Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Club Mahindra Zest Big Beach Resort - Pondicherry

This place is 2.5 km off the Highway, Cuddalore road which is the added advantage. As soon as you take the turn, your life will change for a while as there is no traffic and honking. Just to give you the idea, one can see the dogs sleeping in the middle of the road without any worries. And that is what sets it apart. If you are coming from Pondicherry, you have to take a left turn just after the Vels restaurant or just before the Mahatma Gandhi hospital. But don’t worry about it; Zest has put enough no. of board to direct you. Even it is written at police barricades to control the traffic. I don’t think locating this property is a challenge. 

On Our route to Zest Resort


As soon as we entered, there was 1 lady who welcomed us with welcome drink and tilak. After that, we showed the booking voucher at the reception and the checkin process was quite smooth. Reception area is quite big and beautiful and right across the huge open lawn, there is sea and thus one is welcome by the cold soothing breeze from the sea.




Reception area

We asked for a room on 1st floor and the request was readily welcomed. Coracle boat shaped sofas at reception are very comfortable. We were already impressed by the staff and the property.Then 1 lady accompanied us to our room as it was quite far away. She gave us brief overview about the resort, showed us to recreation room and makes us familiar with other places of resort like library etc.

My room 216
On our way to room

As soon as we entered in room, I was flabbergasted by its striking beauty It was surrounded by large trees from all the sides such that if you sit in balcony, you will feel like you are sitting alone somewhere in Jungle specially during night time. 

View from our room

Sea was visible from the corner of the balcony. The best thing is that the wall opposite to bed was made of glass and thus offers a good view while you are trying to sleep or when you are resting. Also, as it was surrounded by trees, so there is no question of someone gazing into your room. This point is valid with only some of the rooms. In other rooms, you have to use curtain to maintain your privacy during night time, however during day time, you can use 1 translucent curtain which will allow you to view the nature and at the same time, prevent someone from outside to look into it. This translucent white colored curtain however will not help you in night because of some laws of physics, refractions and reflections. 
Surprised by this beautiful creation by Housekeeping using towels

 Rooms are provided with all the basic amenities. Room service was good and turnaround time was really quick. There were 2 chairs, 1 sofa and 1 lounge chair; however there was no table and so most of the time; sofa was filled with clothes and other stuff that we carried. Bathroom was good however bathing and the restroom area was separated by only glass. Putting a dark curtain between them will be a good option as I have seen in many other resorts. 


If we talk about food, Buffet charges are 500 for members and 715 for non-members excluding taxes bit on a higher side. However, the spread was really impressive with plenty of options for vegeterians and non vegetarians. It reminds me of Barbeque nation which is known for its Buffet across India.I will recommend you to have buffet at least once. Food service in room is quite expensive.

Swimming Pool during evening time
Alcohol is also available but there were only premium whisky brands matching to the standards of the property. Main Bar is near the dining area and 1 small bar is also available adjoining the swimming pool to give you a liberty of enjoying the drinks in pool.

Swimming pool is well maintained and looks ultimate during night times. Swimming costumes are also available for purchase. The maximum depth is 4ft only so it is safe for children. 

 
If I talk about entertainment piece of it, there is no dearth of the activities. All the indoor and outdoor games are there. There is cricket ground, basketball court, volleyball court, badminton, table tennis, carom board, striker, Xbox 360, chess. Some people were also flying kite there. There was library, cyber cafe, CD/DVDs available. At one of the counter, there was provision for making Tatto, portrait and Mehandi like we find in malls. There is also mini Spa.

Bicycle is also available on rent to take tour of the village. 


Not only this, everyday lot of activities are arranged by Club Mahindra that will keep you engaged like nature walk, games, painting, bonfire  etc. This place offers a lot of things for children. During evening, they play a DJ till 9:30 and opened the dance floor.Even our room was far away from the DJ point, the songs were audible and this can be discomfort for some of the people especially elderly.

And Yes, The Zest Big Beach is the USP (Unique selling proposition) of this property. This is one of the best beach I have ever seen. It was very clean.

There are no water sports available here and I like this very much because that necessarily adds to chaos and disturb the peace and pace of the place. 
On our way to Zest Big beach. This is inside Club Mahindra property



While returning from the beach, I had a small conversation with the guard there who told me how the tsunami of 26th Dec, 2004 ravaged the beach and washed away the dancing hall of the Club along with many other things. It takes 1 year to renovate the resort. The water has reached the reception. You can appreciate the seriousness once you are in the resort. He also educates us about the fact that how it inflicted severe damage on mangrove and coral reefs, forests along the Coromandel coast. He also shared how he survived. It was an interesting conversation. His love for environment was impressive even when he faced such a huge calamity. Let me come back to the point.
Reception area captured from other end





My stay in resort was hosted by Club Mahindra and I definitely recommend this place to one and all because it has something great to offer to everyone. And also, it will add value to your Pondicherry trip by exposing you to local and offbeat piece of Pondicherry and surrounding villages. 

Go there, unwind yourself, feel closer to nature, and disconnect yourself to connect with yourself.
 
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2 comments:

yash said...

Hey really great post. Seeing your pictures and experiences, i will also consider taking club Mahindra membership.Have you visited their any other resort. I heard that they have some really cool properties in Rajasthan and Kerala

Rachit Aggarwal said...

Thanks Yash.

I have not visited any other resort of Club Mahindra but yes they are very good and premium properties of the Club Mahindra. For more details, Please check their website: http://www.clubmahindra.com/

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