The Andaman Odyssey - Symphony Palms Beach Resort @ Havelock Island - A review
Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep is the most visited of 572 islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. It is popular for blue water and white sand beaches, the laid back atmosphere and ample scuba diving sites. Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) is a must visit on your Andaman trip. We published ‘A complete travel guide to Havelock Island’ in our last blog post where we detailed everything about Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) with recommendations on how to reach, places to visit, where to eat and activities to experience. We mentioned Symphony Palms Beach Resort as one of our recommended option of stay at Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep). Gorgeous, luxurious and located not too far from Havelock Island jetty! In this blog we review Symphony Palms Beach Resort and will make you believe that it is one of the best places to stay on Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep).
If you are looking for a relaxed getaway on Andaman’s most visited Island - Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep); then Symphony Palms Beach Resort is the top contender. Be it a family vacation, a fun trip with friends or a honeymoon trip, they have rooms that suit each of these travellers.
The series of travel blogs - The Andaman Odyssey will serve as a one stop travel guide to you and give you all details along with recommendations to ensure you can plan your own trip.
Our other blogs of the series - The Andaman Odyssey will help you understand and plan your trip to Andaman Islands and give you a good idea of Havelock (Swaraj Dweep) and Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep) with recommendation on places to stay and activities to do.
6. Review: Symphony Palms Beach Resort at Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) - Current blog
Symphony Palms Beach Resort:
Located bang on the Govind Nagar beach, Symphony Palms Beach resort is hardly 3 km away from the Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) Jetty and located on both sides of main road. As we arrived at the resort after about an hour long catamaran ride through Makruzz that brought us from Neil Islands (Shaheed Dweep), we were welcomed in traditional Indian style with the trademark aarti, red tikka on forehead and a refreshing welcome drink. The check-in time is intently scheduled to be 9 AM as most ferries arrive around this time.
With the formalities out of the way, we were lead to our room. When we walked through the property towards our room, we were left speechless. The place was huge and beautiful. There was greenery all around, lots of tall palm and coconut trees, straight pathway through the well manicured gardens and the spacious cottage rooms on both sides!
The Lagoon Suite - Symphony Palms Beach Resort:
We stayed in the Symphony Palms Beach Resort’s nicest rooms – The Lagoon Suite, which was within a hop from the Govind nagar beach. The beach was so close that if we weren’t in mood to go out towards it, we can view and hear the sound of waves sitting right on the porch of our Suite cottage. We also loved the fact that guest of lagoon suites can get their rented two wheelers right up to their rooms. This made our stay so convenient.
Inside the air-conditioned Suite cottage, we had all the modern amenities like tea/coffee maker and attached bathroom with running hot and cold water. Even a cloth drying rack was very thoughtfully placed in the porch of our cottage. The bedroom was beautifully decorated and spacious. When we sank into the soft mattress and pillows we were left with desire to have a bed this nice for our home. Everything smelled incredibly fresh and good– the towels, the pillows, the blankets, the shower gel! The bathrooms did not feel as lavish as everything else probably because the resort is relatively older, but it had all the basic amenities one would need including a hair dryer. We soon headed out to explore the rest of the resort.
Symphony Palms Beach Resort is owned by The Sing Hotel group who also have similar properties in Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep) and Port Blair. Symphony Palms Beach resort is one among the very first few properties to get constructed in Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep). The resort has 3 categories of rooms – 20 Lagoon Suites, 50 Havelock Cottages and 24 Havelock Casa rooms.
Similar to its Neil counterpart (Summer Sands Beach Resort), the resort is built across two sides of the road. The Govind nagar beach side property only has the 20 Lagoon Suites facing each other, 10 on each side. The land side property has the reception, the Havelock Cottages, the Havelock Casa rooms, the famous bar – ‘Venom bar’ and the restaurant – ‘Charcoal’ (Asian Kitchen and Buddha garden).
Amenities - Symphony Palms Beach Resort:
A well manicured big garden adorned with coconut and palm trees runs in between the Havelock Cottages, 25 cottages lined on each side of the garden; whereas the Havelock Casa rooms are located in a One storeyed building at one end. We did not see other rooms from inside but the architecture of all rooms seems very well planned and includes use of wood and bamboo material. What impressed us was that each cottage is separate and there is no wall shared between 2 cottages making the stay absolutely private. The garden separating two rows of cottages is enormous and we were glad to here the management had some plans of using this by building a swimming pool and play area. Note that since the paths are narrower, they do not allow bringing your two wheelers inside and parking them beside your havelock cottages unlike lagoon suites.
Behind the Casa rooms is the happening Venom bar where varieties of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are served. Music is played at all times in the bar and there is also one small dance floor for people to just dance and chill out. Venom bar happens to be one of the very few places in Havelock (Swaraj Dweep) having license to sell alcohol through the year. They had to move the bar from main road towards the end of the resort in compliance with a new Indian government rule banning serving of alcohol within certain distance from highways. We felt this was a boon in disguise as the party goers and people who want alcohol are kept at one end of the resort, allowing the rest of the resort to be peaceful and quiet.
Just behind the Casa rooms is a big garden with several mango, papaya and banana trees; also home to a few caged birds and cute rabbits and hamsters with which the kids can enjoy playing. We learnt that the layout of the resort as well as the gardens is personally designed and planned by mother of Mr. Tanveer, the owner of Sing Hotel group, as she wanted to create a homely atmosphere for all the guests staying at this heavenly Island. In-house gardeners, plumbers and house-keeping staff have cottages to stay at the end of the property. Everything is so clean, fresh and nicely maintained and very well managed by the staff. The property is 10 acres big and just taking a tour of it took us an hour.
