Resort review: RVR Sarovar Portico in Dindi is all about pristine backwaters, luxurious rooms and adventure activities
Reaching Dindi is not easy or comforting. It is a long drive from the nearest Rajahmundry airport (80 km) in Andhra Pradesh. However, once you cross the highway and enter the narrow roads of Coastal Andhra, locally called Konaseema, you’re sure to forget about the tiring journey. The lush green fields of coconut and paddy on both sides of the road accompany you throughout your two-hour-long drive to RVR Sarovar Portico.
A slice of tropical heaven, Dindi lies in the intersection of river Godavari and the Bay of Bengal. With its coconut plantations, serene backwaters and vast lakes, this town has become a new favourite among tourists, especially from the Telugu states.
Nestled in the lap of nature, Sarovar’s latest property in Andhra Pradesh is all about celebrating heritage while offering a comfortable stay with modern amenities. Right at the entrance, you notice that the wide and airy reception is an ode to traditional homes in Konaseema — a stilt roof, wooden pillars, cane chairs, concrete flooring and lamps made of bamboo. We later learn that some of the furniture was sourced from age-old homes in and around the town to give the space an authentic feel. Staying true to this theme, the rest of the plush hotel is also designed keeping in mind the local landscape.
Just as we enter, I am welcomed with fresh coconut water, which is perfect for travel-weary folks. After a quick check-in, I’m guided to my pond facing premium room with a balcony, which is my home for the next three days. The room is elegantly designed with shades of green and orange — the colours of a riverside town. The aesthetically furnished room has a comfortable king-size bed, television, fresh fruits and a balcony that opens to the man-made pond filled with lotuses. Apart from premium, the resort has deluxe and suites — a total of 50 rooms.
Before I settle down for dinner, we meet general manager Tulasiram, who takes us on a property tour. It was the right time to take a walk around the resort, as one can capture the breathtaking sunset on Godavari. If you happen to be there with your partner, we suggest you check out the candle night dinner that can be set-up by the riverside. You can also spend your evenings in the pool, which is situated at the bank of the river.
While this might be one of the most beautiful spots in the resort, there are quite a few beautiful man-made ponds, which is home to a variety of flowers like lotus and lily —some of which, they claim, grow only in their property. One of the ponds is situated in the centre of the hotel with every room opening to a picturesque view.
Apart from the rooms, Sarovar also has three cottages that are perfect for family vacations. “Our customer base is wide — some of them are locals who drop by for a weekend, while a few foreigners stay for as long as a fortnight. Keeping that in mind, we have made sure to offer facilities that accommodate both groups with local influences and modern facilities,” says Tulasiram.
The all-day diner, Flavours, is where I go next for a quick meal. Although the menu consists of global cuisine, it’s the local dishes like Prawn Biryani or Kodi Vepudu that one must not miss trying. I settled with piping hot Tomato Pappu (lentils), Annam (rice) with ghee and Bangaladumpa Fry (potato fry). For breakfast, one can pick from a lavish spread of sausages, eggs, dosas and upma, among others. Pottikkalu — local tiffin made of idli batter in jackfruit leaves — is a must-try. While the brekkie was on point, the local vegetarian dishes could’ve been more authentic.
Spa for the soul
If you’re at RVR Sarovar Portico for a relaxing weekend, a spa session is highly recommended. One can pick from a range of options including Ayurvedic massages at the newly set-up spa. That apart, the resort also has a dedicated adventure zone with fun activities like archery and rope climbing, among others. There’s an indoor gaming zone with video games and table tennis for kids, and a well-maintained gym for fitness freaks.
Whether you’re looking for a vacation where you can pamper yourself or one with activities and touristy plans, RVR Sarovar Portico offers both, giving you a break from the hustle-and-bustle of the city life.
Antervedi beach and lighthouse
A 40-minute drive from the resort is the stunning Antervedi beach, which is where the Godavari merges into the Bay of Bengal. Unlike a lot of other nearby beaches, this one is less populated and one of the cleanest. Also, look out for the lighthouse and the huge rock that is said to resemble Shiva’s Nandi. A short walk from the beach is the 15th Century Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple, known for its history and architecture. One can enjoy boating during sunset and spot some red crabs on the shore as well.
Experience the sari-making process at Bandarulanka, where saris are handwoven by local villagers. An age-old practice here, many families have been continuing this profession from generations. From cotton to pattu (silk), you can watch them weave it all. Don’t miss picking a box of Putharekulu (local delicacy wrapped in a wafer-thin rice starch layer resembling paper and stuffed with jaggery, ghee and dry fruits) and chikki made of cashew nuts and jaggery.
One of the largest nursery villages in the country, this one offers a range of plants from Bonsais to xerophytic and hydrophytic varieties.
Prices start at INR 5,500 ++ for a deluxe room.
(The writer was at RVR Sarovar Portico Dindi by invitation.)