Abad Turtle Beach resort lies alongside the white sands of the Marari beach of Mararikulam, a quiet little fishing village on the coast of the Arabian sea, in the district of Alleppy (Alappuzha), Kerala, India. The village gets its name from the Mararikulam Mahadevar temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is also known as Marari and who is revered as the chief deity of the village.
After our tour of Kumily, a 5 hour drive brought us to Mararikulam where we were hosted by the Abad Turtle Beach. This was a part of our media tour which was organised as a run up to the Kerala Travel Mart KTM2018 held in Cochin, Kerala, India from Sep 28th-30th, 2018.
Read on to see what this property holds in store for the beach loving tourist.
About the Abad group –
Abad Group owns and operates eleven hotels and resorts in in Kerala, which include beach front, backwater resorts, highland resorts and city hotels. As a policy, there is no alcohol or pork served in any of their properties.
About the Abad Turtle Beach –
Abad Turtle Beach is a 3 star property that is located near the coastal village of Mararikulam. It features a total of 27 premium cottages and 3 premium villas that are set in 13 acres of land that bears several trees and plants and also has a water body in the center.
The high point of the resort is its proximity to the beach which can be accessed within a minute’s walk from the cottages, through a palm lined path strewn with water hyacinth that grows wild.
Sea facing cottages don’t exactly have a clear view of the water but they have the advantage of being the closest to the beach.
The resort also has a 1400 sq ft banquet hall that can accommodate 100 people.
The cottages have individual porches and are built in semi traditional style with the ubiquitous Kerala style pillars at the entrance. They stand in clusters of two and each pair has a hammock strung outside between the trees.
The rooms are large and the beds are comfortable but do not have plug points near by. One has to use the sockets at the entrance and that forcibly makes sure that the phone is away from the hand at night. Which may be considered by some as a good thing 😀
The usual mini fridge, tea and coffee, air conditioning etc are a part of the room.
The bathrooms are partially open to the sky and a netting traps leaves and twigs and prevents them from messing up the pebbles laid below.
Dining options –
There is a single multi cuisine restaurant which is open on all sides giving an al fresco feel.
The buffet is a functional spread with North Indian, continental, Asian and local fare. While the dishes are pleasant enough, there is no real wow factor in most of them. However, the Kerala style seafood here does stand out and for a seafood lover like me, that is all that mattered 😀 An excellent Alleppy style fish curry, seafood soup, squid rings and a prawn and squid fry were the highlights of my lunch and dinner.
The breakfast had the regular fare and again the local items stood out over the rest.
Barbecue dinners are arranged at night and one can enjoy their meats in the open air seating under thatched roofs, while being entertained by cultural programs.
Facilities, Features and Activities –
A list of features offered by the resort, is helpfully displayed at the reception, along with a black board that is chalked with the surrounding attractions that one might opt to explore.
The ayurveda center offers wellness and beauty treatments of several kinds. The infinity pool is located near the restaurant.
The resort also has a badminton court, a recreation center with indoor games, a fish pond, gift shop etc
Guests can hire cycles or try their hand at fishing or even relax with a yoga lesson. Some interesting varieties of butterflies can be found flitting about in the butterfly park and there are a bunch of entertaining ducks quacking around the place.
The little pond in the property, attracts many birds and the evenings are filled with the sounds of cormorants and many other winged visitors that conduct their conferences on the tree tops 😀
Cultural performances take place during dinner time and we had the pleasure of viewing the young dancer perform the Mohiniattam which is a classical Indian dance form with sensual feminine movements that resemble those of a seductress or enchantress.
What I liked most about the resort was its sizable Organic garden where they grow several varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs, many of which find their way into the daily menu. When we visited, we saw a nice big stack of long beans being freshly harvested right in front of our smitten eyes !!!
Another interesting facet to the resort is its cattle farm where they rear the special indigenous breed that is local to Kerala. The Vechur cattle are said to be the smallest cattle breed and they also consume very little fodder. The milk they give is not much in quantity compared to hybrid varieties but it is valued for its rich medicinal properties.
The manure generated by the cattle is no doubt used to fertilize the vegetable garden.
There is Lily pond beside the cattle farm.
The beach lies behind the resort and is a mere minute by walk. The sands are whiter than usual and though the beach is relatively free of hordes of tourists, it is still not the cleanest of places.
Mainly occupied by fishermen and their docked boats, one can watch them as they prepare to set sail on their fishing exercise or look on as they extricate their catch from the nets that they have drawn ashore, laden with the fruit of the sea !!!
Well we found no turtles on the beach (as the name of the resort suggested) but we were gratified to see crabs of various hues and sizes. Chasing one of these specimens to trap him on camera, was a futile exercise as he kept getting washed over by the rapid tides.
I was told however, that the morning would bring many more of these out on the beach. Well that was incentive to get up early and I expected to see a whole army of them marching with their sideways gait and providing fodder for my camera.
But at 6 am all I found on the beach were a few greyish ones that camouflaged themselves in the sand and one orange one who stood out. I was surprised that he did not scurry away like his peers and while I wondered clueless as to why he was clawless, I realized that he was lifeless !!! Sigh, well dead crabs do make good models !!!
Fishing beach –
The highlight of our stay here though, was the little trip we made into the fishing beach. We set off early morning at 6.30, packed like fish in the local bus, to go see fish being packed 😀
A 10 minute bus ride and a 5 minute walk later, we found ourselves on shores that were abuzz with activity, with people waiting in large numbers in expectation of the incoming fish. A beach fish market of sorts !!!
Entire families come and settle in wait at the beach every morning, complete with little babies to aged folk and everyone in between.
One can watch the catch freshly coming in on several boats and being traded in moments by wholesale traders as well as domestic buyers. Ice is dumped in heaps and is available for those who wish to buy it to safeguard their fish from the heat, during transport.
Baskets laden with squid, shrimp and crabs had me in raptures … or should I say Crabtures !!!
With every boat that came in, brisk business was conducted and the silvery catch changed hands at the speed of quicksilver. For a fish lover like me, the sight of this bounty that I could only view and not partake of, was sheer torture.
Getting there –
Abad Turtle Beach resort is 85 km from the nearest airport at Cochin and is 2 hours away.
The nearby train stations are at Mararikulam 3 km/10 min, Alleppey 15 km/30 min and Cherthala 15 km/30 min away.
By road it is 5 km/15 min away from National Highway 47.
Booking and Contact –
Varankavala, Pollathai P.O.
Alleppey, Kerala, India
Phone – +91 478 2860965, +91 484 2381122
Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
On this trip I was hosted by the Kerala Travel Mart Society and partnering hotels, as a media invitee and I thank them for the hospitality. My narration is based on the inputs I received from various sources as well as my personal experiences.
Sep 22nd-29th, 2018