The Valentine season reminds me of my honeymoon 3 years ago. We had taken a trip to Munar & Kumarkom. Hubby had recently shifted jobs and therefore there was a general paucity of leave allowed, hence we settled for a 4 night stay. We booked through Cox and Kings and how insensitive they can get, will be evident as I tell my tale below.
We checked in the morning at Munar in a supposedly star rating hotel. Let me tell you the highlights of the star hotel-
When we asked if breakfast was available, the look on the reception desk guy’s face was- since you came so late you get to skip breakfast.
Munar in December and the hotel does not have round the clock hot water.
The bathroom was of such a dimension that you would hit the wash basin or fall in the loo if you did not walk like walking the tightrope.
No room heaters either. So a honeymooning couple gets to simply sniggle in the bed and shiver.
To top it all, guys, hold your breath, twin beds joined together, to make it look like a single one until you remove the covers and sleep on it.
The furniture (read bed) was lightweight with lightweight mattresses. The mattresses and the twin beds were behaving as if they were the like poles of a magnet. Repelling and moving apart at the slightest action. The only time the beds and mattresses behaved was when we behaved.
The next day hubby demanded a room with the basic amenities that a honeymoon couple deserves- a double bed. We were quickly shifted to another room which was even smaller than the first one. Except the double bed everything else was worse than the first one.
The next day we were driven to Kumarkom and checked in a proper 5-star resort. Believe me, we felt like a real honeymoon couple for just that day. Unlike the 1st two days when we felt as if we have got married on the sly and are spending a few nights in a sleazy, budget hotel. We got a good cottage with a view and a luxurious bathroom with a greenhouse inside. I am sure Cox & Kings understood that we had enough money to do it in a decent way and they should have checked with us before cutting corners.
But the next day takes the cake. They sent us on a boat trip to Alleppy the next afternoon – with adjectives of secluded and romantic thrown in. Well, some people may enjoy it but I would not pretend. I tried to be adventurous and took to the whole damn thing. I must admit the afternoon was enjoyable, the cook on the boat cooked us a wonderful lunch and the makeshift dining table, cum living room cum sit-out was good. The bedroom was surprisingly comfortable but cramped and the lighting was dull. I am a bright lights person and I found it depressing. The bathroom was tiny- as small as the toilet in a train.
We had imagined that at night the boat would dock in the city and we would see the place for whatever it was worth. But to our dismay they docked in the middle of the backwaters after 7 pm as the fisher folk would have cast their nets for and in order to not disturb them, boats were not allowed to ply. I take a few minutes to paint the romantic picture. Pitch dark, musical orchestra of creepy crawlies and amphibians, interrupted by the buzz of mosquitoes and our ardent pursuit of those mosquitoes, more number of boatmen than the two of us aboard and the fragrance of mosquito coil. Since hubby and I knew each other for 7 years, unlike arranged marriages, we did not have to get to know each other and therefore we did not have much to talk about. We were comfortable even sitting quietly together but the scenario was not at all relaxing. The boat hand took pity on us and gave us a deck of cards to play with. Great fun, is it not.. :(
The next morning the cab drove us to Cochin and we spent the afternoon shopping. Now Cochin is not exactly a great shopping hub so you can imagine the fun we would have had but since I can manage to shop anywhere in the world, I did buy a few things.
The only bright part was the nice cab service Cox & Kings provided us and for my part, I am yet to take a luxurious holiday to blot out the bittersweet honeymoon memories. Makes me feel bad that we could have had a good time but the holiday providers did not obviously put their heart into the arrangements. For them it was just another business whereas for us it was special.