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“Lovely scenery”
Review of Soma Birds Lagoon

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Soma Birds Lagoon
Reviewed 29 December 2017

We stayed here for 2 nights jut before Christmas. It is very remote and the scenery is beautiful. We were happy to walk around the grounds and also around the area - not much to see other than natural habitat, but we were very happy with that as it is stunning. There was no swimming pool that we could see, but that didn't bother us. We arranged an auto rickshaw, via the manager, to get to the main bird sanctuary and it was quite easy to arrange one by ourselves to come back. Our rooms were comfortable and clean - we didn't have any hot water however, and we weren't able to resolve this with the staff. This didn't spoil our stay, but other people may be less happy.

The food was excellent and we had dinner there both nights. It wasn't clear to us that we would have to have the buffet dinner when more guests arrived - personally I would have preferred to have had a choice about this, but it was fine and the food was equally good. The breakfast buffet was also really enjoyable.

The only criticism we had was around payment, and I haven't decided whether this was due to a language barrier or something more deliberate. When we were presented with our final bill, we queried the amount as it was twice what we were expecting to pay. We went back to our room to check our on-line booking, and returned to query this with the manager. What we had agreed to pay at the point of booking was printed off on an email and presented to us - but someone had hand-written 'x 2' on it (as we had 2 rooms I assume), and hand written a different final amount underneath it. When we came back with our copy of the booking, we somehow managed to relay that we were not willing to pay more than we had agreed on line, and this was accepted - without argument.

I really don't want to think this was a deliberate attempt to mislead us, as we have not had that experience in India in all our travels there, over several years. However I'm not sure why someone had gone to the effort of handwriting on a print out of an email, and changing the final amount owed - this may have been a misunderstanding? The manager's English was certainly better than my ability to speak in his language - however it was a problem when trying to challenge our bill, and I wonder how we would have resolved this had he not agreed to what we were wiling to offer. We were also told when checking out that the hotel was no longer able to take a card payment, so we had to arrange to go the the local town to find an ATM, and hand over the cash to the staff member who followed us. We duly did this, but we weren't provided with a receipt for this payment and it caused us some inconvenience.

My advice to other travellers would be to retain a copy of your booking confirmation, and check the bill before payment just to ensure there hasn't been any confusion. It is also worth asking about methods of payment, as this also changed during our stay.

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Wendy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 62 reviews

Reviewed 21 February 2017 via mobile

I feel this hotel is slowly slipping backwards. We stayed here five years ago and it looks if very little has been updated/replaced during that time. The setting is simply superb, overlooking a lagoon with birds everywhere. Perfect for four Birdwatching friends. However the basic levels of comfort are somewhat lacking. The beds and pillows desperately need replacing. They are so thin and hard. I know birdwatchers are always so shattered when we fall into bed, but we do need a good, comfortable nights sleep.
The food can be a little mixed but by and large very good. We had the most amazing fish curry during our stay. Without doubt the best meal during four weeks of travelling in Southern India.
The staff are very charming and helpful and do their utmost to please their guests.
With some money spent on Birds Lagoon, it really could become a fantastic place to stay. It has everything in it's favour, and once promoted in the right places the guests will come flocking in. Let's hope so.

Stayed: January 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Lucylocket24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SubhashCBose, CGM at Soma Birds Lagoon, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2017

Dear Guests,

Greetings from Somatheeram Ayurveda Group!

Thank you very much for your stay and feedback. We are very happy to note that you like location, felicities and the huge potential of its Bird watching. This Birds's sanctuary is having the biggest birds habitat in India. We are adding up more facilities like Swimming pool, Organic farming, Garden etc. Please be assured that the resorts will also be of exceptional service to friends and relatives that you recommend. Team Soma Group is looking forward to sever you again at our Resort.

Warm regards

Subhash C Bose

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2017

My family had booked a one-night stay in Jan 2017. Could spot different birds there. Food was yummy. The surroundings need to be maintained better. We were not happy with the way the room was maintained/cleaned. Overall quality of the room was not satisfactory for the price. The phone in the room was not working. Found that there is no sufficient staff available (it was a weekend).We ended up checking out the same day.

Bird Watching + Tasty food - If you're looking for this, its a good destination. Do not have high expectations on the quality of the room.

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank sjisho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2017

A great place if you are interested in birds, or want something a little different, off the beaten track. A room overlooking the lagoon gave us the opportunity to see 3 different sorts of kingfishers with a minimum of effort. Lots of lesser whistling ducks, Darter & cormorant on the lake, despite the (apparently) low water level. The room was simple but quite adequate and functional. Do not expect 5-star luxury, but it was clean and functional.

I was able to go on a spontaneous excursion by bike to look for birds near the hotel, accompanied by an interested and enthusiastic member of staff, who would qualify as a good amateur ornithologist (probably a similar level to mine in Europe). The high-point was probably an asian paradise flycatcher, but there were plenty of other "firsts" for me, including a Black Baza.

A separately-organised tour with a local expert ornithologist the following morning was spectacular - I could scarcely begin to list all the species seen. High-point was probably the Malabar Trogon (male) but there was so much to see, I could hardly keep up. And fabulous colours. The tour ended with the "party-piece" - seeking out the ceylon frogmouths and the roosting owls in the forest.

My only regret was that we didn't have longer to stay here.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the lagoon
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank richardr0berts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2016

A super place for birdwatchers, close to the Bird Sanctuary. The lagoon is easily visible from all the rooms and is full of interesting birds. The Resort has an organic farm attached with Pygmy goats, cattle and hens. The website claims that their restaurant serves fresh organic food. We did not experience this at all, and the food was the poorest quality we have had after two weeks in India. Breakfast this morning was very low quality chicken sausages, cheap bread toast and boiled eggs with no vegetarian option. They have a large menu, but local food did not seem to be available and it was certainly not fresh cooked.
The website also showed pictures of a swimming pool but this was empty when we arrived.
The rooms had air conditioning and hot water and the beds were comfortable. The rooms were clean.
Staff were polite and helpful.

  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Kirsty H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Soma Birds Lagoon

Address: Thattekkadu P.O., Thattekad 686691, India
Region: India > Kerala > Ernakulam District > Thattekad
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Thattekad
Price Range: $305 - $485 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Soma Birds Lagoon 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located near the Thattekad Bird sanctuary, Soma Birds Lagoon is an exquisite combination of nature and luxury. A nest that cuddles you in the lap of Mother Nature. Being quite close to the sanctuary, guests at Soma Birds Lagoon have the privilege of watching more than 300 odd species of birds that is found in this vicinity. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary commonly known as The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is also home to mammals like leopard, sloth bear, deer, elephant and porcupine besides a phenomenally diverse bird and butterfly population. Special care has been taken while building Soma Birds Lagoon, to preserve the village ambiance and ecological balance of this haven. So while providing all modern amenities, our cottages do not lose their rustic air. Soma Bird's lagoon is also an ideal place to experience Ayurveda and rejuvenate your body mind and soul. ... more   less 
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