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“Mixed feelings” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort

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Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Kovalam, South of Kovalam, | South of Kovalam beach, Chowara 695501, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Chowara
Sandefjord, Norway
Top Contributor
273 reviews 273 reviews
110 hotel reviews
Reviews in 131 cities Reviews in 131 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2011

This place is mostly for ayurvedic treatments, which the staff also pointed out at arrival. We came there just for relaxing a couple of days without treatments, and my review is written from that perspective

Warm welcoming and briefing. Our accomodation was okay - bathroom somewhat simple. Mosquitonet and "smoke treatment" could however not keep away from our bed :-( If I should go again, I would prefer an aircon room.

The location is good, with views to the fishermen`s beach. However no place in the garden to sit and enjoy the views. The cottages has some outdoor furniture, but in a bad repair, and many are located with no views.

Pool at the sister property, which you also walk throught to go down to the "hotel beach". By the way the sister property looked nicer and better kept. Complimentary sunbeds and umbrellas at the beach. A bit of hassle of sellers. Beautiful sunsets from the beach. However it officially "close" at 5:30, sunbeds and umbrellas stoved away.

The restaurant cares for the various diets of those on treatments with buffet meals. One or two non veg dishes at the buffett, at evening you could pay extra for BBQ food. They killed a snake one evening in the restaurant. Appearently a non posionous small thing, but still - a snake. Beer and wine available. Be prepared to dine with people smelling herbal oils and wearing dressing gowns - it is a natural part of an ayrvedic resort.

Avoid having laundry done. It took ages, and smelled very funny when it arrived. Had to send it to cleaning at the next resort to get rid of the smell.

Not suitable for disabled or with poor walking ability, lots of stairs, steep paths.

Various tours and activities offered. Do not book taxi throught the reception - at daytime there will taxi drivers outside the gate which charge you less than half the price!

In addition to the ayrvedic centre, there is also a "beauty salon" which offers manicure, facials and so on. Pleasant staff and ok service there

As much as I liked the views to the fishermen`s beach and the sunset at the beach, I would probably stay in Kovalam next time - for better dining and more to do.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a real beach view from the sitting area. I guess the more expensive have the best v...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
Switzerland
Top Contributor
257 reviews 257 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011

Somatheeram: one name for two different Resorts. The differences are more important than the similarities. They both are situated on a hill overlooking the ocean. They share the pool and stairs leading to the sea, these two equipments are on the field of the neighboring Somatheeram Ayurvedic Resort (with a logo with a big S). Here I’ll talk about the Somatheeram Ayurveda (logo with an orange sun). Originally, both places were just one Resort which belonged to two brothers. Today, each brother runs his own Resort under almost the same name. It’s confusing. They share a bit of common infrastructure (road to the pool and sea).
For the rest, many things are quite different. Unfortunately, we had already paid full price in advance for a stay of two weeks at the Ayurveda. Otherwise, we would have changed to the Ayurvedic.
.
The location
The situation is idyllic, on the heights overlooking the beach of Chowara, south of Kovalam. At the foot of the hil: fishing villages, a place of Christian worship ... and a cemetery. The garden of the Resort, like anywhere in Kerala, is nice and surrounded by lush vegetation.

The cottages
There is no central hotel-building, but a set of rudimentary cottages with well-functioning bathrooms. In this part of the country where it is easily 32 degrees with 85% humidity, the majority of these homes have no air conditioning, just a fan. Against all logic, the two windows are on the same side, preventing the possibility to have some air circulating. We were forced to leave the door open hoping to cool down the air. When it rains (which was the case every day for several hours during, late October and early November 2011), there is no possibility to stay outside and to be sheltered watching the rain fall. Only the expensive Kerala Houses have a small sheltered terrace. The Resort has no library or coffee- shop, where you could stay to read during the rainy season.

The reception
As everywhere in Kerala, the traveler is welcomed with jasmine flowers and coconut juice on his arrival at the resort. But we were quickly disappointed by the lack of professionalism. Only one person spoke English properly. The other employees knew just few words.

