Visit Lakeside for Diwali – at discount prices

OK, so this breaks with tradition and is an unashamed advert for our Lakeside Guesthouse. Why? you may ask. The answer is that Diwali is approaching, a time for family, friends and fun. We thought ‘Where better to share such times than at Lakeside?’

If you don’t like adverts then please skip this post. I promise that such adverts will be few and far between, and you will get adequate notice at the beginning (like this one!)

For those who would like to spend their Diwali holiday with us at Lakeside, why not take a look at our offer.

We hope to meet some of you at Lakeside for Diwali, or any other time!

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014!

Great news!

Lakeside has been awarded TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence 2014’.

It is good to know that all our hard work is paying off.

We would like to thank our staff who work so hard, and without whom we would not have been able to achieve the high standards that we do.

Also, many thanks to our reviewers for their kind comments, it is these that keep us informed of where we are, and help us to constantly improve our services.

Many thanks,

Dorinda and Peter

 

Distant Frontiers – great holiday ideas

We recently had a visit from a young man who researches tours for Kuoni, the holiday tour company. We spent a very nice two days together, and he has now featured us in this months magazine which is sent to their business contacts and tour companies. It is really exciting to get a great recommendation from such a prestigious company.

If you want to see the newsletter please click here, choose your language, then click newsletter at the bottom left and choose current issue (for the month of December 2013).

In the meantime you may like to read one of the three articles about us here.

6 things we liked about Lakeside

View at Lakeside, Tammil Nadu

1. Amazing View: Visit Lakeside and you realise what made Dorinda and Pete leave behind their old lives, to become the proud owners of this beautiful guesthouse. It is surprising to find a guest-house here, yet even more unexpected is the fact that it is run by an English couple. As soon as you check into the property, bougainvillea’s in full bloom greet you and beyond the periphery is a  beautiful lake surrounded by coconut plantations.

2. Wonderful hosts: The hands-on approach of Dorinda and Pete makes your stay memorable. Lakeside guarantees a warm welcome and comfortable stay with the couple working hard to provide unique experiences and opportunities, particularly for foreign guests to experience, real life in rural Tamil Nadu, which is something they don’t find on the average tour. Kennedy, the caretaker and the other locals who have been trained to look after the guests, always have a smile on their face and are helpful without being obtrusive.

Sari weaving as a cottage industry

3. Village Tour: One of the highlights of my Tamil Nadu trip was the Village Tour I did at the Lakeside Guesthouse.  I have done a lot of tours like this before. But the tour with Dorinda was excellent. I could see that a lot of time had gone into planning the tour and identifying the experiences that would interest clients. While on the tour, you visit a local brick making factory, a village school, a weaver’s family, a potter, a coconut de-husking unit and few other interesting people. Since the local community also benefits from these tours, everyone is very happy to see us. It is an unhurried experience where you decide how much you want to spend interacting at the various places. At the school the children recited poems for us that they had been learning which was wonderful. Dorinda and Kennedy, both accompany the guests on the tour and are excellent at explaining all that we see. The tour starts around nine o’clock in the morning and it is almost lunch time by the time we come back.

4. Accessibility:  Lakeside is hidden away in a remote valley, just a two hour drive from Madurai and around a three hour drive from Chettinad. Its excellent location makes it an ideal way to end a hectic Tamil Nadu itinerary or rest for a few days before entering Kerala.

Brahminy kite with turtle for breakfast

Brahminy kite with turtle for breakfast

5. Peace and Relaxation: To mirror Dorinda’s words, Lakeside provides you the opportunity to unwind close to nature. You will love the early mornings, watching the sunrise and nature come to life. It is especially enjoyable to do a morning walk down by the lakeside, with the chance of seeing deer or wild-boar and with the ever present birdlife for company. Or sitting on the veranda in the early evening, watching the sun go down over the mountains, sipping a cold beer as you watch the goats and water buffalo make their slow way homewards. The well-stocked library entices you to pick up a book that you have been meaning to read, but never got around to because of all the distraction of everyday life.

Guests enjoying a dip in our pool!6. The Room and Pool:  Lakeside does not provide ultra-luxurious accommodation, but you can be sure of a very comfortable stay. The main bungalow has four rooms (2 air-conditioned) with magnificent views of the lake. The rooms are ample in size although smaller than those of the individual cottages. The six individual cottages are spread around the property and are very spacious with an extra bed for the third person (2 air-conditioned). You also have the option to choose air-conditioning just for the night ( 8pm to 8am) – Ideal if you are a budget traveller but still want your comfort. The buildings are spread out in the landscaped gardens in a way that offers space for people to ‘do their own thing’ whilst enjoying the fantastic views. I don’t know why, but I was not accepting to find a pool here. But the presence of a beautiful clean pool was like the icing on the cake.

I hope you enjoyed reading – and maybe it has whet your appetite for a visit to Lakeside.

Sunrise at Lakeside

A little love goes a long way – Relief Projects India

We meet many people from all walks of life, and of all nationalities, who come to stay with us at Lakeside.  We recently had a couple come to stay with us just for one night who live and work locally (in Madurai) and needed to get away for a break. I’m pleased to say they left feeling refreshed and ready for work once more.

 

Jesse (from America) and Susanna (from England) first came to Tamil Nadu in the aftermath of the Tsunami to do whatever they could to help the injured and homeless. Then, in 2007, they set up their own charity – Relief Projects India.

Female infanticide is still a problem in many rural areas of India and the first project that Jesse and Susanna were involved with was rescuing baby girls. For westerners it is still hard to believe that families will kill perfectly healthy baby girls just because they are girls. On the positive side there are many childless Indian couples who want to adopt, and they are willing to take a girl as they just want a baby, any baby, of their own. Many children have been placed this way, but those who are physically or mentally challenged are not so lucky. Jesse and Susanna are now planning projects to help these children. They are also working to help educate women and teenage girls in the hope that they will then have a brighter future.

Please take a look at the wonderful work that these people are doing.  Jesse and Susanna do not take a salary from the charity, every penny raised goes to the children while they themselves live off their retirement benefits. A truly remarkable couple who show just what can be done with a little love, dedication and determination.

The photographs are taken for the Relief Projects India website.

A summers day beside the lake

The hot season has arrived here at Lakeside.  Today it is 37 degrees in the shade!  We still get some guests at this time of year, but not as many as usual so May is the month for my husband, Pete, to carry out essential maintenance work whilst I focus on the marketing side of the business.

In the hot season I rise with the sun, take the dog for a walk by the lake, then feed him and the horse before getting my breakfast of fresh fruit juice, eggs, toast and coffee, all taken on the veranda while enjoying the view of the lake.  Then it’s time to exercise Raja (the horse) before a few hours working in the office.

Everyone gets tired in this heat so lunch is followed by a siesta – and that’s not just the humans!

Afternoon siesta!

I spend my afternoons either in the office or researching tours, or maybe shopping before a welcome swim in our pool.  If I have time I try to practice my Tamil which is not an easy language to learn!

Guests enjoying a dip in our pool!

The day winds down with drinks on the roof as the sun sets, and a great Indian meal cooked by our staff.  Then early to bed to be ready for sunrise tomorrow.

I must admit, I love my life!

TripAdvisor reviews

One of the things I enjoy about my life at Lakeside is the opportunity to meet guests from all over the world – from America to Australia to Europe, and all points in between!  Many of our guests have been kind enough to write reviews of their stay with us.  We really do appreciate all of the positive comments as it makes our work here seem so worthwhile.  Of course, we couldn’t do it without our excellent staff. Some recent guests have just written a review which can be seen here.  You never know, it might just whet your appetitie for a visit to Lakeside!