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“Very peaceful, fantastic snorkelling and great food”

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Pristine Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Diglipur B&B and Inns
Reviewed 5 March 2014

We spent 7 days in one of Pristine Beach's Super Deluxe rooms from Feb. 24 to March 3, 2014. We took the big A/C bus up and back from Port Blair (Rs400/person each way). It took 9-1/2 hrs, and was interesting and comfortable enough with two short ferry rides, breakfast and lunch stops (and a few naps). There had been a ferry accident at Havelock several months ago so all boat rentals were shut down until the gov't certified everyone, so we were a little concerned about not getting to snorkel which was our major motivation for heading up-island. To our relief, there is great snorkelling just up and around the corners from the beach (about a five-minute walk away), and fantastic snorkelling around Craegy Island, about a 20-minute swim (with fins) off the same beach. We were almost always the only people on the beach. The biggest crowd we ever saw was seven of us snorkelling and/or sun bathing one day. We'd brought our own snorkels and masks (Rs1000 for two sets, bought in Chennai from the sports stores near the cricket field), and rented fins from Alex at Pristine. The snorkelling made the trip - large areas of unbleached coral and amazing varieties and numbers of fish!

The breakfasts in the breakfast hut were OK - fruit was sometimes in short supply and bread for toast was basic, but the veg omelettes, coffee and tea were excellent. The food in the restaurant was uniformly excellent, we loved the fresh roties, fresh fish, and (me) the cold beer!

Alex the owner was great. He was always around at breakfast and dinner if anyone needed any help or had questions. He arranged for tickets, banking, tuk-tuks, etc., and let us use his internet connection (it's very slow - we just used it for essential emails). Alex also took us along on a few extra trips (no charge) - one to an organic farm up the road when he needed to grind up some lentils, and another excursion up the beach at night to see a big Olive Ridley turtle lay eggs in the dark. After the turtle swam off, Alex and a couple of gov't employees dug up the eggs and they went into a hatchery on the same beach. Another traveller told us that doing this gave something like a 98% survival rate for the baby turtles.

Other things: there are a couple of other day trips available like climbing Saddle Peak (six hours, so needs a really early start), some caves and mud volcanoes, but we were happy just to swim, read and walk up the road to pick up some chocolate at the little roadside stores. There is another budget guest house (Turtle Resort) nearby where we could eat, but we never felt the need to go there since everyone at Pristine Beach and the people we knew from Turtle congregated in the restaurant to eat and talk each night.

Other, other things: There were no issues with salt water crocodiles. Apparently they only become a possibility along the beaches near Pristine during the monsoons when the creeks fill up and salt water mixes into the fresh water. The tiny little sand flies can be kept at bay by using neem oil (available at one of the little roadside shops 10 minutes up the road), and by walking on the wet part of the beach (sand flies apparently like the dry areas).

Overall, if you like tranquility, no crowds and incredible snorkelling, this is a good spot for you. If you want shops and restaurants, you're out of luck unless you bicycle or take a local bus or tuk-tuk into town.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank John-and-Roxanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 - 72 of 87 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2014

I guess this resort is the exception that proves the rule - the first time we got misled by TripAdvisor reviews.
We booked this because the resort overall had a very high TA score but we were really disappointed by it.

First the positives - the resort is right on the beach, the rooms are really quite nice and well appointed and clean. We infact got upgraded from our super deluxe cottage to what they call a Villa. The owner Alex, and the staff and pleasant to talk to.

The challenges though were plenty.

The drive from Port Blair to this resort is quite long (around 8-9 hours) and the roads are not nice. They do have a helicopter service but the website misleading provides info that the service only runs on Tuesdays - however, on reaching there, the resort people told us that actually it runs on most days. weird. Had we known, we wouldve just taken the helicopter (it costs the same for 2 people as renting a car)

The website also provides a sea plane option but at the resort, they told us that the sea plane was continued a year ago or something.

