This Tranquil Oasis Integrates Classical Kerala Architecture | Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters and Beyond

Now get enfolded in lush greenery and pristine backwaters of Kerala and attain this enchanted bliss amid the picturesque and peaceful Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters and Beyond in Kumarakom. Capturing the scenic backwaters of Lake Vembanad with houseboats floating on it, the opulent resort nestles by the edge of the lake. “When the clients approached us with this challenging yet beautifully contoured site at Kumarakom, our aim to design Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters and Beyond was perfectly executed to demonstrate an immersive luxury hospitality experience,” reminisces Ravi Sarangan, Co-Founder and Director, Edifice Consultants. Know more about this serene resort on SURFACES REPORTER (SR).


Capturing the scenic backwaters of Lake Vembanad with houseboats floating on it, the opulent resort nestles by the edge of the lake.

For Sarangan, the resort complex of Niraamaya Retreat demonstrates a boutique architectural experience of opulence that strongly connects with the surrounding landscape through an appropriate balance of contemporary design and traditional elements. Complementing the surrounding greenery, the resort strategically nests on Lake Vembanad’s 160m stretched shoreline. Established across 7 acre, the design approach for Niraamaya Retreat builds upon the celebrated backwaters, integrating the biosystem to create a holistic spatial as well as an aesthetic experience.


Complementing the surrounding greenery, the resort strategically nests on Lake Vembanad’s 160m stretched shoreline.

The 27-key luxury getaway offers independent cottages, a spa and wellness centre, treatment rooms, a bar, yoga pavilions, a pool and gym, meeting rooms and an amphitheater. “The spatial programme has been interpreted to create a cohesive design scheme that provides a variety of views, vistas and levels of solitude, in tune with the function of each space,” he adds. An intimate structure facing the idyllic tropics welcomes visitors and guides them to the grand flight of stairs that further leads them to a voluminous reception under the sloping roof. The guests get a sneak peek of the lake from the property which showcases an abundance of landscaping and experience of green.


The luxury resort’s design integrates classical Kerala architecture comprising sloping roofs, Mogappus, Charupadi, and more.

While the upper-level keys are all oriented towards and visually connected with the lake, the premium villas enjoy both the landscaped foreground of shrubs, trees and grass as well as the lake view. Two of the three villas are closely cosy up by the lake to overlook its immaculate water. Each of the premium keys is covered with large verandahs and personal pools in the forecourt. The same setting is configured across two-storied premium villas where the upper keys overlook the lake while the ground floor opens up to the verandah. The family suites feature multiple terraces and verandahs that bind a set of private rooms.


Established across 7 acre, the design approach for Niraamaya Retreat builds upon the celebrated backwaters, integrating the biosystem to create a holistic spatial as well as an aesthetic experience.

Each villa at the ground level commands a significantly sheltered landscaped foreground with the uttermost privacy provided by advantageously placed barriers. “Case studies of the existing retreats in the area revealed that it was privacy that was a missing ingredient. The landscape, though lush, was a manicured version of the real thing,” informs Sarangan.


The 27-key luxury getaway offers independent cottages, a spa and wellness centre, treatment rooms, a bar, yoga pavilions, a pool and gym, meeting rooms and an amphitheater.

Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters and Beyond is built upon framed backwaters and integrates the natural environment, thereby creating a holistic spatial experience. The luxury resort’s design integrates classical Kerala architecture comprising sloping roofs, Mogappus, Charupadi, and more through locally sourced materials such as clay tiles for roofing, granite pavilions and dados, laterite and local timber.


Each of the premium keys is covered with large verandahs and personal pools in the forecourt.

Resonating with Kerala’s design language, the resort walks through a contemporary expression of traditions and emerges as a naturally aging property rather than a loud, perpetually polished one. The interiors of the resort impart a sense of luxury through its traditional choice of materials. Keeping the design style of colonial Kerala, the resort adopts a natural colour palette in hues of beige and green. A handpicked assemblage of lean, elegant furniture adds to the spatial and meditative experience of the resort.


Keeping the design style of colonial Kerala, the resort adopts a natural colour palette in hues of beige and green.

For Sarangan and the team, the unique site geography presented the challenge of an unusually high water table, high rainfall and water stagnation caused by the contours of the site. To address this challenge, the design was strategized in a manner that would enable a network of natural water bodies that allow smooth surface run-off even during heavy monsoon rains. Offering elemental luxurious experiences, Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters and Beyond is a tropical yet groomed landscaped resort that responds to the Keraltie culture.


A handpicked assemblage of lean, elegant furniture adds to the spatial and meditative experience of the resort.

Project details

Project: Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters and Beyond

Client: Niraamaya Retreats

Location: Kumarakom, Kerala

Scope:  Architecture, Interior Design

Site area: 7 acre; built-up area: 85000 sqft

Principal architect:  Sanjay Srinivasan

Design team: Radhika Dey, Baskaran Kolathu and Binu Kuriokose

Interiors: Radhika Dey, Akshata Bane and Dhruti Shivastava

Structural: Vastech

Electrical: Abraham

Landscape: Varkey Thomas (Earthline Consultants)

Plumbing: Arun Das

Image credit: Niraamaya Retreats

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