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“Lovely Stay”
Review of Niraamaya Retreats

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Niraamaya Retreats
Ranked #1 of 52 Hotels in Kovalam
Certificate of Excellence
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Lovely Stay”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

The hotel is a little out of Kovalam (probably 15-20 mins in a cab, 700/800 rs) but it is lovely and tranquil, with a stunning infinity pool over looking the bay. The rooms are old Keralan cottages and whilst they are a little dark we loved them and the open air bath room, they also had free wifi in the rooms, something which none of the 5* properties we stayed in when touring northern India did. The service on the whole is good (there were moments that suprised and others that disappointed).

We had booked an airport transfer direct with the hotel, but the hotel lost the reservation and we ended up getting a pre-paid taxi, which was fine and about half the price the hotel would have charged us. We arrived late at night and the hotel had put sandwiches in our room (free of charge) as well as keeping the chefs behind in case we wanted to order any room service which was lovely. The turndown service was great and they actually came into your room to fog it and deter any Mosquitos as well as giving you lovely home made chocolates. Breakfast was all al a carte and made to order, with lovely home made jams, this was great on one hand but did take quite a while and at times there seemed to be lots of staff but no one in control so it was a little challenging to get a second cup of coffee!

The food however was lovely both at breakfast and dinner, although we would have liked to be able to get some 'hard liquor' (a gin and tonic before dinner is always nice) as they only served beer and wine, but not a deal breaker. I also used the spa, where the service was great.

Overall we would happily recommend for a relaxing and enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank dentonsdestinations
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 7, 2013
Dear Sir,

Thank you for your feedback and positive comments - we are pleased that the service you encountered exceeded expectations. We look forward to welcoming you or your friends back again.

Superior and personalized service is what we strive to achieve - we are pleased that your experience reflected that.

We would indeed work to improve on the areas highlighted.

Bye for now and stay well!

Hospitably Yours,

Vincent Renold
General Manager - Business Development
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Stockholm, Sweden
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Niraamaya Retreats is a treat for all your senses. A breathtaking and relaxing surrounding, beautiful and comfortable accommodation, delicious food, and above all, the greatest staff we have ever met.

The retreat is much larger than your average resort, with 30 odd huts and rooms, which gives you privacy even when the place is fully booked. The retreat is set in a beautifully landscaped park on the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. The view is striking. There are beaches on both sides of the resort. One is a private beach, which the resort shares with only one other small resort. The beaches are clean and it almost feels like you are stranded on a deserted island. Here you actually have a fairly good chance of being alone on the beach, which we were at several times! The large number of palm trees on the resort provides plenty of natural shade, when you want to take a break from the sun in one of the lounge chairs outside your hut, one of the many hammocks or by the beautiful big infinity pool.

There are two restaurants on the resort, and they are both excellent. Their menus are large and varied.

The best thing about the place, though, is the staff. The cleaning people, gardeners, pool attendants, waiters, room service, receptionists and managers are all great! Not only do they provide excellent service, but they do it with that rare genuine smile. Many of the employees have interesting stories to tell, if you open up to them. We actually spent much more time talking to the staff, than we spent talking to other guests.

The sea can be a bit rough, with big waves. It can be challenging to swim in, but is mostly great fun.

We highly recommend this place! And we are already planning to go back here next year.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jens L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NiraamayaRetreats, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear Jens L

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your positive review regarding your relaxing stay with us. At Niraamaya Retreats we pride ourselves at not only having secluded beaches, but also having dedicated staff. Our team members have been greatly encouraged by your kind words and are even more motivated now to provide excellent service.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the coming year on your next vacation to Kerala, and strive to improve on your Niraamaya Experience.

