We rented a 4 bedroom houseboat for one night from Pournami houseboats after seeing multiple TripAdvisor reviews.
Our booking experience with M/s Parvathy Nair coordinator Pournami Houseboats was very good & without any issues. We reached the boarding point at about 11:00 pm and the coordinator promptly escorted us to the boat.
The other thing which was awesome was the food. As requested, it was entirely vegetarian & non vegetarian the cook was just great. It was like eating home cooked food, which was most welcome since Dinner, lunch & breakfast the next day, all were just great.
The only draw back was the power situation - horrible! i day time it was very hot in during day on the boat at night The ACs worked the entire 8 hours as promised though.
Excellent service, friendly crew, good food and clean rooms... Travelling with family and kids, its very enjoyable
We were 3 families (Total 12 (5 kids)) on kerala trip. After going through the reviews on trip advisor we settled on Pournami houseboat for our Alleppey house boat stay for 21/05/2017. Booking process was smooth with Ms. Parvathy Prakash (Pournami Booking coordinator) and the amount was fixed with all levies and taxes. We made advance payment of @25% and agreed to pay the remaining amount at houseboat. Till advance payment we were under the impression that Pournami accepts 3 modes of payment a) All cards b) Paypal invoice c) NEFT/Cash deposit which was mentioned in their booking terms. However after the advance payment during the confirmation mail all the modes of payment were removed and only Cash payment was mentioned which we did not notice.
We reached Alleppey @13:30 as against 11:30 checkin time and we hurried to the houseboat and requested them to start our trip since we had already lost time. They told me they will not start the houseboat until we make full payment. I immediately transferred the total amount online through my mobile and showed them the confirmation to their coordinator (Mr. Hari) present there. Still they were not ready to start our trip. After due deliberations with office staff who was very rude on phone and was shameless asking us to pay rs. 1600/- in addition to the amount already paid as tax since I had made payment online. I understood that I had to make payment in cash and not online transfer. I did not agree to this. The staff onboard was reluctant to start our trip until they get confirmation from office staff. They delayed our trip by 1 more hour and then started after they received confirmation from their senior personnel. They did not even bother that we are all families with small kids. This type of behavior is not expected from Pourmani who claim they are premium service providers and charge also heavily for the same. Our trip started at @14:45 and they parked the boat @17:00. Imagine what pain we have gone through with such time wastage inspite of paying premium amount.
I don’t have complaint @ boat or staff available on board. We really enjoyed a lot onboard. The review submitted by me in hard copy on house boat is strictly regarding onboard house boat service and not about the booking process.
My only point is our government is pushing on digitization in India (Digital India initiative) and the fake companies like these still want to transact in cash and thereby evade taxes.
If you value your every penny do not book these guys.
The person who is concerned of booking the house boat is paravthy I had communicated with her and booked a house boat for 9 people the house boat charges the lady booked was for 17000 and odd amount I made advance payment and had confirmed with her that remaining amount will be paid though swipe which she had agreed upon. I received a mail with the food preferences for 9people I informed them about 5 being veg and 4being non veg. The games starts there after when we reached the house boat since there were lots of diversions during our visit instead of reaching at 12 pm which is a check-in time we reached by 2 but obviously not our fault. On our arrival we met a person called as Vinod who happens to b a manger and he started the blame like you are too late he did not have the manners to talk I told him it wasn't our fault either but he kept of repeating the same thing as if he had discounted the tour after that he told me I have to make a payment for which I told him I'll be making the pmnt through my card which was agreed with Parvathy but he said we don't have the machine and after an argument he asked me to make a payment through net banking Pls keep in mind the boat had not starteed . Vinod told us we will not hault the boat instead for lunch and give u extra 1/2 an hour of ride.
After making the payment the boat started and then there were 3people in the boat the captain a cook and a helper.
Now comes the food part guys they have a started food menu which I got to know after the food was served till the time of booking or payment nothing was mentioned about the food
Lunch standard menu
Rice, sambhar, cabbage bhaji, beet Rita, fish fry,mix vegetable and papad
After paying 18000 this is the food I'll getbfor lunch. I asked the cook if he could something else he said we don't have any other items we get limited stuff as per menu
These guys have a set up where they will take u to local fishermen and will tell u apart from the food if u wish to buy the fish from the fishermen we will cook for u without charges the Fisher men charges double the rates for the fish so it's up to u if u want I did not but cause it was dam costly and secondly it was not tht fresh.
Evening snacks again standard
Onion bhajiya or fried bananas it's or and not both OK and tea or coffee
In evening by 5 pm they parked us at location we did some fishing by the time it was evening the helpers covered the boat with a net however that could not stop the mosquitoes cause the net was torn too and since if was hot the ac time was 9pm we had no option but to stick on the deck and let the mosquitoes suck our blood.
