Our usual holiday spot in Trivandrum used to be another hotel near Niraamaya retreats called Travancore Heritage.After staying there for 2 days,we decided to change the hotel just for the sake of having a variety and hoping that the stay will be triple as heavenly as it was in TH,considering the fact that the room tariff,cost of food,spa and everything else were triple or more in Niraamaya.
At Niraamaya,a lady at the reception led us to a room which reminded me of old wooden granaries.No one greeted us or served us a welcome drink.It was jam-packed with wooden furniture and kids had no place to move about.The occupant in the adjacent room was a chain smoker too.Upon request,the next day by afternoon we were shifted to another room which was spacious enough.It was in the first floor and the terrain was not friendly for children to play about.The mini roads which connect various rooms(gardens they call) aren't safe enough for an evening stroll and every now and then there is an auto rickshaw or golf car that pass by.There are rocky steps or cobble stone laiden hair pin paths everywhere,but certainly its NOT THE PLACE you feel like having a relaxed walk.The rooms are heavily prized and NOT worth it!!I have traveled all over the world and this is one place were the house keeping staff specifically said they give just 3 milk powders,3 tea bags and 3 coffee powders per day.They give comb,shaving kit and personal care kit only on request it seems.One of them even went to the extent of cross checking with the reception to see if they can provide us an extra bottle of water(considering that we are paying for an additional bed for my older kid).Star rated hotels don't even talk of these petty things.If you ask for water they ask how many we want,not that "I can't give you 4,I can give you only 3).According to them 600 ml water is adequate for sustenance of 2 adults,an 8 year old(whose extra bed is paid for) and an one year old per day.
They say they have a 2 nights' package for some 12,000,but somewhere in a tiny corner,they have mentioned that it is the cost per night.I wonder how it is called a package of 2 nights then!!!It reminded me of an incident where a patient who consumed "strite" drink(a duplicate brand written in the same manner as "sprite")was brought to my hospital with diarrhoea.
All through the 72 hours we were in the hotel,we,especially my kids were reminiscing the wonderful fun filled days we had in the previous hotel.My wife had a spa from there,it was supposed to take 3.5 hours,but wasn't worth the money(For Rs 8000,all they spend is for dry rose and salt body scrub and some olive oil to massage.This is followed by a min facial which uses supplies made in Uttarakhand,which are of the same brand as the soap and lotion provided in the same hotel room.).But the therapist did a good massage and a good job,but they could have provided her some decent quality supplies.
Since the food in the restaurant was delayed,the planned spa was also delayed by half an hour.Hence I informed the reception that I will be checking out only after 30 min from the informed time.A lady at the reception called me up after some time and said its not possible because she wanted to accommodate some other ill fated guest.She also said I am "fortunate" enough to enjoy the beauty of the hotel premises with my kids,but I WILL have to clear my room.She also said that she had informed my wife that we need to check out at 12.30 pm which was later proved to be a big fat lie,about which they later apologized.
The only plus point I can find is the chef Mr Prakash who cooked according to our tastes and the staff at the restaurant.The cuisine was awesome but 2 fish curries and 2 rice with 2 no:s of chappathi can cost as high as 2000 Rs!
It will take me another page to complete,but I am just back from the hotel and if I take the pain to sit here and type this even without getting my dress changed,it just means that the STAY WAS AWFUL!
- 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