Our guest reviews all testify to the excellence of our facilities and services.
Here at the Hermitage we are very happy to have had Mark Shand among our recent guests. Mark is a conservationist who wrote the delightful Travels on my Elephant - a travel adventure and story of his love affair with Tara his elephant - which the renowned travel writer Eric Newby lauded as ‘a pachydermic masterpiece’.
Shand now runs Elephant Family, a conservationist charity which does noble work as the UK's biggest funder for the endangered Asian elephant, whose numbers have plummeted by 80% in the past 100 years. It works to set up ‘elephant corridors’ as safe areas for the wild herds. The charity’s latest international project is Elephant Parades in many major cities worldwide.
Up to 250 large models of the pachyderm, made by well-known artists, are exhibited around the city before being auctioned. The one in London in 2010 raised GBP 4 million. As part of the event, a consignment of elephant dung large enough to fertilise the average suburban garden for a year was also auctioned durbar in Richmond, West London. This gathering of the great and the good was presided over by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as well as Britain's Asian business elite was well represented: steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal and the millionaire king of the ready-made curry, Sir Gulam Noon, were among those attending.
The dung had been generously donated by three Indian elephants belonging to Lord Robin Russell, a trustee of the charity, and the chairman of Sotheby's conducted the sale. All in all it was a suitably grand affair for a noble cause and a noble creature.
On leaving us, Mark commented:
As usual, after 35 years of coming to India, Neeleshwar is my favourite place.
Everyone is so kind and I feel rested and at peace! I will be back!!
Please take the time to read through some of them to help you make Neeleshwar Hermitage the choice for your next holiday.
We were sceptical at first: the hotel was full so we took Lotus as a secand choice but are now truly converted.
"Have been coming to India for 30 years. And this is one of the most beautiful Experience, Blissful, gentle, Dreamy, Sujith and Deepak and the rest of the crew are so perfect for this boat.Fabulous creative Food ; Everything smooth and peaceful and nature,respected.We envy the next guests on Lotus and We shall return next year and remember this little passage with joy and a degree of longing Thank you... And thank you Altaf for sugesting this, How could we have doubted it".
Josephine & Laurence France
Such a relaxing and peaceful moment. Very enjoyable aromas, Thanks!
Rebecca. Switzerland 13/12/12
A so relaxing time in this paradise. Life is beautiful.
Yannik, Switzerland 13/12/12
A sensation as a bird, I think I can fly.
Amazing place, Amazing hands.. Amazing UTOPIA .
Adam Papin France 13/12/12
What can one say other than bliss!
Lovely, wonderful, gentle and soothing massage and masseurs. Do not change a thing coz it is beautiful as it is. Thank you so much for looking after us. Many blessings to you all.
XX Carin Wood & Martin Wood. U.K. 15/12/12
Thank you for the welcoming and for taking care of me.
It was really nice. Thanks a lot for this very nice moment . Quite and great moment .
Hanouet Scolene 16/12/12
Thank you. Boyle Marie. 22/12/12
Left me thouroughly relaxed. Completely enjoyable experience.
Harry Boothman 25/12/12
I don’t know how I managed to stay awake throughout the treatment.
Totally relaxing. Thank you.
Alex Boothman 25/12/12
So lovely clean and healing.
Thank you all for a perfect time, see you again .
Love and thanks. Ann Boothmann 27/12/12
Rani has taken such a amazing care of me for the last week.
I feel like a completely different person. Truly the best Christmas present – lots of tender love and care. So thank you Rani ! And everyone else at the spa who has been lovely and kind.
Georgina Boothman 27/12/12
Thank you so much for your kind hospitality at the heavenly Neeleshwar Hermitage.
I genuinely mean it, it is heaven on earth and my most favourite place in the world.
It was sublime.
The staff, surroundings, rooms, food, decor, absolutely everything is perfect. I cannot wait to return.
Your kindness has given us so many memories, which we will treasure always.
Thank you Altaf, your kindness and generosity is so appreciated.
As usual – everything was first class- had a great time- will carry fond memories of Neeleshwar back to the USA.
P.S. You have a great staff.
