I wanted to surprise my better half with an awesome travel experience. It had to be short, luxurious & relaxing. In summers, coastal India is considered off-season. Hence an ideal time to experience those aspirational resorts at reasonable rates. These go at some insane prices at other times of the year. The Leela, Kovalam turned out to be the chosen one on this occasion.

Air tickets booked on Indigo and a short conversation with the resort to request a private pickup from Trivandrum airport rather than a shared one as listed in the offer. The effectiveness of a phone conversation worked again & they instantly obliged.

Just when everything was set and about 12 hours before the flight from Bangalore, parenthood got better of us and we decided take our daughter! To save us from the guilt of buying the highest priced last minute air ticket, we used the accumulated miles in the Citibank Premier Miles credit card. At the standard rate of Rs 0.50 per mile, it was a nominal value but who cares for such a priceless excitement :)

The next morning, it was MegaCabs to reach the airport followed by an on time 9E377. The Leela representative stationed at the airport led us to a waiting sedan that zipped us to the beautiful resort in 30 minutes.

The all-inclusive package had an add-on rate for children. I had obviously not selected that when I booked. Here comes a cracker: Not only did the nice guy who managed our check-in decided not to charge the add-on but also upgraded to a sea view room! I later learnt all the garden view rooms were under renovation. This is second time lucky for such an upgrade after the last in Berjaya, Langkawi.

The resort is set on the top of hill that leaps into the Arabian ocean. The views from the balcony were superb. Beach is easily accessible with excellent bath facilities. The oriental restaurant by the beach was a memorable experience. All the staff are extremely courteous. Happy hours at the bar until 7pm. Just wish it were until an hour later. Well-serviced adult and kids pool. Play room for kids with plenty of stuff to keep them engaged. Buffet at the regular restaurant was just ok and mundane. The Kerala cuisine, fruits and deserts were nice. Rooms were serviced twice in a day and unlimited bottles of water on request.

The weather turned out to be perfectly fine- pleasant, just-enough sun and short night showers.

In conclusion:
- There is nothing called peak or off-peak season. Look at weather forecast/past averages and decide based on what suits you and the companions
- Off-season could turn out to be the opportunity season
- Miles on credit card spends are more valuable than random points in return for shopping vouchers & other random gifts

Questions? Post them here.

 

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