Taj Fishermans Cove, on Covelong Beach in Kancheepuram District south of Chennai, only had 90 minutes’ notice, or should one say warning, of the gal’s arrival, but miraculously GM Souvik Bhattacharya, despite a full house, managed to find not only a room but the best place at this rare luxury hotel. Villa 34, one of ten beach-set villas a few feet from the pristine sand and the Bay of Bengal, was ready and waiting, complete with a bright pink Cosmic bicycle. After a welcome of fresh juice, and whole coconuts, it was a relief to unwind, and appreciate having unexpected time back here.
This resort is rare in that it is so tranquil. Some come from the bustle of Chennai merely to do nothing. Some laze by the pools. Others swing on the wood hammocks outside each circular villa (these have totally private outdoor showers). Those who, like me, are in the rectangular villas right on the beach have tree-hung hammocks, and loungers facing the sea. I wandered along to Bay View lunch restaurant, right on the beach, and once again was amused by the crow-scarer, who always reminds me of his colleague at Taj Lake Palace Udaipur – that crow-scarer has a nonstop job on his hands there as Udaipur seems to have twice as many birds as humans.
It is always great to see improvements and eating here at Taj Fishermans Cove is a delight. At lunch I revelled in Bay View’s catches of the day, a starter of prawns, and calamari, prepared plain or local South Indian style, with spice, and then it had to be grilled seabass, ideally on crisp salad. At dinner we ate at Upper Deck, which is on a hillock about six feet above main ground level. An origami-look white awning overhead replaces ‘walls and ceilings’. Comfortable directors’ chairs, canvas and environmentally-friendly farmed palm wood, have, like tables and the slatted-wood deck, been designed by the hotel’s owner, Pramod Ranjan, and made in his company’s furniture workshop nearby.
For those who are not into lazing and-or eating and drinking, what else is there to do at this stress-free luxury resort? Well, there is a gym, and you can play cricket on the adjacent field. Walk the beach, swim in the sea or pools, and learn or perfect surfing at the surf school about a mile away. Yes, surfers worldwide should take note: the fifth Covelong Point Surf, Music and Yoga Festival takes place here August 25-27, 2011, so enthusiasts should book at Taj Fishermans Cove. And ideally, of course, take one of the beach-set villas. See the video below to see what Villa 34 looks like, though the video does not show the thoughtfulness of putting out a whole spread, with six alternatives, of bath oils and salts (I got some oil, stupidly, on the front of my one T-shirt and laundry got it back, immaculate and in a fabric hanger, within a couple of hours). NOW SEE A VIDEO OF MY VILLA