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“tranquility by the seaside”
Review of SwaSwara

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SwaSwara
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Gokarna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 September 2011

Beautiful architecture that reminds you of a floating kerela house boat. It uplifts you inside and outside with its theme of cleansing the body mind and soul.
Food thats marry's the theme in every way full of flavour .
So self contained yet very expansive .
A perfect place to unwind forever......

Room Tip: All rooms a great must use the upstairs balcony with an extra bed
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank juneja_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 - 54 of 87 reviews

Reviewed 9 September 2011

had the chance to stay there for 5 nights in May. I just loved the space and the clean beach. I liked the fusion food, which is not typically Indian. For me it was the lightest Indian Cuisine ever eaten in India. Having lived for 16 years jn India this should mean something! Would just to go there again, meditate, create. relax and recharge.
Anyone wishing really to recharge the batteries, this is the place. There are lots of Offerings like Yoga, Meditation, Art, cooking classes and Ayurveda. Just be your own Guru and pick what you like!!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled on business
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6  Thank Beatg61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2011

We stayed for 6 nights at the Swaswara Hotel in Gokarna. We wouldnt go again. Here's why:

Whats good:

- The houses overviewing the water are REALLY nice. You have a lot of privacy. The rooms are clean and tidy. Every evening they "smoke" out the houses because of the mosquitos and prepare the beddings. If you like quietness and privacy these houses are for you.

- The Yoga classes are well organized and invite you to some good sessions. The teachers were professionals and very helpful also with Yoga beginners.

Whats bad:

- Everything ordered "out of the program" during dinner IS A PROBLEM. You would like to have Lassi...."We dont have Lassi..." I'd like to have some Chapathi with my meal "Sorry, no Chapathi tonight..." "Can I have some additional meal, because after the little portion I'm still hungry.....*frowning waiter brings reluctantly a second serving*

You would like to have some Aloo Parantha or Masala Dosa for breaktfast? Forget it..."We only have the 2 options on the billboard..." so I cant have a scrambled egg or so? "No, just the 2 menu options on the billboard"

THIS IS INDIA AND YOU DONT HAVE ANY CHAPATHI FOR MEAL, LASSI or Parantha??

- Coconuts: While the management boasts having plenty of coconut trees and you really see a lot of coconuts around....ordering a fresh coconut is again a PROBLEM. Why? Because they need someone to come "extra" to cut the coconuts. *facepalm*

- Want a Snack? Well....thats not so much of a problem, if they have it in stock. Pineapple works, Cookies? "We dont have" After I saw a waiter bringing COOKIES with tea to the Managers office I just intercepted him and politely but firmly asked for some cookies with tea....

- Not paying guests: Well, another fine topic. The week we were staying some bunch of young people (10 people around 17 or so) were enjoying their stay at the hotel....plunging into the pool, being noisy!, eating dinner and so forth. Nothing special...right? Well, expect that we were told that one of the kids was the son of the owner and that he was staying here with his friends for a couple of days.

- Summary: Everything around food is a problem. You eat what is being served....everything else is just a hassle. Expect no 5-star service here.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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36  Thank Eloriel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2011

Not too many properties deserve the tag of being destinations in themselves, but Swaswara in Gokarna, Karnataka does. A CGH Earth resort, it sets standards in hotel design and service. Of course, being set against the beautiful Om Beach on the foothills of the Western Ghats only adds to it attractiveness.

SwaSwara means the inner voice of the self and, if you allow yourself, you can hear some of it while here. Yes, the yoga and meditation sessions give you a helping hand, but it the environment you are in that really makes a difference.

Morning starts with windchimes playing against the fresh breeze - the music touches you deep within. It is all you hear at that time. And then meditation on a hill facing a vast Arabian Sea in front with the sun rising behind only uplifts you further. I had been bothered with a niggling lower back pain for many days. Meditation enabled me to focus on the energy centres on my lower spine; it allowed me to imagine the deep ocean soothing it and the waves massaging it. I am not exaggerating when I say I got cured. Was it the yoga guru, my meditation (it was the first time I meditated in my life) or the place - or a combination of all? Swaswara can claim credit for bringing it all together.

Here is more on the property:

* Accommodation: If they were selling one of their 24 Konkan villas, I would be the first to buy one. My villa had an air-conditioned bedroom with a room over it with lounge chairs for reading. There is an open to sky courtyard, leading down to a semi covered verandah with work tables and chairs, a coffee and tea making bar, a refrigerator and easy chairs to stretch on. It opened into a man-made lake. The bathroom was open to the sky. Made in a traditional style, the villas have high quality furnishings and fittings and all modern comforts.
* Location: A perfect setting along the Om beach in Gokarna. Accessible by air through Goa (170 kms / 106 miles) or Mangalore (240 kms / 150 miles) airports.
* Activities: Life may seem to move in slow motion at SwaSwara, but there sure is enough to keep you busy. You can practice yoga and meditation - you can choose levels and what kind. Yoga includes gentle or advanced yoga, Laughter yoga, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra and Art yoga. You can also go for Chanting Meditation, Trataka, Mind Sound Resonance Technique, Chakra Meditation or Breath Awareness. You can spend time with the resident artists and create something of your own - using clay, colours or mud. And leave it behind for others to see. A massage at the Ayurveda centre can be a great way to wind down at the end of it all.
* What else can you do? Besides the structured activities, you can take a walk in the ‘kitchen gardens’ of SwaSwara where many a chemical free fruit and vegetable are sourced for your meals. Listen to the birds and spot them too. Lie back on the hammocks with a cool drink and a book, or get involved in a game of kabaddi. Swim in the sea, sunbathe on the Om beach or follow a trail through hilly forests to other beaches around. Join the cooks in the kitchen and learn while you help them prepare a meal.
* Food: Swaswara offers you meals keeping the following in mind: “They say partaking of a diet such as ours helps in the development of ‘prana’ or vital energy and spiritual consciousness, while encouraging the development of the higher qualities of peace, love and humility.” So what does this diet include? Chefs mostly use fruits and vegetables grown on their own farms or in nearby fields, all without the use of chemicals and in clean soil. Their said objectives can be met only when their chefs prepare meals “using natural foods grown in harmony with nature, ripened naturally on good soil and cooked in the right manner, with the right attitude.” The menu may not look like something you are familiar with, and some of your taste buds may raise questions, but you will leave the dining room pleased with what you had.
* Shopping: It is easy to be skeptical of high priced shops in hotels, but the one in Swaswara is different. Reasonably priced, it spoils you for choice and quality of goods. You can shop for toys, clothes, gifts, handicrafts and more - it is very difficult to hold yourself back.
* Service: Impeccable. All staff are soft-spoken, well groomed, and always alert to your needs. They are knowledgeable, friendly and will not give you reasons to fault them.

Swaswara may be a catalyst for you to hear your inner voice, but what you achieve depends on you. They may offer yoga, meditation and art, but it is for you to attend or not. The place has energy, it is for you to use it to uplift your body, soul and mind.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled on business
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13  Thank Kunzum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2011

We spent 6 days in this hotel and were looking forward to going home. First at all I would like to mention, that we have travelled a lot in different parts of India and we have stayed in lovely CGH Earth Experience hotels before (in Spicy Village and Marari Beach) . This year we decided to stay in some hotel not to far away from Goa airport and the most proper for us was SwaSwara, thus we were sure about CGH Earth Experience hotels quality.

The goal of our stay was to relax after 10 days in Radjasthan region in a small, quite and high class hotel next to the beach. We do like to swim in the sea

What we did like: green area, only 24 villas, very nice architecture, villas are just wonderful and cleanliness is a top. Selection of the yoga and meditation classes for all levels.

and what we didn't like at all:

1. Beach area: the hotel has private area next to the public beach, but it was awful! That nice photo on the internet site of the hotel "relaxing in a hammock under the serene coconut palms" in the real life looks completely different. The area looks like some backyard of the farm, where people store their all the trush. There was an old building (may be it was new, but it looked like used-up) with quite a dirty WC and towel storage. Next to the building there was pile of decomposed coconuts. There are some palms, but because the ground was crush-rock ground there doesn't grow any grass (nobody do anything for that) and everything looks very sad. An old beach chairs doesn¨t make a picture better.

There is no service at the beach, you can't order even drinking water (we took it every morning with us from the reception). During the day there are 2 security man looking after the area and doing nothing, but they won't help you with the getting a beach chair or towels... self-service
Once again in Marari Beach everything was completely different: very nice private area next tto the beach, service, very helpful personnel at the beach.

Next to the private beach area there are some fields of the hotel. During our stay there were field works continually going on: first day there people were burning some old grass and the beach area was in a smoke for a many hours, next day we spent in traktor engine noise, when I finally at 3.40 pm called to the reception and explained that actually we stay in this hotel, because it is far away from Goa, it should be quite place for relaxation and meditation and asked them to stop that noise I was told, that the field works will be finnished at 4 pm, thus good news for me, I have to wait only 20 min more! Next day was quite, but on the fields they put a dung and the smell was wonderful. I would say that farm and hotel in the same place isn¨t the best combination if you are not agrotourist.

2. Food: 4 days of poor food and 2 day of good food. Bad food, made by using very cheap ingredients. We love Indian cuisine and we knew that there will be vegetarian food. First 2 days I couldn¨t eat anything else, except a fresh fruites and juices, because of very very bad taste. The lunch and the dinner you can choose only from 2 dishes: vegetarian and non-vegetarian (but both with curry, fortunately we do like curry). The breakfast: Indian or European. Despite the sea is next to the hotel, the fish was tasteless. In the hotel they tell you that they have a creative chef and they use only those ingredients, which are growing in the radius of approx 5 miles of the hotel. That’s fine. In Spicy Village in Periyar, they have quite a similar concept, but the radius is 50 miles. BUT the vegetarian dinner in Spicy Village was just fantastic and in SwaSwara I was eating only because I had to eat something.

