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ECOCLUB.com Rating

Name of Property (Country):

"Hinterlaand" (India)

ECOCLUB.com Rating:

1 ECOCLUB Sun1 ECOCLUB Sun1 ECOCLUB Sun0.4 3.4 out of 5




Lodge Address: Andethumugal, Karikod, Mulamthuruthy, Kochi, Kerala, India 

Number of Rooms:


Average Double Room Rates:

Rs 1375 per night (approx: 22 Euros)

Name of Applicant (Title & Role):

Thrikovil Unni

Official, Legal Proprietor(s):

Sreedevi Unni
Operating Since: 5th April 2009

Rating Application Date:

23 January 2010

Rating Date:

8 February 2010
Rating Explained: For background information on the ECOCLUB.com Rating please see here

The first 5 sections of this application each correspond to the 5 current ECOCLUB.com Rating Criteria:

1. community, family or partner-owned and small-scale
(OWNERSHIP Criterion)

2. minimises its own environmental impact

3. meets the real needs of the community and supports local social & environmental projects chosen by the community in a direct democratic manner
(ECONOMIC Criterion)

4. eliminates poverty & inequality, avoids injustice & exploitation of all types and respects individual & collective human rights & tourism worker rights
(SOCIAL Criterion)

5. promotes knowledge, freedom of expression, collective direct-democratic decision-making, international & intercultural understanding
(CULTURAL Criterion)

Each section is of equal weight (1). The maximum total rating score we can award is 5, and the minimum 0. When a criterion is fully met in our view, we award a full point (1), when it is more or less met 0.75, when it is partly met half a point (0.5) when it is not at all met but effort is being made 0.25 and when we feel that it is not at all met and no effort is being made to meet the specific criterion, no points (0). 



(1.a) Who owns the Lodge? Please clarify if private, family, public, municipal, NGO, cooperative, as well as the nationality and place of birth of the owner.
Property is owned by Sreedevi and Unni Tricovil. The lodge facilities are owned & operated by the whole family consisting of two children & husband & wife.

1a. We are a family of four. Unni has done business experience of 20 year in various sectors. Mrs Sreedevi Unni takes care of the lodging activities of Hinterlaand. The property is in her name and all activities are supported by her. Our son Ajay studies for a BA in Hospitality while our daughter Anagaha is still at school.
picture: Proprietors Unni & Sreedevi talking with Ramesh, an employee).

(1.b) Who manages the Lodge (if different)?
As above.
(1.c) How many rooms are there?

1c 1c2
1c: A bedroom with all amenities like Toilet, hot water, A/C and lighting. 1c2: Another bedroom

(1.d) How many beds are there?
(1.e) How many employees are there?

1e. Three Employees and Unni. Mr. Suresh (right) is mainly active in rubber, pepper and other cultivation. Mr. Prasanth in charge of cleaning & home keeping, purchase, guest care taker and property maintenance. Mr. Sivan (not shown) is in charge of all our pets like Dog, Cat, Goose, Doves, Birds and Hen cleaning, house keeping, watering of all plants are being done by him. Mrs Kujilakshmi is taking care of kitchen. She is an expert in cooking Kerala cuisine. She also takes cares of gardening, cleaning and washing.

(1.f) How many employees are from the same village / city?
(1.g) If applicable, do employees or the community own any shares or share part of the revenue?
(1.h) What is the total area of the land?
7 Acres.

1h: View from the front gate

1h2 1h3
1h2: View from the house 1h3: Terrace, view of landscaping

(1.i) What is the total area of the Lodge including rooms and common areas (in sq. metres)
260 sq.mt. which comprises rooms, common area, dining room and kitchen.
(1.j) What is the total building footprint (in sq. metres)
The total plinth area of lodging building is 280 sq.mt.
(1.k) Who has access to the Lodge’s facilities and its land and for what uses?
The property is open for the public, locals and school and college students, since the property has such a large biodiversity and eco friendly informative aspects.
(1.l) What was the total turnover (total sales) of your last year of operation?  
One lack twelve thousand rupees  INR 1,12,000  (approx. Euros 1,750)



(2.a) Lodge Sitting (how was location chosen):
Beautiful village location 20 km away from the city of Cochin, Kerala. Elegant 100-year-old traditional heritage house, good vegetation, plenty of water, suitable for bio diversified plantation. Large area of land at one stretch. On one side is green paddy field which has added the beauty of the property. More than 175 various plants and trees, beautiful pond etc. are added features.

2a: The location and road access to Hinterlaand. It is about 2km to the nearest city Mullanthuruthy.

2a2 2a3
2a2: Our paddy field where we cultivate rice for us, staff and guests. We have rubber plantation which is a monetary yield along with other crops we cultivate: vegetables, fruits, plantain, pineapple, papaya, coconut, pepper and aracknut. All consumed by us and guests. The excess in being sold in the local market. The guests are very much impressed to see the fresh vegetables, fruit and other daily consumables used directly from farm to kitchen. 2a3: Rubber Tapping at Hinterlaand, by Mr. Suresh a member
of our staff.

(2.b) Policy followed during construction:
The lodge's main building is a 100-year-old traditional keralan house. The aesthetic beauty and elegance has been maintained during renovation.

2b: View of the main lodge building from the gate side.

2b2 2b3
2b2: Front view of the main building 2b3: Back side veranda & open space

(2.c) Lighting:
Natural lighting is very good, adequate electrical lighting is also provided.  

(2.d) Heating:
Generally we do not need heating. Hot water facilities in the bathroom.

(2.e) Cooling:
Most of the bedrooms are air-conditioned.

(2.f) Cleaning:
Cleaning & maintenance of house property, land area and surroundings are done everyday.

(2.g) Water Management:
Rain water harvesting, pond water, well water all the main source of water are very efficiently utilised. Filtered Well water is used for cooking and drinking purposes.

2g 2g2
2g: Pond for Swimming 2g2: Ornamental pond with koi. We have a fish pond from where we can source fish for the kitchen also. 

(2.h) Cooking:
In house, well-maintained kitchen with vegetarian & non-vegetarian meals specialising in kerala cuisine.

(2.i) Waste management:
All vegetable, food and other degradable vests are used for making organic manure which is being used for fertilising purpose.

2i: Recycling for organic manure production

(2.j) Insect, pest control:
The House and the property are being protected by window nets, organic pesticides.

(2.k) Energy Sources, Use & Saving Measures:
Main source of energy ifs cooking is L P G .out side cooking if required is done by wood, coal, & cuttings. Electricity is used for lighting, heating & cooling.

(2.l) Noise Protection:  
Since it is a village area usually there is no much noise & sound, pollution the property is having an extent of 7 acres of peace full area.

(2.m) Accessible by public transport? If yes, please provide instructions from nearby city.
Nearby village town is Mulathuruthy which is 3 km from Hinterlaand. The main city cochin is 20 km away. The property is very much accessible by road, train.

(2.n) What is the recommended way of reaching your Lodge from the nearest International airport?
Cochin international air port is 36 km away from hinterland. The best means of transport is by road either by buses / taxi, auto.

(2.o) Distance from nearby village / city:
Mulamthuruthy Town is 3 km away while the City of Cochin is 20 km away from Hinterlaand.

(2.p) Architectural Features:
aesthetic old traditional kerala style house (THARAVAD).

(2.q) Construction Materials:
cement, tiles, steel, bricks.

(2.r) Landscape Management:
total 7 acres of land is planted in most beautiful way. The plants are arranged as forest plants, zodiac star plants, orchards, spices beautiful landscaping Butterfly Park and a canopy area are maintained properly.

2r 2r3 2r2
2r: Landscaping for biodiversity 2r2: Fruit trees 2r3: Bamboo grove




(3.a) Initiation or participation in local projects:
Very much associated with village interactions, temples, churches, day to day and festival activities.

(3.b) Contact, cooperation with local organisations:
In contact with local body and village people.

(3.c) Direct Donations:
Only for good cause activities.

3c: Gokul, currently studying 8th standard is our sponsored boy who is being accommodated in the property along with staff. We are sponsoring all of his needs like food, dress, education, medication etc…

(3.d) Who took the initiative to build this Lodge?
I, as well as decided to buy this plant. We have a beautiful old building, we work together to make this property and collectively decided to start an eco lodge.

(3.e) Did the local community participate in the decision-making process concerning the founding and creation of this Lodge?
No this is absolutely our private decision but the community support us whole heartedly.

(3.f) How are profits distributed, and who decides about it?
It is totally private ownership and so profit is not shared.

(3.g) Are there any national and local taxes to be paid or are you exempt?
Yes we have to pay local taxes.

(3.h) What percentage of consumables are locally sourced, how many are nationally sourced, and how many are imported?
At present 100% consumables are locally consumed.

(3.i) Do you cultivate food for the guests?
We have cultivated vegetables, fruits which are also used in our kitchen. Sometimes we offer this as gift to the guests.

(3.j) Do you have any agreements with local producers?

(3.k) Have ever you received any funding, state, national, private or international and for what purposes?

(3.l) What is the average double room rate (excluding breakfast) per room per night?
Rs-950 & Rs-1300 per night in rooms without air-condition, Rs 1300 & Rs 1800 for A/c Rooms.
(approx 17.5 Euros without a/c - Euros 25 with a/c)




(4.a) Do your employees have health insurance?
Yes we have medic claims insurance.

