The Neeleshwar Hermitage is in northern Kerala, an area traditionally known as Malabar, famed for its coconut-fringed beaches, inland waterways, lush hillsides and spice gardens.
Neeleshwar combines the tranquil and rejuvenating simplicity of a retreat with the comfort and elegance of a first-class hotel. The natural beauty of the surroundings is carefully protected by eco-friendly policies, and the spacious cottages are modelled on traditional fishermen's dwellings. The site overlooks a gloriously unspoiled beach, stretching as far as the eye can see in both directions. There's a large swimming pool with day beds where you can relax. The garden has been specially planted to attract butterflies and birds.
Delicious meals are served in the main restaurant, and there is also a beachside restaurant - Meenakshi - where you can enjoy freshly caught fish cooked before you in the open kitchen.
During your stay you can enjoy a variety of activities such as Indian cookery classes, music and dance performances and guided tours of the area. There are a number of bicycles that you can borrow, a relaxing and healthy way to explore the area and get a feel for the daily life of the local people.
Priya Ayurvedic Spa
The spa is central to a stay at Neeleshwar Hermitage. It offers ancient Ayurvedic therapies and spa treatments, aimed at improving well the being of the body and spirit. The 5 spacious treatments rooms are set around a courtyard garden. Ayurveda is the centuries old 'science of long life' and involves herbal preparations, medicated oil massages and guidance on diet and lifestyle. Benefits include looking younger, feeling healthier and more energetic and a achieving a longer life. There are various treatment packages that can be tailored to suit each individual guest, such as de-stress, detox and tranquility by the sea. Spa treatments include Swedish and Thai massage, Indian head massage, body scrubs, flower and milk baths, reflexology and aromatherapy. Treatments are unhurried and relaxed. Yoga and meditation classes are also available.
This really is a retreat where you can fully enjoy beautiful surroundings and excellent food as well as treating your mind and body to a bit of TLC.
Open: The Hermitage is open from 1st August to 31st May.
Location: Neeleshwar Hermitage is set in 12 acres of grounds located on the coast in Northern Kerala, overlooking 23 miles of deserted beach. It is about 2 hours from Mangalore airport and 4 or 5 hours from Calicut airport.
Rooms: There are 18 air conditioned detached cottages with either garden or sea views. They are spaced well apart to ensure privacy. They are spacious, light airy and have locally handmade furniture and art works. They are built from local materials in a traditional style. Modern touches include a stereo music system and en-suite bathrooms.
Activities: The hotel offers cookery classes where guests can learn genuine Malabar dishes. Various excursions can be arranged. Popular destinations include Bekal Fort, local temples and walking in the Western Ghats. Guided wildlife tours and bird watching trips (seasonal) are offered. Guests can explore the rea around the Hermitage by bike, touring the lanes and small roads to see shrines, temples and mosques and follow the coastline to fishing villages. Guests are welcome to stroll through the gardens, relax in a hammock or walk along the beach.
Facilities: The Hermitage has a choice of 2 restaurants, Annapurna specialising in authentic, largely vegetarian food and Meenakshi, the beachside restaurant which serves fresh seafood, salads and light meals. The Priya Ayurvedic Spa has 5 treatments rooms and uses natural, organically produced and sourced products. It offers massage, meditation and yoga. There is a large swimming pool and sundeck, surrounded by coconut palms. The hotel has a shop selling bespoke garments, Keralan art and cultural books on India. Guests are welcome to browse through the large collection of books in the library and there are evening lectures on local culture they are welcome to attend.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome at Neelehswar Hermitage but there are no specific children’s facilities.
Health: We recommend malarial prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access in all guest rooms.
This lodge has a relatively light footprint as regards natural resources, and employs locally.
"What can you not say about how lovely Neeleshwar is. The blue of the Arabian Sea, the golden sand, palm trees - in short paradise. We stayed 4 lovely nights here at the end of the holiday which provided a great relax after a fair amount of busy days and traveling. The bungalow was beautiful, the staff attentive and helpful, yoga in the morning, breakfast, lunch and dinner by the beach and just delicious. Not a lot of guests so peaceful, but enough so you don't feel isolated and an infinity pool that was beautiful. I think you might guess we loved this place - if you want to be up and doing you may find this is not your thing - but otherwise a piece of paradise"