A Seaside Retreat
Kovalam is a beach town with three beautiful crescent beaches and is easily accessibly from Thiruvananthapuram. Once a sleepy fishing village, it was frequented by the Maharaja of Travencore and as word of mouth descriptions of the beauty of this place spread, the Europeans began to visit in the 1930s. There are three main beaches separated by cliffs and the waters here are ideal for swimming.
The retreat’s location is away from the usually active Kovalam beaches making it an ideal getaway for an indulgent sojourn.
Know Your Host
Niraamaya Retreats is a collection of hotels in unique destinations within India. With Surya Samudra as the flagship retreat, the focus has been on slow travel, wellness and luxury since its early days. Headed by CEO Manu Rishi Guptha, the retreats and the experiences are designed to help seize the...
Niraamaya Retreats is a collection of hotels in unique destinations within India. With Surya Samudra as the flagship retreat, the focus has been on slow travel, wellness and luxury since its early days. Headed by CEO Manu Rishi Guptha, the retreats and the experiences are designed to help seize the opportunity to disengage from the day-to-day and recharge in a whole new way thus creating small moments for self-reflection and realization. The globally recognized Niraamaya Spa is part of the offering and it includes wellness therapies such as traditional Ayurveda, Functional Medicine programs, Yoga and Mindfulness programs.
Niraamaya Retreats’ Surya Samudra is perched on a cliff flanked by secluded beaches and coconut trees. The design keeps the local Keralan architecture in mind and is reflected across the accommodation. Surya Samudra offers breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea and the sound of the crashing waves offer you company during your stay here. The concept is that of well-being with an emphasis of revitalising the mind, body and soul to allow for self-reflection and realisation. The Retreat offers wellness immersions such as healing therapies, Yoga, mindful living and meditation.
Niraamaya Retreats’ Surya Samudra was initially the home of Klaus Schleusener, a German teacher from Madras University. Klaus came here in 1982, fell in love with the location, roped in an architect Karl Damschen and transformed the barren hill as his home. A few years later, he converted it to a Bed & Breakfast with just one room to offer and went ahead to buy several old tharawad homes that were being demolished in Kerala. These restored tharawads are what make up the accommodation at Surya Samudra today. It went on to receive the status of Heritage Hotel from the Department of Tourism, Government of India in 1995. Jupiter Capital Venture took over Surya Samudra in 2007 and was rebranded as Niraamaya Retreats in 2012.
The Retreat offers 33 rooms in all – each are distinctly Keralan in architecture, are fully furnished, air-conditioned, have open-to-sky bathrooms and are equipped with all modern amenities. The nine Rock Garden rooms are set amidst the gardens and coconut groves, the eight Heritage Classic rooms open on to the landscaped gardens, the six Superior Rooms offer partial sea-views and the seven Heritage Premium rooms are authentic accommodations with ornate doors, terracotta roofs, carved pillars and come with private sit-outs and panoramic views of the sea.
The Octagon is a traditional stone house featuring majestic waterfront views, while the Banyan Tree Bungalow is modelled around a 100-year-old banyan tree and is ideal for a couple, honeymooners and those looking for a romantic getaway. The Family Villa comes with three bedrooms, a vintage library collection, a private plunge pool and a sun deck making it perfect for families or a small group of friends.
There are plenty of dining options that offer a cuisine that uses fresh ingredients from the organic garden. The pan-Asian restaurant Essence overlooks the Arabian Sea serving up the catch of the day. Café Samsara is the all-day dining restaurant with a global menu while Madira Bar is the place to be for the sundowner, offering views of the endless horizon.
The experiences at Niraamaya are focussed on wellness of the mind, body and soul. There is a team of expert Ayurvedic doctors, skilled therapists, nutritionists, yogis, fitness experts, and chefs who create personalised wellness sessions using a combination of traditional Ayurvedic therapies, healthy movement and focussed diet routines.
