Surya Samudra Private Retreats - Pulinkudi, Thiruvananthapuram

USP: R&R by the sea

There is something captivating about the endless blue sea; the thunderous rhythm of the waves crashing on the cliff below prompting you to curl up on the ‘charu kasara' (the traditional planter's chair) and stare at Nature's splendour to your heart's content. This is my idea of paradise.

The spectacular Surya Samudra Private Retreats in Thiruvananthapuram is perched on a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea and nestled between two beaches (one of which is private). This picturesque resort is the perfect place for some rest and recuperation. Set amid 22 acres of profuse greenery are quaint cottages: five independent villas and 17 double rooms. Sun-dappled stone paths covered by swaying coconut trees and flanked by stone relics salvaged from ruins of temples meander up and down the hill leading to these cottages — the footpaths ideal for a bit of hopscotch if you're up for it. The cottages themselves are uniquely Kerala in design and décor. Double doors with traditional ‘chitrapootu' (ornate locks) open up into spacious, elegant rooms that are lavish in wood but otherwise minimalist — white with shots of bright colour here and there. Dominating the rooms are comfy four-poster beds that beg for a quick snuggle. And all the 22 rooms have open-to-sky bathrooms. The most impressive of the cottages has to be the presidential suite — the Banyan Tree Bungalow; so named because of the banyan tree around which the cottage's open-to-sky bathroom is constructed. Coming a close second is the Octagon cottage that has incredible sea views thanks to French windows on three sides. It also has the advantage of being adjacent to the gorgeous infinity pool that has been carved out of the rock.

A swim in the pool or a siesta on the private beach calls for a little spa indulgence and you can head to the resort's Spa Niramaaya for everything from Ayurvedic treatments and Western aromatherapy to oriental massages. And for foodies, the resort is a gourmet heaven, with three restaurants. At the multi-cuisine Oottupura you can get everything from Bengali fish curry to Italian pasta while at the Kanal grill, one can dig into (or even lend a hand cooking) the day's catch or chill out at Madira bar.

Paradise found?

How to get there

Surya Samudra is 27 km from the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport and is a 40-minute drive from the railway station in the city. From the highway leading to Kovalam take a left to Vizhinjam and then again a left to Pulinkudi Junction.

Things to do

Chill out on the hotel's private beaches.

Learn yoga.

Indulge at Spa Niramaaya.

Check out the books at the in-house library.

Head to nearby Kovalam and Vizhinjam harbour.

Tariff

(Double occupancy, peak season rates, valid from October 01, 2010 to April 15, 2011)

Prices range from Rs. 42,900 to Rs.14,100 for six varieties of rooms.

Christmas and New Year rates are higher. Off season rates (April 16 to September 30, 2011) range from Rs. 22,400 to Rs. 8,300. All rates are exclusive of 12.5 per cent luxury tax. Day packages are available starting at Rs.500. For details contact 0471-2267333/2480413, email reservations@suryasamudra.com or look up www.suryasamudra.com

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