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Inappropriate / Inaccurate? Thani Illam / Santhosh

Description:

Activities available...
Local cultural tours and experiences, including wildlife, dance, ayurvedic/natural medicine.

How long it takes...
Spend at least three days here to get a feel for the area and local culture, including the wonderful home-cooked meals.

Who it's appropriate for...
Those interested in homestays, culture, Hinduism, Ayurveda, and Kerala history. Suitable for families, as well. Would also be good for long term stays if you are looking for a peaceful rural setting near an Ayurvedic center.

You will be treated like one of the family, and it will be the perfect experience for those looking for an "off the beaten trail" experience. The family really goes out of their way to care for you.

Details of costs...
Very reasonable rates for the homestay. Other costs depend on the activities you decide to do.

Contact Details:

See the webpage for Thani Illam for more information and contact details.

www.thaniillam.org/thani/index.htm

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meeting them was a blessing Uploaded by Jon on Jan. 16, 2009.

Giving thanks for a fabulous stay Uploaded by Lindsey on Jan. 18, 2009.

The beautiful kitchen where, the most delicious food is made. Uploaded by Lindsey on Jan. 18, 2009.

Leap Local Competition Winner May 2009 Uploaded by Leap Winners on May 19, 2009.

Customer Reviews

Overall
9.4 / 10
7 reviews

Lakshmi Sonbuchner (recommender) (8 / 10)

reviewed Jan. 7, 2009, 11:14 p.m.

Lakshmi Sonbuchner spent 2-5 days with Thani Illam / Santhosh.

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Description

Experienced the homestay environment and enjoyed Sarada Ammal's wonderful cooking. We visited the Elephant Kraal and the nearby Ayurvedic treatment center to meet some of the doctors there. We also took a stroll through the woods and saw many of the interesting wildlife.

Best bits: The food.
Worst bits: Activities could be better organized.

Ratings

Overall experience: 8 / 10
Value for money: 10 / 10
Eco impact: 10 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes

W Jackson (10 / 10)

reviewed Jan. 16, 2009, 8:21 a.m.

W Jackson spent 5-10 days with Thani Illam / Santhosh.

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Description

We spent a week at Thani Illam and it was probably the most memorable week of a full years travelling. The advice and help we received made our stay and subsequent travel in india far more enjoyable and im sure more responsible. The hospitality was second to none and food was incredible! The most rewarding aspect was the conversations we had with all 3 generations of the family. This was a homestay with a real feel of staying with a family. We are sure we saw and experienced more of Kerala due to our stay than we could have one our own. Highly recommended

Best bits: The food, hospitality and insight gained
Worst bits: Possibly the distance to the nearest towns but thats part of staying in rural Kerala

Ratings

Overall experience: 10 / 10
Value for money: 9 / 10
Eco impact: 9 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 10 / 10

Comments:

Jon (10 / 10)

reviewed Jan. 16, 2009, 8:21 a.m.

Jon spent 2-5 days with Thani Illam / Santhosh.

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Description

I was at Thani Ilam for a time of retreat and relaxation after a period of more touristy traveling. I enjoyed all the activities recommended by the family as well as simply having their lovely company.

Best bits: Conversations with family members.
Worst bits: Yoga lecture at local ashram - somewhat disappointing.

Ratings

Overall experience: 10 / 10
Value for money: 10 / 10
Eco impact: 10 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 9 / 10

Comments:

Barbara Lamplugh (10 / 10)

reviewed Jan. 16, 2009, 11:54 a.m.

Barbara Lamplugh spent 2-5 days with Thani Illam / Santhosh.

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Description

Watched the elephants' bath in the river, bathed in the river with the local women, cycled around the local lanes, visited temples, had an ayurvedic massage.

Best bits: meals and conversation with the family, swimming and bathing in the river
Worst bits: slightly disappointed with the massage

Ratings

Overall experience: 10 / 10
Value for money: 8 / 10
Eco impact: 10 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 9 / 10

Comments:

I would highly recommend a stay with this lovely family. I felt very much at home with all of them and they went out of their way to make my time there rich and satisfying. It was relaxing but I also learned a lot about the culture and customs. The food was absolutely delicious.

Lindsey (10 / 10)

reviewed Jan. 18, 2009, 2:27 p.m.

Lindsey spent 5-10 days with Thani Illam / Santhosh.

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Description

I stayed at Thani Illam for a week. In that time I had amazing vegitarian cooking lessons, was guided all over to interesting sights, and was able to visit a local school and orphanage, as well as getting to see a wedding!

Best bits: Cooking Lessons
Worst bits: none

Ratings

Overall experience: 10 / 10
Value for money: 10 / 10
Eco impact: 10 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 10 / 10

Comments:

Annett (8 / 10)

reviewed Jan. 19, 2009, 8:12 a.m.

Annett spent 2-5 days with Thani Illam / Santhosh.

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Description

Spend time with the family, visited the local temple and nearby sights.

Best bits: getting all kind of questions answered
Worst bits: yet to find

Ratings

Overall experience: 8 / 10
Value for money: 9 / 10
Eco impact: 10 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 9 / 10

Comments:

I have had other homestay experiences in India and also in other countries such as in Vietnam. There are many places now which call themselfes homestays but are actually a kind of bed and breakfast or small pension. In Thaniillam more than in any other place I have been too it is a real homestay and you become a part of the family. The other big plus points are that the family speaks good English, the family is very well educated, still very traditional and very environmental conscious, a combination hard to find in this part of the world.

Leap Winners (10 / 10)

reviewed May 19, 2009, 4:46 p.m.

Leap Winners spent 2 hours or less with Thani Illam / Santhosh.

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Description

This is not a typical review – it is an opportunity to identify Thani as a winner of Leap Local’s competition to reward good local guides and services. The best bits and worse bits are a snippet from our judges’ comments. More details about the competition are on our site.

Best bits: Excellent local product that incorporates all aspects of local heritage. Very varied and offers a real experience, great to be part of a family and they offer more than standard homestay. Home cooking is a definite winner! Lots of positive reviews which adds assurance.
Worst bits: Perhaps needs more knowledge on eco issues. And needs to keep working on organisational skills and picking partners carefully.

Ratings

Overall experience: 10 / 10
Value for money: 9 / 10
Eco impact: 9 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Not sure
Profile Accuracy: 8 / 10

Comments: