Johnson Gilbert, an Indian born and brought up in Kuwait, settled in Kerala in 1989. After a successfull career as a party DJ (Disc Jockey) and music shop owner in Kochi, he returned to his hometown in Alleppey and converted his home into a guesthouse. “The Nest” as it was then called was soon listed in all International guidebooks and is now well established.
Over the years, by interacting with his inhouse guests, Johnson understood that the main reason for tourists to vist Alleppey was for the backwaters, and that quite a few tourists were now looking for less touristy destinations in Kerala.
Also, tourists now prefered to see and experience the backwaters of Alleppey via an overnight cruise on a houseboat, or Kettuvallom or rice barge, as they are sometimes called. Initially using a friend’s boat Johnson then designed and built his own houseboat in 2007. “The Pride” Eco-houseboat was launched mid 2009, became hugely successfull. It is now the cornerstone of his tourism business in Kerala.
A chance meeting with an old acquaintance led to the discovery of the Secret beach. This quiet beach, and the guesthouse near there, promoted by himself, soon became almost as popular as Johnson’s homestay (as his guesthouse is now known). And gave another reason for his tourists to spend more time in Alleppey. Inspired and encouraged, Johnson contacted a family friend’s farmhouse in Mananthavady, Wayanad, an emerging hill-station known for it’s wild-life sanctuaries, waterfalls, caves, spice and tea plantations, and added it to his enlarging off the tourist trail places for his guests to visit in Kerala. An artist friend’s dream cottage in 90 acres of green countryside in Vagamon, another hill station, where there’s plenty of peace and quiet, and here you are- in JOHNSONS KERALA
Since the last 5 years,Johnson has organized a special event for his guests to watch the Kerala snake boat race.It’s getting bigger every year
|Kochin- Alleppey||– 1 ½ hours (Road/Rail)||Calicut -Wayanad||– 3 ½ hours (Road)|
|Alleppey – Kollam||– 1 ½ hours (Road/ Rail)||Wayanad -Mysore||– 3 hours (Road)|
|“ “||– 8 hours
(Tourist boat ferry)
|Wayanad -Ooty||– 6 hours (Road)|
|Kollam – Varkala||– 1 hours (Road / Rail||Wayanad -Bangalore||– 6 hours (Road)|
|Alleppey-Kottayam||– 1 ½ hours (Road)||Wayanad -Kodaikanal||– 7 hours (Road)|
|“ “||– 3 hours
|Wayanad- Kannur||– 3 hours (Road)|
|Kottayam – Kumaly
|– 3 ½ hours (Road)||Alleppey -Trivandrum||– 3½ hours (Road/ Rail)|
|Kumaly Periyar – Munnar||– 5 ½ hours (Road)||Kochin -Vagamon||– 2 ½ hours (Road)|
|Alleppey – Munnar||– 7 hours (Road)||Alleppey -Vagamon||-4 hours (Road|
|– 6 ½ hours (Road/Rail)|