As the summer holidays have started, we decided to go for a small vacation before the actual heat of summers set in. We had decided to use the midweek Labour day holiday (May 1st) to the fullest extent, so landed in Cochin on May 1st, 2019.
As every time, we stay at resorts or nice hotels in the city, we decided to check out the homestay option this time, as all we wanted a homely stay and leisurely holiday this time. So we have zeroed in on Saj Homestay after reading a couple of reviews online.
We are totally new to the homestay concept and were not sure what to expect honestly. But thought, since we are traveling with the kid, we hoped that the kid would get at least some home-cooked meals. That’s all our expectation in the beginning.
The driver, who received us at the Cochin airport was very friendly and he became thick friends with my kid almost instantaneously. They started having long conversations by the time he dropped us at the guesthouse. It was an hour drive from the airport.
Enroute, he showed us a few touristy places like “Traditional Folklore museum”, Marine Drive in Cochin before we checked into the guesthouse.
As soon as we entered the guesthouse, Mr. Saj has welcomed with his warm smile and affectionate greetings. The room was spacious with all the amenities, including wifi too. The staff has pasted the wifi passwords on the door and on the table too for the convenience of the guests. The bathroom was very clean with fresh towels and all the other sundry items. We get the hot water even late in the night, without switching on the geyser. They have used solar water heaters, so no problems with hot water.
Mr. Saj and his family live downstairs, so there is not a single glitch with the service as someone or the other was available 24X7 with their warm smile and service. Service was on par with any other resorts that way. Breakfast is really good and tasty. My kid was introduced to home-cooked Kerala breakfast items like Patri, Pootu, etc and he loved having them. Mr. Saj has given special treats to my kid like a thick mango milkshake or banana milkshake, based on my kid’s wish.
The family is very friendly and were guiding us to nearby attractions and helping us plan our relaxed outings with the same driver who came to pick us up. All the attractions in Fort Kochi were at a walkable distance and we had a nice relaxing vacation of roaming around the streets, having food or just sipping some chilled drinks in nearby cafes. The family (especially Mr. Saj) wouldn’t mind sitting with us and spending time chatting about everything under the sun. His concern about our safety and wellbeing are really touching, as we don’t see this attitude in other resorts.
The view from the balcony was beautiful and they have also arranged a small library for the guests. So one can spend time on the balcony reading, eating and relaxing. Time will just stop still in this kind of places and we won’t feel like going out anywhere.
They even arranged our houseboat stay, with a private operator, but the houseboat is also of par excellence on all angles. Including the cleanliness, the service of the houseboat staff.
Overall, I would recommend this Saj Homestay to anyone who wants to introduce the backpacker lifestyle to your kids. As this place doesn’t treat one as royalty but would introduce you to the real warmth of Indian common people. The family aids in converting your vacation to a real idealistic one.