I’m fortunate to have explored quite a bit of Karnataka – Dandeli, Hampi, Nandi Hills, Mysore and Bangalore in the last couple of years, and I have to say that it’s one of the most beautiful states in India. So, when I got a chance to visit Sai Vishram Beach Resort in Coastal Karnataka, I just couldn’t resist the idea. As soon as I landed in Mangalore, I knew I had a great trip in store. The verdure of coconut plantations along the road hinted at the beauty that waited in Dombe Village.
Although the drive from the airport to the beach resort was a bit tiring, the first-rate hospitality that I received by the resort staff made up for it. Just as its name, Sai Vishram is a haven of calmness, serenity and relaxation. I loved the resort for many reasons –
There’s plenty of greenery in every corner of the property – Being a nature lover, it didn’t take me very long to get besotted by the resort’s excessive foliage. I wouldn’t be wrong if I said that it looks like a property that is built amidst a forest. It’s so, so green!
Be careful about the creepy-crawlies, though! For instance, always flush the commode before you use it, just in case, there’s a little frog hiding inside.
The cottages and tents have been designed with interesting themes – Each cottage is built with an element of nature in it – Earth Cottage, Sun Cottage and Water Cottage. I chose to stay in Earth Cottage, which had a pretty foyer to it. I’d wake up early just to sit in the quietude and sip my morning tea. Also, the tents (which are also air-conditioned and well-equipped with all the amenities) have lots of experiences to offer – each one of them has a private lawn, foyer and a small backyard, which allow guests to unwind as they please. And, to connect you to the place in a better way, there are no TVs in any of the rooms. But, the best part about staying in a tent is that you are close to the beach.
The ‘idleness’ at the beach – Since the beach is accessible only to the guests at the resort, it is quite clean and inviting. What I personally liked about the beach is that it’s neither too peaceful, nor too noisy. You can frequent the beach anytime, recline under a beach-shade or simply stroll along the shore. The idea is to savour being ‘idle’.
The simple and delicious food – Sai Vishram is a pure vegetarian and a non-alcoholic resort, which, I believe, is a unique concept. I particularly loved the variety of rice preparations that were served for lunches and dinners – Beetroot rice, Methi rice and Curd rice just to name a few. I didn’t mind overeating a bit, because I knew what I ate was nutritious. To top it all, there used to be a spread of different fruits to be relished after meals.
A dash of culture with a fabulous Yakshagana performance – I was amazed to see the artists wear those garish outfits in such humidity and yet perform so beautifully! Yakshagana is a dance of coastal Karnataka, which is similar to Kathakali, but the former has artists speak between the dance. It was a powerful and intense performance that lasted for an hour or so. The funny part was when I went backstage to meet the artists after the dance, I found out that they had already taken their clothes off – they were out of their characters and thus, couldn’t take the humidity anymore.
The hospitality is par excellence – I don’t think I ever felt so pampered and looked after like I was at Sai Vishram Beach Resort. The manager, Adarsh and all the other staff are so courteous and helpful towards their guests. I’d like to admit that I felt a little embarrassed by the way I was taken care of. For me, hospitality wins over everything else – amenities, luxuries and comforts.
The evening tea and snacks at the beach – I loved noshing on the yummy Pakodas and Samosas that were served at the beach – The atmosphere turned extra joyous in the evenings, as people played volleyball and other water sports, kids ran around and their parents also indulged in some free-spirited fun.
Children are given to let their ‘artistic’ juices flow – The reception area had a corner for kids, where they could play some indoor games, read books and paint their imaginations. There's a huge wall dedicated to the sketches and drawings by the guest kids – it looked like a beautiful exhibition.
I’d say it was a different solo travel experience for me – I had families around me. To be honest, I, too, would like to have my family along at such places.
Practical Information: Sai Vishram Beach Resort is 140 km away from Mangalore Airport. It is located in Dombe Village, Paduvari in the coastal town of Byndoor, Udupi District.
Note: I was at Sai Vishram Beach Resort on invitation, however, all opinions, as always, are my own.
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