Not as expected!
04.02.2016 - 04.02.2016 31 °C
This was my second stay at Casa Mia. The first time, was back in March 2014 when I spent two nights with Usha and her family.
This time, I was with my wife of 12 months, who was very much looking forward to her 'Casa Mia' experience.
After a testing 90 minute journey from the airport (horrendous traffic jams caused by the construction of the Cochin metro), we arrived at Casa Mia.
We were warmly greeted by Usha and her family and given the usual welcome drink.
On my previous visit, at the request of my hosts, I was asked for my ideas as to how Casa Mia could improve its rankings on Trip Advisor.
I was more than happy to do this, as I have extensive experience of staying at other homestays in India, all within the same price range as Casa Mia, all of which provide a range of inclusive extras, including larger rooms with a view, not currently included at Casa Mia.
My suggestions included: provision of tea/coffee making facilities for each room; installation of TV; mosquito repellent; complimentary toiletries in bathroom; upgrading the quality of towels. Also, bottled water should be available for guests at all times.
The only improvement was the inclusion of Casa Mia branded soap in the bathroom.
Not only will Usha and Anthony have to address these issues, they will also need to improve the rooms by ensuring that all electrical switches are working correctly and also ensure that extractor fans in bathrooms are fitted with safety covers.
Breakfast choices should also be varied for guests staying for a week or longer. The daily offering is an omelette, with toast and jam, supplemented with a coconut wrap. Tea was also served, but was not always hot.
It would also be nice if the breakfast table was prepared and set for a meal, as this would make it more of an occasion.
Frustratingly, the amount of time to use wi-fi is from 8am to 10.45pm. This is very restricting, especially if you need to contact business colleagues in normal working hours in the UK.
Like the rest of Fort Cochin, Pattalam Road has become noisier, with the increase in tourist numbers and the opening of more Homestays in the area. This is also impacting on the quality of stay at Casa Mia.
There is no doubt that staying in a homestay has many benefits and it is a great opportunity to experience how other cultures live their lives on a daily basis.
However, the disadvantages are that sometimes family routines can affect the quality of your stay. As a guest, despite the fact that you are paying for, what you hope is a quality service, you have to accept that you are not always a priority!
In my view, Casa Mia is fine for a brief stay, as the rooms are very clean and the location is convenient. But for a longer stay, to be comfortable, the provision of more creature comforts are required.