Thanking you
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Beirut, Lebanon
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

I just spent this Christmas week in this Niraamaya resort together with my wife and two young children. I believe this quiet Hotel was fully booked (Families with very young children, and couples, most I would say western/northern Europeans) but it never felt crowded at all.
The resort is very beautiful in a secluded location on a cliff with direct access to two almost private beaches. We stayed in a garden view bungalow (The Palm) near the Spa and really enjoyed watching our kids feed the birds in our terrace. The semi-open Bathroom layout is unique and fantastic.
The Restaurant: Loved the food. As it was our first time in India and we were only staying one week we did not want to take any chances of getting sick, so we decided to play safe and have all our meals in the two restaurants. My only regret today was not to have tried all the dishes. Besides the great Indian food in the main restaurant, really enjoyed the Kerala buffet and the Thai specialties at the Essence restaurant. Compliments to the Chef and all his team for the excellent job. It was a real pleasure. Some guests might feel that to wait half an hour + for a meal is too long, I say if that is the time it takes to cook a perfect meal, so be it… In the meanwhile you can watch the eagles fly above the swimming pool, watch the waves at the ocean, enjoy the live music or the martial arts show, or just have a chat with the waiters who are all very friendly and go the extra mile to make your meal a success.
The SPA: All our requests were accommodated in a very professional and friendly manner, and both my wife and kids took yoga lessons from Sudeven. If you are looking for that mystical yoga experience in India, do not miss a lesson with this charming gentleman
The free and fast speed WIFI available probably everywhere in the resort is a great PLUS
Some minor issues I would improve:
1) The Mosquito net in our room covered 3/4 th of the bed. Maybe add the missing bit for total protection
2) Create a nice excursion brochure with photos with the standard half day trips to Trivadrum, backwaters, tea plantations, elephant + Lion Park and even Kovallam + fishing village and propose them at a reasonable price, while using only good and safe vehicles/ Drivers who are knowledgeable of the region.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sergio M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NiraamayaRetreats, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear Sergio M,

Thank you for your review and positive comments. We are very happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed the serenity and tranquility of the retreat.

Your encouraging words for our team of Café Samsara and our South East Asian restaurant Essence have motivated the team to strive harder to exceed guest’s expectations.

We have noted down the feedback on the Mosquito net which is largely decorative. We do carry out traditional eco-friendly incense fogging of all rooms and public areas every evening so as to ensure that our guests are not troubled by insects.

Concierge activities around this exciting destination are also part of our planned extended services, so as to provide all our guests a memorable authentic cultural experience.

Looking forward to welcoming you back to Niraamaya Retreats.
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Augsburg, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2012

If you are in Kerala looking for a Hotel / prvate Resort with Spa and you think of the following kind of paradise:
- on the cliffs above the beach with coconut trees around you and an infinity pool above the sea with view to the sea
- small, sandy, secluded beaches between rocks
- two open air restaurant with excellent food, above the sea with sunset view and each place seeing the sea
- romantic Kerala style cottages with a veranda, seaview and open air bathroom (never mind, it is never cold)
- a perfect spa with a wide variety of massages and treatments
- the most friendly staff
- a place to releax and to enjoy romantic atmosphere
- away from the crowds in a private tropical surrounding by the sea


One Spa-treatment for couples is a must: Ying Yang Massage

Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra is the place youwould like to stay forever!!

Room Tip: Ask for the cottages with Sea View
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RudolfHAUG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NiraamayaRetreats, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear RHisserich,

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to give us your positive and encouraging review.

This has motivated us to focus on enhancing the Niraamaya experience that we try to provide to our guests in our retreats on exceeding guests expectations and providing an authentic cultural indulgence along with relaxation.

Looking forward to welcoming you back for another memorable holiday at Niraamaya Retreats!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Just returned home after an amazing 5 nights at this beautiful hotel, situated away from Kovalem town. We arrived needing some serious relaxation and de-stress, and from the moment we arrived we were made extremely welcome and felt thoroughly looked after by the attentive and friendly staff. The grounds and gardens were superb and a joy to wander through (though some of the paths at night were not all as well lit as could be, so remember to take a torch), the food was excellent in variety, presentation, taste and quantity.

The room was beautiful. Our particular room was a little dark at night though and the bathroom took some getting used to as it had no curtains to screen it from the little courtyard - even though this was totally private to our room. Evening performances of high quality, traditional Indian music and dance, in the restaurant (which overlooked the sea), were a wonderful unexpected treat. An infinity pool cut from existing rock was great to bathe in while watching the sun set and view the twinkling lights of the fishing boats out at sea.

The local beach was stunning, while the second beach which was accessed through a pretty doorway provided some glimpses of the daily life of local fisherman. We didn't have time to explore the local fishing village, though what we saw gave us another reason for wanting to come back.

