to get a bucket of hot water.
On departure, we had ordered a taxi through our next hotel. The taxi driver was harassed.The KR owner tried to made us take a Varkala-taxi instead of the one we had arranged. Our real driver was not allowed into the hotel to help with the luggage. Staff at KR did nothing to help.
I spent 10 days here and it was heavenly, the owner is attentive but not intrusive. The garden ends overlooking the beach with a view to die for. The room was well equipped and well serviced, all the local restaurants are worth going to with a good variety of styles. Mr Ramchandra is a good host.
This place is a wonderful peaceful haven where you can escape the hustle and bustle of India!
If you want to stay in Varkala but don't fancy the busy back-packer hub of North Cliff then you should definitely stay here. At K R house you have a wonderfully relaxed environment with a perfect view of the sea. You can sit overlooking the sea and beach in the garden, or relax on the balcony area outside the rooms, there are yoga mats, and you can walk down the steps straight to a secluded beach. And all of this for a decent price! Then when you fancy going to North Cliff it is only a 20 minute walk or so.
The rooms are clean, of good quality and have their own bathroom. Considering its location this place is excellent value for money.
The other reviews which mention the manager - he can come across as a bit abrupt but that's just his manner and really its just because he is concerned for your wellbeing. As a female solo traveller he made me feel very safe. I was the only guest since it was off season and he employed security both nights so I wasn't there alone! He told me to treat the place as if it was my home and really just wanted me to be safe so that's why he encouraged me to be back before dark and not to go down the step steps to the beach in bad weather. So I didn't mind his 'rules'.
I would absolutely recommend staying here.
We ended up staying here for a week as opposed to 3 days. Very calm place on the South cliff.
Beautiful view of the sea from the garden with steps down to a lovely much quieter beach than the main one at North cliff. The owner is amazingly strict in an almost comedy way about his rules but if you just go with from the start it's fine. If you see passed the abruptness he means well!