Nestled in Nature

By Sharmila Chand

It is not every day that you wake up to the whistling call of the Malabar whistling thrush. Or stay amidst cardamom plantations.

How often do you get a chance to watch a Malabar Giant Squirrel jump from tree to tree from your balcony, while sipping your morning tea? For city-bred souls like us, these opportunities to get close with nature are very rare. But at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady such enchanting dates with nature are quite regular. For those not in the know, Thekkady is an important tourist destination of Kerala.

Well, I was fortunate to experience those and a lot more during my recent visit to Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club at Thekkady.

The property comes under the ambit of Niraamaya Retreats. “A Jupiter Capital venture, Niraamaya Retreats is in the business of boutique hospitality and wellness. Our retreats are an embodiment of wellness and luxury, integrating a seamless blend of regional heritage and culture. With properties across Kovalam and Thekkady, Niraamaya Retreats is expanding its footprints with a set of upcoming underdevelopment properties across Kumarakom and Goa,” informed Manu Rishi Guptha, CEO of Niraamaya Business Group.

 “Our focus has been to enhance guest experience at our boutique property in Thekkady while remaining true to the environment and Niraamaya values. We are confident that our guests will enjoy the stunning ambience of Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady from the moment they arrive here,” he added further.

First Impression

The drive from Alleppey to Thekkady was pretty long, roughly about five hours, but the landscape was so beautiful throughout with lush green forests and plantations that I didn’t mind the long hours on the road. They seem to sweep by in a jiffy, in the company of green nature.  

Tucked a few kilometers from Kumily, amidst cardamom, coffee, pepper, and jackfruit  plantations, is a stunning retreat, truly a hidden gem in God’s Own Country called ‘Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady’.

As the name suggests, the property is beautifully enveloped by cardamom plantation. Spread amidst eight acres of cardamom plantation, the retreat offers 13 elegantly furnished Garden and Mountain-view cottages that look out onto the wilderness.

Recently, the property has been further enhanced under the direction of Indo-Italian architecture firm, Kumar La Noce. Complementing the existing plantation-style cottages, the newly added rooms are built on stilts so that guests can enjoy the majestic mountain views even more.

Each cottage has a spacious room, a balcony and attached bathroom. I really enjoyed the view from floor-to-ceiling windows, while relaxing in the warmth of my wooden floored room, which was spruced with all modern age comforts. The delicious homemade chocolates added to the holiday feel.

Wellness Solution

The Niraamaya Spa, built on stilts and made from Bangkirai wood, which is sourced from sustainable plantations in Indonesia, is a wellness haven where functionality merges with elegance.

The spa embodies simple and minimalistic design; pavilion style with a sense of openness, to highlight the stunning tropical landscape. Spread across 1200 sq. ft., the spa features a lobby and fully-equipped Ayurveda and international therapy rooms with private outdoor sit-outs.  The interiors follow a warm palette complementing the green backdrop.

Plunge Amidst Nature

Set amidst verdant forest canopy, the new 15 metre infinity pool overlooks the valley and the sombre mountains beyond. The terraced decks from the all-day dining restaurant, Café Samsara leading to the pool offers the perfect perch for an early morning yoga session or for guests to enjoy the expansive views of the forest.

In the evening, the deck elegantly transforms into an outdoor space that draws pre and post-dinner guests to savour the pure mountain air.

Activities

The Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady offers a gamut of activities, pertaining to both wellness and adventure and also for nature lovers, to keep guests busy and entertained. One can go for treks, visit tea factories or spice plantations. One can also visit acres of verdant groves or learn about the magic behind Thekkady’s home brew.

One of the highlights of my stay was enjoying a delightful Kathakali performance one evening in the local arts & cultural centre. The Kathakali performance lasted for one hour and depicted one of the scenes from the Ramayana.

While at the retreat, I strongly recommend a boat ride on the Periyar lake. Even if there is no sighting, the view as you skim past is spectacular. I was fortunate to see mother and baby elephants bathing. 

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway in Kerala or a nature holiday in the middle of forests and wildlife, the Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady is the place to be.

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