Wild and naturally beautiful, the Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady, is perched amidst acres of cardamom plantations and surrounded by mountains. The place is pure haven for escapists to enjoy the rhythm of tranquillity and nature.Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club Thekkady opened in December 2012 and is located in Periyar, in the southern Indian state of Kerala.The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 300sq miles, of which 140sq miles is thick evergreen forest. The wildlife sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in 1978. The greatest attractions of Periyar are the herds of wild elephants, deer and bison that come down to drink in the lake. The sanctuary can be accessed through a trekking, boating or jeep safari.
The retreat offers thirteen premium cottages, Niraamaya’s acclaimed Spa with Western and Ayurveda rooms, Madira Bar and Samsara restaurant. Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club won the Luxury Travel Guide 2016 – Luxury Country Retreat of the Year.
There are 13 unique cottages offering spectacular views of lush green mountains or the verdant gardens. Each cottage comes with en-suite bathrooms with open-to-sky showers. The rooms have large floor-to-ceiling windows that open out to the verdant foliage. The cottages house pretty patios that are ideal for that first cup of coffee in the morning. All the cottages are fully furnished and have a television, tea/coffee maker, direct dial telephone, safe locker, mini-bar and toiletries.
The globally acclaimed spa at Niraamaya Cardamom Club, Thekkady, offers therapeutic traditions from across the world. Therapists specialise in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing system, Thai and Western relaxation techniques, and traditional Asian therapies, such as reflexology. A signature treatment is the 90-minute Spice Magic, a harmonious mix of Indian and Western methodologies, using spice-infused aromatic blended oils. Warm spice compresses help guests attain the state of Niraamaya, or ‘freedom from ailments’.
Nestled in the woods Café Samsara has open views of natural forest and its vibrant bird life, and offers a combination of international, Kerala and Pan-Indian cuisine. Specialities include chef’s traditional mutton stew for breakfast, or zesty authentic pastas for lunch. Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 10am; lunch is from 12.30pm to 3pm and dinner is available from 7pm to 10.30pm.
The cosy bar, Madira, is a great place to unwind from the day’s outings over a decadent cocktail.
The property is open all-year round and is accessible by road. The nearest railway station is Kottayam (114km) and the nearest airport is Madurai (140km).
Thekkady is located near to the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.
New cottages on stilts are being added to the existing inventory of rooms. A swimming pool will also be built for guests looking to remain within the resort.
For the more adventurous traveller Thekkady offers several options including jeep safaris, trekking, bamboo rafting, cultural shows, spice walks and shopping.
Jungle Scout: Join this three-hour trek and you are not only taken on night patrols across the fringe zones of the Tiger Reserve, but you are also helping to protect the forests of Periyar. And while on your hike, make sure to listen carefully and keep your eyes peeled to spot one of the many forest birds. Whether it is the distinct calls of the Jungle Babbler or the proud casque of the Malabar Pied Hornbill, the birds of Thekkady will leave you enchanted.
Gavi Jeep Safari: For a genuine safari experience, travel by jeep into the densest reaches of the Cardamom Hills. The safari takes you through all forms of terrain – valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grasslands and cascading waterfalls. The rare Lion Tailed Macaques, the Yellow Necked Nilgiri Marten, Salim Ali’s Fruit Bats, gaurs, black bears, wild elephants and tigers are some of the extraordinary sights you will see on your trip here.
Spice Route: Take a walk down the bustling streets of Kumily Bazaar as the local spices tickle your senses. Stop to absorb the local culture while you enjoy crisp banana chips straight from the baskets of street vendors. Travel the spice route along the beautifully maintained plantations of Thekkady. The mountain air and the scent of spices blend together to create a truly spellbinding aroma as you are guided to clove, pepper, rubber, vanilla, coffee and tea plantations of Thekkady. You can also visit the Tea Factory and see how tea is made.