You’ve decided on a luxury vacation to the Andamans but don’t know where to start? Fret not.
We’ve done the homework for you and have curated the finest choices to help make your luxury vacation more luxe. And if you are at a stage where you’re undecided or feeling two-ways about your destination, we’re hoping to help you make that leap by giving you a glimpse into the luxurious side of the Andamans.
Let’s begin at the top.
Luxury Stays in the Andamans
1. Taj Exotica, Havelock
Taj Exotica is an easy choice even if heavier on the pocket compared to other properties. Their impeccable hospitality is world-renowned and doesn’t need much introduction.
Although it is right on the beautiful Radhanagar Beach, it is veiled by thick rainforests, retaining the privacy and serenity of the well-thought-out space.
Their olympic-sized infinity pool is all the rage and is surrounded by lush, tall trees that seem to be kissing the sky.
Their restaurants are three:
- The Settlers: a community dining space serving regional cuisine
- Turtle House: a global grill house focusing on Middle-eastern, European and Indian flavors
- Shoreline: a Southern-Asian kitchen featuring dishes from Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, and the likes of these.
Its minimalistic architecture is inspired by the Jarawa tribe and features plush villa residences on stilts.
There are 72 rooms spanning 4 room categories starting at around Rs. 25,000 for their deluxe villa and ending at a whopping 1.75 lakhs for their uber-luxurious presidential suite.
All in all, you can expect a heaven-in-heaven experience and consistent Taj hospitality, which is luxury at its best.
2. Jalakara, Havelock
A niche, boutique property located in a quiet and isolated part of Havelock, Jalakara boasts of all-inclusive packages and aspires to bohemian, minimal eco-luxe in the best possible way.
Quite characteristic of its boutique status, it has a single dining pavilion that serves as both a restaurant and bar which is serviced by a professional chef.
Each of their 7 boutique rooms offers a different theme and is named to reflect it, like The Garden Suite, The Sky Room, Sunset Suite Blue, and such.
These range between Rs. 13,500 and Rs. 30,000.
We recommend staying at “The Jalakara Villa” for near about Rs. 30,000 and settling for a private plunge pool, a private garden, a yoga deck, and wait-for-it, hipster kimonos!
A personalized, private and affordable luxury experience, with only 7 rooms in total, makes this one a hotspot at Havelock.
3. Tilar Siro by CGH Earth, Havelock
An upcoming newbie, we can only hope that Tilar Siro is everything CGH and more.
CGH Earth is a niche hospitality brand in Southern India that focuses on all things local and heritage. Very true to its name, it embodies earthy, localized, and unpretentious hospitality.
We are yet to see how the property at Havelock plays out but we aren’t going to lie, expectations are running high.
4. Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Bay Island, Port Blair
Overlooking the brightest blue waters of the Bay of Bengal and bursting with greenery, this larger-than-life property was recently renovated. Originally planned and built by Charles Correa, a famed architect, in 1981, its structure is inspired by indigenous tribal homes. It has a pool overlooking the sea, a vibrant café specializing in seafood, and its Swizzle bar serves finger food and is well-stocked with Indian and foreign liquors. Their room choices include deluxe, superior, and suite rooms and the interiors are laced with delicate shell elements to reflect the coastal island life. We recommend booking a Superior King Room and specifically asking for a sea-view room. On average, a stay at ITC will cost you anywhere between Rs. 6000 – Rs. 10,000.
5. Symphony Samudra, Chidiya Tapu, Port Blair
If you want to beat the crowd, but still want to squeeze in every bit the Andamans have to offer, Samudra may be it. Located in a small coastal village, Chidiya Tapu, known for its stunner sunsets, at an hour’s drive from the town of Port Blair, this resort has a sweeping landscape complete with two pools and a spa. They have a poolside bar and a buffet restaurant, with spacious, open interiors. Their choice of rooms includes villas and suites. What’s more, this location is complete with its own set of splendid beaches, trekking trails, and a well-equipped dive shop, so you can spend 4-5 days in idyllic tropical bliss at Chidiya Tapu.
You can explore the luxury section of this guide to find more properties.
Fine Dining in the Andamans
1. Amaya at SeaShell, Port Blair
A Sweeping Water View and a Rooftop Bar
Amaya is Seashells’ rooftop bar, located on a quiet hillock overlooking the ocean. Besides serving you with a killer low-lit ambiance, it serves up yummy cocktails and finger food. So, if you’re looking for a full course, this may not be the right place for you. A meal can cost you anywhere between Rs. 2000 to Rs. 4000 including beverages, for two people.
Try this: Lasooni Fish Tikka + a chicken sizzler platter.
2. B3, Barefoot Bayside Brasserie, Havelock Jetty
A Quick Bite Before You Board Your Ferry
B3, abbreviated from Barefoot Bayside Brasserie, is located right in the middle of a bustling market, overlooking the Havelock Jetty. It’s the first restaurant you’re likely to encounter on arrival and the last before you head out. With old-school wooden interiors, B3 is very anti-trend and just the place to absorb some of the slow island vibes while munching on some freshly-caught shrimp. Expect to spend anywhere between Rs. 2500 to Rs. 5000 including beverages, for two people.
Try this: Fresh seafood specials + a seafood pizza.
3. Turtle House at Taj Exotica, Havelock
Poolside Grill with Tropical Views
Overlooking Radhanagar Beach and an Olympic-sized infinity pool, Turtle House make for a very laid-back, breezy dinner. They primarily serve grills made on their live grill counter with flavors from across the world, like Middle-eastern, European, American, and Indian.
