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“Quiet and Serene” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Niraamaya Retreats

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Niraamaya Retreats
5.0 of 5 Spa   |   Pulinkudi | Mullur, South of Kovalam, Kovalam 695 521, India (Formerly Surya Samudra Private Retreats)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 47 hotels in Kovalam
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Quiet and Serene”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

I stayed at the resort during the first week of Feb 2013, it was a honey moon trip with my wife. The location is pristine . We were put up in "Polygon". The sea view and breezy atmosphere were more than satisfying. The food both at the Thai restaurant and Café Samsara was amazing. Santosh and Deepak do deserve special credit for their customer service. A big Thanks to the staff for having us there.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vincent r, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear MerwynDsouza

I am glad to hear that you had a memorable honeymoon at Niraamaya Retreats, Surya Samudra Kovalam. Maintaining the natural surroundings and being true to the tropical nature of the environment is a key focus in our delivering a Niraamaya Experience.

We thank you for your kind mention of Santosh and Deepak of the Food and Beverage department and are glad that you enjoyed our Café Samsara and South East Asian restaurant Essence with its accent on Thai cuisine.

Looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Thanking you,
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358 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
203 helpful votes 203 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

I can say in all our years of travelling, it is the single most appalling experience we have ever had with a hotel.
We had selected the Surya Samudra based on Tripadvisor rating & a recommendation from a close friend in the industry who consulted his databases. Also, the photographs on the site depict what appears to be a luxurious property consisting of charming, light-flooded heritage cottages with beautiful interior designs.
The Surya Samudra is at best a low-range resort, with several serious flaws: The grounds have steep pathways connecting the various structures, not suitable for people with walking difficulties/wheelchairs. Also there is a lack of railings next to the steps to swimming pool & beach so difficult to reach so the beaches were hardly accessible! The restaurant, advertised as offering “excellent Indian and European cuisine”, had nothing of the refined atmosphere with unimaginative dishes and unprofessional service, long delays, cold food, miniscule portions & wrong items being delivered. The biggest disappointment was the accommodations: Our sea front beach cottages had insect infestations. Some of the furniture was visibly worn, cleanliness in the rooms was an issue whereby only the areas in view were cleaned & areas out of site were filthy, under bed, back or shelves/drawers, stained mosquito nets!.
When leaving our request for assistance to help us in carrying our heavy pieces of luggage up very steep paths was ignored & we had to do ourselves!

Altogether a frustrating experience, this could be a wonderful hotel - the location is fantastic

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

After 2 days at the lovely Cardamom Club (also managed by Niraamaya), in Mid January 2013 my wife and I reached Kovalam with the highest expectations. And, I have to say, they were absolutely met.

Despite the resort was fully booked, hotel staff gave us great attention and treated us like royals. We had the beautiful Banyan Tree Bungalow, a huge bungalow with a vast bathroom rounding an old banyan tree: there we have been very comfortable.

The beach is stunning, cuisine (local and international) is very fresh and tasty, and the location of the property is conveniently close to the TRV airport (45 mins).

We enjoyed the spa facilities, trying both international and ayrvedic massages with utmost pleasure. Personnel was very professional and helpful.

Overall, after 2 Niraamaya resorts in 5 days (Tekkady and Kovalam), I can say that our experience was absolutely great!

Will definitely come back!

Room Tip: The Banyan Tree Bungalow is unique
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vincent r, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear Marco,

It has been a pleasure to welcome you and your wife to Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra, Kovalam after hosting you at our newly opened Retreat in Thekkady. The circuit between these two properties is what we are actively promoting now in order to provide our guests with a contrasting misty hill and secluded beach holiday in one package.

We are glad that you found both the Spa and the Cuisine to your liking as these are major factors that go into our delivering a retreat experience.

Looking forward to welcoming you back to both our properties in the near future.

Thanking you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We have just returned from 2 weeks at Niraamaya, wonderfully peaceful and relaxing !
The drive to the retreat takes about half an hour by car from the airport, the roads are OK but then you swing off onto a heavily potholed track and I started to panic, but once the big wooden gates are opened, we were introduced to an oasis of calm.
Check-in was straighforward and a welcome drink, coconut water and cold towels were provided ad we were shown to our cottage. We were in Mosque View, all of the cottages within the grounds have names. The shoer walk provided us with an opportunity to sample the very well maintained grounds and wonderful views !
The cottages are typical Kerala style, so expect lots of dark wood and duck for the doors ! They have lovely bit windows which let in lots of light and ours had a perfect sea view. The toilet/shower are open air and very spacious. The cottage was very clean and housekeeping were faultless. The free wi-fi was an added bonus and resort wide.
There are two restaurants a the Retreat, the main one, which is where breakfast is served, together with an International menu for lunch and dinner, then also the Thai restaurant which is only for dinner. The breakfasts are amazing !! There is an extensive menu, ranging from museli to traditional Indian and you can have as many as you can eat ! All freshly cooked/prepared. There is a different smoothy every day eg banana and cinnamon, apple, ginger and lime !! To be honest we ate so much at breakfast, we rarely are lunch !!
We ate dinner is both restaurants several times and apart from one dish, all were pretty amazing ! We also took a tuk tuk a fews times down to Kovalam beach to eat down there, just for a change, takes about 20 mins and we paid 500 rupees for a return.
There are stone steps down to the beach, which is clean and pretty much deserted, there are 2 locals selling their wares there but they don't hassle you. The waves can get a bit rough but the water was surprisingly warm.
There are plenty of loungers around the pool/grounds and staff very prompt in providing assistance and towels.
We had a few treatments in the spa. which were heaven and I though very reasonably priced.
I used the gym a few times, every time on my own even when the resort was full. There is a treadmill, cross trainer and a plate machine, along with large multi gym and free weights.
All in all, a perfect place to get away from it all, eat very good food, enjoy a book and watch magical sunsets !!

