Personal Travel Blog - Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, India
Our clients, Jenny & John Leeder, enjoyed a 14 night stay at Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort in Kerala, India and loved every moment. They share their story below so take a read and be inspired to hop on the plane yourself. They told us that they met fellow guests there who have returned every year for up to 20 years - they look on it as their annual Body MOT!
We arrived early in the morning to be greeted by the friendliest and most gentle of faces and garlands of jasmine. So wonderful after the long flight plus our room was ready so we quickly settled in. Unfortunately, our luggage had been left behind in Dubai and we were not reunited with it for 2 days but the staff could not have been kinder or more concerned.
It was within a beautiful old Kerala house right on the sea with a stunning view of the beach from its colonial style veranda. From here, we could see the fishing boats leaving the beach daily in the late afternoon and returning in the morning, pulling in their nets. A truly magical sight.
We felt complete tranquillity as we walked through the lush gardens and down the steps towards the sea and I think this makes the resort so special. People wander around in their treatment gowns with no worries as everything is so relaxed. Our first evening, we had our consultation with the Ayurvedic Doctor who stayed with us throughout our stay. She recommended a relaxing massage after our travel and we had the bliss of two therapists massaging us at once with lovely oils. This was followed by a delicious vegetarian dinner and a good night's sleep waking up to the sound of the fishing boats and the waves.
We had booked a 15 day 'Rejuvenation Panchakarma programme' and the treatments can be taken at various times of the day in 2 hour “blocks". We were given 9.30 am until 11.30 am which suited us. However, many people went for an afternoon or evening treatment time as it allowed them time by the pool or on the beach at the sister resort of Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Resort.
It was suggested that we did not sit in the sun or be too strenuous after our treatments but this might well have been due to our age as I am in my 70’s and my husband is 82! There are many younger people there and, of course, this is the right time in one’s life to begin such treatments! We spent most of the afternoon sleeping or reading and after an early dinner had a good relaxing sleep.
Throughout the programme, you are seen daily by the Ayurvedic Doctor who monitors your progress. This is followed by the allotted treatment for the day. The treatments include body massages, purgative treatments and medicated steam baths and are designed to support the body's natural mechanising of expelling toxins and purifying the body. My favourite was a two-person oil massage followed by Shirodara when they pour warm oil or medicated milk onto the forehead in the area of the “3rd eye” and this was blissful. Each day also includes a face pack and delicious face massage.
For us, this was actually very little as we were very happy to relax. However, many things can be arranged including boat trips on the Kerala backwaters, cookery classes and Ponmudi Hill Station tours. You can also visit nature and elephant reserves and, if you go further afield, you can visit beautiful temples. We enjoyed a wonderful beach walk in the early mornings and evenings to watch the sunset. Plus it's very easy to take a taxi to Manaltheeram to have dinner overlooking the beach. We liked that yoga can be practised throughout the day with group classes and private lessons also available.
We were concerned that a totally vegetarian restaurant could be rather boring and canteen-like but nothing could be further from the truth! The tables were candlelit at night and every meal taken there was a joy. There are outside tables for dinner and entertainment each night - usually Indian music. The buffet each day was delicious with freshly cooked curries and rice and many other health-giving meals. My favourite breakfast was freshly sprouted beans with ginger chutney and coconut followed by fresh papaya.
Throughout the day, you can have fresh coconut. fresh juices, teas and the most delicious buttermilk. If you don't want to be too 'puritanical', you can have freshly-caught fish. We chose from the buffet which had food made specifically for the “ doshas” which are read by the Ayurvedic pulse.
How we felt at the end of our stay
John and I both really did feel “ rejuvenated”. We had lost 3 kilos each in spite of eating 3 good meals a day! Our skin was soft and our bodies supple after all the wonderful oil and milk massages.
It was without doubt one of the best experiences that we could have given to ourselves! Wellbeing Escapes arranged our holidays so efficiently and we were met and taken back to the airport by delightful drivers.
We hope that we can return next year!