Where To Stay
Vengurla has only a few stay options, one reason why it isn’t crowded as yet. Options close to the sea include tented resorts, a few functional lodges and homestays, as permanent structures cannot come up under Coastal Regulation Zone norms. Credit cards are not accepted at most of these places.
Some locals let out rooms to tourists, and shopkeepers in the main market or around the ST Bus Stand should be able to guide you to their houses. Also, do remember that power-cuts are common in the Sindhudurg region. Check with locals for timings and charge your cell phones and digital cameras accordingly.
On Sagareshwar Beach
The secluded MTDC Tent Resort (Mobile: 09423859750, 09423880986; Tariff: Rs 500-700), on Sagareshwar Beach, has 10 fibreglass huts with double beds. Though they don’t look pretty from the outside, the huts have comfortable interiors. The best feature here is a sliding glass door that opens to give you a framed view of the crashing waves from your bed. It does not have an attached restaurant. Orders for food (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) can be placed at the Sagareshwar Corner just down the sandy slope ahead of the entrance. The huts that are located right on the beach have spectacular views but tend to get warmer than the others at noon.
Perched on a rocky outcrop, a stone’s throw from Vengurla Jetty, is the PWD guest house Sagar (Tel: 02366-262411; Tariff: Rs 200) facing the sea, with one VIP and two ordinary rooms. The clean airy rooms have a reception area and an inner room, and food is served in the room if you inform the caretaker at least 2 hrs in advance. The USP of this place is the amazing view of the sea, right up to the horizon. Do note that it is compulsory to make reservations at the PWD head office (Tel: 02363-272214) at Moti Talao, Sawantwadi. You have to collect a pass from this office before proceeding to Vengurla. Though the rules dictate that it’s only for PWD or government employees, one can make a special request at the Sawantwadi office. For government employees, the rooms cost just Rs 20.
In Vengurla Town
Hotel Laukik (Tel: 263418; Mobile: 09423300972; Tariff: Rs 350-650), near Vengurla Market, has 8 rooms, one of them AC. The rooms and bathrooms are fairly clean. It has an attached restaurant that serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. While the prawn biryani has many takers, the Punjabi dosa seems suspect.
The sea-facing Sea View Hotel (Tel: 262193, 263614; Tariff Rs 200-300), near the jetty, is small and a bit dingy. It has 5 not very clean rooms, and provides hot water on request. Samir (Tel: 262112; Tariff: Rs 200), near the Fruit Research Centre in the Camp area, is a PWD property with 2 clean rooms. Reservations have to be made at the PWD head office (Tel: 02363-272214) at Sawantwadi. Don’t forget to collect your pass from this office before heading to Vengurla. You can get some good food if you order in advance.
On Sagarteerth Beach
The Sagarteerth Beach Resort (Tel: 227456; Mobile: 09822133231; Tariff: Rs 300-400) on the beach is quite basic. It has 16 thatched huts with attached baths and 6 tents, which are a bit tattered, all with common baths. Bathrooms are a bit dingy, but clean. Hot water is available on request and vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is prepared in a small kitchen. Tents are not available in the monsoon.
On Velagar Beach
The best option on the beach is the Dolphin Bay Beach Resort (Tel: 227529; Tariff: Rs 350-1,000), which has 5 tents and 2 thatched huts with common baths. Another 2 bamboo huts come with attached baths. They have well-furnished, clean air-conditioned rooms as well. The resort has a pretty, open canopy restaurant that serves Malvani, Goan and other Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Hot water is available on request. They organise dolphin-spotting boat rides (Rs 700 for a group of 10 people), and arrange transportation and campfires on request. Tents are not available in the monsoon.
Silver Sands-Kothari Beach Resort (Tel: 227987; Tariff: Rs 400-550) has 8 rooms, 6 of which have attached baths. The rooms are basic but clean and airy. It also has an open canopy on a dune acting as a cafeteria area. They serve the regional Malvani cuisine, provide hot water on request, and arrange dolphin-sighting trips (Rs 700 for a group of 10 people). They also make transport arrangements.
Paulo’s Green Garden Resorts (Mobile: 09869869470; Tariff: Rs 300-500) is all of 4 thatched huts with cemented floors. Though clean, the huts are tiny and cramped. The attached baths are clean. It has a garden restaurant and hot water is available on request. It’s a bit of a walk from the beach and should only be your last option.
Where to stay and eat In Sawantwadi
Sawantwadi has a few good hotels in the mid-range and budget categories and one new hotel in the luxury category. Hotel Mango (Tel: 02363-271048; Tariff: Rs 800-2,500), with its contemporary décor, does Sawantwadi proud. A new 3-star hotel, it’s located in the centre of town on the Main Road, and has 26 beautiful rooms ranging from standard to Presidential suite. It offers a travel desk, room service, a gym and a multi-cuisine restaurant.
With a view of Moti Talao, the Tourist Reception Centre (Tel: 271398; Tariff: Rs 800-1,500) is a good value-for-money option run by Hotel Mango’s management. Hotel Tara Central (Tel: 272923; Tariff: Rs 320-520), in the main town at Gandhi Chowk, has 14 rooms that aren’t clean. The hotel has a restaurant and a permit room. Konkan Crown Fun-O-Tel Central (Tel: 258555; Tariff: Rs 850-3,000) has a swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar and a children’s park. The 24-hr Food Fiesta restaurant here serves Konkani food. The rooms just about pass muster but the bathrooms score even less.
Crazy Restaurant and Ajanta offer fish and chicken dishes, while Bharat Mata and Visawa serve a decent vegetarian thali for Rs 30. All these restaurants are located near the intersection of Main Road and College Road.
Sawantwadi Connection Buses ply between Sawantwadi and Vengurla, via Math and Tulas, from 6 am to 8.30 pm. You can also take an auto (fare Rs 250). Six-seaters ply from Sawantwadi Town to Sawantwadi Station (Rs 15-30 depending on the number of passengers)