Resort review – Aqua Marina Drive Inn, Mandarmoni, West Bengal 

In the last few years, Mandarmoni has turned out to be one of the most favorite destination in Bengal. The distance between Kolkata and Mandarmoni can be covered in 3.5 to 4hours by car. Roads are in good condition. Train options are available till Contai/Ramnagar/Digha and the resort can arrange for a pick up from there.

Trying to avoid the much crowded Digha, people have started moving to the more tranquil and serene Mandarmoni. While the town has ample options for stay and most of them are on or near the beach, Aqua Marina Drive Inn takes the cake away for being not only right on the beach but having rooms that let one view the sea from both the room and balcony.DSC00409

The resort had initially started with the cottages only which are located in the front portion facing the beach. The annex building is the new addition and houses corner sea facing super royal rooms and classic rooms which offer view of the sea from the balcony. Standard non ac rooms are located in the ground floor. Reservation process  is very smooth and can be initiated over mail. The response time is quite fast. Once booked, fifty percent of room tariff needs to be transferred to their account for confirmation of reservation.

Property – The property is beautiful. Other than the magnificent view, it also houses an in-house restaurant, a children’s playground cum sit out place with decks, an area dedicated to pets like rabbits and birds. Car parking is available along with the stay facility for drivers. To reach the sea, one only has to walk down the garden way and there you are on the beach in two minutes flat. During high tides and monsoons, the sea water reaches the boundary walls of the property. For further improvement, the management can start looking at the viability of building an in house swimming pool in future.

Rooms – We stayed in super royal rooms in the second floor(301). Rooms are air conditioned and have all modern amenities like tv, fridge etc. There are two windows in the room, one of which faces the sea. There’s an attached sea facing balcony. During nights, the soothing sound of the sea waves can be clearly heard from the room. The bathrooms are spacious and comfortable. Until March, Mandarmoni hotels ran on generators only since there was no electricity. During the nights, the sound of the generators was a little disturbing for our toddler. This troublesome sound is more audible in ground and first floor rooms.

Restaurant – Restaurant has various food options ranging from Indian to Bengali to Chinese. Their crab curry is finger licking delicious. Chicken items are good, mutton items are decent but fish items like hilsa(ilish)and prawns are the best. The first time that we stayed here was with our 1year 2 month old baby and on request, the chef customized the food option for the baby. During our last visit in March,we received similar facilities. They also have a good range of options for breakfast and evening snacks. Food is tasty, well cooked and hygienic. The portions served, as compared to the pricing is very good. The only thing that the restaurant needs to look into is introducing fresh fruit juices eventually.

Service – The service, compared to many of the other available options nearby, is really great. Room service and house keeping are ever helpful. In our first visit, we had a staff called Bhola and in the last visit, Kamalda who ensured every request of ours was catered to. They really work towards maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in the rooms and the resort. This is definitely a parameter where the resort scores over their competitors.

Pricing – The super royal rooms and ac cottages are priced the highest. Details of tariffs, exclusive of taxes are available on the hotels website. The pricing is only for stay. Compared to the facilities, I would say that there’s good value for money and the options are quite affordable.

Overall – We have been repeatedly staying here because of our satisfaction with the pricing, facilities, service and ambience. Mostly, one would find families and newly married couples staying in the resort. While there’s nothing extraordinarily fabulous about this place, the fact that they have managed to maintain a good standard in every aspect of hospitality consistently is what makes them stand apart. In a nutshell,an amazing view, good and tasty food, friendly and courteous staffs is what makes the resort as one of the best options to stay in Mandarmoni .

Room tips – Cottages are good but if the preference tilts towards waking up to a gorgeous view of the sun and sea from the bed, super royal rooms are the best choice. Room numbers 201 and 208 on the first floor, 301 and 308 on the second floor are the ones to choose from.

Rating – Very good

Visited – March 2017 with family

Website link-

http://aquamarina.in/

Link to the review on trip advisor is:

https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g1584828-d2546339-r536110394-Aqua_Marina_Drive_Inn-Mandarmoni_East_Midnapore_District_West_Bengal.html

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Post graduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my two and half year old toddler son What is this blog about ? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

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