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The Best Alleppey Luxury Houseboat in the Alleppey Backwaters of Kerala

By Alice Teacake

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my affiliate disclaimer here.

One of the best ways to experience “God’s Own Country” in Kerala, India is to take a luxury Alleppey houseboat tour. Several of my friends and I who are travel bloggers experienced a house boat. We are here to tell you about the best luxury Alleppey Houseboats to explore the Alleppey backwaters, with honest reviews and thoughts about our experiences!

Girl standing on a Alleppey Houseboat

You can see Kerala from the water in a Alleppey boat house.

What is the best Alleppey luxury houseboat?

The luxury houseboats offer all the modern amenities of a hotel such as air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms and high end finishes. Exploring Alleppey Kerala by house boat is the most relaxing way to see a stunningly beautiful part of India. But which company should you choose? We tried quite a few! Here’s what we thought…

Which companies have houseboats in Alleppey Kerala?

Me and my friends compared the following houseboat companies:

  • Xandari Riverscapes
  • Lakes and Lagoons
  • Spice Routes Luxury Cruises
  • Rainbow cruises

Read on to find out what we think!

Lady enjoying an Alleppey houseboat experience

Take a deep breath. Say hello to Mother Nature. Cherish this moment. Photo credit: @jinsabraham @inst.shan on Instagram for @keralatourism

Xandari Riverscapes

Review by Serena Autorino from The Peterpan Collar. Check out Serena on Instagram

Xandari Riverscapes are definitely one of the top rated luxury houseboats in Alleppey. There are all the comforts you require and it is certainly an experience to do. You cannot come to Kerala without experiencing a houseboat.

The thing that I appreciated most is how the houseboat accommodation in Alleppey and the service grant every kind of comfort (great food, air conditioning in the room) without sacrificing the characteristic style and tradition of these type of boats.

There is nothing that I did not like during my stay. The only thing is that for some people it might be a problem not to have a “western” option for food, but I really appreciated the classic Kerala choice.

I really appreciated being able to see up close the lives of the people who live in these backwaters. The most exciting moment was the sunset in such a suggestive landscape.

Kerala boat house prices start at 190 euros per night (including meals) for two people. The company has available boats with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms.

Woman reads a book on a houseboat

Relax on your luxury houseboat in Alleppey, Kerala

Good news for the single ladies and gents

It is also possible to book a single room and share the journey and the common area of the boat with other passengers.

Reserve your spot on Xandari Riverscapes now

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Lakes & Lagoons

Review by Stefanos Addimando from Stef Addimando Photography. Check out Stef on Instagram.

‘Lakes & Lagoons is one of the leading companies in the houseboat industry in Kerala. My overall rating is 4.5/5 and I loved many things about the houseboat’ says Stefanos.

‘First of all, the staff are incredibly kind and helpful. India is known for its humbling hospitality. This isn’t something new. However, the staff on our houseboat made us feel comfortable from the moment that we stepped foot on the boat.

Lunch and dinner times were flexible; the cook asked us at which time we would like to eat and they planned accordingly. Plus, they did a great job in respecting our privacy, which made us all feel more comfortable and relaxed. For example, the cook did not wake me up even though breakfast was already served and kindly asked my friend Michael to wake me up instead. That was a gesture I particularly appreciated.

The inside of Lakes and Lagoons luxury houseboat in Kerala India

Photo courtesy of Kelly @sunshinekelly2988 on Instagram

The food was definitely another factor that contributed to an overall pleasant experience. The cook prepared for us a variety of traditional local dishes, such as Kerala rice, steamed banana, coconut, chicken with masala, locally grown vegetables, “Pearl Spot” (Karimeen) fry, the starchy Cassava (Tapioca) and fish curry.

The breakfast included an omelette with peppers, onions and tomato and a roll of coconut, rice, sugar and spices. Yum! That was delicious. The presentation of the food was quite simple, which added to the unpretentious character of the whole experience.

The journey itself is very interesting. The houseboat sails at a rather relaxed pace (no need to rush, right?) through wide and narrow passages and probably the best thing about this is that it enables you to observe the local life around you. Villagers living by the river  were working their land, playing with their children and taking a dip in the backwaters. All of them smile and wave to you too!

An Indian lunch served on a table

A yummy lunch served made up of Appelley famous food

Don’t miss the spectacular sunset from the boat. Kerala is particularly generous when it comes to beautiful sunsets, and what is better than watching it from the comfort of your private houseboat ride?

