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“This Place Trys and Succeeds”
Review of Niraamaya Retreats

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Niraamaya Retreats
Ranked #1 of 52 Hotels in Kovalam
Certificate of Excellence
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“This Place Trys and Succeeds”
Reviewed November 17, 2013

This resort has an awful lot going for it. I think one of the marks of a great hotel or resort is how comfortable and carefree they make you feel without appearing doing so. As I reflect on my experience at this resort it is easy to identify what qualities really stand out for me: the service, the people, the accommodations and the grounds.

My 6-night sojourn here began under difficult circumstances. My luggage was lost somewhere along the way to India from New York. Several members of the staff made it their personal responsibility to help me recover my luggage, including Athulya at the front desk, John Maliakal, the general manager, and others from the restaurant, all working their connections. Their many, many hours of help over the 3 days that it took went well beyond what one would expect from any hotel or resort staff.

They were just as attentive to other needs that I informed them about. When I had a problem with the A/C in my cottage two people were at my doorstep within minutes to get it sorted. When I was needing water or mosquito repellent they where there in jiffy.

The heritage cottages there have the distinction of possessing wonderful character alongside very comfortable accommodations. While each seems to have their own front patio and outdoor bathroom no two appear to be the same in all the other ways. The layout, the design and the materials used for each cottage and the way they are situated differs in such a way that the you don't feel any part of the typical cookie-cutter resort. I stayed in the Papaya cottage which is back away from the ocean. While it would have been nice to have had an ocean view at times, I can honestly say that I didn't feel like I was missing out in any way. I had both the sounds of being in among the trees as well as hearing the ocean waves crash against the surf in the background. Coming from New York City, where sounds and noises come at you from nearly all turns, it was nice to have this tranquil balance of sounds from ocean and land. So if you have concerns about not sleeping well due to crashing waves I suggest something a little further back from the ocean front cottages.

Inside the cottages the rooms are comfortable and well appointed. The bed and linens are soft and high quality. The cottage could have had a sofa so that more than one person could sit together. The open air bathroom was particularly special, in that it was well laid out, spacious, allowed plenty of outside light in, and still maintained full privacy if one choose, even from a traveling companion. (It seems like the trend now in top hotels is to have see-through or translucent shower and bathroom walls. It's a nice idea of sorts, but is almost always poorly executed from my experience. When traveling as a couple who really wants to have full and constant view of bathroom and shower from all the other parts of your room? Hopefully this trend will subside real soon, and just leave it to the Niraamaya's of the world to have them tastefully done.)

The food here is generally great. I did eat my first night at the seafood restaurant. It was tasty but didn't rock me. Most of the other days were following an Ayurveda cleanse diet. So I had my own menu prescribed by the spa for that. There was variety on my special menu and many tasty dishes among the choices, though sometimes what I had was bland due to my prescribed diet. But after hearing other guests rave about things they had ordered from the regular menu I broke the diet and joined in my last night. That last meal was quite fantastic. And now I wish I had only broken my diet a few days earlier since I am a serious foodie and feel like I missed out.

I participated in daily ayurvedic spa treatments and yoga. Beforehand I had only had a couple of ayurvedic massages in my entire life and so knew very little of the practice. While I felt enhanced by and benefited from the ayurvedic treatments I feel in the end that I went a little overboard with it. They take their practice there very seriously and have beautiful and good facilities to perform the treatments. Don't hesitate ever to let them know if something is too much for you. They will adjust according to your preference. As far as the yoga goes this was really my original reason for choosing this place. The yoga platform is insane. Bordered by the ocean practically on 3 sides the beautiful platform sports classic columns at each corner. I had my own personal instructor every day at sunset. She really helped me to understand what I was doing with yoga instead just trying to follow strict form as is generally the norm in the West. I am basically at intermediate level, so I came away from this experience with a much richer understanding and respect for yoga. In the end I only wish I had done yoga twice a day.

All in all this was a big highlight of my adventures and experiences in India. The resort does a great job of offering luxury and refinement within heritage accommodations. I have visited a couple of other 5-star Heritage palace hotels in Rajasthan and this easily exceeded those. While I cannot compare it with the numerous resorts that seem to dot the coast in Kovalam I do think this is an exceptional choice that most people will come away from as having had a wonderful and memorable experience.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

A secluded piece of heaven. Private villas with stunning views. Friendly and helpful staff. Wonderful authentic food. Fantastic spa treatments available. I would go back in a heartbeat. This holiday will always hold very special memories.

  • Stayed November 2013
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Helpful?
Thank JosieHa1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
1 review
Reviewed November 12, 2013

The hotel provides a very good service, excellent and clean rooms. The service is great and the friendly staff is always ready to help you out. The resort is perfect for couples who want to escape from the busy everyday life. The ocean/beach is unfortunately very rough and could be a little dangerous for not professional swimmers. So if you are looking for a perfect beach you would find better places in India. However, all in all really recommendable.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Niklas1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhahran
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 12, 2013

This hotel could be Kerala's best kept secret. It is situated in a secluded and private area of Kovalam, the sea view is little piece of paradise. If you want to get away from it all, relax, enjoy the beautiful and serene nature of Kerala, try ayruvedic massages, enjoy the gastronomic tastes of southern india, this place is for you.

My wonderful family of 19 wanted to spend a holiday together, and this was a great choice for us, we had a wonderful and memorable holiday at this hotel.

What made our stay more pleasureable was the friendly staff, especially the restaurant manager Sarath and the executive chef Prakash. They were very accomodating and agreed to especially cater our meals for us with a menu of our choice and a private service and dining table. Ofcourse we wanted to try the cuisine of southern india, and chef Prakash did not dissappoint, he delivered the goods with a wonderful variety of dishes that pleased our eyes and palates. We also did a cooking lesson with the chef to try and learn some of his best recipes and cooking tips, and it was verybnice of him to provide the written recipes.

The downside of this hotel is some of the services in the front desk which is understaffed and under tooled. Checkout time was a mess. We had switched rooms while we were there and the accounting of individual room bills all needed to be reviewed. We were doing that for at least 2 hours. Their billing software definitly needs to be changed to something more flexible. We also charged more than we should have for the extra beds.

Overall it was a wonderful and memorable holiday experirence, I strongly recommend it for others.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Zaki A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
1 review
Reviewed November 12, 2013

Best place to relax and have a rest. Very peaceful hotel! Excellent cottages with a seaview, tasty food in the restaurant, beautiful pool and marvelous beach. This place is definetly your choise if you are tired of crowd city.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Maria_Andreicheva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg City, Russia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2013

I`ve spent 3 nights in Niraamaya resort, it was very peaceful rest, very peaceful, comfortable and beautiful. We lived in big beautiful wooden cottage, the territory of resort is big enough and very green, there is a swimming pool, staff is very friendly and cuisine is really tasty and your preferences can be taken into consideration. I advise everyone to go and enjoy relaxing sea vacations in this resort.

Room Tip: Some cottages such as Beach cottage east have sea view
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank tjusja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tirana, Albania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2013

The resort location next to the ocean shore is perfect and it provides a great view. The resort is peaceful, very green, well landscaped and well kept. They offer a large variety of spa and massage treatments with well trained staff. Rooms are cozy and nicely designed. I was amazed by the large open bath spaces with plants around. My room was perfectly located in front of the ocean where I could hear the sound of the waves.

Staff is very friendly, courteous and helpful.

Overall I had an amazing experience and definitely in for a second visit. :)

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Manuola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 On the Beach Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Spa Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Family 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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