(4.b) Do your employees have paid leave?

(4.c) Are your employees entitled to maternity leave?

(4.d) Do you pay your employees above the minimum wage? (Please state minimum wage, and provide salary details):
yes, Rs-7500, Rs-6000 & Rs-4500 X 2 (approx Euros 70 to Euros 117)

(4.e) Average and maximum working day, and work hours per week:
Each employee contributes 8 hours working per day for 6 days in a week i.e. 48 hrs/week.

(4.f) Do you employ your staff all year round?  (If not, please explain arrangement)

4f 4f2
4f: Our staff member Sivan, holding our cat Vicky 4f2: Prasanth on his job

(4.g) Do you employ immigrants? Are they offered the same remuneration & benefits?
No we do not have.

(4.h) Do you employ trainees? Please explain what type of tasks they perform, how much they are paid, and how many hours do they work and how do you source them?
No we do not have.

(4.i) Do you use volunteers? Please explain what tasks they are given?

(4.j) Do you offer concessions to elderly visitors?
Yes. Senior citizens above 60 years are offered 20% concession on accommodation.

(4.k) Is there disabled access at your Lodge?

(4.l) What measures are in place to protect the local (or the indigenous) population from some adverse impacts of tourism?
The total property is fenced and gated. So not trespassers will come inside the property the total property is secured and if any adverse impacts effected or anticipated Police support is very powerful.

(4.m) Do you undertake any poverty reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to poverty reduction?
Directly we do not have.

(4.n) Do you undertake any inequality reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to inequality reduction?
Every year we use to donate financial support, school bags, note books, & uniforms for financially poor students to reduce the inequality.

(4.o) Do you undertake any injustice reduction initiatives or does your operation contribute to injustice reduction?
We love plants and trees which leave a message to the public how good nature is and how it can be protected.

(4.p) What is the minimum, average and maximum age of your employees?
Our employees are 23 to 35 years age group. Maximum age is 34 and average age of employees comes around 28 ½ years.

(4.q) How many employees do you have?




(5.a) Is there a local community / e.g. a nearby village?
The property is in a village area and people are living aside.

5a: Village Neighbours

(5.b) Do guests interact with the local community and how?
guests used to walk through village path ways roads and paddy fields during that time they use to interact wit the local community.

(5.c) What type of information is available to guests at the property:  
how good is the nature? Very informative ideas regarding various forest plants, zodiac star plants, fruit plants, spices, ornamental fish, caging birds, natural birds, butterflies etc

5c: "Birds sighted at Hinterlaand" Display

5c2: "Butterflies Spotted" Display

(5.d) What type of activities are available to guests at the property:
walk through lush green landside, birds watching, butterfly park, ornamental fish, & fishing. Children are provided with various games like badminton, swimming, chess, cricket, caroms etc

5d: Badminton at Hinterlaand

(5.e) Local guided tours for guests:
guide can be arranged on call that can explain local as well as near by informative and beautiful attractive locations.

(5.f) Events / presentations held at the facility so far:
we don’t have that opportunity so far the best thing we celebrated is a Students Exchange Programme from the United Kingdom organised by the Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan Institution.

(5.g) Specific programme for children: 
Children are provided with various games like badminton, swimming, chess, cricket, caroms etc.

(5.h) Research / Publications produced / assisted by the property so far:

(5.i) Is the local community at all involved in the operation of the Lodge and how?
Most of the employees are from local community and casual labourers are arranged locally.




(6.a). Please state any awards or green certificates won by the property and provide scanned photos of these.

(6.b). Have there been any independent (i.e. not paid or otherwise related to you) guest reviews, newspaper, radio, TV or guidebook reviews on your property, which may support any of your replies above? If so please provide detailed information and links (up to 10)

The Hindu, a national daily, has reviewed our property (January 1, 2009)


AMRITA Television (Web: www.amritatv.com) has telecasted the total property in a programme called "Haritha Bhratham" (Green India)
on May 27, 2009 at 5 pm:


(6.c). Please sign to indicate your agreement with the following:

I hereby declare that all my answers are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and understand that I and/or my company will not have the right to veto or 'hide' our ECOCLUB Rating, which will be decided in the manner specified at http://www.ecoclub.com/rating if we find it unfavourable. I also understand that the rating will be valid for a minimum of 1 Year, and a maximum of 3 Years. By submitting this questionnaire I indicate acceptance of all ECOCLUB.com Rating terms, conditions and procedures as stated at http://www.ecoclub.com/rating and understand that these may be modified at any time without notice.

(Please enter (paste) your signature below or type your initials to indicate acceptance)

Your Name: Unni Thrikovil - Date: 21 January 2010




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