The reception is big and the furniture is made of eco-friendly natural material like wood, bamboo and straw. A small gathering area built right above the reception has some indoor games and low seating sofas to sit and relax. Right in front of the reception is a big smiling Buddha statue who seems to be meditating and radiating peace all across the property. A small dinghy (boat) decorated with sand and flowers serves as the resort’s name plate which we think is something very innovative and cute. Even at the beach end of the property, there is a decorated dinghy which many tourists use as a photo prop.
We spent our next two days ticking off the places to visit in Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) and always returned exhausted and hungry. At times like this, the Charcoal restaurant satiated our hunger pangs with its delicious food. The restaurant hosts a huge buffet dinner every evening. Indian, Continental, and ala-carte meals are served at the restaurant’s first floor. The restaurant’s menu offers a balance of unique dishes that embodies the authenticity and creativity of the chefs with a spotlight on local, fresh and seasonal produce. We even loved the morning breakfast buffet spread – they serve everything from fresh fruit juice to South Indian delicacies. In-fact the small bananas that they serve every morning grows in their very own property behind the Havelock Casa rooms which is impressive. We even tried a delicacy of coconut laddus which were very good.
Both the restaurant (Charcoal) and the bar (Venom Bar) of Symphony Palms Beach Resort are pretty famous and are flocked by many tourists. The restaurant is designed with Indo-Chinese architecture with dragons and fishes carved on the pillars’ woodwork that adds to the ambience of the whole atmosphere. There is even a big garden restaurant right outside the main restaurant with patio umbrella tables and comfy chairs that looks very beautiful when the resort is lit up at the night time. All the palm and coconut trees are decorated with colorful lights giving a vibrant feel to the resort and its surroundings. A café named The Kookie Baba on the beach side of the resort is also famous for light snacks and drinks but was not functional during our visit. It however looked very cute in the shape of a hut with lots of space, natural ventilation and low-seating cushions.
For one of the night we were there, we had a candle light beach side dinner. The 5 course meal we were offered was delicious and very fulfilling. The tables of the different guests opting for candle light dinner as spaced apart to provide adequate privacy. We enjoyed our succulent meal in peace at the private beach side lit only by the moonlight and candle lights. The echo of the waves and the glittering evening sky made the perfect setting for a romance. We appreciate the resort staff to have brought all the furniture and food for a perfect setup at the beach, yet ensuring that the food is served hot. On one of the other nights there were 21 requests for candle light dinner and the staff was working extremely hard through the night to ensure all guests have a good time. As professional photographers, we always carry some form of lights when we travel. Our fairy lights proved very useful making the entire setting magical.
Late in the night after our dinner we used to go for long romantic walks on the beach and would lie down on the beach chairs counting the numerous stars. We also used to enjoy watching the sun rise at the beach with the sky changing color from jet black to dark blue to orange to sky blue. The resort has hung a very comfortable swing on one of the trees right on the beach side, where we used to laze around. One fine afternoon, we also spotted a man climbing up a tall coconut tree to pluck the coconut that fell down one by one with a loud thud. Just observing his skills plucking coconuts from each tree one after the other was entertaining in itself.
The Hospitality - Symphony Palms Beach Resort
Mr. Faraz, the manager of the resort took great care of us. We had quite a few interesting conversations with him and he was ever so friendly and helpful. He seemed to enjoy his work and was always highly energetic. He guided us on the things to do and places to visit on the Island and gave suggestions on how to make the most of the limited time we had. The hotel staff was very friendly, always smiling and welcoming and they offered top-notch services. Room cleaning staff even cleaned our room untimely on request.
Symphony Palms beach resort also has a help desk from where one can book all the adventure activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking or the like. The two-wheeler/ four-wheeler rental agency is right outside the property making it very easy for the guests to arrange for conveyance. They also have tie-ups with a few dive centers in case one wants to book it directly via the resort.
The only glitch we faced was that no wi-fi facilities were existent at the resort and it was partly troublesome as we had to make a few urgent bookings. Also, the door knob of our cottage was a bit antique and we faced little difficulty every time we had to lock the door as the mechanism required both hands to be used and one would have to keep aside anything they might be carrying. However this is a minor thing and the antique locking mechanism does blend with the overall design. We would request the management if it is possible to add more swinging chairs on the beach as they were fun, relaxing and very popular with tourists.
Luxurious stay, private beach, exceptional hospitality, well planned layout and good food - we loved everything about Symphony Palms Beach Resort. The property is way bigger than its Neil Island counterpart - Summer Sands Beach Resort. All in all we were extremely happy with our stay at the Symphony Palms Beach resort and would recommend it as a stay option to everyone visiting Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep).
Hope you liked Symphony Palms Beach Resort as much as we did and plan to stay here during your trip to Havelock Islands (Swaraj Dweep). You can book them through any banner of e-commerce site on this page or from their official website here. You can also book Symphony palms beach resort on any of the online travel portals.
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What do you think of our review of Symphony Palms Beach Resort? Do let us know in comment section below.
Note: All opinions expressed in this blog are our own and not influenced by Symphony Palms Beach Resort in any manner.