Niraamaya Surya Samudra

Near Kovalam, Southern Beaches, India
Book from GBP Book from £171 per night

Niraamaya Surya Samudra

Near Kovalam, Southern Beaches, India

Luxurious cliff-top, beach-side resort with heritage cottages, an Ayurvedic spa, restaurant and a stunning infinity pool

Luxurious cliff-top, beach-side resort with heritage cottages, an Ayurvedic spa, restaurant and a stunning infinity pool

If you long to luxuriate in a peaceful, exotic beachside setting, then Niraamaya Surya Samudra is a great bet. Set in 20 acres of landscaped gardens, the polished dark-wood cottages were reconstituted by local craftsmen from 100-year-old traditional Keralan homes, and are now surrounded by coconut plantations. Spaced well apart, they perch on a hillside overlooking the Arabian Sea. Perfect for honeymooning, deep relaxation or working on your next opus, all have been soundproofed and are beautifully appointed, with your own writing desk should you feel inspired.

While the 2 beaches to either side of the hotel's rocky promontory are not private, they are very quiet and secluded. There's also a delicious jade-coloured infinity pool with underwater sculptures which segues into the ocean below, plus a beautiful Ayurvedic spa and cliff-edge yoga platform for reducing you to a puddle of serenity. The food served up in the sea-view restaurant (or anywhere else you like) is a tasty feast of Keralan and Western dishes. And, as an added bonus, you can rest assured that the management is dedicated to minimising the hotel’s environmental footprint.

Highs

  • A stunning dramatic clifftop location beside 2 secluded and near-private beaches, yet only a short taxi ride from the hustle and bustle of Kovalam
  • Delicious, authentic Keralan dishes and fresh seafood in the sea-view restaurant
  • Super-private and indulgent Karl Damschen-designed wooden cottages - great for couples and families alike
  • The infinity-style pool has amazing views and is a godsend when the sea is too rough to swim
  • Elegantly-appointed and comprehensive Spa Niraamaya and daily yoga classes

Lows

  • Ongoing construction of a new port is affecting views along the coast. This may also result in noise pollution
  • Set on a steep hill, the terrain and beach access can be challenging for those with limited mobility, but there are electric buggies for guest use
  • The sea has strong currents and pounding waves: flags signify if it's safe to swim
  • Some recent feedback notes signs of general wear and tear, and slight lack of maintenance
  • The pool needs more loungers in order to cater to all the guests; there are more on the beach via a long steep staircase

Best time to go

Peak season is from November to March, they are the coolest months with temperatures hovering around 24C. April to May is the hottest and driest period and temperatures can reach 36C. August and September are a balmy 28-30C.

June and July are the monsoon seasons. There are umbrellas in all cottages and 2 covered electric buggies for guests.

Our top tips

Go now, before the new container-ship port of Vizhinjam - 1km to the NW, and scheduled for completion in January 2025 - becomes fully operational. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for discounts which the resort is offering in order to compensate for the slight disturbance of its construction.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Romantic
Spa
  • Beach Resort
  • 35 rooms
  • Restaurant + bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Starting with the Rock Garden Rooms, the cottages get progressively bigger and closer to the sea until you reach the cliff-front Octagon (built from traditional stone) and the Banyan Tree Bungalow (tailored for honeymooners, with an outdoor tub in the garden). All are beautifully designed with traditional Keralan wood and blend in seamlessly with the gardens.

Harmonious lines and raised ceilings give a wonderful feeling of space. Beds are kingsize and doors and shutters feature solid ornate brass bolts. Each room has cleverly hidden air-conditioning and soundproofing; other pampering touches include organic cotton bathrobes and top-of-the-range Forest Essentials toiletries.

We stayed in a lovely Heritage Premium with a gauze-curtained four-poster, rich purple silks, crisp white cottons and graceful wall art. Our writing desk and the veranda with its planter chairs faced the sea, while our bathroom was a walled garden, half undercover, with indoor and alfresco showers and an open-air tub - just blissful.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

The food at Café Samsara is outstanding, the chef’s a pro and it’s a real step up from your standard local home-cooking fare. The menu is a mix of Keralan specialities, pan-Indian dishes and European flavours; we enjoyed outstanding pepper squid, Malabar curries and spicy prawns. The downside when we stayed was that service was disorganised, but go with a relaxed frame of mind and you’ll be just fine.

For drinks, there's Madira, the small poolside cocktail bar with stunning Arabian Sea views; a beautiful spot to watch the sun drop below the horizon.

Breakfast consists of a light and healthy continental spread, with freshly squeezed fruit juice, fruit platters, yoghurt and perfectly poached eggs - a rarity in Indian boutique hotels.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Kids' meals
  • Organic produce
  • Private dining
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity: Spa

Activities

  • Float in the infinity pool or swim in the sea, but only if a green ('safe to swim') flag is flying
  • Unwind with a massage or Ayurvedic treatment in the luxurious Spa Niraamaya and join the daily cliff-edge yoga class
  • Watch a cultural performance on the sea-facing platform (once or twice a week) or just soak up the sunset with a glass of wine
  • Jump in a tuk-tuk to buzzing Kovalam beach or visit the nearby Keralan capital Trivandrum, including its huge Hindu Temple, 200-year-old palace and various museums
  • Take a boat trip through the Kerala backwaters, go fishing with the local fishermen or book a catamaran ride out on the sea
  • Visit nearby Aruvippuram and experience the healing powers of its torrential waters
  • Cross into Tamil Nadu to visit the 16th-century wooden palace of Padmanabapuram, seat of the Travancore princes
  • Drive to Kanyakumari, India's southernmost tip, where the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet the Arabian Sea (2 hours' drive)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

Although a romantic's paradise, this resort is also very child-friendly; there’s enough space to cater for both. Parents will be glad of the lifeguards manning both the beach and the pool.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Heritage Premium and Octagon can each take up to 2 adults and 2 children; the latter is larger and has a garden. Most rooms have space for an extra bed or cot.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot
  • High chair
  • Night light
  • Bottle warming

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

There's nothing specific on offer for families, but you can get food throughout the day (including in-room dining and early evening snacks). There are cafés and restaurants within walking distance.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool (underwater sculptures, a lifeguard and a shallow, supervised kids’ area)
  • Play room
  • Traditional crafts
  • Clay art sessions
  • Baking classes
  • X-box

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Sandy secluded beaches
  • Boat trips around the Kerala backwaters
  • Catamaran trips
  • Fishing with the local fishermen
  • Temples to visit

Families Should Know:

The sea is rough and generally not suitable for children or weak swimmers. Pay close attention to the beach flags before letting kids near the water: a green flag means it's safe to swim, a red flag indicates danger. There are some unguarded drops around the hotel.

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
  • Doctor: 15 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Niraamaya Surya Samudra is set on a tropical beach in Kerala, on the southern tip of India.

By Air
Trivandrum Thiruvananthapuram International (23km / 30 mins) is the nearest airport; the hotel offers transfers and has a fleet of taxis and drivers for day trips.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Kerala and getting around

Airports:

  • Trivandrum Thiruvananthapuram International 23.0 km TRV

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

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