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“Too good to share - or a five star backpacker” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Island Vinnies Tropical Beach Cabana

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Island Vinnies Tropical Beach Cabana
Ranked #9 of 12 Hotels in Havelock Island
Certificate of Excellence
Frankfurt
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Too good to share - or a five star backpacker”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2009

If you are looking for 5 star diving during day, social evenings with international travellers from all places, good food and a beautiful stretch of beach while not wanting to miss out on a backpacker de luxe feeling, than Vinnie's is just it.

The diving staff is extraordinary. They are 100% passionate about their job and make you feel like you are the first to discover the amazing underwater world of the Andamans.

I likes it so much that half way in my stay I started planning my next visit already. I guess I got infected.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bi_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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205 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Bangalore
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2009

We did intend to stay at this place. But on landing there we were disappointed withe the cabanas that were in a rather derelict state. So we ended up not staying at this place.

However I have to put in a disclaimer that they were expecting to replace the cabanas with new ones. Unfortunately, they had not arrived by the time we went there. So my review of the cabanas might not be relevant once the new ones arrive.

Despite not staying at the place, we spent most of our time there. We did our diving here. And I love it. The diving is great. These guys love their diving and it shows. The environment is wonderful. Its great to hang out with other divers. The people who run the place are very nice as well. And their dogs are adorable. And not to forget the beach they are on. It is to die for.

The food is very basic, but its very tasty. They are also open late in the afternoon, so its perfect when we return late from the dives. On almost all days, we would return from the dives, go back to our hotel, shower and return back for lunch and to hang out.

I should also mention my opinion of the cabanas. Even if the new cabanas arrive, I feel the tent is a bit small and the price seems a bit steep for it. The place we eventually stayed at offered much larger rooms for almost the same price.

While I remain skeptical of the cabanas themselves, I would consider staying there for the environment, the people, the dogs and the beach. I would not think twice about diving with them again.

  • Liked — The environment, staff, location and food
  • Disliked — The size of the cabana and the derelict state it is in
  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Sindhoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandvinnie, owner, manager at Island Vinnies Tropical Beach Cabana, responded to this review, October 24, 2009
HiSindhoor, Thanks for your unbiased review.
Just to let you and everyone know that the Brand New, mould free (non-derelict) tents are here and installed. I have uploaded some photographs as well. Also, the Full Moon Cafe is now open for business with the new, extensive (and very yummy) menu.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), India
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2009

Island Vinnies was a place where we spent a lot of time, especially during day time - primarily because a very close friend and his wife was staying there.

The USP of Vinnies is definitely not the comfort / luxury offered inside the cottages. If that is the the 1st item on your priority list, Barefoot resort will probably be the best place to stay in Havelock.

Well, if you are the kind who has come for an exciting vacation with fun filled activities like diving, snorkelling, etc, Vinnies is THE place to be.

Both Vinnie and Sayed are very friendly with all the guests and the feeling of camaraderie is very evident throughout the soccer matches on the beach, the barbecue sessions during dinner and the diving lessons before you take the plunge.

The restaurant serves very tasty food as well. And yeah, for all those dog lovers, there are two lovely Labradors at Vinnies. (As I'm not too much of dog - lover, wont be able to shed more details on that - although it was very evident that they were extremely friendly with the guests.)

  • Stayed January 2009
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rahu1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2009

What an experience!! First thing that hit us was the tropical heat.

If you are a diver you definitely need to stay here. Resort to stay at for diving. Very similar to camping but with an ensuite. Limited hot water. What I'd call hot water for 15 secs and then lukewarm but refreshing since by the time you are dried you start sweating again from the heat. Though venue was very nice and good location close to the village. Made the mistake of walking to Elephant Beach (took 2hrs - pay the 150Rs for rickshaw) Service fantastic. Vinnie is a diver so you don't see much of him unless diving, but the first night introduced himself and the awesome manager. True, most staff have limited English but a smile goes a long way! Loved the staff so much and all their music choice!! Nothing better than lying in the hammock at night hearing bongo drums or that latest Hare Krishna song.

There are only 2 roads North South and to Elephant Beach. Most places to stay are on the North South Road.

They changed our leaving ticket time without hassle. They couldn't understand wanting a 4hr boat ride but we got into Port Blair an hour earlier so didn't mind playing badminton on the boat.

I loved the food at the restaurant. We paid for a package with all food and accomo. In Aussie dollars, $50 a night including 3 meals and snacks is a bargain considering we were eating fish lunch and dinner. Was so glad to have porridge for breakfast but grew to dream about real toast back home- not the wafer thin biscuit like stuff they served.

Yes the accommodation is tents and eventually figured out the smell was mould. The bathroom is basic and looks exactly as someone has posted. But is has its charm. Al about the experience.

Would recommend but don't expect 5 star. More like 2 1/2 but great location

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AusiDoyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
India
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2009

The journey to Havelock Island was quite cumbersome - we took an early morning 2-hour flight from Mumbai to Chennai, then a couple of hours later another 2-hour flight to Port Blair. Then, there's a 15 minute drive to the jetty where we waited for the Government ferry for another hour. The ferry takes 3 hours to reach Havelock and there the hotel staff picked us up in a jeep. From the time the boat docks, it took us half an hour to get to this eco tent property...

The sun sets pretty early here compared to Mumbai since they follow the Indian Std Time, so when we reach around 4.30 pm, its already evening and the sun sets at 6 pm.

There's not much to see or do at Port Blair and hence we decided to spend a week at Havelock Island and a couple of days on our return at Port Blair. You have to take a minimum 1 night halt at Port Blair on the return as the ferry from Havelock reaches after all flights have left...

