I recently visited India and, while I can’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, there were a few bright spots on this difficult trip. One was the Dwarka Eco Resort in Goa. I began my trip in Delhi and visited Agra – to see the Taj Mahal – as well as Rathembore National Park and Jaipur, before heading south to Goa. I had been overwhelmed by the amount of pollution including air, noise and actual litter in the many areas. The cars honked constantly (it’s considered polite to honk your horn to let the cars around you know you’re there) and the liter was piled in the middle of the street in many places. The air was filled with pollution and haze due to the constantly burning embers from fires which are used for trash disposal, cooking, and craft making. When my driver, arranged by Dwarka, met me at the Goa airport, all that changed.
Dwarka Eco Resort Carole B. Rosenblat
Dwarka is just over an hour’s drive from the Goa airport. Your driver (you shouldn’t attempt to drive yourself as you’ll never find it) will drive south along some pitted roads and some nicer roads, through small villages and finally through the jungle. Someone from Dwarka called me soon after we began our journey from the airport, simply to remind me that the drive would take just over an hour that the last part would be on a very rough road through the jungle. It’s a nice touch as, if they hadn’t told me this, I would have thought this driver, whom I did not know, was taking me out into the jungle to do horrible things to me and dump my body (the fact that I’d arrive at night added to this uneasiness).
Finally, you exit the jungle into a dirt parking area where you’ll see a bridge made of lashed tree branches. Across the way are huts looking exactly like something out of Gilligan’s Island. Dim lights show the sand path to follow.
The ten cottages at Dwarka are scattered alongside a beautiful lagoon with six on one side and four on the other. While your cottage might give you the impression that your bed will be in the form of a hammock, nothing could be further from the truth. Your luxurious King-sized bed is stacked with pillows for your sleeping comfort. In your cottage you’ll also find soft lighting which will help you relax after your experiences in the bigger cities. “Where will I shower?” you ask. Your cottage includes an insidoor shower with a floor of river-rocks with a mat made of yoga mat material in order to smooth the way for your feet. While there’s no hot water, the cool (not cold) water is refreshing after a long day on the beach. And if you just can’t live without hot water, all you need to do is ask, and the staff at Dwarka will heat up a pot and pour it into the bucket in your shower.
In the morning, you’ll wake up to the sounds of waves crashing as, not only is Dwarka alongside a beautiful lagoon, only a sandbar separates the lagoon from the Arabian Sea. When you get out of bed, you’ll open up your shutters to reveal a beautiful view of a sand walkway set right next to the lagoon. A short walk down the sand brings you to the dining/bar/entertainment hut and a fine breakfast, made to order. With your feet in the sand, you’ll enjoy your three included meals per day (it’s in the jungle and there’s not a lot of other places around). You’ll have a choice of Indian or Western food options, each equally tasty.
Following breakfast, perhaps you’d like to use one of their kayaks to explore further down the lagoon. Or maybe you’ll want to participate in a yoga class offered onsite. Other activities include a dolphin watch, fishing with the locals, a massage at their spa cottage, or simply lying in a hammock outside your cottage, or under one of their huts on the beach.
India Travel About.com
After strolling down the beach or sitting and having a drink to watch a beautiful sunset, you’ll enjoy a lovely dinner, again, with your feet in the sand. Your evening entertainment might include playing board games with the other guests or, if you’re lucky, Clemente, one of the owners of Dwarka, will take out his guitar and host a singalong, with songs in Malay and English (it’s a special experience singing the Carpenters, Top of the World while sitting at Dwarka.
Dwarka is the brainchild of Clement and his wife, Arlene. Working in film production, they discovered the location on a film-shoot. Afterwards, they would spend special moments picnicking on the beach and hiking in the surrounding jungle. They approached the owner of the land about limited development. Soon after, Dwarka was born. The most amazing thing about Dwarka is it truly is Camelot. Due to governmental laws regarding year-round locations, it’s torn down and rebuilt each year. Dwarka is open for guests from October to mid-April.
The staff at Dwarke like to make the point that it’s a place for everyone. It’s not a five-star resort, after-all, there’s no hot water; but it’s certainly not one of the many “hut-stays” you’ll find in Goa. They’ll tell you that Richard Gere stayed here for New Year’s Eve 2015. Dwarka is simply an Oasis of peace in the desert of the noise and confusion of many other places in India. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Carole has spent 19 years working in a variety of positions in the Travel Industry including cruise ships, hotels, adventure tour guiding, international tour management and corporate meeting mgmt. She has the inside scoop on the business of travel and the best information on business and leisure travel.