Farhan Sheikh, USA
Thank you so much for the wonderful service. We loved the room! See you soon.
Lisa & Uli, Germany
A supreme treat. Fantastic stay with a professional staff, wonderful food. Undoubtedly, I will be back next year.
Thanks for wonderful and loving experience.
Mario Connio, Spain
A second visit and just as special. So nice to be remembered by so many of the team a year on...
Feel a bit remote from the near world outside the walls. Tell me what is happening there and bring local people to perform.
Robert Ayling and Philip John, Canada
Extraordinary, beautiful and really peaceful- and what food and service!
Stewart and Laura Jeffery, UK
This spa is perfect. Such gentle people and perfect treatments. I feel so special. Looking forward to next year.
Thanks for wonderful and loving experience.
Mrs& Mr. Jacque Russell Flint
Bliss! Thanks so much. Beautiful place.
Hanna Brodie, New Zealand
Great experience! Unbelievable emotions! Thank you so much!
Anatoly Ochkovisky, Russia
Thank You for a blissfully restful stay in a perfect impression of paradise. Loved every moment and your staff are first class! Beautiful place and beautiful people!
Ruth (with Mark Shand) - UK
An absolute delight and tragedy that we have only 3 days here on my ‘fasting menu’ tour of India. A wonderful stay which we will highly recommend.
Hilton and Pecker
OK- Five weeks in India- Only four days here- we should have done it the other way round- five weeks here – four weeks for the rest- Even thought of cancelling next two weeks and staying here. Bliss!!!
John and Fiona Cobley UK
A truly fantastic resort. Quite possibly the best tranquil get away in all of India. Thank you for your hospitality and I will be sure to recommend the resort.
Mr.Causer Niall – Audley Travel. UK
It is a wonderful place to rest and recover. The people is very friendly, the facilities well kept. You feel like in heaven. Thank to all the staff.
Hans Zoss Switzerland.
Un Endroit de rele parterminer un voyage en Inde du Sud: Une magnifique plage, des chambers tres comfortables, un service attentive, le sarive en …
Geri Veronique. France.
Exceptional. I have been fortunate to stay in many beautiful places, but Neeleshwar is the most serene of all.
Andrew & Graham Peggotty UK
Usually, I agree with everything my husband has said.
Truly exceptional. Graham Peggotty 9/12/11 Good place to stay a few days at the end of our holiday.
Bran & Ria
Thank You so much for a 2 day break with ‘Shanti’ and friendly service. Torril’s recommendation was a good one..
Thomas Fernandes & Ritchie Fernandes - Norway.
What a truly lovely place. We have just not been here long enough!
The food is fantastic and the staffs are excellent. The location is truly idyllic. We will be coming back soon- and for longer.
Gary Malcolm - Kent
It has been a real dream to stay here! This is a paradise! Please keep it like that for a long long time.
Very nice place. Very good stay here for 2 days. Peaceful, quiet and natural surroundings. Lovely place for holiday.
Very good food- Both north Indian and south Indian. Great work chef! Thank everybody for making our stay fantastic and memorable. P.S. Fantastic room also.
Recalling my memory. Really nostalgic. Thank you
Dr B Vijayakumar
What a wonderful place to enjoy our honeymoon.
Early morning swim, beautiful sunsets and great food! A really specific stay. Thank you so much.
Kerry & Daniel Linde.
A very peaceful and tranquil place with extremely helpful staff.
A gem hidden in the backwater of Kerala. A most re-visit place!!"
MR. RAVI PRAKASH - BANGALORE - 16-04-2011
"A beautiful retreat, the infinity pool is simply stunning with one of the loveliest views imaginable.
The food is the art of this world consistently as is the friendly and alternative service. The villas are also comfortable, peaceful and extremely tasteful. I wish we could have stayed longer!."
MR.CHRISTOPHER RADFORD - UK - 21-04-2011
"Lovely and relaxing. Very beautiful.
The massages are truly invigorating. The staffs are exceptionally warm and welcoming."
MS.ANANDITA SHAH - MUMBAI - 22-04-2011
Beautiful ending tour one week Indian tour. We hope to be back soon.
