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“a peaceful retreat”

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Bethsaida Hermitage
Ranked #9 of 52 Hotels in Kovalam
MANCHESTER
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“a peaceful retreat”
Reviewed 20 April 2012

A lovely hotel in a beautiful location. The staff are all extremely friendly, helpful and efficient. We had a sea breeze room,which are on a higher level and offer air conditioning, providing a cool retreat. This is a very quiet and relaxing hotel, which we definitely wish to visit again - as soon as possible!

Room Tip: Sea breeze rooms offer air conditioning and more privacy
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SCK-Manchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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397 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2012

Loved this hotel. Excellent quality in everything. Rooms very spacious with wonderful view. The hotel has a private beach, although small, is lovely as it is totally empty. Buffet breakfast is very good.
Only issues are 1. Need a taxi to get to Kovalam beach. 2. Hot water from the shower is not very consistent. 3. No 'real' coffee in breakfast.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ShikhaAnup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Delhi
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

Charging room rates on high international hotel level the service you get is horrible. To be fair, the hotel location is wonderful. But the poor trained Indian stuff will kill your nerves and ruin the recovery you are searching for. The food quality is bad and if you order besides the poor buffet it is getting frustrating for you. We waited for sandwichs & Pepsi 1h 30 min. every day. Unfortunately the hotel is too far away to eat outside. AC's are not working in the rooms, to get a single problem solved (like the AC issue) plan one complete day. Highlight: because we showed up for check out at 01:00 p.m. they insist to pay one day extra (116 Euro!!!!) while asking for the hotel bill and pick up the luggague from the hotel rooms the hotel stuff needed 4h (!!!). Sorry, that's a crime.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Kessi21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
140 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 206 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2012

Located a 10-15 min taxi ride away from the main Kovalam Beach tourist area, the Bethsaida is a good hideaway for Ayurvedic “patients”. An expansive resort situated on a hill right next to the beach, it boasts a perfect scenic location, just as its neighbors the Somatheeram and the up market Surya Samudra resorts similarly offer.

In fact, reading the reviews of the other well-known Ayurvedic resorts in the area (Manaltheeram, Coconut Bay etc), it seems as if they are all pretty similar. All have beautiful lush gardens and coconut groves, hammocks strung throughout the property, beach front settings facing the gorgeous Arabian Sea, semi-private beaches, as well as Ayurvedic centres, daily yoga and meditation, and even cultural entertainment programs.

Most of the resorts enjoy glowing reviews from guests, and adjectives such as “paradise”, “magical” etc. are common. After a 7 day Ayurvedic “Rejuvenation” program at the Bethsaida – enjoying different kinds of massage treatments every day, I too am wonderfully relaxed, in great spirits and have many fond memories of my stay.

I did initially take a while to adjust at the Bethsaida however, and admit there was a bit of a culture shock. This is India after all, and the standards of decor, hygiene and service weren’t quite what I was expecting. In the interest of expectation-setting for other potential guests, I am offering my candid impressions here.

Rooms:
- Pretty basic, although very spacious. Equipped with a wall-mounted flat-screen TV, and a decent selection of cable channels such as HBO, AXN, and Discovery. A kettle and a full-sized fridge were provided, but no hair dryer – you will have to request for one. My room did have A/C, however the A/C was somewhat faulty and kept shutting off.
- Bed: The double bed was actually 2 singles pushed together. The mattress was hard and thin, and gave me a backache every day.
- Bathroom: Large washing area with a utilitarian shower head. Best to bring your own toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner, and shower gel. Thin, somewhat worn towels were provided. Floor mats were not changed daily. The bathrooms were given a wipe down every day, however nothing more.

Dining:
- The resort has a fairly large restaurant where all meals are taken, and meal times do get busy. You can sit outside overlooking the beach, where it is very pretty in the morning or at night under the stars (if you don’t mind the mosquitoes). Meals are buffet style, with mostly non-spicy Indian vegetarian dishes on offer although there are a couple of spicy dishes, and sometimes a fish or chicken dish. Most of the guests are on an Ayurvedic program and a full board package, although there is also an a la carte menu available.
- Alcohol: Beer, wine and whiskey are available, unlike at some of the other “purer” Ayurvedic resorts. Kerala has very strict laws about the sale and consumption of alcohol in public however so you won’t see drinks on the menu of most restaurants.

