JALAKARA – HAVELOCK ISLAND
My plan to visit to the Andaman archipelago has been a ‘trip in the making’ for a really long time. And for someone who resides outside India, just the simple logistics of getting there can be pretty time consuming and cumbersome and for this very reason my trip has always been on the back burner. So, when I got the opportunity to collaborate with Jalakara in Havelock Island, it was something like a dream come true.
With only seven rooms, Jalakara is a boutique property perched on a little hill with the most divine surroundings. Originally an overgrown betel nut and banana plantation, this property is a tropical paradise and exactly what you would want if you are looking at spending time around a rainforest with the comforts of a modern setting.
This is a place for the perfect R&R kind of a holiday. But if you would want to mix it with some fun and activity, then the nearby beach will fix all your requirements. I frankly didn’t quite feel the need to step out to the beach much coz after all a beach is a beach but spending time in a beautiful forest is hard to come by.
Food is another big ‘plus’ here, especially for someone like me who’s a sucker for local and seasonal produce. Everything served at the restaurant here is local and fresh which automatically enhances the taste of everything. Service can be a little slow at times but hey, there is no rush here anyway…go with the flow, this is a place where time and pace is not important. Though I must mention that the staff here is one of the friendliest and most courteous and are always ready to help with anything they can.
No day at Jalakara however is complete without a dip in its infinity pool that looks out into the luscious rainforest. Stay here until sunset coz trust me, I have never seen a more magical and dramatic sunset anywere else than I have seen from here.
Staying at Jalakra is like living in wilderness which is the very essence of Havelock Island. There’s calmness and stillness all through the day and I embraced it all coz its not very often that you get to stay in an idyllic balmy tropical rainforest.
- Jalakara is located at the heart of a natural surrounding, so, it takes a day perhaps to get used to the ‘goodness’.
- The resort does not have an alcohol permit yet and there are no alcohol shops on the island (as of May 2018), so, carry your stock from Port Blair, or, the mainland.
- This is an internet-free resort. There are some internet cafes around the island but the network is quite poor.
- Phone network is scratchy around the island.
- No room service here but your room is stocked with everything which is replenished everyday. And if you still fancy something more, a short walk to the bar/restaurant is not a big deal.
- There are no television sets in the rooms. The idea is for you to enjoy the surrounding.
- I recommend that you book your transfers from Port Blair to Havelock with the hotel.
- Be very careful with the flight timings coz the boat transfers are not very frequent.
- Best time to go is from October to April.