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“A resort for a beautiful experiance........”
Review of Niraamaya Retreats

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Niraamaya Retreats
Ranked #1 of 52 Hotels in Kovalam
Certificate of Excellence
Jaipur, India
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“A resort for a beautiful experiance........”
Reviewed 10 June 2014

I fully agree with 359annie (one reviewer for this resort) that they should flexible with the cancelation. People pay in advance becasue they wish to go but because of some unwanted reasons it is almost impossible to travel. They never can understand this. Yes" they are giving us best moments of our holidays but other side we should never forget that they are hardcore business people. They don't mind to sell same rooms to other people. Anyway!!!!
No doubt it is very good and beautiful resort, they have business so they don't care what peopole review or think aobut.
Apart of this I have nothing bad to say about this resort. It is really beautiful resort. One of my client gave me a great feedback for this place.
Wishes!!!!
Raju India

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank IncrediblerealindiaT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Warsaw
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014

We spent 5 wonderful days in Niraamaya Retreats. Spacious and well designed rooms, open-air shower, very nice restaurant and excellent ayuverdic spa. It is a perfect place for rest. Staff - the most friendly we have ever met. Special thanks to the lady from reception for wanderful gesture - we wanted to buy scent stics, but there were not any in the hotel. When we were leaving the hotel next morning the lady gave us 5 boxes of scent stics she had bought on her way to work and gave them as a present. I recommend this place for everyone.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank grzegorz77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We had some very relaxing days at the resort. The room was nice even though it could have been larger because with the extra bed for our daughter it was a bit narrow. But it had a very amazing bathroom, open air and very large. That was great!
The pool was fantastic. I could not imagine any better place to spent the day. Lying in the pool with this wonderful view over the beach and the ocean is just perfect.
The beach is very nice and we enjoyed walking there and watching the waves. Unfortunately the sea was to rough to swim.
We liked the food in the restaurant but I would also recomend to eat at least one day outside at the lighthouse beach. There are many nice restaurants and the lighthouse at sunset is also worth a visit. The hotel will organize you a Tuk Tuk to get you there.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andrea1207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newmarket, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Oh dear ,dear. The deal with my wife is that she will consent to be hauled around India temples, forts, sights for three weeks and stay in hotels that have character rather than air conditioning as long as she has a week of luxe and a beach for a week.
This was a sad disappointment. It was built by a German, who I feel sure modelled it on somewhere he had stayed in the West Indies, he no longer owns it I gather but his spirit ,I suspect, lives on.
It is sterile, expensive and plagued by background music and the service at the front desk and management level is lamentable (that said the housekeeping staff,waiters and gardeners are fine). Evidence for this statement? We arrived at 4pm after a long drive to be told our room was not ready but very soon would be- 40 minutes later after a harangue by me it still wasn't and the distinct impression given was that I was snarling up administration and preventing the desk functioning as it should (I exaggerate but not a lot ). Other dealings were equally useless ,I hired through the front desk a so called driver guide, at a very non Indian rate, specifically to see a palace and a temple -the driver said best to do the palace first and at his instigation I did (and then found out he had no guiding skills and had left too long a drive to allow more than 15 minutes in the temple).
There were other problems regarding check out but the consistent theme was an unhelpful lack of customer service.
The menu gets wearing after a week - very little changes in the main restaurant and the a la carte fish restaurant is very expensive and consequently very empty so one can dine in very solitary splendour.
My advice - do not go there.

Room Tip: They are all ,I think, the same bungalows but some are on the hill and others nearer the beach. Near...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 364tilley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rejeeshkumar, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, 18 June 2014
Dear Guest,

Dear Guest,

Namaskaram from Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra Kovalam.

On behalf of Team Niraamaya I tender my unconditional apology for the inconvenices caused to you at arrival as well as during your sight seeing trip. For us the guest is always right and we sincerely stand by the adage “Atithi Devo Bhavah”. No excuses for these incidents.

We at Niraamaya would positively consider your feedback and would do whatever possible to ensure that none of our guests are inconvenienced at our retreat.

Its my humble request to plan another visit to our retreat, as and when convenient to you, and we assure you of a fabulous time. That’s what Niraamaya stands for and that’s what Niraamaya will deliver.

Hope to provide a wonderful experience on your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodstock, Vermont
Level 6 Contributor
300 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 459 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2014

As awarding winning inn owners located in Woodstock VT we have high expectations and this place delivered with a few minor hiccups.

