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A holiday on May 1 opened up a possibility of a 4-day long weekend, if I could apply for a day's leave at office. I had to plan something for this weekend since it had been a long time since either me, or my wife had a break from office work. And since it was school holiday season, even my kid could use a vacation. The high level plan was to visit coastal Karnataka (off season, less crowds) and Gokarna, Murudeshwara were high on the list. We had even found hotels which we could book near Gokarna and made a list of places we could visit during our stay there. While we were in this planning phase, a friend of mine casually suggested a place near Karwar which, he said, "had great photos on its website". I had a look, and yes, the photos were impressive but the price tag was a tad overwhelming. My plans usually involve more traveling, exploring than staying put in a hotel, so most of the times, I pick decent budget hotels to setup base for a trip. I unassumingly passed on information about this place to my wife, and she was so bowled over by it that we ended up booking it. And in hindsight, I am glad we did that and I thoroughly enjoyed this gem of a place - Cintacor Island Resort.
This was a road trip, and Karwar was a good 8-9 hour drive. So, we made plans to break the journey to Karwar on both onward and return legs, staying at Davangere and Shivamogga respectively. On reaching Karwar, we were met with boat staff who helped us load luggage onto the boat and also provided a locked compound space for parking my car. A 25 minute boat ride got us to the island. We were ferried to "the hub", their reception area via an electric vehicle. A friendly property manager met us, explained all the things that we could do during our stay and patiently answered any questions we might have.
We had a quick lunch at the only restaurant on the island - Nemo's deck. The food was simple, delicious and the service was quite quick. The staff were all extremely courteous and accommodating of our requests - taking care of a kid's food whims can get difficult, but it was made easy by the helpful staff.
We were soon transported to our cabin in the same electric vehicle. It was afternoon, blisteringly hot and we needed some rest badly. The cabin was roomy, immaculate and comfortable. The balcony opened up for a view towards the south, which we had not appreciated much, until waking up after a rather long spell of sleep. The thing I appreciated is that the development of a resort on the island had not taken away the wilderness of the place, as was evident from this view.
The infinity pool at this place is just gorgeous. Facing west, the pool looks as if it extends into the Arabian sea and the view of sunset from the pool is just amazing! My son would spend his next two days mostly in this pool (also on the beach - kids love water, don't they?).
The place had kindled my interest to do some photography during our stay. Usually, on family outings, I'd like to spend less time shooting and more time with family. But the place was beautiful and I could not pass on an opportunity to make some images. There were a few different things I found to photograph. A small rocky outlet facing west provided me with my most cherished image from this trip. Also, a morning walk around the island on walking trails provided some images as well.
The evenings opened up into serene moonlit nights - our visit was around full moon time. Two days we spent there felt like so little when it was time to leave. Yet, thinking back, it left us with memories which felt worth a lot more than that.
I wholeheartedly recommend anyone this place - yes, its a tad expensive, but I felt it was worth it. It might not be as easy to maintain such a place on an island, ferrying supplies, employees from the mainland every single day. Kudos to the staff - they always had a smile on their faces and made us feel completely at home.
Tip 1: Going as a larger group might be more fun!
Tip 2: They have several water activities and cruises that can be availed at extra cost. Website of Cintacor island resort - http://cintacorislandresort.com/