This is what a 5 star hotel is all about. From the first moment we checked in (Anita is excellent) to the last moment being dropped off at the airport.
Stunningly location, well appointed and correctly maintained rooms, attentive staff who do not become over bearing. The staff go out of their way to ensure that you enjoy your stay, eg, the operations director specifically took on a task for us that would have taken us a couple of hours in town, and told us that he wanted to do it so that we could relax in the hotel!
Some of the rooms have great views and it is worth booking directly with the hotel to ensure that you get one of these. We booked through a well known 3rd party website and were given rooms that had a garden view. The rooms were large, clean with a seperate seating area and a balcony. The bathrooms were also large with both an inside and an outside shower. But we did not really have a sea view.
The food is excellent with a good range of options for breakfast, although breakfast service can be a bit slow sometimes. Lunch was mainly snacks, sandwiches and burgers - which can be taken by the pool also. Dinner in the main restaurant was also brilliant and whislt everthing we ate was excellent the old anglo-indian favourite of chicken tikka massala is highly recommended. I read another review saying that there was no alcohol in the hotel - this is not true, beer & wine are available in the restaurant. The head chef is prepared to adapt any dish to your tastes and often walks around to ensure that people are enjoying his food!
The inifinity poolisn't huge but big enough for a refreshing splash around and is positioned so that you can look over into the ocean beyond through a couple of coconut trees. The beach is fairly private and there are a couple of stalls selling basic tourist stuff and a few stories.These guys do hassle a bit, so be prepared for that.
The spa is simply magnificent - again superb staff who realise that they don't need to push their services (as we had in a couple of other hotels). They sell themselves when you walk into the spa area - the entire family had Ayurverdic treatments and we all loved them. Quick-tip, if you have a teenager going through a spotty skin phase - the facial treatment worked wonders.
The only 'negative' points I can mention are that a) as mentioned not all the rooms have a good view b) eating in the hotel, using the spa etc and the costs do start building up but you do feel that it is worth it c) the hotel is a bit isolated so there are no other options to eat - but this is also the reason why it is so relaxing, its isolation.
Another tip, although not linked to the hotel, is that the taxi & tuk-tuk drivers outside the front of the hotel are greedy sharks - either go at 1/3 to 1/2 of the price they quote or don't hassle yourself and stay in th hotel.
All in all - this was the highlight of our Indian vacation - and bring your running shoes so that you can use the gym that has a stunning view!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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