I've been on a few yoga holidays and figured I was already going to be in Goa for a wedding and a friend recommended Yogamagic.
Let me start out by saying conceptually and also from experience it is a cool and unique holiday destination. I've traveled to several places and there aren't many places out there like this so perfect if you are looking to change things up. I was booked for 2 nights in the tents and thought the decor and all the details on the furniture and things were meticulous. I originally wanted the suite but it didn't look like it was available when I inquired about availability. I'd highly recommend the suites if you're a city person like me and enjoy the comforts of having a bathroom.
I think there were a few things they handled very poorly and think it's quite disappointing as they are in the hospitality business. I understand I can't compare it to a large international hotel however certain things they should think about.
Tent without electricity - When Phil showed me my tent, he showed me how to use the electricity at night and how it's solar powered. When I returned quite late in the evening due to a talk/discussion from a sadhu (will revisit this), the power was not working. When I asked for help, the guy who was pretty much running the reception was trying his best to make it work however he was no electrician and couldn't do much. I asked what are the options and he hands me a flashlight that the security man was using - as emergency lights. I asked to be moved to another room however there wasn't one available. The next solution that was offered was whether I am willing to stay with another guest in another tent. Clearly this is where I think this is truly a hippie place. What ended up happening is that the security guard needed his flashlight back for his patrol and offered to give me an emergency lamp... that needed to be charged. I waited a good hour or so in the reception and when I took it back to my tent - the charge lasted for a just a minute. They should have something charged for back up at all times, back up energy plan or nearby accommodation if something like this were to happen. I was asked if I checked if it worked - like it was my fault and for a second I thought I may have left it on. Blaming the guest when they know nothing about how the room works isn't a good way to run a hospitality business. The next day I was told the electricity was fixed and confirmed it myself. However on returning to the tent in the evening it wasn't working again so it definitely had something to do with the battery not storing the charge. Luckily I was moved to the suite which was really lovely and they took off the charges for the first night.
Sleep quality is terrible if you're used to silence normally - regardless of tent or suite. Wild life noises is one thing but you hear rave music from a nearby bar/club that can go on to the early morning especially on the weekends. Bring a set of ear plugs if noise bothers you - I barely slept the 2 nights I was there.
I understand this is an independent business and there aren't formal systems in place such as booking or accounting systems. I paid for the remaining balance about a month before my stay and received a confirmation. A week before my arrival I received another confirmation from a different person - which I quickly replied to saying that hopefully it wasn't a duplicate payment and of course no reply. Luckily I checked my credit card statement the evening before checking out as suspected I was charged twice for the remaining balance. When the reception was checking the books, he stated there was no receipt to support the 2nd payment (Clearly this was a mistake - I don't even want to get in whether the person was attempting some type of fraud... well a really poorly executed one). This is when it showed really bad business operations. Firstly that the second payment was taken blindly without even checking the books but also not even keeping a record of the second payment. Luckily I was able to prove from my credit card statements and after an exhausting conversation agreed to refund me - but in cash. No facility to provide a refund back to my credit card. It was sorted in the end but never the less doesn't provide the relaxation I was expecting.
Lack of communication - Again, I can't compare to more established hotels and such but I felt like I wasn't sufficiently informed about cost structures as I should've read the fine print that each yoga class cost 500 rupees (which I think we were nice but suggest a different yoga place if you're used to a more dynamic practice - wish we were given more options for people with varying experience). When I booked a massage, didn't know we had to pay the guy directly so I had to run back to my tent to pay him. A lot of small little things that could've been better executed but I am assuming they either didn't care or couldn't be bothered.
Massage - I'm not prudish in any way but it is nice to know if your therapist is male if you're a woman. I don't mind at all but at one point when I was flipping over - there wasn't a sheet over my chest which was VERY unusual generally no matter where you are in the world but even more so for India. Doesn't bother me too much but I can imagine this can make some women very uncomfortable.
Lastly, I can't help but make a comment about the American Sadhu that came for a talk/discussion. Everyone really pushed you on attending - I wasn't interested but figured I should just see what it's about. Long story short this Sadhu was the first American who was initiated into this group and he shares his experience. It was interesting to hear a point of view that is so different from your own - but definitely did not resonate with me. They asked us to provide a donation at the end ahead of the talk but what I found interesting is that he found large corporations and the overall "system" to be a prison - thus pushing him to move to India and seek the life that he did. What I have a problem with is that if that's the case, then why do you come to a place full of tourists - someone like me who earns a salary from this "system" and willing to take money from them. I am all about helping the less fortunate however there is nothing unfortunate about his life where he needed a financial hand out. After listening to this, I realised this is a real hippie joint.
I tried very hard not to negatively bash this place too badly but wouldn't want someone else to experience what I went through. Definitely would not come back to this place - even without all of the random issues, I didn't get what I was looking for in terms of my yoga practice. It's a great place for someone relatively new to yoga.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Yogamagic is a natural oasis of peace and beauty just two kilometers from the golden beaches of North Goa whether you are looking for relaxation and tranquility or rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit, Yogamagic eases you back to nature without compromising on comfort or service experience eco-chic living in luxurious tented eco-lodges or one of the enchanting boutique suites in the main house yoga... retreat to suit yourself new to yoga or deepening your practice, personal teachers will inspire and guide you through a well balanced program with more than 10 optional yoga classes each week meditation at sunrise by the pool or by candlelight in the intimacy of the traditional earthen yoga space for a truly magical start to the day spa... indulge yourself with an Ayurvedic massage, oil therapies or herbal steam to relax, release stress, eliminate toxins, deep cleanse and rejuvenate learn the ancient art of Ayurvedic massage pool... with island and waterfalls; water gardens with lotus flowers and lilies, sunbathe on the terrace or simply lounge amongst the cushions in the cool and shady poolside Kutir food... is healthy gourmet Indian and middle eastern vegetarian with a twist, homegrown or sourced locally its lovingly created and bursting with flavour: long leisurely breakfasts, poolside lunches and evening dining al fresco under the stars. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Yogamagic Eco Retreat Hotel Anjuna
- Yogamagic Eco Retreat Anjuna, Goa