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Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra
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Reviews (1,185)
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Reviewed 20 November 2006

We had a scary experience at Surya Samudra. My husband and I arranged babysitting services through the hotel for our children ages five and six years-old. Before we left our room we explained to both the babysitter and her supervisor that we would remain on the hotel premises and should be contacted if a concern or problem arose. My husband left his India cell phone number and we went to eat at the restaurant, a two minute walk from our room. When we returned to our room that evening, we heard screams coming from our room. We ran to see what was happening and we found a staff member standing outside the door. The door to our room was locked. She explained that they had locked the children in because they were trying to get out. We unfastened the door. Our children were both crying and screaming. When asked to explain what was happening, the staff said your children were having trouble sleeping. Our children explained that they wanted to see us because they were scared but were told that we couldn't be reached. This increased their fear, as we had explained to them that we would not leave the premises. Our children then insisted on seeing us but were told that we had left the premises. They tried to run out the door to the restaurant and find us but the staff locked the door. The situation escalated and we were told that our children tried to climb out the window to find us. The staff's response to our children's fear was to lock the windows and have one person stay inside with the kids and the other to stand guard outside. It was a scary and bizarre experience.

We had a number of communication problems with management prior to this incident, which annoyed us and raised our concerns but we tried to put them aside. We were quoted one rate over the telephone and given a different one when we arrived. We were charged for basic services - without being told - that we expect to receive at a five star hotel, such as internet use and two sleeping cots for the children. Items listed on the restaurant menu such as tandoori weren't available unless ordered at least six hours in advance. When I placed an order for tandoori at lunch for dinner time, it was not arranged. The problems we experienced during our three days are too numerous to detail, but they were sufficient combined with a scary babysitting incident for us to check out one day early. I explained that we would not pay for our last night, as we wouldn't be staying on. The Front Office Manager threatened to not let us leave the premises with our luggage unless we paid for the last night. He instructed staff not to assist us in carrying our seven heavy pieces of luggage up several flights of stairs but one staff member, ashamed at the manager's directive, refused to follow orders and helped us with our baggage. Once we shifted our luggage from our room to the entrance of the hotel, guards barricaded us in. By this time my children were tired and confused and I told the manager we would pay for the last night, although we were now in a position of paying for two hotel rooms for one night. I told him that we were dissatisfied and that we never had such an experience in India before or in a five star hotel.

Although the setting is beautiful and many of the staff are pleasant and helpful, the management at Surya is bizarre. The Ayurveda centre is separate from the hotel and is exceptional. My husband and I received superb massages at the centre.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled with family
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18  Thank Chunno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2006

I was thrilled to happen upon this gorgeous property when I was searching for a place to stay in Trivandrum. Yes, it's pricey, but you get what you pay for. The fabulous outdoor shower, views, and giant Ganesha statue sold me on it. Just loved my stay there...hope to get back there again.

So surprised to read some of the negative reviews....I guess if you are not used to the Indian climate getting a/c is good. I've been in the country a few months and love the temperature, fans are plenty for me. Never got bothered by mosquitos either, but i usually dont.

The pool is great, someone said it was green- not when I was there. It was a gorgeous clean blue, one of the nicest I've ever seen in India, so I guess one's experience all depends on the experiencer...the worst review was from a New Yorker, so go figure...

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled solo
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6  Thank buttrfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2006

My boyfriend and I had 4 nights here and generally thought it was a heavenly place. It has a lovely atmosphere (but it was almost empty which was probably to our advantage), attractive grounds, great swimming pool and 2 lovely (but not private) beaches. The food was excellent also if a little slow (but hey, this is India). We stayed in a rock garden room which I booked because it has a/c but unfortuantely it was modern in style and the traditional Keralan villas looked much nicer. The room was nice, but my general conclusion about these 'luxury boutique' hotels in Kerala is that they are not quite up to scratch considering the price. Problems could be that there are not enough loungers, there wasnt a bar, and full the place might feel a little crowded. The spa was beautiful though and I enjoyed my massage.

