Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Just got back after 3 weeks in Goa, spent 15 nights at Chattai Beach Huts. Avinash & Damur were brilliant. Nothing was too much for them. Thanks to Avinash's help i managed to see and do so much more. He really went out of his way to ensure i got the best out of my stay and was the source of so much knowledge and information. The huts were lovely, spacious and well constructed. The location of Chattai is ideal, away from the noise (except for Dancing Shiva who managed to bend the rules on occasion but even that was bearable) yet close enough to the beach. Good coffee and the sound of Damur going about his kitchen business singing with a beautiful smile on his face was a great way to start the day. Some good shacks on the beach although i bet its a lot more crowded at the height of season. For me it was ideal and i shant be returning to the neon of North Goa. Try it and see .... and have a taste of the Sexy Dal Fry.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Beautiful Beach Shacks

I have just arrived home from my holiday staying in chattai and I have to tell you how wonderful it was. We originally booked for only one night so we could try some other accommodation during our stay, but as soon as we arrived I fell in love with it! The setting just off from the beach makes it feel a safe and secluded place, and it's so beautiful we ended up staying for 7 nights!

The shacks are better than I could wish for, with a private terrace decorated with white drapes, and electric fans provided to keep you cool, (and keep moskitos away). large bathroom and bedroom, It was a real pleasure to stay there. The staff were so friendly and made it a completely relaxing holiday, I will definately come back. Thankyou!

If there's paradise on Earth, it's here, it's here, it's here!

New Year is probably the worst time to travel. New Year is probably also the one time you must travel. It is this duality, that drives millions to Goa every year. We were two of that million. Stuck on the airport for hours because of the fog and the delayed flights, we reached Goa tired and a little out of the New Year spirit. But then Chttai happened. Amidst the quintessential Goan village setting, Chattai was home within seconds. We arrived days after our reservations, but inspite of the heavy demand, they were nice enough to keep our bookings. What's more, they never charged us for the days we had to cancel because of our delayed flights.

That was just the start. The owners are two of the most wondeful people you will ever meet. And the staff is just as nice. Avinesh and Charlie did everything to make us feel at home. Warm and welcoming, they treated us like family. From booking a car for us to arranging for a bike, from booking us on a Dolphin tour to making sure we get up on time to spot them, they made sure we have the most memorable trip ever.

We spotted atleast 50 dolphins and i give all the credit to Avinesh. After trying for two days, he made sure we get up on time on our last day there. He literally banged our hut down, trying to wake us up. Gave us a hurried glas of juice and promised to keep a massive breakfast ready when we get back. Just so we would get on the boat before the sun came up. He even made a deal for us with boat man to show us some lesser known, secret islands. On emerald green waters, we expored some of the most beautiful places.

There are some things that get stuck in your mind, almost like a photograph. One such picture in my head is of a morning, when i sat nursing my mug of coffee. A rooster pecked happily away near me and some piglets played in the courtyard. I will never forget that scene. I never felt more at peace or more in touch with nature. There is just something about waking up to a rooster call. Something so tranquil and almost hypnotising about watching tiny pigs go about their business. Something so assuring about friendly dogs accompanying you on a walk through the village flea market. It's almost romantic.

What I loved most about it was the ambience. And the washroom. It was like showering in the open. With a portion of the washroom having no ceiling for natural lighting and fresh air, the experience was amazing. Cold water mingled with sea breaze to create quite a novel bath experience. They were nice enough to provide you with hot water if you requested for it, but it was cold showers all the way for me.

The room was cozy with a snug little bed that was perfect for two. It had a functional mosquito net (there weren't many mosquitoes that time of the year though) which gave the room such a romantic feel. The huts are made of Chattai as the name suggests. In fact, everything about the place is au Naturale. Just makes you feel healthier.

