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“Cleansing energising Yoga Retreat in forested location.”
Review of SWAN Yoga Retreat

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SWAN Yoga Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Cleansing energising Yoga Retreat in forested location.”
Reviewed April 24, 2015

This was my first experience of a yoga retreat and am really happy that it was with Swan.After a few days there I felt like part of a family as did the other guests.As night turned into day we made our way up the path to the main yoga shala, nestled among the trees, for early meditation. Delicious fruit was served later in the dinning area. An asana and prana yama class then brunch. Later in the afternoon an optional masterclass was available.
Highlights were complete internal cleansing,fire ceremonies with chanting on Friday and Saturday evenings,walking meditation in the forest and the informal chats with Um, Shivendra and Gyan Midra. Highly recommend Swan to anyone who loves yoga at any level,would definitely go again.Excellent cooking.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lausamathi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2015

Pro’s:
• Quaint Village nearby
• Saturday night market nearby
• Deluxe Accommodation is spacious
• Garden setting very relaxing
Con’s:
• Bone aching beds, thin mattress, feels like you are sleeping directly on a Wood Plank
• Uninspiring schedule of activities, felt bored. No traditional yoga stretching and bending postures to be had, never did a sun salutation ;-)
• Location is adjacent to a tile factory, lots of dust and some noisy lorries and deliveries and tipping.
• Food: the same offerings for breakfast and dinner, I developed a gastric vomit bug as a direct result of the food and drink served here. The food is not in my opinion delicious as commented in previous reviews.
• Swan yoga have an on-site well that they use for water provision , I would urge you to avoid any food or drink using the contents of the well.
Summary
• I’m well travelled all over Asia and have attended many retreats and would urge you to think carefully before booking SWAN YOGA, there are far better places. Swan Yoga made me ill, and bored me rigid. If you need a yoga retreat in Goa Purple Yoga is nearby and the taxi driver advised very good.

Arrival & Check in
I travelled with a friend we booked a 7 day Yoga package in a Deluxe Cottage. We arrived on Friday, to discover nothing happens this day, no meditation, nothing. We were a little disappointed. When we arrived a gentleman spoke with us, we had to pay in cash as no credit card provision is offered. This is where I to urge you to beware, we had to abandon the retreat 4 days early, for health reasons (a gastric bug developed as a result of conditions food and drink at the camp) as a result of paying cash we had no recompense and lost £500.
Customer Service – Reluctant & distinctly lacking
• Schedule of daily activities hidden behind a curtain in dining area
• Not all activities started on time, very relaxed approach to timings, teachers seemed almost reluctant
• I am convinced following my stay at the retreat the owners/ teachers/guides are wholly centred on a money making enterprise as opposed to being a genuine wellbeing holiday provider.
• No modern credit card payment equipment was available yet the gentleman who appeared to be the leader of SWAN YOGA had a brand new iphone6 and Apple Macbook Air Laptop ownership of a surprising array of tech stuff in his possession in contrast to the basic surroundings and booking admin. I asked about the background of the centre and it was explained 3 of the teachers were school friends and set the centre up collectively. The majority of clients are westerners, no doubt this is a business first ashram later…..
The Yoga & Activity Schedule - below par
When I arrived I asked the gentleman if he was the teacher, and he vaguely commented we have no teachers here we are all equals. This is where my issue begins, the people in charge seem uninterested in coaching the clients, and assuring the delivery of an effective activity/ service. The leadership team/ staff swan around (excuse the pun) as if they are too high and mighty to get involved in the hospitality, service, teaching aspects of the yoga centre. Indeed I noticed they have their food served to them by a kitchen hand, and wonder if they are too high and mighty to actually work at all.
The people in charge seemed reluctant to guide us through the purpose of the scheduled activities and at no point did anybody articulate the benefits, of any of the activities we were encouraged to partake in, especially the drinking of saline water to induce vomit and diaroea
I was expecting the bending and stretching type of yoga, and did not experience any of this at all. The schedule of activities I experienced was yoga nidra, laying on the floor listening to a guided meditation being spoken to me, and also a cleansing ritual which I refused to participate in as it involved drinking saline to induce vomit and diarroeah.
Accommodation
We opted for a deluxe cottage it was spacious. The only downside is no air con, and we suffered heat stroke as we got very over heated.
The retreat has consistently locked gates, you cannot see the world outside without hindrance, and you really need to be prepared to stay on site for the duration, which we did.
Food – don’t believe the hype it wasn’t great!
Water is purified from the local well, and the well provides the water for cooking. 2 days following my arrival I had developed a vomiting bug, and I am certain it is as a direct result of the food and drink I had consumed at the camp. I was unable to keep water down without vomiting felt weak and became extremely concerned about my health, my friend travelling with me had also become ill, we were literally ill zombies, throbbing heads upset tummy, and worrying temperature/ heat stroke. We had no choice we had to leave, and asked for a partial refund, we were refused one.
The silver lining: 12 hours after leaving SWAN Yoga and checking into an air con room in Apora we were back to full health, headache dissolved, temperature reduced, and tummy troubles significantly diminished. We were out of pocket, but have learned a valuable lesson, dont trust internet reviews!