The Niraamaya Wellness Center is home to the pathbreaking Curative & Functional Medicine Residential Programs. The programs are designed to specifically address and eliminating the chronic lifestyle issues of today including stress, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Following the principles of Ayurveda, Functional Medicine looks at a holistic treatment, seeking to identify and address the root cause of a disease. The doctors and health coaches examine each guest individually taking in to account the lifestyle, medical, health and genetic history whilst also looking at the spiritual, mental and physiological wellbeing. This allows for a gradual elimination of chronic and lifestyle ailments, increasing the health span and reducing the dependency on medicines.
Several spots can be visited from Surya Samudra with day trips to Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, the Padmanabhapuram temple, Suchindram temple and the Nevyardam dam.
Private or group Yoga sessions on the cliff-edged platform are an experience and are conducted by a professional instructor. The Niraamaya Spa is the perfect go-to place to soothe your senses. The infinity pool is perfect to lounge in and other activities including pottery and cooking classes, sunset cruises and cultural immersions can be availed of.
With wellness as a theme, it is ideal for those looking for a short rejuvenation program to those focussed on making a lifestyle change. The Retreat is ideal for small conferences with all facilities in place.
Niraamaya Retreats’ Surya Samudra is open all year.
At Niraamaya an interesting policy in place is that every new staff member has to plant a tree on the first day of joining. The staff is given training on using resources optimally and are part of tree plantation drives within and outside the retreat.
At Surya Samudra, water is sourced from the well and is used after it is passed through a water treatment plant. There is also a UV and RO processing plant and the waste water generated from it is used for gardening along with the swimming pool and fountain waste water. All taps on the premises are fixed with water saving aerators. Various measures have been adopted to conserve ground water, rain water and water from other natural resources. With plenty of coconut trees, the coconuts are used as welcome drinks, a natural and waste free alternative.
The wood within the rooms is polished with an eco-friendly polish. Use of traditional building methods such as traditional roof tiles ensure natural cooling and to maintain authenticity, the floors have been made using local Athangudi tiles and Kadappa stones. The guest bathrooms are open-to-sky and thus have no need for artificial light to be used. Electric buggies are used on site instead of fuel operated ones. The trees within the property provide shade and make the retreat cool. Energy efficient lighting is used across the hotel, and periodic maintenance is carried out to ensure no wastage of electricity. The hotel is looking in to incorporating solar energy and a no electricity pump to further reduce dependence on the same.
Single use plastic is discouraged and drinks are made with freshly squeezed fruits and not packed or bottled juices and served with paper straws instead of plastic ones. Tea and coffee are served with fresh cow milk, and jams and pickles are made in house and sourced from outside thus eliminating packaging. Garbage is segregated in to biodegradable that consists of food waste and is mixed with cow dung and leaves to make manure that is then used for gardening; and in to non-biodegradable waste keeping plastic and paper separate, with plastic bottles sent for recycling. The dry cleaning services offered make use of non-toxic biodegradable cleaning solvents. The inhouse gift shop sells handmade and handicraft products made from coconuts, cotton, reused paper, etc. Organic bath amenities are provided for guests. Guests can “Leave a Legacy” in the form of a charge that plants a tree and the money is donated to Mahila Mandiram, a Women Welfare NGO in Trivandrum.
by arathyj on 01/21/2022
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 days stay. I was in love with our room, the food was excellent and the Ayurveda massage we got was an experience in itself. Thanks to the whole team for making our trip...
by Anandu04 on 01/20/2022
Niraamaya Surya Samudra at Kovalam - It was perfection indeed. The sea facing cottages, the mouth watering food, the fresh air,plants, the authentic classic soothing massages at the spa - it was one...
by Vivek04081997 on 01/19/2022
Niraamaya was amazing no words to sayyyy. Ambiance was awesome and all the staffs are helpful & curious. We booked two rooms we got the rooms nearby near aswel us food quality was excellent...