Lovely rooms, lovely beaches and delicious food."
MS.MARTHA NICOLAS - SPAIN - 23-04-2011
"The perfect ending to a trip through India, relaxing amazing food and service. Simply excellent."
MS.JIMENA - MADRID, SPAIN - 23-04-2011
"A true paradise! A haven of serenity and calm away from the bustle of modern India.
The staffs are so kind, warm and caring. I truly felt pampered. A wonderful location and a beautiful sea to swim in, and of course the birds in the lagoon, the delicious food and the amazing massages. Thank you very much!"
MR. KAUNTEYA SHAH - LONDON - 24-04-2011
"What a pity only one night in gods own country……Kerala. This surely must be piece of paradise."
MR. FREDERICH MULLER - SOUTH AFRICA - 25-04-2011.
"Extreamely good.No words."
MR.KIRAN & SUHASINI - ANDRA PRADESH - 25-04-2011.
"Will be back soon. there for the fifth time! And then for the best of my life!"
MRS. CHRISTIANNE SCHLOTTMANN - NEW DELHI - 26-04-2011
"It was a fantastic relaxing holiday and I regret having to go back to the real world again but hopefully I am able to come back next year. Thank you so much!"
MS.KARIN SPRANGER - GERMANY - 26-04-2011
"Our second time here and it just like home, delicious food, vey nice and efficient service and the place …is absolutely great. See you soon with another group."
MAGRIOT GROUP - FRANCE28-04-2011.
"I have thought of you such a lot over the winter in your ‘paradise’.
I hope that it continues to flourish. It is a very healing place. I left there more relaxed than I can remember ' Judith Wainwright, UK
"An exceptional retreat. Excellent food and peerless staff. Thank you"
Fay Maschler, London , UK
"Thank you all for giving me such a wonderful stay...
I felt relaxed, safe, cared for and pampered during my visit. The kindness of the staff was outstanding. My room was beautiful and comfortable ...although it took me over 24 hours to travel to Neeleshwar Hermitage from the United States, I would definitely visit again on my next trip to India."
Tina Santiago, USA
"For the last 8 days, we felt as if we are in paradise on earth...
It is such an outstanding place, you can’t imagine it before you have seen it. The restaurant manager was like a mother to us, and all the others, both visible and invisible helping hands, made our life very comfortable and easy. We are sorry to leave now, but we will come back and we hope to see all those happy and always laughing faces again. Please keep you uniqueness for the further future. We wish you all the best for every member of the staff. We came as guests and leave as friends."
Ms.Annkathrin & Peter George Fischer, Germany
"A really wonderful new find - and such terrific food and staff...
We greatly appreciated the lectures. We'll be back!"
Charles and Caroline Allen-Jones, Essex, UK.
"We thought long and often about the perfect way to end this part of our travel in India....
Neeleshwar hermitage looked to be completely perfect. What has amazed and delighted us are all the thoughtful , wonderful people we had met here. The service has been perfect all around, a stunning week! Thank you to all. "
Ms.Niranjana Gail Forrest, USA.
"We LOVED the Neeleshwar Hermitage which exceeded all my expectations...
Delicious food, charming staff and the added bonus of Alistair Shearer. The hotel were very helpful about organising a visit to a local Theyyam festival where we had the most amazing welcome and everyone seemed pleased that we had come to the celebration. Some of the things we liked were the staff, the massage, the food and, of course the amazing beach."
"Really magnificent, faultless...
A place is made by its people and here you have the very best and kindest. Thank you all very much for making our stay so wonderful. We will be back. Be warned!"
Ben Elliot, Quintessentially, London, UK.
"Wonderful, wonderful time. Peaceful beyond peaceful.
Spiritual. Beautiful. Calm. The staff was wonderful. Alistair - a genius! We will be back."
Dame Gail Rebuck & Lord Philip Gould, London, UK.
"Could not improve on what is offered...
a perfect place to find your inner peace and yourself. Felt like home and the staff nurtures and takes care of you without being obtrusive. Thank you - we will see you again!’"