Last but not least, what I really liked was my room. This houseboat is equipped with 3 rooms which are no different than regular hotel rooms. A double bed, a bathroom with shower, A/C, a fan, space for luggage and, of course, a first-seat window view to the river! Nothing beats sitting on the couch outside and enjoying a delicious fresh coconut while sailing along the backwaters. It is one of those moments where you feel complete.

The bedroom on a luxury houseboat showing two beds and a window

Besides the sound of water, you would never notice that you aren't in Alleppey hotel room

There was a particular moment when I thought I was in a movie or some kind of fairy tale. Imagine sitting on the edge of the boat, your feet hanging over the river, the warm breeze gently blowing. You only hear the sound of the water as you sail as you’re showered by golden afternoon sun rays. Then a group of children are bathing carefree and having the time of their lives. They spot you from afar and greet you cheerfully. You then realise that happiness lies in simple things. I can say that it was a moment that had “Kerala” written all over it.

The Alleppey houseboat packages that the company offers for a houseboat ride usually include 3 days (2 nights) and can vary from $80 to $300, depending on which package you choose.

Book your houseboat experiences with Lakes and Lagoons here

Review by Kelly from Sunshine Kelly. Check out Kelly on Instagram.

‘My overall rating is 4.5 star’ says Kelly.

It was my first time staying overnight in a houseboat together with 3 friends. I enjoyed the slow pace and laid back life on the houseboat. Since there is no electronic entertainment like TV, radio, and the internet, we spent most of the time chatting, get to know each other better and also enjoy the beautiful backwaters of Kerala.

There were 3 rooms in our houseboat. All have air-conditioning, a bathroom, and toilet. There is a dining area, sofa, sundeck in the front of the houseboat and a small kitchen at the back. Our houseboat was clean and equipped with the basic necessities that you need. It’s not too fancy and I like it that way because it’s classic.

We were served traditional Keralan dishes for lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and breakfast on board. The Alleppey houseboat lunch and dinner were very good. I like the curries and the portions were generous too! Our houseboat came with a crew of 2 staff on board and they were friendly and the service was good. I loved my overall houseboat experience!

I loved the sunset moments, the sounds of nature and serenity. When we passed by the villages the kids were swimming and they waved. People there are so friendly and cheerful. Plus we got the chance to stop-over and explore one of the villages and that was really cool!

Reserve your houseboat with Lakes and Lagoons here

Spice Route Luxury Cruises

Review by Shea from The World Up Closer. Check out Shea on Instagram.

We toured the Kerala Backwaters with Spice Routes Luxury Cruises!

We had a really good experience on the Kerala luxury houseboat tour. The staff were friendly. The food was delicious. Our boat had the capacity to accommodate 6 guests and even up to that point, it was still very spacious and comfortable.

Generally speaking, the Kerala houseboats are interesting-looking. I love how traditional they are. The wooden structure, the bamboo poles along with roofs made from palm tree leaves enhances the experience.

A luxury houseboat at night with its lights on

Soak up the sounds of the evening on Spice Routes Luxury Houseboat in Alleppey. Photo credit: Shea from @theworldupcloser on Instagram

Being on board gives you a chance to explore the backwaters, canals and lagoons in Alleppey. It’s slow-paced, relaxing and would naturally be a travel experience I’d personally recommend when visiting the south of India.

The hospitality on board was warm and to make the experience even more pleasant, the houseboat was equipped with hot running water and air-conditioning.

My overall experience was a very pleasant one. There is not much to say I didn’t like. Though, I must say that as a solo traveller, the cost might be a little more expensive than you’d like.

Farhana sits on the bow of the boat wearing a hat Farhana sits on the bow of the boat wearing a hat

Woman stands on a houseboat in Alleppey, India Woman stands on a houseboat in Alleppey, India

Be sure to be up early to catch the sunrise. The early morning mist, the steaming fog, and the tranquil moments is an experience I’d recommend NOT TO MISS while on board.

The early mornings on the backwaters are simple and peaceful. If you practice yoga or meditation, here would be an ideal spot.

The prices range depending on the season and the type of boat you are interested in. Currently, prices start at 22,500 rupees and reach up to 35,000 rupees.

If you are looking to have this experience as a solo traveller, I’d recommend to reach out to Spice Luxury Cruises as boats are usually booked as a whole rather than per room.