A truly wonderful place to stay- which exceeded our expecatations.We recommend this superb hotel without reservation.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Graham121212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NiraamayaRetreats, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear Graham,

We are happy to hear that, you really enjoyed at our property. Thank you very much sharing your feedback on the memorable time you spent at Niraamaya Retreats ,Kovalam.

Our team strives to capitalize on the pristine location and secluded beach and provide a discreet authentic cultural experience along with international indulgence.

Looking forward to welcoming you back, at one of our retreats.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 12, 2012

Just spent 4 days in this lovely hotel which is set in a beautiful location with a stunning private beach. We had a Rock Garden room which was large and very comfortable. The decor is elegant and we could find no fault with the accomodation. The food was of a very high quality and breakfast on the terrace looking out on the ocean was lovely. The staff were very polite and more than helpful. The hotel is a lovely size and never appeared crowded despite it's high occupancy. I would have no hesitation to recommend this hotel for a total relax.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 2012nirvana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NiraamayaRetreats, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Dear Nirvana,

Thank you very much for inspiring us by sharing the positive feedback.

The team at Niraamaya Retreats ,Kovalam are encouraged by your recommendation and aspire to enhance the service delivery so as to further exceed expectations of all guests.

We look forward to welcoming you back for another Niraamaya experience.
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Mumbai
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2012

Just returned from a satisfying 5 days stay at Niraamaya. Set away from the city, amidst coconut trees on a cliff by the beachside, the location is perfect for a rejuvenating break away from the hustle bustle of a city. The retreat is perfect for couples looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday. The rooms are very well maintained. We stayed at the premium heritage room and it had an excellent sea view. Morning and evening housekeeping services are provided along with small touches like leaving chocolates on your bedside at night.

The service staff is welcoming and polite and we did have a personalized experience. We enquired about a few local delicacies not in the menu and were offered that the same would be prepared for us on the very next day. The quality of the food is excellent. Most of the accompaniments are made in-house. You should try the in-house pickles, jams and chutneys. The pace of service left something to be desired for. It takes a while for your order to be served.

The pool overlooks an almost private beach and one can enjoy the perfect sunset from the restaurant, pool or the beer/wine bar. Getting down to the beach can be in issue if you are not comfortable with stairs on a rocky cliff.

The retreat also has a Ayurveda centre which has a plenty of options. The centre is clean and the staff again is very courteous and polite. We enjoyed the treatments there. Though you need to take prior appointments.

Some points to note:
1. Service pace is a bit slow. Best to order about 30 mins before you want service
2. The pathways in the retreat are a bit dimly lit at night. We had to use the flashlight in our phones to get the adequate light.
3. Beer and wine are the only alcoholic beverages served.
4. Would not particularly recommend place for families with kids as besides the pool and the beach there is not much i think the kids can possibly do there.

Room Tip: Choose Heritage Premium Rooms for an excellent sea side view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank coolwave
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 Coolwave,

Thank you for spending your time to leave a note about Niraamaya Retreats,Kovalam.

While we work on fine tuning our service delivery we also try bring unobtrusive service to match the serenity of the retreat. Our cuisine seeks to use freshly made ingredients and preparations as against packaged supermarket “fast food” solutions and this does mean that we do a slightly longer time to serve.

I am glad to tell you that the complete pathway lighting is currently undergoing an upgrade, and that the challenges you faced would be a thing of the past.

We do not have a full alcohol license currently and are limited to wine and beer. However we have applied for the same so as to provide our guests with wider selection of International beverages in the future.

We have noted your comments on children’s activities and are working on increasing kid friendly activities in the coming months.

Thanking you for your positive feedback and looking forward to welcoming you back for an enhanced Niraamaya Experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Niraamaya Retreats

Property: Niraamaya Retreats
Address: Pulinkudi | Mullur, South of Kovalam, Kovalam 695 521, India (Formerly Surya Samudra Private Retreats)
Location: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Spa Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Family Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kovalam
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kovalam
#3 Business Hotel in Kovalam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Niraamaya Retreats 5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Now re-opened under a new management as Surya Samudra Private Retreats. Relais & Chateaux 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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