Namaste Cafe, Gokarna – overlooking OM Beach

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Namaste Cafe Entrance

Namaste Cafe Entrance

About Gokarna – An ancient beach town in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, Gokarna has great religious significance as well. The town has 5 beaches – Gokarna, Kudle, OM, Half Moon and Paradise – in that order and with hills between the beaches. As such, it offers extremely good opportunity for beach treks. None of these beach treks surpass 30 minutes duration and provide exotic views of the sea from the hillocks. World seems to have stopped when you are here – beach hop, lay on the beach, jog, walk, eat at beach cafes, buy, drink, dance, write – do whatever but don’t rush. This is a place that rewards laziness. And yes, it is one of the very few places in India (other than Goa of course!) where you can find bikini babes – and that too in good numbers. All these make Gokarna a great two day weekend getaway from Bangalore, Goa, Mumbai and Pune during Oct-Mar.

About Namaste Cafe – Lies on the shore of OM Beach. In fact it lies so close, you would feel OM Beach is the private beach of Namaste Cafe. Ph – 08386 – 257141, Address – Near Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka – 581326

Namaste Cafe from Om beach

Namaste Cafe from Om beach

Rates: Range is INR 150-600 for double occupation. Mind you, I’m talking on Oct 2008.

Services: You wouldn’t need much for your room. But you would spend quite some time at the restaurant – eating, drinking, smoking, talking or just, passing time looking at the sea and people around. At the restaurant, service is prompt and accurate.

Best Experience: The cafe lies just on the shore of OM beach. This takes away all the distractions that you may have while on a beach vacation. Just leave your room and hop on to OM Beach – jog, walk, just lay lazy, write, observer the sea and people, sit atop the rocks at the beach. Also, you can beach trek from beach to another.

Worst Experience: The room was stuffy and the bed-sheet dirty. But this was inconsequential given the advantages.

From Namaste Cafe Balcony

From Namaste Cafe Balcony

Summary: The location of the cafe is the best part – overlooking OM beach. Thus, you can have your breakfast, lunch and dinner and simultaneously watching the sea and people around. The cool breeze, the sound of the sea, the lingo of the people around you and of course, the little shop selling beach wares and accessories makes it a perfect place to spend time. The only catch, small rooms.

Tips & Tricks

  1. The room was really small and the bed-sheet dirty. So, bring a bed-sheet with you in case you want to sleep on a clean one.
  2. You may need a mosquito repellent. I didn’t need one though. But then, better safe than sorry.
  3. Take the rooms in the first floor – you’d spend a quality time on the balcony.
  4. Try the Continental food at the cafe – the price, taste and ambience is a good bargain.
  5. Have heavy breakfast at the cafe – the sea view with the breeze caressing your ears and hairs is a charming experience

Further Reading:

My review at HolidayIQ, Namaste Cafe @ Flickr,

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Murudeshwar Guest House: sea facing stay for the budget traveller

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About Murudeshwara: Murudeshwara (also called Mrudeshwar, Murudeshwar, Mrudeshwara) has a religious significance, supposedly from Ramayana times. A sylvan beach by the temple, some beach-side eateries, beach activities (boat ride, snorkeling, banana ride, diving, eating fish fry etc – no bikini beach tan though), an island (Netrani) and some shopping (items made of local root) pretty much sums up the place. Ans yes, the name ‘RN Shetty’ reverberates everywhere you go in this town. A good weekend getaway from Bangalore during Oct-Feb.

Inside Room

Inside Room

About Murudeshwar Guest House: Also called RNS Guest House, the hotel is a part of Naveen Group of Hotels. RNS Group has a good portfolio of hotels in the place – Murudeshwar Guest House (08385-268990, INR 650 for a double bedroom) , RNS Residency (268901-03, INR 1100 onwards)and Naveen Beach Resort(260415, INR 1700 onwards). The group also owns a sea-side restaurant – Naveen Beach Restaurant which serves only vegetarian food. Murudeshwar Guest House has around 50 sea facing rooms with balcony that opens up with the view of waves lashing on rocks on one side, coastal life (fishermen, their boats, huts and families) on the second and meeting the horizon on the third. A beautiful landscape awaits you while you enter and leave the guest house. From the corridor you can see the Shiva Statue, the Gopuram and the sea.

Through the Window

Through the Window

Location: Almost 3 km from the Murudeshwar town entrance gate (on NH17). An auto from this gate charges INR 25 to reach the guest house. The guest house is located at a very convenient location with everything that is worth a watch in Murudeshwar in its vicinity – beach, Temple, Gopuram, Shiva statue, local market and beach activities center.

Gopuram-from the Balcony

Gopuram-from the Balcony

Rates: A double bedroom costs INR 650. Since it doesn’t serve food and beverages, so don’t expect any other expenditure.

Services: I had an 1-day trip to Murudeshwar. So, didn’t had much of a chance to experience or use any of the services of the guest house. But, checki-in and check-out were quick and there was no other requests for tip etc from the guest house staff.

From the Balcony

From the Balcony

Room Quality: A cupboard, double-bed, two chairs, a TV, a stand, an attached batch and a balcony. People staying at the rooms at any corner of the building are lucky since they get a double-sized sea facing balcony. Sit there on your chairs in the morning for a splendid view of the sea and the fishing boats; and in the night for the cool breeze.

Hygiene: Not much to speak of. But manageable.
I disliked: Hotel folks suggested not to keep the balcony door open during night – insects might enter the room. We kept it open for some time, but didn’t find any insect. Further, the bathroom could have been maintained better.

Entrance View

Entrance View

Others: The stretch from the reception to your room is spectacular. Being situated on a hillock, you’ll have to traverse a good 100m. On this stretch lies the Shiva statue, the Ratha and some other statues making it a ‘Mythological Park’. The view of the town from this place is probably the best you can have at Murudeshwar.

Value for Money: In INR 650, there is nothing more you could expect.
Summary: Ideal for families, budget honeymoon couples, lone and group travellers and vacationers.

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