The restaurant
An impressive number of employees spin around inefficiently in the hall of the restaurant. We couldn’t understand what their roles were. When we asked one person to clean a table, the request passed from one waiter to another, with no guarantee of success. When someone finally came to set the table, he generally didn’t bother to remove the remains of salt or rice left by previous guests on the tablecloth. When we ordered some tea, it happened that it was served 20 minutes later or just forgotten. A waiter would get rid of one dirty plate leaving the other two - dirty too - on the table, etc... We had the feeling that the employees were physically present but mentally absent, taken in their dreams.

The food
A large buffet is set up at each meal, with a variety of dishes. But the food is bland, tasteless, mostly overcooked. If you arrive at two pm, the food is usually cold because the cooks forget to turn on the gas under the pans at the buffet. Three days after our arrival, we discovered by chance that we could also order a la carte, since we were on a full-board basis. Nothing is clear in this hotel; one has to discover everything by himself. The real scandal, however, for this establishment dedicated to Aurveda, are the signs denoting foods. In the Ayurvedic tradition one chooses his food according to his two Doshas. The signs were purely fanciful, such as a combination of the three elements together (Vatha Pitta Kapha). Our Ayurvedic doctor told us that there should be a maximum of two elements in one dish. That didn’t reassure us about the seriousness of Somatheeram Ayurveda. Of course, nobody in the restaurant did speak enough English to explain us the reason of these mistakes. We were expecting a diet tailored to our needs. We were disappointed.

The Rejuvenating Cure
We had come for a cure of 14 days. They promised us, two hours of daily treatment. In fact, it was mostly an hour and a half. The meeting with the doctor was a standardized cold ritual, without any warmth or empathy. Until the end of our stay we were identified by your room number and not by our name. The ayurvedic masseuses knew barely ten words in English. Communication was therefore limited to the order "Sit! » and the question, «OK?”. The massage oil had a rancid smell and was mostly too hot. During the massage, other employees kept coming in and out disturbing our tranquility.

Poor hygiene
Once you arrive at the Ayurvedic center, you must take off your shoes. So your feet pick up a lot of dust (and mine also a plantar wart). The masseuses then spread out this dirt from the feet all over the body. It feels pretty bad. After a few days, I allowed myself to ask them to clean my feet before starting the full body massage. I didn’t ask how they cleaned the wooden beds on which we laid naked and took our oil baths. I also wondered with other tourists what they did with the gallons of used oil. We thought that they reuse for other clients.

Yoga
I was looking forward to yoga classes. Since I couldn’t attend the group lessons, I took four or five private lessons. The teacher was unable to take into account my physical condition. He even pushed on my back for a stretch, causing back pain that lasted several days. I watched the beginner’s classes taught by a woman at the other Soomatheeram Resort, they seemed much more appropriate!

Tips
In several hotels in Kerala, the customers are invited not to give individual tips but rather to put them in a box at the reception; the money is then distributed equally among the staff. It’s a great idea. At the Somatheeram everybody is expecting a tip. The therapist of my husband explicitly asked if he would give him a good tip and mentioned an amount of 200 dollars!

In conclusion
We did not get the impression of personalized care. We were treated as anonymous customers. "Room-number! » said in a peremptory way was the usual greeting. It seemed us that the English word "please" didn’t exist at the Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort. In our opinion, it is not an Ayurvedic clinic, but a bad beach resort. I refuse to attribute to cultural differences the lack of competence of the hotel staff. Ten days in Kerala, before arriving at this Resort, have shown us that three-star hotels with adequate English-speaking staff are not an exception. These hotels were not more expensive then the Somatheeram. Their staff was better trained and perhaps better paid.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011 via mobile

We stayed two days in Somatheeram Beach Resort at the end of November and have mixed feelings about it.

The room (garden cottage) was very small and the bathroom was very plain.