It was dinner times guys and guess what surprise again a standard menu
Rice, Dal, chicken, chapatti, salad .agaim the same thing standard food
Ac started at 9 but the ac I guess are very old hence the expected cooling is not there so u have to start the wall fan but still u can fill the heat.
Morning sharp by 6am they turned off the ac they are so particular about their stuff. Morning u wake up and guess what the is no hot water u tell the boat guys and they say it will come till 7.30 there was no hot water we had kids along with us we and no option but to take bath with cold water.
Morning breakfast : don't expect anything good it's just idli chutney jam butter bread tea and coffee.
Sharp by 9 am they dropped us back at the pickup point.
Guys after all this experience I will never recommend this house host to anyone. I guess they serve good things only to foreigners but to our own country crowd they treat as garbage.
There r many other house boats better then this don't go on reviews by foreigners and of u don't want to waste ur money and ruin ur trip don't book them and if u want to try pournami then b smart and check all the things before making payments and boarding the house boats
The entire package was extremely costly.Also we were 14 persons. We had a 4 bedded Houseboat ( Pournami IV) that picked us from Alleppey and they told that they will park another 2 bedded houseboat after 6 Pm where 4 of us will go. The trip started off very well and we enjoyed. After 2 Pm they parked and served us lunch. The food was tasty but keeping in mind of the cost of booking I thought there could have been more variety ( Atleast 2 types of fish instead of 1). After 5.30 Pm they parked the boat beside a village, we did a bit fishing but after dark things were not too good. First they covered the entire boat with cloth in order to prevent mosquitoes or insects but that also blocked the view. Also as per rule AC was supposed to switch on after 9 Pm and so the rooms were extremely hot & suffocating ( even during daytime). So we stayed on the deck and chatted and watched TV a bit. Dinner was served around 8.30 Pm and once again more variety was expected. Taste & quantity of food was good though. The 2nd boat arrived after sometime and those guys who stayed there had a bad experience. 1st there was smell of diesel in the rooms which stayed all night. Also the bathroom there was also not good. Again in the morning there was no water in the main boat till 6 AM. Hot water service was plenty though after 6 Pm. They started to move after 7 AM. Breakfast was served shortly and it was good. Around 9 AM they parked the boat from the point where we boarded.
The crew behavior was prompt and good.
If you are looking for a unique experience of spending a night at a Houseboat then go for it but if you want proper backwater trip then stay at a hotel and hire a small boat that will also take you to narrow canals & villages where these big boats will not be able to reach.
We rented a 2 bedroom houseboat for one night from Pournami houseboats after seeing multiple TripAdvisor reviews.
First off, our booking experience with Pournami Houseboats was very good & without any issues. We reached the boarding point only at about 2:00 pm and the coordinator promptly escorted us to the boat.
The other thing which was awesome was the food. As requested, it was entirely vegetarian & the cook was just great. It was like eating home cooked food, which was most welcome since we had just had 3 days of hotel food in Munnar. Dinner, lunch & breakfast the next day, all were just great.
Unfortunately, these were the only two things that we truly enjoyed about our overnight houseboat trip. Everything else was a let down vis a vis our expectations.
Foremost amongst them was the power situation - horrible! Inverter was not working on the boat & we were just on generator most of the time. Result, diesel stink & a constant whirring sound in the boat. They could not fix it the entire time. Even the next day morning, they said no hot water in the bath rooms since we are on generator! The ACs worked the entire 8 hours as promised though.
The crew of 2 while polite were mostly curt (mainly the driver) & not very responsive to our requests. "Can we see the rice fields - no, they are all submerged." "Can we do a village walk - what village, what walk?" "Can the kids handle the steering wheel with you at least when you are docked - are you kidding me?" Ok what can we do other than just sit on the houseboat - follow our set itinerary of buying icecream from guy on the boat, snacks & seafood from where we will stop & after we dock we may let you watch TV if we like you enough"
After we docked, it started pouring cats & dogs and the crew pulled down the tarpaulin & everything and we sort of got jailed in the boat, like solitary confinement! No TATA Sky also they said, its unsafe! With nothing else to do, we went to bed by 9pm. The next morning was better, but the "no hot water" dented our spirits.
I don't want to go on & on. Maybe we chose the wrong month to visit; maybe expectations were too high. Maybe we were too tired from the travel from Munnar & the power situation just drove us over the edge. But with the benefit of hindsight, personally, I would just prefer to stay at a resort & do a daytrip in the backwaters to enjoy the sights that we saw like village life along the canals etc.
Also given how long it takes to go from place to place in Kerala, a 2 day trip is advisable for Alappuzha versus the 1 day you will normally find in most itineraries.
Note: The houseboat we rented had small bedrooms. With 2 adults & a kid in each room, it was a cramped overnight stay for us.