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Social Distancing at Neeleshwar Hermitage.

Social Distancing at Neeleshwar Hermitage.

Neeleshwar Hermitage was created, long before the corona epidemic, with the idea of maximising space and privacy for our guests. We chose deliberately to limit the number of cottages to 18, set well apart from each other over a twelve-acre site of highly oxygenated paradise garden, with verdant foliage separating each cottage from its neighbour. This allows each visitor their privacy and also the pleasant experience of 'owning' the whole property, while not having to be close to other guests unless, of course they chose to be. Each cottage room has very generous proportions, open-air planted bathroom and a pleasant private sitting-out area on the verandah, with either sea or garden views.

When guests do come together in our eating areas, these too are well-ventilated and very spacious. The Meenakshi beachfront restaurant is open-aired, with movable tables set many metres apart, while our main restaurant, the vegetarian Annapurna, is a vast and similarly adaptable inner space, with high ceilings and open walls giving on to the gardens. We also decided at the outset to build structures that could operate free of air conditioning, as both a health and an energy-saving policy, and this has proved fortuitous in that we are now being reminded that air-conditioning is not good for limiting the spread of viruses.

The position of the Hermitage site also offers wonderful opportunities for safe, enjoyable exercise, with fifteen kilometres of unspoilt beach to explore, and also the sea to swim in.

As the entire site fronts the Arabian sea, it is constantly refreshed by a gentle warm breeze that keeps air naturally circulating both within and around the built environment. In fact, The Hermitage could not be better suited to a relaxed stay while maintaining social distancing!

by Alistair Shearer

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"The greeting in Neeleshwar set the tone of the coming week: it was warm, professional, calm and had an understated attention to detail that meant you could completely relax into the arms of the place. Neeleshwar is beautiful, superbly run and the best place I have ever visited for recharging a weary body and mind. By the end of the week I felt 10 years younger."
Monty Don ( Gardening expert)