From the moment we were picked up at the airport by Anita, all the staff wanted to impress us but they really need to chill out a little. They mean well and keep asking you if you are happy/enjoying yourself etc. which after a while becomes a liitle tiresome. This is a minor observation as often staff cannot be bothered but here we felt they were a little over zealous. A major negative was the initial central booking process which was a disaster and in the end involved a few phone calls as e-mails disappeared into a hole and still things went astray. We discovered after we arrived that this was down to illness and staff departure which the business group we deduce, did not manage well....but we were determined to book!!!!

The setting is indeed beautiful, peaceful and serene. It is not just a resort on a beach which has been built to impress, the location still sings to you about Kerala. Trees dominate the landscape and the gardens are beautifully presented, in a simple natural way, and all the better they are for that. The cottages are very well spaced and yet we think the place has missed a trick. One cottage we observed (set in an old style original house) really should be let as one unit, not two as noise from your neighbours would be heard. We stayed in the best cottage (Octagon) on the property, with a great ocean view, lovely out door bath (took ages to fill mind you...) and the a/c was quiet and effective. The four poster bed was beautifully presented and very comfortable. The whole resort was kept to western standards, and was very clean.

However we also had a neighbour in the same unit, which we felt detracted from our stay as we never felt really private. For the price we felt this was a mistake, as on the last night our new neighbours had a young child...which we found irritating as we could hear them.

An observation...the hotel really is not child friendly, as it has steep steps, a small pool etc. as well as providing 1st class massage treatments, thus we feel that if they had an over 16 policy they would actually attract more adults. We felt mixed messages were being emanated by their current policy.

Onto the staff, well Anita could not do enough for us, which occasionally was irritating. One morning we overslept our early morning yoga due to jetlag, which as we had bought a package we should have enjoyed. First there was a gentle knock at the door, then the phone rang offering us a later start. We declined and wanted to stay in bed....Anita was simply wanting us to get full value out of our package booking, but she was a little unsure of the clients needs. When we left our arrival folder in our hotel pick up car, we asked on a few occasions for her to get it back for us , yes she said...but 5 days later we checked out and still had no folder. Small issues that could be resolved with better training....Her general demeanour was very pleasant

The other middle management staff we met were simply brilliant! Sarath knew how to 'sell' the hotel in a gentle way, and his knowledge of hospitality was fantastic...Marriot had trained him well many years ago! However the poor chap and a number of his colleagues were so over dressed for the hot conditions.....we suggest a more relaxed dress code as sweaty shirts really are not attractive! Renjith & Vinu offered slightly less hands on client care, but again they seemed very involved with day to day operations.

However the star of the show was VJ, who ran everywhere! A young man he was, but he was full of spirit and deserves rapid promotion as he could not do enough for us. Served us morning tea on the beach at 06.00 and was still working in the restaurant at 22.00.

And then there was Prakash....and AMAZING chef, who at 28 is so accomplished at the art of cooking. He runs a tight ship, a very clean kitchen (he showed us around...) and keeps his staff on their toes. He took us for a tour of the fish market, and discovering that my partner was Italian...offered us an Italian meal including home made buffalo mozzarella (yup in India!)....which was genuinely as good a anything you could get in Italy! It turns out he spent six months training in Italy and had learned his cooking style very well He could also turn his hand to many other styles of Indian regional & international cuisine. He is truly a star in the making and he was also so humble....but unlike some chefs he could interact with clients.

The reviewers that commented the food tasted bad, were we feel staying at the wrong resort as Pakrash combined flavours with a delciate touch and sourced ingredients with care. This place is not a Couples or Viceroy type of packaged hospitality. The place oozes personality.

The spa is beautiful and we had a number of treatments, the most bizarre one I found was having 2 pints of finest oil dripped over my head! The two person massage was a really brilliant and the original solid wooden treatment table quite enjoyable!

In summary we suggest:
1) Making a big thing out of the cuisine Prakrash can offer, for the hotel should be a 'foodie must go to'.
2) On the website allow clients to pick individual cottages or rooms rather than allocating them a category. The cottages are worth the extra money.
3) Make all cottages single client occupancy.
4) Do not take kids.
5) Promote the exclusive nature of the select spa and the hotel location and charge more for it!
6) Encourage the staff to be a little more relaxed about asking clients if they are enjoying themselves...
7) The package stay options do represent VERY good value. We went for the 5 night Bliss package with three nights at their hill station resort at Thekkady after we left Kovalam.

All in all we highly recommend the place as the organisation really does want to provide a high level of client care from bottom to top. Please just leave the ankle biters at home!

Room Tip: Do ask which cottage you ight be placed in, as we felt some of the more reasonable cottages with les...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Davidbignose!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rejeeshkumar, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, 26 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskaram from Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra, Kovalam!!!