Conflicting/inaccurate information aside, the resort had other challenges as well.

The resort overall is not really well maintained, we found a lot of stuff just lying around. The so called "villa" is actually just a larger hut.

The breakfast area seemed really makeshift with 3 tables and lots of discarded (or unused) wood piled up next to a parked bike taking up 25% of the space in the breakfast area. Yes, a motorcycle was parked IN the breakfast area - and this is when (i think) half the resort area is just wild grass - why cant the bike be parked there instead INSIDE the breakfast area?

Anyway, when we sat down to get some breakfast, we found the choice to be decent - we ordered a fruit bowl, eggs and toast. Our eggs showed up but the toasts didn't. On asking why not, we were told that we hadnt ordered toast. So we said, well, ok, maybe you didnt hear us, can you get us some toast now? - then we were told sorry no, we don't have any bread today. No bread at breakfast time, especially when half your breakfast options are sandwiches? Thats unacceptable to me. The fruit bowl was nice though. BTW, in the evening we chanced upon a bakery 10-15 minutes drive from the resort and bought our own fresh bread.

Although the resort is on the beach, it doesn't have beach view because of the dense trees. When we actually went to the beach, the whole beach is actually black. The management photo of the beach supplied here is actually the beach that is about a 10 minute walk down from the black beach.

There is a small island really close by called craggy island. You can actually swim to the island from the resort. We decided to do just that and borrowed the fins and snorkel mask available at the resort. These seemed to be in pretty bad shape so we asked for some dettol to clean them with (to dis-infect). Instead of dettol, they gave us Phenyl - to wash the snorkel that would go in our mouth - this could've killed us! Luckily, I happened to smell the solution midway and realized what had happened. Thankfully, it was quickly replaced by real Dettol.

In the evening, we went ot the dinner area at the reception (different from teh breakfast area) and found that it had a nice seating area and a small bar. This was good we thought since we didnt see too many bars in Andamans in general (inside resorts that is).

Transportation from the resort to go anywhere can be a challenge as well. Luckily we had come in our own car so it was fine but if you dont have a means of transport, getting to nearby attractions can be quite a task.

Overall, despite having a booking for 3 nights, we left after only 2 - partly because the overall experience at the resort was not really great and partly because there wasn't much to see/do in Diglipur in general.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank varundubey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2014

My experience was similar to Oliver x's two star review. We reserved our rooms by paying in full beforehand, which is unusual for the Andamans. We stayed in the "Grand Villa" for 3 nights, and the "Super Deluxe" room for 2 nights. Both were pricey, but very nice. However, the drain in the bathroom in the villa was quite slow to drain. We complained, but the owner Alex never took care of this--by the end of our stay in this room, the bathroom flooded completely, and water went into our room.

Food at the resort is overpriced, and mediocre at best. Food in Diglipur is far cheaper and tastier, but the town is too far to eat there regularly. The moment that stands out, comes from our last night, when the power went out, while we waited more than an hour for food. The staff brought out candles for everyone--except for us. I guess since we didn't have any food, they guessed we didn't need light either. Sitting in the dark without food, while others ate by candlelight, was quite memorable. I'm sure the staff didn't mean to insult us, but this was the low point of our stay here.

Alex is indeed nice and helpful, but it's clear that he's more interested in making money than in being a good host. Although our room was quite expensive, there's no concierge service. Alex takes a cut whenever he acts as a middleman arranging transport, hence he tries to make himself seem indispensable when arranging excursions or transport. I would recommend making as many arrangements yourself as possible, for this reason. The low point was when we and four other couples tried to go to Ross and Smith island one day. Alex made it seem like he had arranged a boat for us, when this wasn't the case--the guy simply stays by the jetty to ferry people across. The boat guy left with some other tourists, and so we were left with no transport to the island. Alex did a much better job arranging transport the next day, but again, he takes a cut from this.