Dr. Ashok and Usha Bedi The Jung Foundation of New York, USA
"It took God seven days to create this world...
- in the same time we were not able to find a good reason for any complaint . Sorry for that,dear GM!! .Wish you all the best for the future." (PS: We were jailed in by beauty!)"
Dr.Henriche Puppe Germany
Conde Nast Traveller
"This near perfect haven of peace and pampering.... "
"Neeleshwar represents, really, the perfect distillation of what so many Westerners, from E.M.Forster and Allen Ginsberg to the Beatles, have come to India in an attempt to find: an escape from the pressures and frenzied pace of our lives. The transition from stressed-out to blissed-out, however, is surprisingly swift...in just a few days, I am barefoot, loose-limbed and clear-headed, with a sensation of wellbeing that, I later discover, I carry with me long afterwards"
London Evening Standard
"Neeleshwar combines the divine holy trinity of a beautiful empty beach, an excellent Keralan chef and a team of staff who radiate good grace."
National Geographic Go Green
"Situated on India's south-western tip, Kerala is home to many working models of responsible tourism. A star example is the newly opened Neeleshwar Hermitage..."
The Sunday Times Travel
"Neeleshwar, a small coastal village in Northern Kerala, has many gods - Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian take your pick - and more than a hint of the divine. .... A journey along the Malabar Coast, as the area is romantically known, is an Indian myth made real...This place - with its red earth as if imported from Mars - feels other; this isn't the India where you queue for a stature or jostle for a seat; northern Kerala gets hardly any tourists and lacks the tick-box sights you find elsewhere. This is its magic; strange things happen here, tales of the unexpected."
"Neeleshwar Hermitage hotel in Kerala is an oasis of eco-friendly activity: local techniques and materials were used in its constructions, rain water is conserved and harvested, solar energy is used wherever possible, natural waste is recycled and all water is purified on site. 12 Cottages sit in a palm grove along an unspoiled beach; the Priya Spa offers Ayurvedic treatments"
Food & Travel Hotel of the Month
"Neeleshwar Hermitage is the first luxury resort to open in the unspoiled and relatively unexplored coast of northern Kerala. Unlike southern Kerala there are no hotels here, no beach bars and definitely no crowds. Its location, on an empty sweep of soft while sand, flanked by a freshwater lagoon and surrounded by coconut and mango groves, is nature untamed. Eagles, kingfishers and herons glide above the 16 thatches cottages that house spacious, minimal bedrooms, built using sustainable wood. The Hermitage is eco-friendly; local toiletries help minimize the impact of the resort on the environment. Staff is friendly and warm, and the relaxed atmosphere is instantly calming. Food at Neeleshwar presents a tasty collusion of Indian, Middle-Eastern and European influences. The emphasis is on fresh ingredients cooked with an authentic flair and each morning fisherman haul in their catch of fish from the nearby waters. Learn how to cook like a local under the expert tuition of resort chefs at one of the cookery classes, or let some one else do the work and feast in the al-fresco fish restaurant or at the delicious Annapurna restaurant. The Ayurvedic Priya Spa offers a range of treatments, from the restful smruthi, where warm oil is dripped onto the forehead, to the jet-lag busting sajooya. Whilst Neeleshwar offers a busy range of activities and events - from astrology to bird-watching - guests are equally welcome to take it easy and lounge on the beach while soaking up the pristine paradise. The restorative Ayurvedic energy must be in the air, after our stay we floated out feeling blissfully relaxed. This is the beauty of northern Kerala, the pace is so laidback you can't help but give in and unwind. Get there now - before the masses arrive and it loses its lazy Bohemian charm."
High Life, British Airways Magazine.
"Perfect for a relaxed beach holiday. Neeleshwar Hermitage in Malabar is set in a palm grove directly on the shore. The retreat is made up of 16 thatched cottages and has a spa, Ayurvedic centre and infinity pool. The hotel aims to enhance wellbeing and offers ayurvedic treatments, yoga, meditation and organic treatments. The main restaurant has vegetarian food while the beachside eatery serves freshly caught seafood. The Hermitage is also eco-friendly and built according to Kerala Vastu, which says that a building should be in harmony with its surroundings."
