Alleppey is the main center for backwater cruises in Kerala, with most houseboats departing from there. If you're planning on going on a cruise, it's a good idea to stay somewhere close to the boat jetty so that you can go early in the morning to inspect the boats and choose a decent one. There are a number of inexpensive homestays in this area of Alleppey. Alternatively, there are some peaceful homestays out of town along the backwaters, where you can relax and watch the world (including houseboats) go by.
Possibly the most popular homestay in Alleppey, Venice Castle is reasonably priced, very centrally located, and modern. There are five simple but spacious guest rooms (four with air-conditioning) in the hosts' newly constructed bungalow. Even though the house is right in town, its landscaped garden and leafy surroundings gives it a very tranquil feel. Guests can socialize on the balcony and common area on the upper floor. A delicious home-cooked Kerala breakfast is served, and the hosts are really lovely. It doesn't get much better than this!
- Location: Boat Jetty Road, opposite the District Tourism Promotion Council office. It's only few minutes walk from the bus stand and boat jetty.
- Rates: From 1,500 rupees per night, including breakfast and tax.
If you're into natural health and wellness, this soulful oasis-like homestay will definitely appeal to you. The hosts are a friendly European-Indian couple. She's a dance choreographer and meditator, while he's an Alleppey local who works in the tourism industry but studied philosophy. Their home has a rooftop dance studio where yoga, meditation, and holistic dance classes are held every week. Also of note, the property is environmentally-friendly and is the only homestay in the area to run almost entirely on solar energy. There are five guest rooms, all non-smoking. Guests can smoke on balconies, although consumption of alcohol isn't allowed.
- Location: Near the Nehru Trophy boat race finishing point, close to the boat jetty and about 10 minutes walk from the center of town.
- Price: From around 1,800 rupees per night, including breakfast and tax.
Kalappura Homestay is a great budget option in Alleppey, with a number of standout features. Guests can use the property's kitchen to cook their own food, and bring their pets along. Bicycles are available for hire. The very hospitable host is also extremely helpful, welcomes guests with a chilled beer, entertains with interesting conversation, and even invites guests to family weddings! All this, without being intrusive. There are five guest rooms (three with air-conditioning).
- Location: In a quiet part of Alleppey, about 10 minutes walk to the bus stand and boat jetty.
- Price: From 1,000 rupees per night with shared bathroom and 1,700 rupees per night with private bathroom. Breakfast is additional.
Housed in a beautifully maintained heritage home bordering a backwater canal, this homestay has 11 guest rooms set around a central courtyard that's open to the sky. They're furnished with antiques left by the spice traders. All have new and spotlessly clean bathrooms, and some have air conditioning. There's also a meditation room, common room with balcony overlooking the canal, spa, and Ayurvedic doctor. The homestay will cook special Ayurvedic food for guests who a prescribed a specific diet. One of the oldest lighthouses in India is about 5 minutes walk away.
- Location: CCNB Road, west of Kochukada Bridge. It's a few minutes drive from Alleppey Beach and about 10 minutes from the boat jetty.
- Price: From 1,500 rupees per night.
Malayalam Lake Resort Homestay is perfect if you want to stay near Alleppey but experience the scenic environment of the backwaters. The location is exceptional. It would be hard to find better views on a budget so close to town. You'll be able to gaze across from your balcony and watch the houseboats passing right by! The rooms are basic but spacious, clean and comfortable -- and all have balconies facing the waterways.
- Location: Punnamada Road, east of Thottathodu Bridge.
- Price: From 1,700 rupees per night for a double, including fabulous Kerala breakfast.
Erathra Homestay is the epitome of calm and privacy. This intimate homestay with just a couple of well-appointed guest rooms is located in a small village about 15 minutes from Alleppey by ferry (it's also reachable by road but access is poor). There are paddy fields on one side and waterways on the other. You can lazily watch the passing boats from hammocks in the yard. The knowledgeable host is very well-traveled and has lived aboard. He's an excellent cook and prepares all the meals for guests. Cooking classes are possible too. Free bicycles are available for guests, and kayaks and small boats can be hired to explore narrow canals along the backwaters. Or catch a public ferry from the jetty for an inexpensive trip along the waterways.
- Location: Off Chingam Road, near Nurse Jetty.
- Price: From 3,500 rupees per night, including breakfast.
Solitude seekers will love century-old Pamba Heritage Villa. This ancestral home is situated on an organic farm that grows a variety of plants including coconuts, bananas, jack fruit, and medicinal herbs. There's also a fish pond. The guest quarters are in the portion of the house that was originally used to store paddy and other grains. It's now been converted into three large, well-ventilated bedrooms that face the waterfront. A wide range of local experiences are offered such as toddy tapping and village visits.
- Location: Nedumudi, about 13 kilometers (8 miles) southeast of Alleppey.
- Price: From around 3,500 rupees per night, including tax and breakfast.
Ayana's is a very popular homestay on the Pampa River south of Alleppey. It's named after the host family's first grand-daughter. The bungalow, while traditional in style, is new and purpose-built with four super comfortable guest rooms. The hosts encourage guests to immerse themselves in the region's culture and community. Guided village walks and sunset canoe boat rides are all part of the experience. You can even join the local fishermen on their night fishing forays.This makes the property ideal for experiencing local life. Authentic local cuisine is served and cooking classes provided to guests who want to lean how to make it. Other activities include cycling and bird watching.
- Location: Vaishyambagom village, about 14 kilometers (9 miles) south of Alleppey.
- Price: From around 1,500 rupees per night, including breakfast.
This delightfully secluded hideaway, located downriver from Ayana's Homestay, is only accessible by boat. The property consists of an ancestral home with three unique guest rooms, one of which used to be a 100 year-old rice granary before being converted. Couples looking for a romantic getaway will find the room with private garden overlooking the lotus pond to be ideal. Candlelight dinners with accompanying music are arranged. Bathrooms with open-air showers are another highlight. There's nature all around.
- Location: Champkulam, about 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Alleppey.
- Price: From 8,250 rupees per night, including tax and breakfast.