My review is intended to be fair and transparent. I would urge travellers to beware of yoga retreats in India overall, as what we see advertised on the Internet is not always reflective of the actual offering. Indian culture ( like many others) does have an element of over promising and under delivering, in addition to airbrushing away truths and flaws. Opt for a retreat wher you know your health will be safeguarded and the activities support

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank supahotchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
swanyogagoa, Guest Relations Manager at SWAN Yoga Retreat, responded to this review, May 14, 2015
Dear Blessed Self,

First of all, we would like to inform one and all readers that we at Swan do read all the reviews very carefully and try to maintain and enhance the good points mentioned by our guests and most certainly try to improve where it requires. We work on priority basis on the issues raised by our wonderful guests (like you) turned part of Swan family.

it pains us and gives us immense displeasure that you had to go through all this during your very short stay at Swan. We really wished that it was as good for you as it was for most of our past guests but somehow it turned out not to be .. Our sincere apology for that.

We, however, would like to clarify few things that are important and raised by you in such a detailed manner.
Swan Yoga Retreat is a place where we share our yoga experience with the guests to enrich their lives with proper health and right wisdom. Yoga at Swan is not merely physical but a very important way of life and we do believe in living yoga rather than just doing yoga. Every single guest staying at Swan is important to us and we do believe in creating a Swan yoga family rather than just treating them as one time guest. The idea is not only to offer a pleasant stay and but additionally offer/share something that when a guest departs she becomes richer, even a bit, by virtue of this yogic experience.
Swan stands for Healthy & Peaceful living for one and all.

Just for your information, Swan Yoga Retreat has initiated a self-funded society (Swan for Society) and the general idea is to promote yoga awareness and help educate, in yogic way, the less privileged children of our society.

Now coming back to your good-self concerns,
Friday is weekly holiday at Swan (no yoga day) and it is clearly mentioned in our website, email sent to all the individuals (to you). You might have missed reading that part.

We do not accept off-line credit card and it was informed to you (and all of our other guests) well in advance. However, would like to inform you that we are going to have the off-line credit card swipe machine from next season onwards at Swan. Thank you for raising this concern.

Food is very important and it is very unfortunate that you thought that you felt sick because of eating at Swan !! Most of the guests of Swan rave about our food almost all the time during their stay .. some very experienced travellers/guests even said that they never had such delicious and healthy vegetarian food ever. We at Swan take upmost care to prepare the food in a most hygienic way, delicious and healthy besides food at Swan is prepared with purity and love..

Swan has its own source of water thus it has very less chances of contamination and in majority of the cases in India, the water contamination takes place when it is being routed through pipelines from far-away places because of the leakage of the pipe or it's not being properly cleaned etc.. On top of it, we filter it to make it suitable for cooking and drinking. We never had any food/water related issues with any of our guests in the past.
If it still happened with you, please accept our sincere apology.

Team Swan wish you a Healthier and Peaceful life ahead and if opportunity arises we would love to have you back and try to make your next stay at Swan a memorable one in a very positive way :)

Thank you.
Om Shanti !!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2015

This was my first trip to India, after attending a work function in Mumbai thought will visit GOA for some yoga and meditation. To be honest I did not expect much as I choose this place because it fits my schedule. Turned out, I was totally impressed by Swan Yoga, from it's atmosphere, it's daily schedule, owner (we call him the holyman), staff, and other guests. It's a whole package. It's a wonderful experience and I will definitely go back.

P.S. the food is delicious!!!

Room Tip: All very good...you may have little friend in the room. (small non-harmful insects which is very nor...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2015, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Danielleko918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2015

We were at Swan for two weeks in february. It an amazing, relaxed place with a beautiful garden, singing birds and relaxing atmosphere. The people who work there are very friendly, and the meditation and yoga is great. Especially Om is a smiling and enthusiastic man who loves to teach and talk about yoga. He is always friendly and funny, and loves to answer all the questions you might have.

The food at Swan is very good. The vegetarian, Ayurvedic food is made by a great chef.