Reserve your luxury houseboat with Spice Routes now

Review by Farhana Oberson. Check her out on YouTube and Instagram.

For the boat tour, my roommate and I were in Spice Routes. A company offering luxury accommodation on the backwaters of Kerala.

I definitely give the Spice Routes tour a 5 out 5.

I loved so many things about the houseboat. First is the service. The hospitality service was so incredible. The staff were always smiling and ready to help with anything that would make our stay more comfortable and easier. I remember I had a scarf I wanted to hang to dry on the boat as it was moving, I asked them for a peg to hold it, but they came up with a more creative way of hanging the scarf without it flying off. I was quite impressed.

Even at 10pm at night, I couldn’t figure out how to switch on the charging ports. They woke up just to help me out. The food was so delicious and so fresh, the interior decor of the houseboat had an ambiance which was so relaxing.

I can’t say I disliked anything because we were fully taken care of from the minute we entered, to the moment we left. It was an incredible experience.

Book your houseboat with Spice Routes here

Rainbow Cruises

Review by Jonny Melon. Check Jonny out on Instagram.

I chose to do my boat tour with Rainbow Cruises, a reputable company in the Kerala Backwaters.

I give Rainbow Cruises an overall rating of 5 out of 5 as there was not a single thing about the boat or the crew that I can fault.

Jonny Melon takes a selfie on a houseboat in river

Jonny Melon having fun on the edge of a Alleppey Houseboat

What was not to love about the Rainbow Cruises houseboat? From the moment I stepped foot on board, the crew made me feel very welcomed as they handed me a fresh cold coconut to sip on as they gave me the grand tour of the boat.

I was allocated a private air-conditioned room with a comfortable king-sized bed, a bathroom en-suite, a large walk-in wardrobe, lock safe and glass windows that stretch from the floor to the roof boasting clear views of the backwaters.

On board, I had my own personal chef and a waiter that took very good care of me. And of course, the captain safely navigated us along the backwaters during our voyage!

I have nothing negative to say about Rainbow Cruises, the entire experience was flawless.

The cuisine on board the houseboat for lunch and dinner consisted of a 3-course meal with a variety of Indian dishes such as curries, chicken, fish, papadums and desserts. And for breakfast, I enjoyed a plate of banana pancakes, fruits and a cup of hot coffee as I watched the sun rising over the backwaters of Kerala.

Alleppey Houseboat in Kerala India

Rainbow Cruises Alleppey Luxury Houseboat. Photo credit: Jonny Melon @jonny.melon

Cruising through the interconnected waterways of Alleppey was nothing short of amazing. The tranquility that surrounded me as we cruised aimlessly along the backwaters of Kerala, also referred to as the Venice of the East, was an enchanting experience that I will never forget. It’s not just exquisite window views from the houseboat but it also gave me a closer look into the daily lives of the local villagers that reside on the palm tree fringed canals.

Read more reviews of Rainbow Cruises here

Discover more activities in Kerala India!

Which luxury Alleppey houseboat will you choose?

As you can see exploring the Alleppey backwaters on a Kerala boat house is a relaxing and unique way to see India. It is also a great alternative to the Alleppey hotels and allows you Alleppey sightseeing at the same time. The travel bloggers all enjoyed their experiences on the best Alleppey houseboats and we hope it has inspired you to take a Kerala house boat tour.

Side view of a houseboat with doors

Alleppey Houseboat tours offer a unique way to explore Kerala

Related Reading

How to travel from Alleppey to Thekkady in Kerala

5 top places to visit in Kochi in Kerala India

2020 Best Solo Female Travel Destinations

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Have you been to India? Have you explored Kerala? Which company do you think you’ll travel with? Check out more articles on my India Destinations page!

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What is the best Alleppey Luxury Houseboat in Kerala India? Me and my friends tried out four different boat companies to compare them side by side! Click on the pin to head to my comparison article on Teacake Travels and choose the best houseboat experience for yourself.

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About Alice Teacake

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I'm a feminist British kickass solo female traveller who believes in women facing their fears, pushing their boundaries and reaching their full potential through solo adventure travel! I have been featured in Nat Geo Traveller UK, Lonely Planet, the Daily Mail and Buzzfeed and spoken about solo female travel safety on BBC One, whilst working with a bunch of awesome brands. Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

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