4. The Settlers at Taj Exotica, Havelock
Regional Food with a Chic Community Dining Space
An ode to the settlers of Andamans, the menu for this restaurant was built after extensive travel across various islands by Taj’s executive chef. This regional menu is a fusion of just-picked local ingredients (think: jackfruit, mangoes, taro and black pepper), the freshest of local seafood and settlers’ cuisines including Burmese, Indonesian, Bengali and Tamizh. Each of their exquisite dishes are brought to life with conceptual story-telling. They only seat around 10 people per night, so you may want to book this experience before you arrive for your big vacation.
Tariff: Rs. 15,000 for two.
5. Something Different, Havelock
Beachside Café with An Extensive Menu
A sea-side café with an extensive multi-cuisine menu, Something Different has something for everyone. Although it’s not “luxurious” in the traditional sense, its modern, artistic interiors combined with their consistently great food make this place a Havelock favourite. If we were to go on the reviews on their TripAdvisor page, this is the one place that no food-lover wants to miss.
Their menu spans Italian, Indo-chinese, Indian and International dishes.
Tariff: Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2500 for two.
Try this: Garlic Prawns + Almond Pudding with caramel sauce.
Luxury Experiences in the Andamans
1. Dive with the best: Lacadives
Lacadives has been a pioneer in the Indian diving scene for the past 25 years.
They’re a PADI certified dive-shop, meaning they’re certified with the most reputed certification agency in the world for Scuba diving. They’re geared to give you an unforgettable experience that will pay equal attention to safety, fun and underwater education. Their dive instructors go above and beyond the course curriculum to help you develop an appreciation for the ocean. The dive equipment is top-notch and well-maintained, which is important to ensure safe dives.
All skill levels are catered to and they’re an apt place to get your Scuba Diving certifications, if you don’t have them already. If you have one already, they’ll be able to take you straight away to the most unspoilt dive spots where you’ll find the prettiest, most vibrant marine life.
All of this goes to explain why they were able to successfully partner with Taj Exotica at Havelock to open a dive shop within their property.
Besides this, they have an independent dive shop at Chidiyatapu, Port Blair.
Beginner courses start at Rs. 18,000 for PADI Scuba Diver and can go up to Rs. 65,000 for PADI Divemaster.
The choice of course will depend on how far you want to go, which skills you want to learn, how independently you want to dive and whether you’re looking to build a career around it.
Note: The courses at Chidyatapu have a slightly lower tariff than those at Havelock.
2. Candle-light dinner at Barefoot, Havelock
For a legendary dim-lit tropical dinner with your special someone, look no further than Barefoot at Radhanagar Beach. Set in the wilderness, with décor inspired by the surrounding jungle, a romantic candle-lit dinner is set to take your luxury Andaman vacation to the next level.
You can expect to pay somewhere between Rs. 5000 to Rs. 7000 inclusive of table set-up, meal for two and wine, on request.
3. Day trips to Long Island, Rutland and other Untouched Islands
For those of you longing to head to lesser-known, untouched and pristine spots, a chartered sports fishing boat or a speed boat may be the answer. Besides Havelock, Neil and Port Blair, there are several Virgin Islands that are open to tourists. These include Long Island, Rutland, Merk’s Bay and Cinque Island.
Reach out to us to know more about this!
4. Travel business class
Fly in style with Vistara or Air India’s business class tickets.
It’ll allow you benefits like priority boarding and disembarkation, priority check-in and baggage handling, plusher and roomier seating space, a complimentary selection of fresh food & beverages and flawless, warm service.
All of this will come at – a somewhat hefty but worth it – amount ranging between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 70,000 per person, both ways.
5. Premium inter-island transport options
Treat yourself to some privacy and priority service with royal class tickets on private passenger ferries like Makruzz.
It’ll allow you an exclusive cabin on the top deck with no more than 8 seats in all, priority check-in and a complimentary meal. You can expect to pay between Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000, one way.
You can also say no thanks to boats, helicopter your way to Havelock and get there in all of 25 minutes for somewhere around Rs. 3500 to Rs. 4000, one way. This will allow for much convenience and help you save time, but there is an unfortunate but. Getting the tickets can be difficult and will involve reaching out to the Andaman Administration directly.
You can also charter the helicopter for up-to 6 people, this may make this experience more accessible.
6. Inter-island travel with Luxury Yacht charters
If you’re feeling like going all the way, hiring a luxury Yacht may be the way to go. This will make for an adventure you won’t forget in a hurry.
You can island-hop and visit the most pristine, unspoilt beaches in the world while having a crew that’s dedicated to you 24*7.
Prices will vary largely depending on the type of boat you want to charter. You may want to have a look at West Coast Marine Yacht Charters.
And that’s a wrap!
And with that, we come to the end of our luxury round-up, dear folks! We’ve given you the best of resort choices ranging from good ol’ Taj to edgy Jalakara, and restaurant choices span minimal fine dining to shabby-chic cafes.
We’ve also listed out the finest experiences to be had on the islands. This list will serve as a soft guide to your luxury holiday on the Andamans.
We can’t wait to have you luxury-hopping around these beautiful islands and travelling like a star.
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Hi there! I’m a local from the Andamans; born, bred and raised, like they say. I’ve been happily travelling around here for the last 29 years of my life and have been to off-beat locations like Little Andaman, Long Island, Rutland, Barren Island and Ross & Smith. It may seem like a small place, but I feel like I still have so much to see! I’ve also been ridiculously in love with reading and writing for as long as I can remember. Put two and two together and it gives you this blog post.