“A delightfully funky and eco-friendly beach resort with weird and wonderful architecture set in a 35-acre organic farm - ideal for chilling out”
The 46 villas and rooms are scattered generously among the 35-acre grounds. They have been individually decorated and designed, and every room is tantalisingly different. Some are modern villas with clean lines, others are air-cooled wooden shacks near the beach. Some cater for families and children, others are more suited to romancers. There's something for every budget and taste, and many people come back several times and try a different room.
The more basic rooms, with names like 'Baywatch' and 'Bamboo', are open to the elements and are described by the owners as ‘nature cooled’, i.e. calmed by the ocean breezes. Most have ceiling fans and walls of intertwined casuarina or betelnut branches, with roofs of palm thatch, and the overall feel is beach-cabana-chic.
The more contemporary air-conditioned houses and suites are filled with local art. Some have been decorated by French designers, imparting a continental-meets-colonial feel. These rooms also have DVD players and private gardens.
If you want to splash about, book one of the 2 ground-floor Artist's Studios, each of which has a 20-foot private pool, as well as designer furnishings and challenging artwork. The Penthouse Artists' Studio comes with a Jacuzzi and 360-degree views.
If you want to splash out, the Tower House combines designer furniture (including black leather easy chairs) with amazing views through louvred shutters of the coastline. It's surely the most romantic room in Tamil Nadu, but it's not for those with vertigo!
The lovely bathrooms offer open showers with plentiful quantities of toiletries from natural brand Biotique. There are now normal toilets in all the rooms, replacing the old compost ones.
Don't forget this is an eco-resort, not a 5-star hotel. In the open-plan houses you should be prepared for some creepy-crawlies, and wherever you stay there's a chance your hot water might run out.
Click here for details of all rooms and villas.
The open-sided main restaurant, FUN (Food U Need), lays out exquisite buffet breakfasts. There are freshly squeezed juices, home-ground organic coffee, homemade croissants and fresh brioches if you’re hankering after a genuine French petit dejeuner, but the South Indian specialities (the lightest, crispest dosas, with homemade chutneys) are also scrumptious.
The à la carte evening menu features delectable South Indian curries, given a healthy twist with fresh organic produce from the garden, with 'hypotoxic' (cleansing) options on offer too. Nothing is hugely spicy, which will relieve western palates, and there's a French-Creole flavour to many of the dishes. Fresh fish is delivered daily, and there's an excellent wine list, including a decent selection of Indian wine. The only complaint might be that, if you're staying a week or more, you might find the fare a bit repetitive.
The poolside seafood bar also serves lunch and occasional BBQs in the evening, using its Tandoor oven. It's a funky, laid-back place for tucking into salads, sandwiches and snacks, but bear in mind that - as often in India - service can be on the slow side.
If you want to get away from other guests, you can order a private dinner in the grounds of your house, or elsewhere, with a menu of your choice.
With so much to do and explore, this is a great place for children of all ages. There’s a large playground and a toddler pool right next to the seafood bar, so parents can have a relaxed lunch whilst keeping an eye on the kids. There are also animals to visit on the organic farm, and classes for children, such as pottery, are run every day. Staff are extremely kind and accommodating to parents (though you do feel obliged to tip quite liberally) and babysitting can be arranged. The property and its grounds are pushchair friendly. Under 5s stay free.
Children (4-12 years)
The Garden rooms are spacious for 1-2 children plus parents (add extra beds) and have a bath. For larger families, Family rooms are priced based on 4 people sharing. Read the descriptions in Rooms carefully - there's plenty to choose from - and note the pool villas aren't ideal for younger kids.
Babysitting is available by arrangement. See Rates.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
A children's menu is available in the restaurant. A small gripe would be that breakfast can be a little sluggish in getting going - not ideal when small tummies need feeding. You can book a chef for your villa if you don't want to cook. The Family House has a well-equipped kitchen for self-catering.
The sea is too rough for children to swim in, and not all the rooms are appropriate for children - some have drops or are near open water. You can buy nappies, toys, baby food and other sundries nearby.