About Vinnie - its a neat, clean place with warm & friendly staff. The scuba diving center is excellent and they have good equipment. The instructors are cooperative and took utmost care of us. the dive boats here are not like the ones you get in developed dive destinations like Thailand or Indoneasia. They are wooden boats (see anchored in pic) and one can get sea sick while going to divesites that are distant. We took our open water certification here with 7 dives - while all divesites here are better than ones I've seen at Thailand, the best dives we did were at South Button island.

We stayed in the deluxe swiss tent which meant we had the privilege of an attached bath. The acco was basic with minimal facilities and they had a restaurant that served basic food.

This is a great Basic-Basic place offering great dives and excellent value for money. I would strngly recommend this place if you are interested in diving or are looking for a place to just laze around on a virgin beach where you may be the only person...

  • Liked — tranquil virgin beachfront
  • Disliked — food and facilities were basic
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nemo78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Little Red Dot Com
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2009

I'm not going to mince my words -- we booked on basis of TA's recommendations and the website, and we were initially totally shocked on arrival. The "plush" tented cabanas are falling apart, with most surfaces encrusted in mold, armies of ants, assorted bugs and one large frog in the rusty bathroom, holes in the mosquito nets, etc etc. "Service" was nonexistent, since with Vinnie and his wife absent only one of the staff spoke more than survival-level English -- we had to collar one of the divemasters to explain even the basics. The "garden" consists of dirt paths that turn to mud when it rains. The food at the restaurant is expensive and mediocre, with half the menu "not available" on any given day. Even the beach looked terrible at low tide, all jagged rocks poking out, and there were legions of mosquitoes at dusk. And all this for about 4x what a decent clean A/C room would cost you anywhere else in India.

But we were staying for four nights and every day our opinion got a little better. Sure, the tents looked tatty, but they were swept clean daily, the mosquito net+repellent combo worked, and there was 24h power and hot water, plus the promised personal hammock (although the ones near the beach are better!). Sure, the restaurant's food was less than exciting, but the fresh fish was OK, we never got sick and there was unlimited potable water. And that powdery white sand beach looked far, far more inviting at high tide under the tropical sun. Add in immediate access to the fairly good dive shop, a snorkeling tour to some amazing coral, the discovery of much better places to eat nearby and a few trips to Radhanagar Beach of "best in Asia" fame and eventually we had to conclude that the resort does supply all the basics you need to be comfortable -- the experience is just much closer to "camping" than it is to the promised "full service resort".

Would I go to the Andamans again? Definitely. Would I dive with Dive India at Island Vinnie's? Sure. But would I stay with Vinnie's again? I doubt it -- for about the same price, you can now stay at any of a number of newer, better resorts.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jpatokal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandvinnie, owner at Island Vinnies Tropical Beach Cabana, responded to this review, August 15, 2009
First off, I'd like to thank everyone for their feedback.

Regarding this particular post: Yes, I'm sad to say the person who has made this posting is right. Unfortunately some of our tents have suffered damage and the bathrooms in particular have started to fall apart. The material, as it turned out was not as strong as we were led to believe at the time of purchase.

But there is good news!! As of September 2009, all of the old tents are coming down and will be replaced with brand new, durable, completely mould-proof tents. I will post photographs of the new tents on this site as well as our resort website as soon as they are installed (we are waiting for the crazy monsoon to abate)

Another piece of great news: Most visitors to Havelock must have eaten at the island's most famous restaurant - "the full moon cafe" run by Adil and his lovely Irish girlfriend Niamh. I'm happy to inform everyone that from September 2009, "The Full Moon Cafe" is changing it's address and will be located by the beach at Island Vinnie's Resort. New menu, new prices and new atmosphere.

We're all very excited about these changes to our rooms and restaurant and hope to share them with everyone coming to Havelock!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2009

If you're looking for a social place to stay then this is definitely it. For a lazy itinerary of 2 dives a day and the a lot of hammock time this was perfect. The pink cabanas have seen better days now and were maybe a little pricey for India, compared to the beach huts available but they are spacious, clean and you do get hot water.
The beaches on Havelock are of the pristine, pure white sand variety. And while beach 7 on the other side of the island is designated the best, the one right out the front of Vinnie's was pretty darn good.
All of the crowd from the dive shop and fellow divers were very sociable. They indulge in beach BBQs, drinking, chill music & movie watching.
The diving is good, with a variety of dive sites to keep you entertained, the only downside is that a lot of the sites don't finish in the shallows, which limits the dive time, though there were a couple of sites we got 70+mins. With 4 boats going out each day they try to accommodate your choice of sites and manage to mainly keep the novices & experienced divers separate.
The dive operation is very professional, with good gear for hire, though not for the pampered (you have to carry your own kit to & from the boat and wash it). Normally one guide to 3 or 4 people. Local style fishing boats for getting to the dive sites, which aren't the fastest but it affords the opportunity for chilled out boat trips where you can sunbathe or read depending what you want. Surface break snacks included biscuits, awesome samosas and chai.
I stayed all inclusive diving, accommodation & food which wasn't necessary but since I was diving, you have to be on the boats by 7.30am and you come back around 2pm so that's 2 meals I was definitely having there and then for dinner, as a solo traveler, I couldn't be bothered to go else where on the island by myself but there are plenty of options.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Charlie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island Vinnies Tropical Beach Cabana

Property: Island Vinnies Tropical Beach Cabana
Address: Havelock No 3, Havelock Island 744211, India
Location: India > Andaman and Nicobar Islands > Havelock Island
Amenities:
Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Havelock Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Island Vinnies Tropical Beach Cabana 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Island Vinnie`s Tropical Beach Cabana Hotel Havelock Island

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