It’s time to talk about the Flying Elephant Lodges, Havelock. Apologies for the delay in posts, things have been a bit hectic here at the Great Ambini. We have moved to Manchester and I have got a new job, which limited my time for writing. I also got a little writer’s block and didn’t know what I wanted to write about next. There will be lots of new UK content, but for now, I am completing my stories from India.
When we booked our flights to the Andaman Islands, we had no idea where we wanted to stay. I looked up the islands and Havelock seemed to be a place that came recommended. After looking up how to get there, we then had to decide where we wanted to stay.
There are a lot of options that you could consider on Havelock Island, we looked at many places and then decided on the criteria. We wanted to stay somewhere near the beach, in the forest or with nice views and that was a bit remote. The two of us love a bargain too, so it needed to be a reasonable price.
Flying Elephant lodges completed all of these criteria. We stayed in a lodge, that was basic, in a rice paddy field, surrounded by trees and only 100 metres from the beach. It was perfect!
We booked via Airbnb and the whole process was smooth.
To get there we paid about 250 Rs to get from one end of the island to the other (it took about 20 minutes in an auto). He became our driver for the whole trip and we paid him generously throughout!
The facilities at Flying Elephant Lodge
This was basic accommodation. There is no denying that. It was somewhere that was not full of luxury and that was fine. We were keen to experience life on the island as best we could.
There are 12 cabins I believe of varying sizes as Flying elephant lodge, Havelock. We were in the middle lodge. The layout is a small porch, with a seat, lamp and open space. We then went into the main bedroom, which had a large bed and to the side, there was a basic bathroom. The bathroom was a little exposed in the shower and hot water was limited to certain hours per day.
There was a ceiling fan, mosquito net and electric sockets too.
We actually never got hot water, but it was hot on the island so we were quite content to cool off in the shower.
The whole place was made of bamboo! You could see through it in places which I found really entertaining, but if you were easily afraid it might not be for you!
I loved how peaceful this place was. It was the main draw, the beach itself was often a little busy but as soon as you walked up to flying elephant lodge – you were at peace. I felt instantly calmed by this place.
We really enjoyed how it felt like we were the only people there most of the time and how calming the jungle was to our mental health. There was no wifi, no phone signal and it felt the best place to switch off from the world.
Praveen was a superstar. He made sure everything went well for us for our trip, suggesting places to go and letting us hire his moped. (He even gave us his helmets) Through him, we booked our nighttime kayaking and snorkelling experience at Elephant beach.
He was so helpful each day with our food and when the island ran out of cash. We were able to borrow money from him and pay it back when we got back to Chennai (That is a whole story in itself).
Our whole experience was shaped by him and the rest of the staff, we really loved our time there and although sometimes it would be difficult to find the staff – they really did care about you.
We ended up eating at the restaurant at the Flying Elephant Lodge every night. It was close by, convenient and also we could set up a tab there – as we had no cash and the atm on the island needed restocking.
We enjoyed some of the meals we had there, especially a lot of the North Indian dishes – although the portion sizes were huge. Some of the Chinese food wasn’t as tasty but we were normally shattered and very hungry by this time.
Breakfast was served there too, which was included in our price. We got either pancakes, french toast or omelettes, with coffee and some other bits. It was nice to have some food included in the tab and the waiters were all very attentive.
The restaurant was about 100 metres up the road which took us a while to find the first time and often needed us to use our torches to find our way back.
There was limited lighting when walking around night and you had to go across stepping stones to make it to the lodges. We often encountered frogs, but I found that fun and exciting.
The staff were so helpful and really made the place, I enjoyed the food on offer and it was an experience I will never forget. It was a lovely break away from nature, I can imagine it would be most people’s idea of hell.
However, we both loved the place and for £82 for 3 nights – it was a bargain!
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