Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort
Somatheeram was the first ever concept Ayurveda Resort started in Kerala, India started in 1989. Somatheeram Health has been awarded best Ayurvedic Centre ten Times by the Government of Kerala and three times by the Central Government of India.
Treatment rooms are situated in the denser parts of the vegetation amid carefully tended medicinal plants and trees. The rooms are dimly lit and have a prayer corner where a lamp is lit before undertaking the treatment procedures. The paathi (massage board) is made of barks of medicinal wood and covered in foam mattresses. Therapists are dressed in traditional Kerala attire and absolutely affable.
Vatha, pitha or kapha tea is served after the treatment.
These 23 acres of tropical landscape is scantily dotted with ancient Kerala style cottages. There is more attention to garden spaces as against number of rooms and that aids in making each cottage a wholesome experience. The accommodation is largely classified as below:
Dr. C A Raman (DAM) is the Chief Ayurveda Physician. He has been with the property for 21 years and has been a major contributor to Somatheeram’s authentic Ayurveda tag. He retired as the Ayurveda Director of Kerala, before which he was employed at the Government Ayurveda College in Trivandrum. His contributions to Ayurveda have seen him create signature medicines like anti-smoking powder, anti-ageing oil, diuretic herbal tea, and many other combinations he has put together for healing at Somatheeram. Dr. Raman has had a clientele from royal families of Kerala, politicians and other important dignitaries who he has healed.
Dr. Sreelatha is the Ayurveda Director at the resort and is from a family of Ayurveda doctors, between whom the healing art has been transferred from generations on. She has worked as an Ayurveda physician outside the country, and ran her own clinic before she joined the resort. She has a total of 10 years’ experience with Somatheeram itself and is one of the most sought after physicians in Kerala.
There are 9 other senior and junior doctors of whom one is a night duty doctor, thus ensuring that there are physicians in the property at all points in time.
The doctors are proactive and make it a point to follow up with their guests, even months after departure ensuring that their treatment is taking the right effect.
Yoga and Meditation
There are two yoga halls in the property. One is closer to the treatment area and is right in the middle of an expanse of trees. The other is closer to the beach and offers a splendid sight of the sea. Here, you get to pick your kind of peaceful spot.
The yoga instructor Mr. James Varghese is the head of the department and has been working with Somatheeram for 10 years. He is assisted by Mr. Shahjahan and Mr. Byju Kaviraj who have each been here for about 3 years. The instructors are accredited and usually requested to hold classes and lectures in various parts of Kerala for their knowledge and expertise. Yoga is classified based on beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The yoga and meditation culture here truly adds to the holistic feel.
Medicines are manufactured at the Somatheeram Group’s very own production unit, nearly 2km away from the property. Some herbs are even procured from the property for some basic medicines.
Vegetables and groceries are mostly procured from the well maintained garden area. Only some are sourced from reliable external vendors.
The restaurant is indeed perched on a vantage point in the resort. Sitting in this airy section gives you a marvelous view of tree tops that lead to a view of the sea ahead. Tastily done with wooden furniture and thatched roof, the restaurant is where Ayurveda food is reinvented as diet food which is delicious as well.
The team of chefs is advised to follow the word of the physician when it comes to serving each guest. The sprawling buffet menu is designed based on the tridoshas(vata, pitta, and Kapha – the three doshas) and each item is classified based on it. The food is served in brass urlis (pots) as in ancient Kerala, brass was believed to have medicinal properties that get transferred to the food it retains. The pots are kept on brick kiln stoves to keep the food warm.
Breakfast usually includes a selection of toasts, home-made jams, butter, cereal, milk, fruit juices, croissants, muffins, special breakfast salads, items native to Kerala like banana fritters, steamed bananas, and a few of Kerala steamed breakfast items with accompaniments and chutneys.
Lunch is elaborate and has a variety of 3 soups and rice gruel along with accompaniments like banana chips, papad, pickles and chutneys. This is followed by a scrumptious assortment of innovative salads with a choice of dressing. Four varieties of rice make the main course, and curries that are made on the basis of tridoshas accompany them. Alongside this already lavish spread, there is a variety of healthy drinks and desserts that are usually made of less sugar or palm sugar.
Dinner is similar to the lunch menu style but a wholly different menu. There is an addition of a live counter that makes Kerala specialities like dosa, wheat dosa, appam, etc.
The food is indeed a well thought affair, authentic Kerala cuisine in less oil and spices. No compromise on taste has been made based on these adjustments and the food is simply extraordinary.
There are indeed packages for Slimming, Immunization, Rejuvenation and Panchakarma treatments. However, in most cases the guests are diagnosed before allotting a certain treatment method. The packages design not only treatment courses but every other aspect of healing.
Somatheeram Health is situated on a hillock that continues to meet the beachside at the South of Kovalam. Chowara beach is set in Vizhinjam locality in South Trivandrum and is a treat to the eye due to its manicured vegetations and serene beaches.