They do have a restaurant at the beach used for the dinners, but during our stay there was only 1 dinner, all other times we were in the main building. Pity.

3. Only hotel in India where wasn’t any cultural program at the evening (on the internet site of the hotel they do mention, that they have a different program, like music, dance with participation of the local artist).

4. Ayurveda – so-so

I can’t recommend this hotel to anyone. I know that there are many who liked the place – good for them. I would say that this is a too big price for yoga course and nice villa with cheap tasteless food, bad beach, tractor noise and smell of the dung. At same price there are many other nice quite and quality places in India to stay.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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28  Thank IDMoscow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2010

I spent two weeks at SwaSwara in October of this year. Having never been away by myself before, and having never been as far from home as India, I was terrified before I went, but it turned out to be the best thing I ever did!

SwaSwara is a wonderful place – the villas are so beautiful, luxurious and spacious, the food was always amazing – I felt like I was eating in a top restaurant morning, noon and night (I’m still missing the food now, especially the breakfasts!), the resort is so picturesque and I was surprised at how lush and green it was everywhere (I repeat what others have said, the photos really don’t do SwaSwara justice). I had never tried yoga before I went to SwaSwara and I really got into it – I was so unflexible to begin with, but by my second week, with the encouragement and support of the wonderful yoga teachers I felt I’d really improved and I’ve been carrying on with yoga back in England.

The daily treatments were wonderful and relaxing and I also had a great time doing the early morning nature walk, had fun being shown how to cook some of the recipes in the interactive kitchen and loved the couple of relaxing afternoons I spent in the art gallery (despite me being the most un-artistic person you could ever meet!).

But the thing that really made my holiday to SwaSwara so special, and the reason I’m now saving to go back next year, were the people that worked there. They genuinely are some of the kindest, funniest and most intelligent people I’ve ever met. Being on my own over there, I wasn’t ever lonely for a second – I was always chatting to someone. They really looked after me and have became good friends.

I would highly recommend SwaSwara to anyone. If you’d like to get in touch to ask me anything further about SwaSwara, please feel free.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled solo
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10  Thank LorH2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2010

I went here with my wife who loves yoga, meditation, ayerveda, etc. This review is written from my perspective, a guy in his 30's who doesn't really go in for that, but enjoys massages and chilling out. The resort is very beautiful and our villa was huge with inside and outside parts to it. There is a lovely pool where plenty of people sunbathe, and it is a 5min walk to the evocatively named om beach. Staff are all very helpful and friendly. So far so good.

Where it begins to get weird is that the food is very healthy, so there is no meat, eggs, etc and it is low sugar, salt, etc. There is no choice either, you get what everyone else has. I was fine with this, but after a few days you begin to crave choice.

They also serve no alcohol other than wine. No beer, no gin and tonics, no whisky. Also no coke, sprite, schweppes, etc. This is fine for about 3days, but then begins to get boring. I snuck a big bottle of Tanqueray in with me.

The service is excellent. Sam, Anil and Prince are stars.

This place, is all about the yoga (my wife said it was excellent), the meditation (wife says some good, some odd) and the ayerveda. We had a consultation with an ayerveda doctor who prescribes a course of massages. My wife got the oil in face thing, while I ended up being pummelled with hot oil bolus. Not very indulgent, but therapeutic apparently.

I read other reviews and saw that there is lots of nakedness and showers with massage girls who rub you down. I was looking forward to this, sadly, as I am a guy I had male masseurs. It is weird being naked with him, but you get over it quickly, and you actually need him to wash the gallons of sticky oil off your back.

Oh, forgot to mention, when I arrived I was the only male guest. It is full of girls. A few guys turned up later, but loads of women.

No guy would come here on his own (unless he was looking to pick up single yoga bunnies of which there are many), so if you are reading this and are male, your partner has probably suggested it. You should not fear this place, however take some precautions before you arrive - stock up on beer, spirits, soft drinks and salty snacks before you arrive.

You don't need to do yoga, but some of the meditation was fun. Give it a try. Don't believe the ayurveda mumbo jumbo, just ask the doc for relaxing massages and you will be ok.

I'd probably give this place 4 stars, but I was just accompanying my wife who absolutely LOVED it and she was the target market. What swung it for me was the superb staff.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank Alistairio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about SwaSwara

Address: Om Beach, Donibhail | Gokarna, Gokarna 581326, India
Region: India > Karnataka > Dakshina Kannada District > Gokarna
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Gokarna
Price Range: £215 - £444 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — SwaSwara 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At SwaSwara, which means "My Inner Sound," you can start a journey - to your self. A journey for your mind body and soul. The well being holiday offerings from this CGH Earth Experience include yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, naturopathy, nature walks, art yoga, swimming pool,organic farming &interactive kitchen.SwaSwara is a celebration of simplicity and purity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swaswara Hotel Gokarna

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