The Best Homestay in Kerala – Community Greenpalm Homes Review (Part 3)

Community Greenpalm Homes is my favourite Kerala homestay. In Part 1 of my review I gave my reasons why, including the wonderful location, friendly host, relaxing atmosphere and delicious food. In Part 2 I focused on the fantastic range of activities on offer, such as village walks, bike rides and canoe trips. In this third and final part I’ll be detailing more practical information.

The Rooms

Community Greenpalm Homes

Community Greenpalm Homes

When we arrived at the homestay we were expecting a very basic home without any creature comforts. In fact Thomas has strived to make the homestay as comfortable as possible for his guests. His sister’s home is the main house that the guests stay in, which is next door to the family house.

The guest house is large and recently built. Although the guest rooms aren’t luxurious, they are very comfortable with a choice of fan or air conditioning, and attached modern bathrooms. Guests eat together in the large kitchen and are free to relax in the living room or on the verandah.

Sometimes if the main homestay is booked up Thomas will arrange for you to stay with another family in the village. This may be less comfortable, but possibly even more authentic.

Getting There
The most interesting way to reach Community Greenpalm Homes is by local ferry. You can take this small, rather noisy boat from Alleppey for a chance to travel with the locals and see the great backwater views. Chennamkary is only 10km away but it takes just over an hour to reach the homestay. Thomas will give you detailed instructions on where to get off when you book. It’s a short walk to the homestay from the small jetty.

If you don’t fancy the ferry then you can take a bus or taxi from Alleppey then a short canoe ride across the river. When we left the homestay we picked up a bus to Kumily (with a change in Kuttayam), which meant we didn’t have to backtrack to Alleppey.

How Long to Stay
I recommend staying for a minimum of three nights to get a real feel for the place and to have the chance to take part in a range of activities. We planned on staying for two nights but kept extending our stay and eventually left after five. We would have loved to stay longer – a week would be perfect if you really need some relaxation time. Be warned that most people stay longer than planned!

Rooms cost from 1,750 INR – 2,500 INR for a fan room (approx UK£22-32 or US$37-53), and 2,750 INR– 3,250 INR (UK£35-42 or US$58-70) for a room with a/c. This is for a double room on full board with three meals a day included.

Guided activities cost from 100 INR – 300 INR  per person (UK£1.28-3.85 or US$2-6).

How to book

It is necessary to book in advance, although we only called a few days before we wanted to stay. You can contact Thomas by emailing or or by calling +91 949 5557675 or +91 477 2724497. You can also visit their new website.

Further Reading
If you would like to read more reviews of Community Greenpalm Homes then you could have a look at these travel blogs:

Jason was staying at the homestay at the same time as us. He writes beautifully about his experiences there on his TravBuddy Blog.

Qui001 writes about their stay at Greenpalm Homes in March 2009 on their World Nomads Blog.

Have you stayed at this homestay? Or do you have another favourite? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.

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5 Responses to “The Best Homestay in Kerala – Community Greenpalm Homes Review (Part 3)”

  1. […] Part 2 of the Community Greenpalm Homes Review I focus on our favourite activities, while Part 3 looks at the […]

  2. […] the next Kerala India Travel post the final part of my favourite Kerala homestay review  focuses on the practical details of costs and how to get […]

  3. Viv Keable says:

    Hi there,
    We are flying to Trivandrum at the end of March and and staying for 2 weeks. We really want to spend a week at a homestay and do the backwaters and explore and also a week in Vakarla. I LOVE Indian food. Would you recommend this and what is the best way to get there and to Varkala? Are there better resorts for chilled out hippy vibe atmosphere? We went to Gokarna this year.
    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Thank you.
    Viv. (Hove, England.)

  4. Erin says:

    Hi Viv,
    Your plan sounds great. Varkala is probably the best beach option, although it’s much more developed than Gokarna, but still chilled out.

    You can get to the backwaters easily from Varkala. You can take the train from Varkala-Kollam (45 minutes) and from there you can take an overnight houseboat or 8 hour ferry to Alleppey, or take a 2 hour bus. We loved our houseboat trip from Kollam-Alleppey.

    Homestays are definitely the best place to experience Keralan food! Enjoy!

    Have a great trip, and let me know if you have any more questions.

    Best Wishes, Erin.

  5. Phani Reddy says:

    Hi Erin

    You’re doing great job by giving your valuable tips & experiences to travelers..
    I’m planning with my family of 6 adults and 1 kid for 12 days trip..I’m working on my itenary, where I stuck up at 2 areas :

    (i) I’m looking for good resort which has tree houses with good services, most of the resorts which I googled has bad reviews..!

    (ii) Also can you please suggest some good deluxe / luxury boat service providers

    Your valuable suggestions and tips will a big favor to me

    Thanks in advance

    Best Regards
    Phani Reddy
    reddy.leo at gmail com