The front office people are really nice but the rest of the staff not so much. At the restaurant we nearly found them rude which was chocking given that South Indian people are very nice.

The Ayurvedic spa is quite nice and while it is very busy they always found availability for us.

All in all, it feels that this resort has gained a little too much confidence after receiving "best Ayurvedic spa in Kerala".

We had some issues with our room on the last night (a giant ants invasion) and we were transferred to Manaltheeram (their sister property). We liked it better, it is cosier!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2011 via mobile

I stayed 18 days in Somatheeram. The treatment is good but accomodation is really heterogenous, and globally bad for the price paid (no privacy, palm rats, noise : planes at night every hour, very loud..etc.). The staff althought very well intentionned makes permanent blunders which ends up to make your stay not so "relaxing".
We were several people from Germany, Austria and France not to be happy at all when we left.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

when i first saw the location, i said 'wow', the place is truly beautiful and my experience has been rejuvenating. the staff, the location, the service in short everything was fantastic. we have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and already have plans to return. I would like to thank the staff who took special care of us and made us feel at home. we are definitely going to recommend this place to our friends and family. my first experience in India and especially kerala has been fantastic .

thank you Somatheeram

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gibraltar
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

I recently had the pleasure of staying at Somatheeram Ayurveda resort , ambiance and the location itself can create a relaxing mood on tourists. The staff are friendly, helpful and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that the stay is as enjoyable as possible. The rooms are not luxury but its clean and more traditional one. The sea view rooms simply amazing. Somatheeram is providing a real ayurveda treatment not a modern spa activities. I can recommend this resort those who are looking for the real ayurveda and relaxing day........in your trip.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2011

The setting is beautiful, but staff is not helpful........no hot water 24hrs.......all prices in Euros only, when you purchase anything, they covert to Rupees and then convert to your currency, double conversion charges. Went there for a rest, but left Stressed!!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SreejithKK, Manager at Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, responded to this review, November 5, 2011
First of all we like to thank the guest who took time to write a review. Nice to
know that guest enjoyed the location.
It seems there were lot of misunderstandings by the guest. Regarding hot
water, all our rooms are equipped with an independent/ dedicated water
heater. Hot water is available throughout the day. This can be operated by
the guest themselves according to the requirement. Instructions for
operating dedicated hot water system is imprinted and fixed on the wall at
a highly visibly location in the room.
As part of our energy saving initiative, the dedicated water heating system
has to be switched on manually by the guest according to the requirement.
This information is given verbally to every guest during the check -in
procedure by our ‘Guest Relation Executive’. The same
information in written format (on cards) are placed in every room and
handed over to the guest and explained. This also included our linen
change and water saving programs as well. The issue were never reported by
the guest and never discussed to our guest relation executive (who met the
guest on a daily basis).

Regarding the Tariff, In order to cater International guests from
various parts of the world, our resort maintain Euro,
Rupee and USD tariff for the convenience of the guests. As
majority of our guests falls under the Euro currency zone, there is a
demand and request from our guests for Euro Tariff, so we maintain Euro
tariff as the General Tariff. As part of our check- in procedure we convey
this message to every guest for their convenience of paying various
services in the hotel. Guests can select the currency according to their
wish.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort

Address: Kovalam, South of Kovalam, | South of Kovalam beach, Chowara 695501, India
Location: India > Kerala > Chowara
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Chowara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 89
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Somatheeram is the world of authentic Ayurveda. A serene Aryurvedic resort by the sea in South India. Here you can benefit from traditional Ayurvedic therapy as well as yoga in a blissfully peaceful environment. It is one of the best tourism spots in Kerala, India. Located at Chowara Beach on a hillock 9 km south of the famous Kovalam Beach, Trivandrum, Kerala with over 15 acres of greenery all around.And for houseboat trip in kollam u can visit our kollam allseason backwater resort .. search for allseason kollam ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Somatheeram Ayurveda Hotel Chowara
Somatheeram Ayurvedic Beach Hotel
Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort Kerala, India - Chowara

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