SWAN also offer ashtanga master classes in yoga, and our teacher Franswa was amazing. He is the best yoga teacher we ever have had. He has the ability to see every student from his/hers own level and flexibility, and helps everyone individually to develop in yoga. Yoga is truly his passion.

Internet did not really work, so it is hard if you are planning the trip while you are travelling.

We are definitely going back to Swan!

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Silje T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2015

Always wanted a right mix of everything in a trip and found the best at swan yoga retreat. Such a beautiful place with wonderful hospitality and the best ever ayurvedic treatments, we had a splendid time at swan. Thanks to the entire team of swan for giving us such wonderful memories and experience. Will go back for sure....

  • Stayed January 2015
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Shanthi K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hyderabad, India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2015

I am 68, and I came to SWAN to get away from urbania, and perhaps, in the process, rediscover myself. And I did. Ambience, tranquility, and professionalism are the adjectives that separate Swan in Goa from the rest of yoga retreats.

The thatched roof rooms ensconced within the gentle folds of the soft hillsides of the Western Ghats, the gentle bird calls early in the morning, and even the out-of-synch crowing of the crazy rooster who had confused sunrise with sunset, were ideal complements to the superb and professional yogic environment provided by the deeply knowledgeable Sivananda Ashram qualified staff.

In particular, I loved the six am Havans and the chanting of the Gayatri mantra 108 times by the elegant lady trainer, which still reverberate in my memory, and in the process, set my whole day in balance. The ethnic vegetarian cuisine was simple, yet elegantly tailored to suit all palates, and the glorious lemon grass and tulsi tea could be imbibed by the gallon. Heaven!

So what else can I say? I have always believed that any holiday I take must have a soul enlightening purpose, and in SWAN I discovered that--and much more.

Ps. Add to that the welcome by three glorious Labradors, and little Ria, the cook's daughter and your happiness is guaranteed.

OM SATYA SHANTI

Peter W Hyderabad, India

Room Tip: choose a room near the yogashala in which the early morning vedic chanting is practised. Heaven.
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank peterDW29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2015

Pros:
I gained some improvements in my health
There is a nice jungle around the retreat
I met some interesting people

Cons:
No reception, difficult to find the right person to ask a question to , gain a towel, lock or toilet paper etc.
Disorganisation in regards to planning classes. A couple of times the Master class teacher did not show up and a student ran the class. There was a feeing that things were a bit impromptu.
Also a lack of clarity about when to expect the cooking class. In the cooking class you don't actually get to do much you just watch.
Everything is priced at approximately double normal india rates. For example the Ayurvedic treatments. Also if you order a taxi from swan to the beach they may charge 600Rp when you could walk down the road to a normal taxi and pay 300Rp
They charge for toilet paper.
You have to pay extra $350Rp per yoga masterclass in the afternoon.
If you only do the morning asanas you will probably not get the same strength. The morning asanas is more light and based on posture and joint range.
The food did not live up to my expectations. Some meals were quite good but someone's there was no salad Orion. There seamed to be a lot of potatoe dishes, rice and roti... I would have liked more salad options. It appeared that they didn't want to use more expensive ingredients.
My room was not cleaned once during the 2 weeks. I did my own laundry because the one time I asked the staff to wash them they came back washed 3 days later without even being folded. The process was so unorganised. And then I was quoted 3 different prices by three employees.

Look it's cheaper than purple valley. But if your looking for quality I checked their spot and it looks much better run.
Hopefully swan continues to improve

  • Stayed February 2015
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Millymoo111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about SWAN Yoga Retreat

Property: SWAN Yoga Retreat
Address: 101 / 4 Bairo Alto, Assagao, Bardez 403507, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Goa > North Goa District > Bardez > Assagao
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Assagao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Namaste !!! SWAN Yoga Retreat is Founded, Run and Managed by highly experienced Sanyasins trained at World Renowned "Bihar School of Yoga", SVYASA & Sivananda Ashram. The idea behind SWAN is to create awareness about "Yoga beyond Asana" & to share the wisdom of Yoga; as it is and in totality. Residential 1/2/3 week Yoga Holiday is offered at SWAN besides many more Yoga and Ayurveda related retreats during October-May, each season. We offer three different type of eco-friendly cottages with private bathroom & sit-out area. Ayurveda at SWAN offers traditional and authentic Ayurvedic treatments, therapies, massages and Panchkarma treatment. We also offer consultation with an Ayurvedic Doctor. Please visit our website for detailed latest offers, retreat and packages. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
SWAN Yoga Retreat Assagao, Goa

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