Otter Creek Tents

Near Arambol, Anjuna & North Goa, India Book from £52

Reviewed by Ben Reed
Rustic-chic tents a flip-flop away from a tranquil beach, with muslin-draped four-posters and views onto the creek
If you're looking to get away from the crowds, Otter Creek Tents in Northern Goa is the ultimate romantic retreat. Reached via a bamboo footbridge and a sandy track, the large tents are nestled amongst the coconut groves, along a saltwater creek just 200m from the sea. The canvas shells are deceptive: the spaces inside feel more like studios, with comfortable four-poster beds, hot showers, and sit-out areas jutting over the water. Large groups can rent them together with The Beach Houses, which lie just a few minutes away.

Whether you're a nature lover in search of dolphins, or simply looking for something tranquil and different, washing up at Otter Creek is like finding treasure. It's a magical, off-the-beaten-track place.

Highs

  • Total peace and tranquility, yet you're just a short drive from Goa's hotspots
  • The stylish tents provide a romantic, comfortable spin on staying under canvas
  • The staff are brilliant and will tend to your every need
  • The quiet beach, where you can watch local fisherman and swim in the warm waters
  • Nothing beats chilling out in a hammock slung between the coconut palms, beside your own private jetty

Lows

  • The tents are comfortable, but don't expect hotel-style luxuries - this place is about barefoot escapism
  • No air-conditioning - fine most of the time, but may be stifling from late-March-May
  • There are no lights to guide you back to your tent after dark
  • The tents are set close together and aren't soundproof

Best time to go

The tents are normally open from October to May. December to March are the most popular and most expensive months. May tends to be ‘slightly hot’ even by Goan standards - particularly as the tents lack air-conditioning. (May to November is the monsoon season.)

Our top tips

The tents are hidden away in a coconut grove so bring a bright torch if you want to go walking solo after dark - mainly to avoid treading on snakes and the fallen leaves they might be hiding under.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Luxury Tents
  • 3 tents
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Ages 12+ welcome
  • Closed: 16 May 2016 - 14 Oct 2016
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The pastel-coloured tents are named after marine turtle species (Hawks Bill, Olive Ridley and Loggerhead) which used to be common in these parts (sadly little has been seen of them since the 2004 tsunami). All sit facing the creek, which runs parallel to the sea. Inside they're calm and airy, with muslin-screened four-poster beds, white and blue fabrics, stone floors and bamboo poles. Each has a writing desk, a chair, a fan and a safety box, as well as a full ensuite bathroom with a toilet, running water and a hot shower. There's also a handy padlocked cupboard so you can stash your luggage securely.

Best of all, each tent has its own private jetty over the creek so you can commune with nature and watch the numerous birds - and the otters from whom the creek takes its name. You also get an outdoor dining area, with canvas deckchairs and hammocks to laze the days away.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Fan
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • WiFi

Eating

Meals are taken in the on-site Beach Shack restaurant, shared with The Beach Houses. Dinners of fresh South Indian dishes include grilled or fried fish, curry and rice, or squid salad. We enjoyed the spinach paneer, and thought the poppadoms sprinkled with tomatoes, herbs, onions and chillies made a tasty entree. Tandoori dishes are also available, there's Italian coffee (a rarity in India), and fresh fruit juices are available - we watched a team member shimmy up a palm tree to fetch a coconut.

For breakfast, we tucked into pancakes with bananas and honey, fluffy herb omelettes and variations on the full English. Lunches are often western in style, perhaps: pasta, sandwiches, bruschetta. Each tent also has tea and coffee-making facilities, as well as an honesty minibar of cold drinks.

For something more romantic, private dining can be set up under a shady banyan tree.

The nearest beach restaurants are about a mile away, with plenty of choice; La Plage, run by a French couple, does wonderful food and desserts.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Relax on your private jetty, watch colourful birds flitting through the trees, and keep an eye out for otters in the creek. Field guides on the wildlife are available
  • Amble along the semi-private white sand beach, sunbathe and swim in the salty seas, or ride the waves with a bodyboard (can be borrowed on site)
  • Head out to sea with local fishermen (staff can put you in touch) to spot dolphins leaping in and out of the waves. You might even spy them from the shore if you're lucky
  • Haggle at Anjuna’s famous flea market, south of Mandrem and past the villages of Morjim and Siolim - request a car and driver to take you
  • Just 4km further south of Anjuna is Arpora - its weekly night market should not be missed
  • Spend a day in Old Goa (a 45-minute drive). The former Goan capital is a World Heritage site famed for its churches and tomb of St Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa
  • Visit Panjim, the current regional capital: walk along the Mandovi River and quaint streets of the Bairro das Fontainhas (the old Portuguese quarter)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wildlife

Kids

Children over 12 are welcome if sharing a tent with an adult; extra beds cannot be provided.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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