A superlative spa, set amidst a lush forest.

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The spa-on-stilts at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, channels the beauty of the forest and the cardamom plantations through its settings and leverages Niraamaya’s wellness heritage with its immersive therapies and massages.

John Muir (who earned the monikers ‘John of the Mountains’ or ‘Father of National Parks’), an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, and glaciologist, once said, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

As Muir suggested in his writings, nature heals. It restores and also rejuvenates. As it does at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, a haven hidden away amidst the thick forests of Thekkady and lush cardamom and other spice plantations. Nature here is all-encompassing, much like the divine. Niraamaya, in fact, translates to “freedom from ailments”.

Therapeutic massages help you relax, detoxify, manage your weight and stress, deal with ailments and restore the harmony of mind, body, and soul. The spa experience at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club is unparalleled.

Situated on a hilltop, the retreat is off the beaten track, offering guests an opportunity to escape the frenzied pace of urban living. The villas are perched among cardamom plantations and surrounded by dense green jungles. The inspiring scenic surrounding transforms the retreat into a perfect destination to unwind and rekindle your energies.

The spa, built on stilts and crafted out of Bangkirai wood sourced from sustainable plantations from Indonesia, sprawls across 12,000 sq ft and has several secluded massage rooms and quiet corners. The breathtaking setting soothes the spirit, re-invigorates the body and enriches the mind.

Spa at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady
Spa at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady

The spa experience

Set in a wooden villa on stilts and surrounded by the beauty of a serene forest, the spa is a secluded sanctuary. If you are on a wellness package, the spa personnel will recommend massages according to your body type and your personal goals (Is it weight loss? Deal with stress? Or any other issue?). If the idea is to just relax while a trained masseur kneads away the stress from your body, there are a bouquet of therapies offered at the spa, along with yoga, healing meditation, and pranayama sessions. At the Niraamaya Spa, guests can choose from the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda and also a host of Western and traditional Asian therapies, such as reflexology.

Before any therapy is recommended, a guest has advised a consultation session with the spa doctor. If a guest is on a short or a long wellness intervention programme, a set of therapies are recommended depending on the body type and constitution. Often, the chef and the spa doctor outline a diet plan, especially if the goal is to lose weight or detoxify.


The signature massages

Spice Magic is a healing blend of aromatic oils that are massaged into the body in long, rhythmic movements and help to detoxify. Aromaya, on the other hand, is a holistic therapy, a gentle massage of aromatic essential oils which soothes your body and helps you relax. Jetlag Reviver is a 45-minute massage for the scalp, face, back and legs that helps relieve fatigue and muscle aches.

Spa at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady
Spa at Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady

The Niraamaya Spa is known for Ayurveda massages — from Abhyanga Snana (a rhythmic massage with long fluid strokes using medicated oil) to the classical Shirodhara and an entire range of therapies. Also available are moisturizing body wraps and a spectrum of skin-care rituals, using healing and beautifying materials such as hydrating sea salt crystals, rose scrub and polish.


Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club offers a destination spa package, the super-indulgent Niraamaya Spa Bliss — signature body scrubs, Spice Magic massage, Reflexology, and an Ayurveda experience, spread over two days; the three-day programme includes a facial.


Relax at the pool

After the massage, take a dip in the Infinity pool, which is as much a blissful experience as the spa itself. Set to the backdrop of a dark green canopy and with a lovely view of the mountain ranges of the Periyar region, the setting and the swim helps you connect with nature and yourself.

Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club is an ideal destination vacation — nestled in a natural world, replete with spa indulgences and experiences, and infused with wonderful moments spent exploring the forest and the spice plantations that surround the retreat.


Have you ever wondered how spas evolved and the history of massages?

Champneys.com traces the history and heritage of these spaces of relaxation and rejuvenation.


Natural Healers flips through the pages of history to explore the long 5,000-year-old heritage of massage therapy.



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