French – "Et le Neeleshwar Hermitage, à conseiller très vivement aux personnes qui souhaitent calme et repos : le paradis sur terre ! tout y est conçu pour le bien-être des clients dans un cadre de rêve. Le personnel est incroyablement attentionné, la nourriture vraiment succulente et puis, il n’y a que 16 chambres… ! ."
English - "And the Neeleshwar Hermitage, to advise very strongly to people who want quiet and rest: Paradise on Earth! everything is designed for the well-being of the customers in a dream setting. The staff is incredibly attentive, and then really succulent food, there are 16 rooms...! "
Abercrombie & Kent - January 2013
"A truly relaxing retreat with all the comforts
and luxuries necessary for a memorable stay...
I only wish we could have stayed longer".
Christine Newman, Product Manager, Voyages Jules Verne, London, UK.
"The silence and the purity of the ocean and the sky are mesmerizing...
The place is not only beautiful but paradise: making you aware of something greater. We enjoyed the naturalism and elegance of the buildings and appreciate how it fits into the local environment. Not only is this place beautiful but it is close to important spiritual places like the Nityananda Ashram, a place of utmost peace for us, it was of greatest significance because we follow a spiritual path that is based on the tradition Nityananda founded. We did not know that these places are so close to Neeleshwar when we came here. So we are sure that people will find a lot when they come here: relaxing, healing and a deeper dimension to life. Of course there is also to mention that the people here are lovely"
Elisabeth Jxmeier & Anne Biging Healing Hotels of the World, Germany
"This is an amazing place and I am already looking forward to returning...
Love the concept, location, staff and the beautiful room".
Andrea Hulme, Product Manager India, Audley Travel, UK.
"I like the complete concept.
Really it speaks the culture of India, especially Kerala...
Everything to do with the details and the concept is very intricate and give good ambience and décor."
Project manager Khanna Hotels Pvt.Ltd, Bekal
"Thank you for your hospitality...
I enjoyed my brief stay immensely and shall promote Neeleshwar to any of my clients touring the North Kerala/South Karnataka region as a great relaxation beach retreat at the end of their tour.' Sharon Evans, Indian Subcontinent Specialist, Western Oriental Travel, London. 'Oh! This place is amazing. At last I have found a nice place to stay on the beach: comfortable, well-constructed, intimate and with a particularly good taste in decoration. What else to say? It is peaceful, beautiful, with this fantastic swimming pool and splendid garden. Thank you all for the wonderful stay I spent here and a special mention for the good food (I am crazy now for those mint potatoes!).'
Celine Beuchat, Au Tigre Vanille, Geneva, Switzerland.
"A gem of a beach, spacious and comfortable cottages and great food...
Along with the cultural experiences, Neeleshwar has got the ingredients right"
Anitha Pottamkulam General Manager, Pierce & Leslie, Chennai.
The room was very comfortable and beautifully furnished. I look forward to coming back!"
Dannil Smith, Indian Specialist, Audley Travel, UK
"This is a fantastic place and I really enjoyed my stay. The room is comfortable, bathroom great and the area delightful. It is ideal as a place to relax at the end of a tour and we shall certainly be recommending you to our customers".
Diana Syrett, Kerala Connections.
"After many invites from Simon I have made it...what a surprise! It is a breath of fresh air, and not just literally. A secret hideaway at an extremely high standard in India. I have already fallen in love with the vision you all have. Can't wait for the updates !"
Clare Burkey, Steppes Travel, UK.
"To date, Kerala’s best beach resorts have all been found to the south of Cochin, but this will change in July this year when the Neeleshwar Hermitage opens near Bekal. Sixteen very spacious cottages each with private courtyard garden, fine cuisine, an Ayurvedic spa and a wonderfully unspoilt beach where you can flop and be pampered will offer the perfect antidote to the hills and jungles of northern Kerala…and you will avoid having to make the long journey south."
Ultimate Travel, UK.
"A truly relaxing and beautiful retreat - wonderful location too. We are very impressed by the high standard and your vision. Thank you"
Steve Pettitt, Pettitts, UK