In April, leading Asian hotel group Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris puts the Andaman on the map with the opening of its first luxury resort on the archipelago. Located on Havelock Island, on the crescent shaped Radnanagar Beach, it creates a benchmark on this relatively undiscovered destination.
The new development is located within 46 acres of jungle with vast mangroves, a fragile ecosystem that requires careful preservation from the developer and its team of designers and experts. They constructed a world-class 72-villa resort with pitch-roofed stilted huts in the style of the indigenous Jawara tribe.
Not a single tree has been felled during the construction of the resort; the surrounding mangroves and thicket of coconut and Areca nut trees have been incorporated into the resort’s design.
An onsite bottling plant, waste disposal system, and a sanitation treatment plant for water purification have been set up. Additional green initiatives include solar energy panels for generating electricity to further reduce the consumption of diesel.
A naturalist who will work closely with local NGOs and authorities on the preservation of the marine life and the natural environment will be staying on the site to look after the abundant bird life – over 270 species have been sighted on the archipelago – and talk to guests about the area and the efforts towards its preservation.
Havelock Island is renowned for its dive sites, and Taj can offer interesting destination experiences including underwater photography, kayaking through the mangroves, diving through the rich marine life, or just relaxing and taking in the stunning views of the Radhanagar and Elephant beaches.
The new resort is also home to a Jiva Spa and three restaurants, each of which tells the islanders’ story – including the Indian freedom fighters incarcerated by the British in the 19th century in the notorious Cellular Jail, and the brief occupation by the Japanese during World War II.
The Settlers fine dining restaurant uses home grown ingredients to create innovative modern dishes rooted in the flavors of Southeast Asian, Tamil, Keralan, and Bengali cuisines. The speciality restaurant Shoreline offers coastal curries and fishes from the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
For international comfort food, the Turtle House offers global grills and a selection of Taj signature dishes curated by the chefs at the Leading Taj Hotels.
New flight links from Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore makes this new beach destination an even more accessible part of an exclusive Taj itinerary.
Prices start from INR25,000 per night excluding taxes (approximately S$497 per night). More information is available at www.tajhotels.com.