While most of the island nations are still not easily accessible for Indian travelers, besides Maldives, Thailand and Sri Lanka, it’s high time we explore the gorgeous beaches of India. South India boasts of some of the most stunning beach towns that are still quite raw, secluded and have an unparalleled, untamed and untouched beauty that surrounds them. So if you’re looking for an undisturbed yet affordable beach holiday, then Bheemili is where you should be headed to.
There’s always a certain sense of serenity and calmness that you feel when you’re in a beach city. One such beach place in Andhra Pradesh is The Bheemili Resort. The Bheemili Resort managed by Accor Hotels is right opposite the Bheemili beach. Only 25 kilometres driving distance North-East of Visakhapatnam, the resort houses 28 exotic sea facing rooms that overlook the scenic Bay of Bengal. Each of the beach facing rooms offer uninterrupted views and come with unmatched resort amenities. The exquisitely designed rooms offer breathtaking views of the sea. The spacious rooms are inspired by a stylish fusion between contemporary and local splendour at its best. There’s also a private balcony sit out area in all these sea facing rooms. I spent many hours here with a cup of coffee watching the waves, listening to the surf and watching the sunrise. There’s so much comfort in the rhythm of the sea. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore strangely is one of the most relaxing sounds on the earth.
The resort features a selection of food and dining outlets at The Square, an all-day dining restaurant for alfresco area for coffee breaks, lavish breakfast spread and cocktail dinners, Infinity, an outdoor rooftop poolside diner and Teppanyaki, the first Japanese live barbeque and grill restaurant in Andhra Pradesh. Chef P Upendra displays his live teppanyaki skills and it is indeed a delight to watch him in action. Head chef Ravi Kiran is one of the most affable and friendly chefs I’ve met. He’s always around and ready to whip up anything of your choice any time of the day. I tried some of his local Andhra seafood and fish specials and was very impressed with his culinary skills. He also took me on a hotel farm tour behind the property, where they grow their own vegetables and herbs.
If you’re in the mood for a sundowner tipple, Water Bay for a good selection of alcoholic beverages and view of the Bay of Bengal in front is where you should park yourself. The entire seating area at the Water Bar will give you the seemingly endless sea view in front. Ask for innovative cocktails or order your classic Martini, Daiquiri or Sangria.
Recreational facilities include a rooftop infinity pool, the first for any resort or hotel along India’s East coast and a spa for pampering facial and Ayurvedic massage treatments. You can also pick up a cycle from the hotel and cycle around the property with beach on one side and trees, churches and some buildings on the other. Or you can watch a movie of your choice in the mini theatre inside the hotel. For outdoor team building activities or social events, the resort is surrounded by five acres of outdoor space perfect for corporate weekend retreats.
Things to do in Bheemili: If you’re a water baby you can try some water adventure sports like Scuba Diving, Sea Kayak or Snorkeling. If you’re a fitness and nature lover you can indulge in some land adventures like Trekking, Rock Climbing or even Ziplining. Take the tourist route and spend an entire day for sight-seeing. The small town is culturally enriching and you can get a quaint experience with plenty of local attractions nearby. The Bheemili beach opposite the Bheemili Resort has a few Instagram friendly attractions like the Bheemili name installation, St. Peter’s Church or the Red Church, a few magnificent structures of pretty mermaids and some monks in meditative posture, a Dutch cemetery, Clock tower, Narasimha Swamy Temple and the Lighthouse.
Perched right in front of the popular Varun beach, Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach hotel is where you can get completely spoilt and pampered to the fullest. Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach is among the only hotels in Visakhapatnam near a beach. The hotel offers calming views of the sea from every nook and corner. This 5-star seafront luxury hotel is charming with contemporary design elements all across. Walk into the lobby with Sugarr, a cake shop and The Square, an all-day diner on one side and the reception waiting area on the other.
Take the elevator to your room. The spacious rooms offer a calm haven with large picture windows that open up to a spectacular view of the Bay of Bengal. The soft colour palette in the room lends a relaxing vibe. The comfy, cozy and snug bed was so inviting that I slept like a baby all through the night and shamelessly took a siesta after my lunch as well.
After all the beauty sleep, it was time to rise and shine with a dip in the infinity pool followed by a breakfast with an ocean backdrop at the lavish Indian and Western buffet at The Square. Energised from the tucking in at the largest buffet spread in the city, I took a property tour that left me further impressed. The hotel is centrally located so I decided to head out for a bit of the city tour before lunch.
Things to do: The port city Visakhapatnam is also known as The City of Destiny owing to its landscapic view and attractive beaches. The hotel shares a close proximity with the city railway station, Rushikonda Beach, Vizag Port and major hospitals. The popular Submarine Museum is just a walk away. I visited the museum and also took a drive to the Rushikonda beach. Don’t miss a quick visit to Kailashgiri as well. Life-size statues of Lord Shiva and Parvathi on top of the hill overlooking a beach is a mesmerising sight. I was back soon for a royal Indian lunch at Zaffran at Novotel and to soak in the comforts of the hotel. The hotel’s city centre location makes it approachable from industrial and business hubs. Novotel Vizag has an INOX multiplex, night club and a mall next door.
Drinks and Dining Options: Zaffran seemed to be quite popular with the local ladies as most of the tables here were occupied with eager diners. My lunch was Mutton curry and Kheema parathas which was sleep inducing delicious. We ended on a sweet with some very innovative and delectable Palak halwa.
My evening was reserved for a sundowner at Vue, the Bar on one night and at Infinity Bar & Kitchen on the second night. Both the places were equally charismatic. Vue is designed like a ship and has a live singer on most of the weekdays. I tried their Khow Suey and some interesting gin cocktails. I loved Infinity rooftop eatery & bar bay for its views, kebabs and other grilled fare over a live belly dance performance by an in-house Russian lady. After a fun night under the starlit sky at this terrace bar, it was time to head back to my room. I was looking forward to waking upto sea views the next morning and what a gorgeous view it was indeed.
Weddings and conferences: The hotel boasts of one of the largest banquet facilities in the country. It can host 4500 guests at one time.
How to reach: Flights that land at the Vizag airport are well connected to most of the city airports in the South. You can also drive down to Vizag from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Access to the Bheemili resort from the Vizag airport is dotted by one of the world’s most picturesque marine drives and is within relative proximity to the city’s airport and railway station (42 kilometres and 33 kilometres respectively). The distance from the Vizag airport to Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beach is 15 kms and takes around half an hour.