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank KatieE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2006

I'm afraid I'm firmly in the negative camp here! We stayed in one of the Beach bungalows, the hotel was full and that was the only room available and I am all for an authentic experience and I wasn't expecting Taj style luxury, but basically this was a small, shabby shack, with absolutely no mod-cons at all,oh, there was a rusting fridge dumped in the room with it's electric socket hanging out of the wall, it's crammed so closely to the next door hut that you have to keep one of the windows shut, otherwise you can see striaght into, and be seen by your neighbours, there are openings all around the upper wall which means you can't keep insects out, there was no mosquito net, so we asked for one and with very bad grace, they brought us a dirty, torn net and rigged it up-this was costing us $200 a night, admittedly at peak season (Xmas)-but come on!I think our experience would have been a lot better if we'd stayed at one of the other huts. The pool area is pretty, but a lot smaller than it looks in the pictures, if the hotel is full, there really isn't enough space or loungers for everyone to lie around the pool, the beach is a steep walk down the cliffs- fair enough- but it is NOT private and you will get hawkers trying to sell on the beach-a lot, there's also rocks near the pool which are technically outside the hotel perimeter, and you got guys sitting there, basically ogling all the women in bikinis and hassling you to buy stuff if you lifted your eyes up for a second. The view and position are amazing and I thought the food was great actually, the service was sweet but abysmally slow and ineffiecient sometimes, so don't book anything or plan to go anywhere within two hours of lunch!We did actually go for the spa, it's ok, it's not the best, either for value for money or massages, go to the Somatheeram next door,and the booking system is really torturous and disorganised, and.......I am going to make a serious allegation here and I stand by every word, DO NOT have a massage if you are a woman, with a male masseur here and do not let your wife/girlfriend/daughter have one either, I had a maasage with a woman masseuse and it was ok, not the best I've ever had but ok,but when I went back to have a massage the next time, they didn't have a female masseuse available and asked if I minded having a man, not a problem! I've had a lot of massages and to me, it's like having a male doctor, I couldn't care less, as long as they do their job, in fact, I like a strong massage and so I will often have a guy, because they simply have stronger hands, I'm not remotely squeamish about that kind of thing. It started off ok, I was on my front and I just started feeling more and more uncomfortable, but it wasn't until I turned over that things really started going down hill, he started asking totally inappropriate questions" Are you allowed to touch the breasts in Europe, are you? we aren't supposed to here, but...? I looked up and realised he was extremely overexcited [-], along the massage table centimetres away from my outstretched hand. It was a really horrible experience, this was not a massage, this was an extended groping session, from a guy who very visibly turned on. I got up and I left. And...I didn't say anything at the time, I really wish I had now, but I had this kind of idea that I didn't want to be this white memsahib type, getting a guy fired and I was on holiday, I really didn't want to go through the whole rigmarole of accusing this guy and then having to go through the experience again and I was with my fiancé and I didn't want him going off the deep end, we were near the end of our stay and I just wanted to forget about it. I told him when we were safely back at home and he was FURIOUS, not because of my own experience (he was sympathetic) but because I hadn't spoken up about it at the time, he said"you're a big girl, you can take care of yourself, but what happens if he did this to a sixteen year old, or someone who had already had a traumatic experience? that could really traumatise them "If anybody else has had a similar experience I would be happy to add my own, in any complaint you want to make!I realise that the situation may have changed and that they may also have completely professional male masseurs as well, but that was my experience and I really don't think it's worth the risk. Apart from that, I'm afraid the SS is shabby, badly managed and very overpriced for what you get.The area is wonderful and Kerala is beautiful-I highly recommend going, just don't stay here, for a third of the price, it might be charming and quirky, at these prices, it's just a rip off.

  • Stayed: December 2005, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank hitchcockblonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2006

What a truly wonderful place from the accomodation - huge outdoor bathrooms, service - outstanding attentive and yet not intrusive service, amenities - yoga at sunset, wonderful pool, food - healthy, fresh and great variety of local fish. Best hotel i have stayed in years. Can't recommed enough due to real attention to detail

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled with friends
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2  Thank India2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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