Devbagh beach resort was in my must visit places for a long time. However, the relatively long distance from Bangalore was a deterrent till now. However, we decided to take the plunge when a friends couple suggested we go for a weekend getaway during the first week of Nov 2012.
We took an over night bus (SRS Travels) from Bangalore to Karwar. The boarding point was Anand Rao Circle, below the flyover, where SRS has a reasonably big bus bay. It was raining heavily that night and we had a tough time getting to the place with the kids, luggage etc. I always wanted to drive to Karwar, but my wife was not as enthusiastic. By the end of the trip, the whole ordeal of boarding the bus both ways, and the overall inconvenience of commuting with kids and luggage in taxis, buses etc lead us to wonder if taking the car was the better choice! Our next weekend trip is definitely going to be a road trip!
We got to Karwar town by 10:15 AM, which was about 1:30 hrs late. It was quite a tiring journey, as we did not get the Volvo - it was a regular semi-sleeper, with seats at the back, just ahead of the last row. From the place where we got down, we got into a couple of auto rickshaws and went to the resort office, which is a nice 2-storey house about 5-6 km away from the bus stop. We were given access to a flat on the first floor, where we freshened up, and then went to a nearby restaurant "Udupi Coffee Shop" or something for breakfast. It was quite ill maintained, but we were all hungry enough to disregard the surroundings.
Once we reached back, we were taken to the boat jetty by jeep, where a boat was waiting for us to be taken to the resort. It was a 10-15 minute boat ride.
The resort is located in an isolated, casuarina-lined "island" - it is actually a peninsula, but access through the mainland seems to be restricted. There are 22 cottages in total. We took the cottages 9 and 10, which are at the far end. These cottages were in a quiet corner and it was also quite close to the beach - in fact we could see the waves from the verandah!
The weather was inclement when we arrived on Thursday, 1 Nov. Cyclone Neelam was working its way along the TN/AP coast in the Bay of Bengal, and its effects were to be seen as far away as the Karwar coast. In fact the whole day was dark and gloomy, and a constant drizzle kept us indoors for quite a long time. In the evening, we went out onto the deserted beach. The kids had good fun all evening, though I couldnt take then into the water much. The rain had resulted in the surf becoming muddy, and the resort personnel advised us against getting too far into the water.
Later in the evening, we could not do an outdoor camp-fire, due to the drizzle, but they served barbecue chicken and other starters in the dining area itself.
The next day was bright and sunny, much to our liking. Everyone else went for the water activities like water scooter, banana boat etc, while I stayed back with my younger son - I wasnt too keen on getting pushed into the salty water from the banana boat!
Later, we spend a lot of time on the beach, which was much better than the previous day. The est part is the fact that it is practically deserted - only the people staying in the resort have access to the beach.
In terms of food, I would rate the place about 7/10. It was reasonably good given that this is an eco-resort - nothing flash, just good, tasty, wholesome food.
The cottages were old, but we did not really care much since we were outside most of the time.
The service is something I would give a 10/10 - this is definitely an USP of this place. Every single person in the resort is extremely helpful and were willing to go out of the way to make us feel happy and relaxed.
Overall, I thought the 7.7K per night deal was worth it, given that the 4 of us had a great time for the 3D/2N we spent in Devbagh. Our friends also enjoyed a great deal. The location, the beach and the service were the truly outstanding attributes of this place.
We left the place Saturday, 3 Nov morning after breakfast. We had the whole day to spend since out return was only at 11 PM. So we took a taxi and went to Palolem Beach, Goa, which is just 35 km from Karwar. Our bus (Paulo Travels) was also starting from Goa, and we managed to get in from Canacona instead of from Karwar. So we got a lot of time that afternoon in Goa (around 12 noon to 9 PM), most of which we spend in the sea. We have this place which we particularly like - Papillon Beach Huts and Restaurant- which is right on the Palolem beach towards the southern most end of the beach.
We got back to Bangalore Sunday morning, around 9AM - this time we got a Volvo with both sleeper and semi-sleeper options. The return journey was a lot better than the onward.
All in all, it was a lovely weekend trip, as is always the case when we chose a Jungle Lodges Resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A young Rabindranath Tagore once made a moonlit tryst with destiny on the magical Karwar shoreline. A midnight boat ride with his friends on a river that had transformed into a silver moon glade and a trek across the bathed-in-white sands of the Karwar Beach, was the young Rabindranath's epiphany. The place where he found his calling. That night he penned "Prakritir Pratishoota" or 'Nature's Revenge', his very first play - the piece that Tagore prized as the genesis of his literary career. Karwar is a destination. Sometimes it's the closest you reach within yourself. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jungle Lodges Devbagh Beach Hotel Karwar