Room Tip: Paying a little more for a sea view is well worth it.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vincent r, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear carrowe,

It is with great satisfaction that the team of Niraamaya Retreats receives your positive review.

We are glad that we exceeded your expectations through the fortnight when the retreat was fully booked. This has given tremendous confidence to the team that we do not lower our standards and that we can deliver bespoke services at all times.

We are happy to know that you enjoyed the reconstructed heritage Kerala cottages as well as the natural tropical environment of the property.

Freshness and variety in cuisine are two core values that our Chef focuses on in order to provide a unique experience.

The Gym and Spa are part of our endeavour to provide mix of modern International services as well as authentic traditional treatments to our guests.

We do look forward to welcoming you back in the future for another vacation of relaxation.

Thanking you,
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Europe
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We spent a few days in this wonderful place and I would very much like to go back. It felt quite private and definitely not crowded although they were fully booked. Beach is beautiful and secluded (waves can be rough though), the pool area is beautiful and clean. Food was also very tasty. The spa is beautiful, I also tried a couple of treatments/massages, they were ok, although nothing spectacular. They had complimentary wifi, although they did not advertise that when we booked.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vincent r, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, February 1, 2013
Dear Reisija,

Thank you for spending time to share your experience at Niraamaya Retreats, Surya Samudra Kovalam with us.

We are glad that you did not feel crowded at the retreat especially in our secluded beach and natural rock pool. It is our endeavour to exceed our Guest’s expectations with our cuisine and spa. While ensuring authenticity we do strive for innovation in these areas also.

We have added complimentary Wi-fi as an added guest service as we feel that this enhances guest satisfaction.

Niraamaya retreats looks forward to welcoming you back and offering you an enhanced experience.

Thanking you,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

This is a lovely hotel. Its a nice refuge from the far dirtier and more crowded areas of Kovalam. The cottages are lovely, and the food is very good at the restaurant. The beach is beautiful and easily accessed. We wish we had more time here.
Our only observation was that the service was a bit 'hit or miss'. Though the staff were very friendly, the English language skill of some staff was very marginal. The service was inconsistent and the staff were prone to confusion. But there were no major problems.
The rooms are lovely but not as well maintained as we'd expect for a luxury resort. Our fan was broken, some lightbulbs were out and dirty dishes not picked up from the grounds.
We greatly appreciated the driving staff of the hotel; they were terrific.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 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.
vincent r, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear David,

Thank you for your candid review and taking time to share in detail your experiences at Niraamaya Retreats, Kovalam.

It is through such feedback that we strive to improve our service delivery.
I am glad that you appreciated the location and the easily accessible secluded beach. As these are some of the attributes that go into defining our retreat.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future

Thanking you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We stayed here for the final 3 days of our honeymoon and were delighted with our choice. It is a ride away from town, and about 20km from Kovalam, but everything you needed for a 3 day stay was on site.

The cottage was perfect, with a beautiful view of the sea and private beach. We weren't overlooking or overlooked by anyone else, and the design and location of the cottages had been clearly well planned. The cottage had all the amenities you needed and the bathroom was modern, with the shower in the small courtyard.

There was A/C and a fan, and the bed had an in-built mosquito net. The staff also came around nightly to smoke the mosquitos out and so we didn't have any problems with bites.

The food choice in the two restaurants was excellent - a Thai and an international restaurant which served Keralan and other options, so impossible to get bored. There were also daily specials.

The staff were very friendly, helpful and attentive, whilst remaining low-key. There is free wifi available across most of the site. The spa was excellent, not the cheapest we had come across, but the staff were professional and highly skilled.

Would highly recommend, and would certainly return.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vincent r, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Lizzie,

Thank you for sharing in detail the memorable honeymoon you and your partner had at Niraamaya Retreats, Surya Samudra Kovalam.

Our team strives to provide bespoke experiences in all facets of the services. We are glad that you enjoyed dining in the South East Asian restaurant Essence as well as our Café Samsara. The Spa along with cuisine is part of our focus in delivering a Niraamaya Experience.

Your review has really motivated our team to strive towards exceeding guest expectations.

Looking forward to welcoming you in your next vacation to God's own country.

Thanking you
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 Niraamaya Retreats

Address: Pulinkudi | Mullur, South of Kovalam, Kovalam 695 521, India (Formerly Surya Samudra Private Retreats)
Location: India > Kerala > Kovalam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Kovalam
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Luxury Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Spa Hotel in Kovalam
#2 Business Hotel in Kovalam
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kovalam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Niraamaya Retreats 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Now re-opened under a new management as Surya Samudra Private Retreats. Luxury heritage beach resort. Adjoining two pristine, unspoilt beaches and completely secluded from the busy tourist areas of Kovalam. Enjoy complete privacy and serenity. Stay in a carefully restored traditional Kerala tharavadu dwelling. At our Spa Niraamaya, highly trained therapists pamper you with herbs, oils, and concoctions that relax your body, revitalise your mind, and renew your spirit. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Surya Samudra Private Retreats Hotel Kovalam
Surya Samudra Beach Garden Hotel
Surya Samudra Beach Garden Spa
Niraamaya Retreats Kovalam, Kerala

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