We thank you for sharing a detailed feedback on your stay with us in March, 2014. We are delighted to know that our efforts to provide a memorable bliss to you are widely appreciated by you, with some minor hicuups.

We have noted your suggestion not to exhibit too much enthusiasm on the well being of the guest while at the retreat, but will ensure the comfort and safety of our guest in an unintrusive manner.

You concern on our reservation department have already been sorted with the operations now being handled by able hands.

Your appreciation of our facilities and team members, especially team F&B and Chef, will highly motivate them and make them proud to be part of Niraamaya family.

Your feedback to ensure privacy for cottages while the adjacement cottage/room is occupied will be carefully studied and addressed in the most effective manner.

We are glad to receive your suggestions to improve our services and make it memorable.

We look forward to welcoming you back for another memorable Niraamaya experience.
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Bengaluru, India
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

The hotel checked us in 2 and a half hours post our arrival in spite of making a request for a early check in to which we had received a written confirmation. The rooms were way smaller than what was showed online, food at this place is not only served late but also tastes bad. Property has a really small swimming pool the only highlight of this place is its private beach which is maintained well. Staff get puzzled easily when the hotel in under 100% occupancy. The rooms are infested with mosquitoes and poorly maintained. This property does not deserve to be called as a 5 star property.

Room Tip: We lived in the Baniyan and room seemed much larger in the pictures.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ddevika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rejeeshkumar, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, 23 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskaram from Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra Kovalam.

At the very outset let me apologize to you on behalf of team Niraamaya for the inconvenience caused to you. For us the guest is always right and we sincerely stand by the adage “Atithi Devo Bhavah”

As a member of the team, I feel I should place the facts before you.

It is true that you have been promised an early check in on arrival. Unfortunately a group booking has happened in between and they stick to their checkout time of 1200hours.

You have booked for a Heritage Premium cottage and we allocated the same category of cottage to you. Our resort's architecture is of traditional Kerala style cottages and each cottage under the same category would vary in size and location. But each would be having its own USP. The cottage you have chosen is overlooking the pool and sea and close to all the facilities.

Our swimming pool is highly appreciated by all our guests for its uniqueness and charm.

I have personally met you during your stay and offered to shift your cottage in case of unhappiness with the same, but you had already booked an alternate hotel and were under the fear of losing the security deposit paid to them.

However, we at Niraamaya would positively consider your feedback and would do whatever possible to ensure that none of our guests are inconvenienced.

Its my humble request to plan another visit to our retreat, as promised by you in our conversation while at the retreat, and we assure you of a fabulous time. That’s what Niraamaya stands for and that’s what Niraamaya will deliver.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

This resort is located 8kms south of Kovalam and is probably one of the few resorts which offer a private beach experience in Kovalam. My wife had booked a Heritage Premium room, which was a luxurious and set in a traditional Kerala wooden houses. Our room enjoyed panoramic views of the sea and had a sit out with planter's chairs from where we drank in the views of the sea.
One of the highlights of our stay was the spa. They offer traditional Ayurvedic therapies as well as international therapies. Even the restaurant - Cafe Samsara takes care of your wellness diet, which can be congruent to the therapies you opt for! The chef at Cafe Samsara, Chef Prakash is really good and interacts with guests, which felt really nice. The restaurant is located at the edge of the cliff and hence offers splendid views.
The resort also has an infinity pool, again overlooking the sea. We also enjoyed the private beach, which needs a little effort climbing down, but was worth it. The beach is skirted by rocky outcrops and palm groves which actually make it quite private. One of the most unique thing I found here was the yoga pavilion at the edge of the cliff. One can opt for yoga lessons, but I was just happy to meditate on the pavilion with the sound of waves splashing on the rocks below me.
The service is absolutely wonderful and the staff is warm and very friendly

Room Tip: The rooms, restaurant and spa are scattered and built on uneven landscape, thus may not be suitable...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TheTravElite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rejeeshkumar, General Manager at Niraamaya Retreats, responded to this review, 23 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Namaskaram from Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra, Kovalam!!!

We thank you for your excellent feedback on your stay with us in December. We are glad that Team Niraamaya could provide you a wonderful experience during your stay.

We are absolutely overwhelmed by the praises you showered on us for our facilities and service.

We are sure that your feedback would encourage our team to ensure a seamless service to all our guests.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Niraamaya for another memorable 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)
Region: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Kovalam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Family Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Luxury Hotel in Kovalam
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kovalam
#1 Spa 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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