Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Engaged and Married in Chattai

Chattai, a place so good we went twice.

I could give the standard review of Chattai. Myself and my now wife have stayed their twice, both for 2 weeks. But I don’t want to give the standard review, because I didn’t have the standard time. Infact, the first time we were there, we got engaged. The second time, we got married, in Chattai. So, for the sake of the people that have never been, here’s my standard review of Chattai.

The huts are based at the south end of the beach, which suites me down to the ground. It has the nicer restaurants and is in walking distance from the lively bars. Also, it’s away from Happy Buda, which gets s a bit lively at times. It’s a quick cut through Papillion to the beach, which is cool because the food at Papillion is good and they have WiFi for 100 rups a day.

Now down to Chattai itself. It’s magical to look at. The huts are amazing looking and have been set up so it looks like they climb up the hill. You really get the wow factor from outside looking in. Once in they have a nice little bar area. I’ve never really ordered food from Chattai so I can’t comment on the food but the drink is reasonable and the late night security guard doesn’t mind you sneaking a few bottles when you stagger back from the beach. You need to pay the next morning, obviously. And that’s another thing, it’s secure. I’ve never known any problems or thefts on Palolem, but for piece of mind, it’s nice to know your stuff is secure.

The huts are big selling point here. There are designed like no other huts on the beach, with high ceilings and a roof terrace on most, that are worth the price alone. Sitting on the roof terrace, having a beer last thing at night is the perfect way to round off a night out. Beds are fine and the new fans are luxury compared to most and believe me, you’ll need it!

What sets Chattai apart are the people. You won’t meet more friendly and helpful people on in Goa. This was never more apparent when I asked them if they could help me arrange a surprise wedding for my new wife.

A few months previous to our London wedding, I thought it would be a nice surprise for my new wife to have a Hindu wedding as well. Why? Because we got engaged on the roof terrace of our Chattai hut 6 months previous, so it felt like a full circle thing. I had been quoted huge amounts by some English companies that arranged weddings in Goa, which was way out of my budget. I ask Chattai if they could help me and in true Chattai form, they agreed. It worked out half the price I had been quoted and we could have 8 guests, which the other companies would not allow (for the price). What transpired was amazing. To start with, as a complete surprise to both of us, they had decorated our hut in traditional Indian wedding flowers, with petals on the bed and a bouquet in the corner. Charlie, the manager of Chattai arranged everything, from the henna tattoos for my wife’s hands, to our outfits, to decorating the bar, arranging the holy man and cooking up an unbelievable local feast for us and our friends.

It was an experience of a lifetime and we couldn’t have had it without the people from Chattai. We’ll forever remember our time in Chattai and I’m sure we’ll be back soon.

Peace and love Chattai folk!

Friday, December 18, 2009