We all follow the same principle: We write reviews either if the place is great or if the place is a threat tu humanity ;-)
Well, let me tell you: In this case, this place is a TREAT to humanity!
Where to start...?
Well, Barefoot at Havelock first of all managed EVERYTHING for our trip PERFECTLY. The communication before and during the booking, the professional approach to make our trip and arrival as well as the departure as good as possible. It was - especially if you experience other services in India - incredibly good.
The most painful thing about Havelock is reaching there. We came from Delhi since we live here since 3,5 years, so we took a flight stopping over at Chennai before landing in Port Blair. From there Barefoot transfer services (perfect!) brought us to the Gov. Ferry, managed our tickets, then we took the Gov. Ferry (really bad...) for 2,5 hours and again from the Havelock port to the Resort we had a wonderfully organized transfer.
So, Barefoot is doing all they CAN, but flights and ferries - this they cannot make more comfortable to the guests - unfortunately... In total, we had a close to 9 hour trip...
Okay, now the resort.
We stayed in the A/C Tented Cottages. They are very nice and more than enough. The ground is solide concrete, the tent is of good quality and huge, the open bathroom concept is very nicely resolved, A/C was working perfectly, etc. No complaints. And we slept amazingly well. Of course: No intercom, no internet, no TV... But WHO needs THAT over there??? The only thing about the A/C Tented Cottages is the location. Although it will take you only 5 to 7 minutes walk to the reception and restaurant area, it feels a bit far. Especially in the dark. You get some torches, because otherwise you really do not see anything, and you might meet accidentally some friends on the way (lizards, snakes, etc.). Since the walking path is amongst the nature, you can have these experiences... But nothing happened to us. Animals usually prefer to escape and hide. Our snakes were small and disappeared quickly.
Nice, cozy, clean and a superbe food! All the food we had was great, and we mostly had continental styles. Lobster was great, prawn pasta on the first day amazing, etc. The waiters are a crazily-good team and it is fun to go for breakfast and dinner there. The only thing: Out of 3 dinners, during the last 2 dinners they were out of prawns and also we could not try the great choice of pizzas they normally offer because only 1 guy is trained for pizza baking and he was at his wedding. These things disappointed us a bit...
Well, small, nice and cutely done. But: No alcohol. John, the main Service Manager there, told us that their license was due for liquor and that they are waiting for getting it granted. But people: My friends went there 1 year back and got the same story. So, no alcohol. Of course, Barefoot Team offers you to buy anything you want for you at the nearest market and then you can consume it in your room, but well, that`s not the point of a nice cocktail at the beach bar.
No words...I do really not know HOW to describe that...IT IS THE BEST BEACH I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! And yes, I have been to a LOT of beaches in my life. It looks like Maldives but with a wider stretch of white sand, more natural, totally not touristic and it even has some waves, so you do not get bored in barely non-moving waters. This beach is a delight and for sure I know now why it has been amongst the world's best beaches...
As most of you might already know, in April 2010 a salty (saltwater crocodile) of around 4 to 5 metres length, attacked an American tourist while she was snorkeling with her Indo-American boyfriend at Neil's Cove. The lady died, they found her body and the crocodile 48 hours later. One year later, at Elephants Beach, a fisherman spotted again a salty. Now, Neil's Cove is a part of the beach which is only 400 metres walking distance to the right if you walk along the beach. It is a beautiful spot. The problem is that we were not allowed to go there because just one week before our arrival (meaning AGAIN in April, 4 years later), a salty had been spotted by some guests at Neil's Cove. So, the guards were always keeping the people away from this beach, we were advised not to go there, especially not for a swim, and sign boards were placed all over the resort and on the beach. That was a bit scary we must admit. But we did not see the crocodile and we had no incident ourselves. Just be aware of it and take care a bit when you snorkel around in waters which you do not know and where nobody else is...
The Barefoot team is surely one of the best resort staff teams imaginable. They are so nice and the yhelp you also with tips for trips. Elephant Beach, beach no. 5, etc. They tell you what you can do, what is worth it and they arrange you a two-wheeler super quickly to explore the island. And: It is fun! Very less traffic, very simple road network, nice people. And diving!!! If you are certified, go for some nice deep diving spots at very affordable prices with very good diving professionals. If you are not, then start diving here! It is affordable and the team is just great.
Overall we regret that we did not have more than these 2,5 days. We would recommend everybody to go for 4 to 5 days. It relaxes you so much!!! If you look for Hilton, Marriott & Co. and party zones and malls, etc. then you are WRONG at Havelock. If you want to enjoy nature, the quiet surroundings and stunning beaches, then this is the place for you. Havelock won our hearts and we will hopefully go back one day.
Thanks to all the Barefoot Team members, thanks Havelock for existing on this planet!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover India's best kept secret - the Andaman Islands - at the Barefoot Group's first eco-retreat called 'Barefoot at Havelock.' Located exclusively on what TIME Magazine in November 2004 rated as the best beach in Asia, our small resort is set in rain forest and tropical fruit trees behind a pristine 2 km white-sand stretch of the quirkly named Beach No. 7 at Havelock Island. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barefoot At Havelock Hotel Havelock Island
- Barefoot Havelock Island
- Barefoot Hotel Havelock Island