We were living in a split level cottage with a little terrace sit out on the top. With white curtains to allow just enough privacy, we would sit late into the night listening to the waves crash againts the shore and watching the candlelight cast a warm, mellow glow on everything. In the distance, you could hear music. Assuring you that there was still some place you could party at. If you'd rather. The terrace was also perfect to enjoy a morning smoke, as we planned out the rest of our day. Which was always easy enough.

We'd wake up to a leisurely coffee and massive breakfast, walk over to the beach two steps away and spend the rest of the day vegetating at one of the several beach shacks. Chattai is at the quiet end of Palolem, near some of the best shacks and a lovely restaurant at a rock jutting into the sea. Very conveniently located to stumble into bed after getting smashed out of your head. And still far enough to provide you your privacy and keep you from having banging music spoil it, if you have plans for a quite night. What's more, it ensures that only guests come to that area. Which means, it's not a thorough fare. There's a guard that keeps watch at night. Not that there is anything to be worried about. But it's just nicer to know that people who have no business there are not lurking around in the still of the night.

We rented a bike which Charlie arranged for us. Petrol pumps are few and far between in Goa. But they have a rather innovative solution to it. A few meters from Chattai is a little grocery store that also stores petrol. They have Bilseri bottles full of fuel that you can just buy. We went into town one day to look for an ATM. That's about all we left the beach for. Everything else was available right there.

Unfortunately during our stay, I managed to catch a cold. It got so bad one night that I could hardly lay down. They were so comforting, so sweet. They made me Ginger and Honey Tea, in the middle of the night. As I sat sipping it in the open air restaurant, just outside my hut, they kept me company, telling us stories about locals and places that we must visit. Not for a moment did they let me feel sorry for myself. Instead, they pampered me back to health. That was one of my nicest experiences of staying at Chattai.

They have many games and books to keep you company. I played table tennis after years. But mostly I just realxed. And soaked in the ambience. Chattai will be one of my best finds in Goa. The trip ended way too soon. And we came back with huge withdrwal syptoms. But I am going back soon. Once you get a taste of it, it's hard not to.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fun Days at Chattai

Hi there

We - two girls, a guy and a 6 month old baby - had a wonderful, relaxing stay at Chattai thanks to Avinash and Charlie. They went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable. Baby Ari was pampered and spoiled. As were we. Its a beautifully done place. Simple but clean and relaxing. We loved our room with the terrace on top.

Only problem really were the mosquitoes but I don't really know what you guys can do to erradicate them!

Thanks for a truly relaxing experience.

And in Arnold's words (aka Terminator): WE"LL BE BAACK!



Friday, March 23, 2007

Hi there!

Hi there Chattai guests!

Firstly, thanks so much for choosing to stay with us at Chattai! We really appreciate your business. We would love to have your comments, so we've created this online guest book just for you!

Chattai has now been running for about 7 months in total. We're still the 'newcomers' around here - but we're fast getting the hang of things. It's been a great learning experience for us - especially meeting people from around the world from different professions. We've made a lot of friends and had tonnes of fun! Thanks again!

Some of our guests have mailed me their feedback, which till now, has been mostly positive! (Thank God!)We've also received some constructive criticism, which we've learned from and tried to make amends.

I know that the approach to Chattai remains a sore point!! It hasn't been easy co-existing with somewhat messy neighbors and being near a high-tide creek that greets us with a deluge of plastic bottles and bags every day! Still, we keep cleaning and sanitizing the area around us. We've been talking to like-minded resort owners to make a concerted effort to clean up the area. Not an easy process, let me tell you!

We've planted several trees in our compound when we opened so we should become suitably 'shady' in the near future and look a lot greener.

Things that are a bit out of our control are: our geographical location and the fact that we're not directly on the beach, the friendly pigs that wander around the entire village, the early morning wake-up (or is it mating?!) calls of the local doggies and the never-ending party music at the Bridge & Tunnel (how they get to play such loud music beyond 11 PM is anybody's guess!).

So please do spare a moment and share your thoughts with us. And of course any pictures of your holiday at Palolem!

Thank you!