Electricity, water, and WiFi:
- Electricity: Trips often, although this is not unique to the Bethsaida. Each resort has its own backup generator. When the power trips at night you might be in total darkness for about a minute before the generator kicks in.
- Water: One of the resort’s 3 water pumps kept breaking down. There were 3 incidences of water outage during my week-long stay – isolated to the block of rooms I was in apparently. Still, there was no water for a couple of hours each time, and when the water came on again, this blackish liquid spewed from the taps, with black stuff coming out even. Other times the water is green-tinged. Boil the water for use when brushing your teeth and washing your face – you will see a mossy green layer of sediment in your kettle. Remember to keep your mouth closed when you shower too.
- WiFi: There are hotspots in the reception, restaurant, Ayurvedic center and other main areas. You might be able to get a weak signal inside your room as well. The WiFi is spotty however, and slow.

Ayurvedic center:
- Doctor: There are 3 doctors at the center, and all seem very nice. You start your stay with a short consultation session where you can chat with the doctor about any ailments you have. Medicine is dispensed, and the doctor will also work out the massage treatments for your program. He will also advise you what “dosha” or dominant energy force type you have, and what foods to eat to balance your “dosha”.
- Massage treatments: For Ayurvedic novices, be prepared. This is nothing like the pampering massages you usually get at a spa. The treatment rooms are in open-air huts and are very basic; none too clean looking I might add. A big wooden platform bed occupies the center of the room. Because Ayurvedic treatments get really messy (you will be rolling around in oil, or powder..), you have to be completely naked - they do offer you a paper loincloth sometimes however this very quickly becomes drenched in oil and dislodged, so why bother. The massages are vigorous no nonsense affairs, so you do need to be completely uncovered at all times. The rub downs are good however. The oils used are herbal oils, so don’t expect anything nice-smelling like lemon grass or ylang ylang oils. At my first session I found the smell of the oils faintly repugnant, however got used it.
- Yoga: There are sunrise and sunset sessions, conducted in a conference hall with wall to wall windows overlooking the sea. Nothing beats practicing Yoga to the sound of crashing surf I swear. The sessions are popular, and Joseph the yoga master is very good. He begins each session with a prayer or chant (yoga in India is a bit more spiritual than what we are used to in yoga studios outside of India), and his voice and “ohms” are marvelously resonant –you can actually feel the vibrations.

Service:
- The Bethsaida's best feature, and this, if anything, is what sets it aparat from the other Ayurvedic resorts (judging by the reviews of other properties). Smiling genuine staff throughout the property, especially in the dining hall. What they lack in professionalism they more than make up for with their enthusiasm. Their English is somewhat limited however.

Guests:
- Most are on an Ayurvedic program, so you will see many guests walking around the property in their blue-grey gowns with hair wrapped in a turban (to allow the oils to soak in you are not supposed to shower for at least an hour after your treatment), even at meal times.
- The resort seems to cater to a Russian clientele – menus and notices are in English and Russian, and there is even a Russian staff at the Ayurvedic center. During the week I was at the resort, most of the guests were Russian, with a few other British and German guests.

Overall, I did thoroughly enjoy my stay. Although I would have preferred a less rustic resort personally, I have to say the Bethsaida did win me over with its charm and heart.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank MBev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
227 reviews
115 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2012

Peaceful retreat with breathtaking scenery, unspoiled nature and beautiful sunsets. Enjoyed the quiet swimming pool and the great massages. Our room was clean and simple, although short beds with hard mattresses. We enjoyed the TV which offered many channels. The food was fresh and tasty, but the service slow and portions tiny. Forget about wine - all bottles were badly corked and undrinkable. Breakfast buffet was not so nice with dirty cutlery and dirty glassware on dirty tables. Prepare to see some really skinny freaks participating in a radical fasting programme - staring at your fork when you eat. Overall the beautiful setting outweighs the peculiarities, and we would go back.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jaiwana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bethsaida Hermitage

Property: Bethsaida Hermitage
Address: | Pulinkudi, Mulloor. P.O, Kovalam 695521, India
Region: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Kovalam
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Kovalam
#3 Family Hotel in Kovalam
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kovalam
#6 Spa Hotel in Kovalam
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Kovalam
Price range (per night): ₹ 16,354 - ₹ 32,321
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bethsaida Hermitage 3.5*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ayurveda Resort. 5 Residential Doctors 24 x 7, 25 Treatment rooms, 105 guest rooms, Private beach, 2 ocean view restaurants, 2 swimming pools, shop, theater, spa, gym, etc ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bethsaida Hermitage Hotel Kovalam
Bethsaida Hermitage Kovalam, Kerala

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