Intimate boho-chic hideaway with stylish suites and a villa, steeped in a lush jungle landscape”
It was an overgrown banana plantation until British chef and entrepreneur Mark Hill enlisted a crack team of architects, artisan builders and crafters to clear the land and blend traditional Indian materials and techniques with fluid lines, modern minimalism and imagination. The result is a sublime hideaway with a laid-back vibe and luxe finishes. Rooms are arranged over staggered levels, leading down to an expansive decked platform and the glittering infinity pool. There’s an open-air massage suite, yoga classes, even a badminton lawn. Book island hopping excursions, private beachside picnics and jungle foraging walks then return here for a sundowner and some of the best views on the island.
- The back-to-nature vibe with the spoiling benefits of a top hotel
- Cool and clean suites with dreamy bathrooms and bags of indoor and outside space
- Delicious food, with a seafood focus and tropical breakfasts
- The fun, sociable open-air bar and lounge; there’s a great cocktail menu and even a film projector for movies under the stars
- A perfect place to relax and rejuvenate - surrounded by virgin rainforest and no phones or TVs to distract you
- We were the very first guests so we didn’t see some of the finishing touches, but we’re assured it’s firing on all cylinders now
- Beer and wine options are quite limited, but you're free to BYO from duty free
- No WiFi, but that's half the point
- It's a remote island so getting here is an adventure, and things can be unreliable when you arrive - expect occasional power cuts or a shortage of produce from the mainland
Best time to go
Diving is best between November and April. Game fishing is best from mid-January to mid-March.”
Our top tips
Radhanagar (aka Number 7) is the island's most stunning beach. Head to the far left or far right for complete seclusion.
For a slice of authentic island life, head to Havelock's market, grab a streetside table and spend an hour people-watching.”
- Boutique Hotel
- 7 rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
- Guest kitchen
- Board games
Rooms share a feeling of light, tranquility and space, with traditional South Indian polished plaster and clean, modernist lines softened by woven bamboo and wood furnishings. Beautiful block-printed fabrics add a pop of colour.
The Sunset Suites have double-height roofs clad with handmade clay tiles from Tamil Nadu that keep the rooms wonderfully cool and breezy. The Garden Suite has a private garden with open-air shower and alfresco tub, and a little pavillion with daybeds for extra guests. The romantic Skyroom is a stunning teak pavilion perched on top of the main villa with glass panelled walls. The ground-floor Tower Garden room has a private garden with a lily pond and hammocks whilst the first-floor Tower Room has a beautiful roof terrace with 360-degree panoramic views over the sea.
Honeymooners will love the loft-like Jalakara Villa, which has its own kitchen and living room. There’s a private yoga deck with a giant hammock and an Ayurvedic copper plunge pool, and a film projector so you can have private screenings under the stars.
- Air conditioning
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Extra beds
- Ipod dock
- Mosquito net
- Pool towels
As you'd expect from a chef owner, the food at Jalakara is delicious. Breakfast includes house-baked bread, eggs any way, banana pancakes, tropical fruit salads and delicious smoothies.
Lunch is an informal affair served around the pool: Thalis, crisp seasonal salads, wraps, and sharing plates of Andaman prawns, fish goujons and fried momos. Dinner showcases locally caught seafood: poached lobster, crab, langoustine and fish fillets steamed in banana leaves.
There’s also a bar offering a tempting cocktail menu, and a communal kitchen so you can make yourself a coffee or whip up snacks. If you want to dine out, friendly manager Pawan will tell you the best places to go (he's lived here for years and knows the island inside out).
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Hire mopeds and snorkelling gear and explore the island's white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. Zip to one coast for sunrise then wind your way over to the other side for sunset
- Bask in the sun and enjoy magnificent views from the gorgeous pool deck, dipping into the chlorine-free pool to cool off
- Go on a paddle boarding safari or kayak around the mangrove creeks. We went at night and the starry skies and phosphorescence blew our minds
- Book the 'beach butler' service: hammocks, loungers, music and a cooler with drinks and snacks can be set up in your chosen location on the island
- Go deep-sea fishing then BBQ your tuna and red snapper back at Jalakara
- Enrol in a cooking class with head chef Nazre (who was worked with Gordon Ramsay in London). The 3-hour session includes a visit to the local fish and vegetable market to select ingredients, and a big lunch at the end. Nazre also runs a follow-up class that includes foraging in the rainforest for wild ingredients
- Boat trips to explore the surrounding ocean are a must - the scuba diving and snorkelling is fantastic, with colourful coral and heaps of aquatic life
- If you're feeling lazy, just stay put. There's a beautiful wellness pavilion run by an expert massage therapist (Deep Tissue, Thai Yoga & Aromatherapy), a yoga teacher, self-guided nature trails and some of the world’s rarest bird species to spot
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Plantlife / flora
- Scuba diving
- Shopping / markets
- Star gazing
- Table tennis
Families are welcome but Jalakara has more of a couples' vibe and there are no specific kids facilities. Teens and adventurous older kids will enjoy the wildlife and watersports.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Sunset Suite Blue has a mezzanine that can be made up with 2 additional single beds. Sunset Suite Green adjoins Sunset Blue with private garden access between the 2 rooms. Skyroom has 1 daybed. Jalakara Villa, Sunset Blue, Sunset Green & Garden can all easily fit a baby cot.
High chairs in the restaurant
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Jalakara is perched on the side of a hill in the middle of Havelock Island. It's 15 minutes' drive to the harbour, 5 minutes' to the bustling market, 10 minutes' to the dive centres and Govindnagar beach strip, and 15 minutes to Radhanagar beach.
Havelock Island, in the Bay of Bengal, is 1.5-3.5 hours by boat from Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman Islands. Port Blair is easily accessible by air from mainland India.
You will receive a free permit on arrival at Port Blair Airport; please note that if you mention going to the Andamans when you get your tourist visa, some embassies may request that you obtain the permit then, which can delay the visa process. Nationals of Pakistan, Bangladesh and China must apply for the permit in advance, which can take up to 6 weeks.
Fly to Chennai (Madras) or Kolkata (Calcutta) in India, then take a domestic flight to Port Blair.
From Port Blair to Havelock
Daily afternoon ferries will transfer you from Port Blair to Havelock Island pier; from there it's a 15-minute taxi ride to the hotel. Choose from government ferries or slightly pricier catamarans operated by private firms. We prefer the catamarans as they are faster and more comfortable than the ferries. Jalakara can arrange all the necessary transfers and ferry tickets for you to take the stress out of the connection.
You can also charter a private long-tail boat (called a dunghi) between Port Blair and Havelock (around USD125 per one-way trip for up to 6 people, including the taxi transfer to the resort). Be warned, though: this is for the intrepid kind only - you're liable to get soaked, so get into your swimwear before you board and keep your valuables in a waterproof bag. You'll also need to brace yourself for a no-frills ride with bench-style seating, a noisy engine and big waves. The journey time is approximately 3-3.5 hours. It's a real Andaman experience!
You'll need to use mopeds, tuk-tuks, taxis or buses.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the Andaman Islands and getting around
- Port Blair 60.0 km IXZ
- Beach 0.3 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km