Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra


Tucked away in the South Indian state of Kerala, Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra overlooks the Arabian Sea. Its cottages, nestled amongst the coconut trees and caressed by the sea breeze, offer the best in Keralian heritage architecture. A path wends its way to the ‘Chandra’ beach – an idyllic beach with intensely private vibes. Surya Samudra, Kovalam, received the status of Heritage Hotel from the Department of Tourism, Government of India in 1995 and continues to retain this status.Niraamaya means ‘a sense of well-being’ in Sanskrit. All the Niraamaya properties are located in stunning locations and imbibe the philosophy of wellness. The concept of wellness resonates across the retreat – whether it is the spa, yoga or the cuisine at the Niraamaya kitchens.In 2014, Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra was inducted into the prestigious Relais & Châteaux – a global fellowship of individually owned and operated luxury hotels and restaurants. Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra has won the following awards:
    • World Spa Award 2015 – India’s Best Wellness Spa
    • Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2015 – Luxury Boutique Hotel of India
    • Asia Spa Award 2015 – Best Ayurvedic and Wellness Centre

Accommodation

There are 31 cottages nestled among the coconut trees and palm grove interconnected by pathways. Twenty-two of the cottages are traditional Keralian style architecture, with a verandah and spacious open-air bathrooms. The newly added eight rooms follow similar interiors and design but are slightly more modern.

All the rooms are fully furnished, air-conditioned and have a television, Wi-Fi connectivity, tea and coffee maker, direct dial telephone, safe locker, mini-bar and luxurious toiletries.

Spa and Wellness

A haven for wellness and rejuvenation seekers, spa experiences at Niraamaya Spa are both exclusive and unforgettable. The spa includes Ayurveda – perfected over 5,000 years in ancient India, authentic Thai therapies, Chinese treatments like reflexology and the best of European natural healing practices.

Guests can go on invigorating sensory journeys with the best of traditional Ayurvedic and international therapies. One can experience yoga sessions on a platform at the edge of a stone cliff where the sound of ocean waves constantly soothe the senses – an absolutely exhilarating experience. Whether it is rejuvenating the skin with exotic wraps, indulging in some world class pampering under the skillful hands of master masseurs or opening the mind with meditation, you can discover a deep sense of tranquility at Niraamaya Spa.

Signature massages include Spice Magic, a harmonious blend of Indian and Western methodologies. Long loopy movements, and spice infused aromatic blended oils, help channel toxins out of your system. Warm spice compresses help you attain the state of Niraamaya, or ‘freedom from ailments’. Duration: 90 min Recommended for: Detox, anti-stress and low grade muscular tension.

The Niraamaya Spa at Surya Samudra has been nominated as ‘India’s Best Wellness Spa’ by World Spa Awards.

Dining

In the restaurants, bold flavours compete with stunning views – the chef’s Indian cuisine is a masterly blend of the most delicate of herbs with the warmth of spices.

Located on the cliff overlooking the beach, both the restaurant and the bar offer uninterrupted views of the Arabian Sea.

Café Samsara is the all-day dining restaurant that showcases expertly prepared cuisine from all over the world, including many Indian classics and favourites. Breakfast is from 7.30am to 10am; lunch is from 12.30pm to 3pm, and dinner is from 7pm to 10.30pm.

Essence offers authentic South East Asian gourmet cuisine using fine ingredients and fragrant herbs. The accent here is on freshly tossed Thai salads and a barbequed selection of fresh seafood. Dinner at Essence is served from 7pm until 10.30pm.

Madira bar is perched at the edge of a cliff overlooking the azure waters of the Arabian Sea. No matter what sundowner you choose, Madira is the perfect perch to view the golden sun set into the horizon. Evening drinks at Madira bar are from 6pm to 10pm.

Access and suggested itineraries

Open all year round, Niraamaya Retreats is located in Pulinkudi, 8km south of Kovalam in Kerala. It is about 40 minutes’ drive from the Trivandrum International Airport and, since it is so accessible, it is generally included in all Kerala itineraries.

‘Must do’ activities

Backwater Cruise & Beach Picnic at Poovar estuary. A short 20-minute drive south of Niraamaya Retreats are the beautiful backwaters at Poovar estuary. Guests are transferred to a motor boat that cruises through unspoiled coconut groves on either side of the river with a glimpse of rural life. The boat leads you up to the Golden Sand beach – where the backwater meets the Arabian Sea. Guests can relax on a luxurious sunbed while they enjoy a special picnic hamper that the chef has prepared and relax in this amazing spot over a glass of chilled wine. Later guests return to the retreat on a boat via a pristine mangrove forest.

Picnic with the Asian Elephant. An hour’s drive out of the Retreat, through rubber plantations, is one of Kerala’s secret nature hideaways. A dam across the Neyyar river has created a scenic reservoir that teems with wildlife. One of the outstanding features here is the Elephant Rehabilitation Centre near Kottur camp, only 7kms away. Here visitors will have a rare chance of a close encounter with Asian elephants. This camp of tamed elephants spend their leisure time here when they are free of their festival duties. Join the elephant trainers in helping bathe these animals or take photographs with this magnificent animal. Guests can enjoy a picnic lunch hamper with a chilled bottle of wine.

Fisherman’s Delight

A short 15-minute drive from the retreat, guests can enjoy a private tour of the local fish market at 7am with local celebrity chef, Prakash Nayak. Hundreds of boats come to unload their catch at the Vizhinjam harbour. Guests spend time watching the ancient custom of fish auctions as each boat arrives back from a long night at sea. Guests can choose a fish of their choice, and the chef can cook it for dinner in a style of the guest’s choice.