The high point for me was snorkeling off the beach and swimming to Craggy Island. The coral I saw was mostly dead, but I saw a sea turtle, as well as several unicornfish and a big bluefin trevally. In the end, Pristine resort is a very nice, relaxing place to stay, but it certainly wasn't worth the 10 hour bus ride from Port Blair. In the past I've stayed at nicer, more beautiful places for this price in locations that are just as remote. The other places I stayed in the Andamans (Island Vinnie's on Havelock; Ripple Resort in Corbyn's Cove) weren't quite as nice as Pristine, but service and food were far superior.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mrmrohan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

This is one the best places to stay at Diglipur! The owner Alex is very helpful and gives you all the required information about Diglipur. The resort is near Kalipur beach at walkable distance, so we went to look for turtles at 1AM at night! The cottage was clean and neat with all basic facilties and comfortable bed. The food at the restaurant was fresh and tasty. Those looking for luxurious vacations will be disappointed at Diglipur in terms of facilities available. So, come to Diglipur if you want to relax and take a break from chaos of life!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank bhavnasingharora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013 via mobile

Stayed there for 5-6 days on our trip to norhern andaman. Got a hut with bathroom, fan and all for 600 rupies. A bit much for us as backpackers but still great value.

The owner Alex is a great guy, had lot's of information and could provide activities around Kalipur. We did Ross and Smith island and could share boat with some others to lower the price. Beautiful trip with nice snorkeling even though the coral is basicly dead. Saw many fishes though.

We also went to Saddle peak with packed lunch from their restaurant. Tough trip! We went without guide. Got picked up in the dark on the way back by alex's staff.

Went to Diglipur with alex in his private car, i did a complete makeover at the local barber, haha!

Alex motto "work hard and be honest" will pay in the end. Great place and very experienced people!

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank Invictvs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Stayed in this beach resort for 2 days. Had a great experience. The owner Alex was very helpful. My compliments to him for running this very cozy resort. He had loads of information to share with us regarding the neighborhood. There are many tourist points around the resort to see. Unfortunately we were unaware of those spots. Had no time to visit them. Definitely worth staying here for more that 2 days.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank 77Rahul77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2013 via mobile

After we spend some time on Havelock we made the decision to go north...and that was the best we could do (afterwards we went to Long and Neil island...but this been the best place)! Many locals recommed Diglipur to us, but from there you should go directly to Kalipur (public bus)!Pristine beach resort is amazing...you get out of far to many tourist like on Havelock and you have beautiful huts without peakseason-price! We stayed in a two-store-Bambuhut and we know that we would had paid two our three times the price on Havelock.There is a small island in front of the beach, you can swim over and there are beautiful corals without bleaching.One day we saw over 50 lionfish at the corals directly at the beach.Even at night there is something to do...from December on you can see turtles nesting directly on the beach of the guesthouse!We didn't see them there but we seen a lot while snorkelling at Ross and Smith islands, which has been amazing...and there is a beach without any rubbish! You also can visit caves and mud volcano there (they organise it for you)...which we haven't done...but just a walk to the next shop had been very nice! What made our 10 day stay really special is the owner of the resort Alex and his father "Uncle"! He had a resort in Havelock before and they know what tourist like! And you really get information far away from "possible" when you ask something, and we were just happy that we could enjoy his company (we had a lot of luck and Alex took us to a wedding of the neighbours)! And...the whole staff had been so friendly.The restaurant there is also very good and the cook came every evening out to talk to us and we had some really nice fish and prawns there...without being to expensive!
We really loved that place and farewell had been quite hard!
We really recommend this place!
Julia and Jochen from Germany

  • Stayed: November 2012
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7  Thank juku81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pristine Beach Resort

Address: Kalipur Beach, Diglipur, North Andaman Island 744202, India
Region: India > Andaman and Nicobar Islands > North Andaman Island > Diglipur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Diglipur
Price Range: £21 - £68 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
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