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Really Good 8.5/10
If you are looking to regenerate from a stressful life, or you simply want to combine yoga with a beach holiday in paradise with additional outdoor activities or nurturing treatments, this is the escape for you. Take this time to soften, relax, de-stress, and strengthen your body, learning new skills to find peace of mind and allowing you to leave all that no longer serves you behind. Prepare to be replenished while focusing on personal goals for the coming year.
The Flying Elephant opened their doors in February 2013. The property has nine bamboo guest cottages, reception area, yoga and multipurpose deck, restaurant, and kitchen. So far, The Flying Elephant is the only resort and restaurant in this area of the island. There are no mobile, landline telephone, or internet services in Kalapathar village.
The Flying Elephant's aim is to provide a peaceful environment for individuals looking to get away from the stresses of day to day living and spend some time appreciating nature and the simple pleasures in life. Running hot water is currently provided through wood-fired boilers. They are a back-to-nature oriented resort, so they do not provide air conditioning or TV. Bath towels, beach towels, torch light, and umbrella are provided.
These delightful single story bamboo accommodations overlook the lush green jungle and country paddy fields. The bungalows are fan-cooled and contain a bedroom fitted with double bed and mosquito net, as well as a generously-sized, attached bathroom. The sitting room has a space to relax and a writing desk, where you can open up the blinds to enjoy the fresh air and soothing views. It's ideal for bird watching.
In between the lofty Areca nut and mango trees, these split-level bamboo cottages offer a cozy living space. The cottages are fan-cooled with an upper floor bedroom fitted with double bed and mosquito net. On the ground floor, you have a sitting room with a writing desk that opens out to a back deck perfect for afternoon unwinding. The attached bathroom is enveloped with natural light filtering in from the private open-air garden.
This retreat will focus on developing a crisis kit for throwing off stress, tranquilizing the restless mind, fighting brain fatigue, calming the heart, and giving you absolutely powerful energy.
Following your arrival at The Flying Elephant, you can unpack and relax before starting activities. In the morning, you will enjoy juice, chai, and fruit. Then, join the morning yoga session. Next, you can have breakfast or brunch in the restaurant. Later that day, take part in evening yoga session, continued by sunset meditation.
You will enjoy one nurturing treatment of your choice during the retreat, as well as individual personal consultation time with your teacher. You will also have plenty of unstructured time to explore the island, have a massage, journal, swim, and enjoy the beach. You will feel refreshed after the holiday.
Your twice daily yoga class will be held in the jungle shala on the resort. These sessions offer a perfect blend of strength, mobility, restorative, self-care, breath-work, and wonderful meditations, encompassing all aspects of yoga.
Lezlie is fully trained in Hatha flow, Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, and Kundalini yoga. Lezlie's nurturing personality is reflected in her teaching. She creates a safe place for courageous explorations, making it authentic, real, and relevant to you and your body. With the ability to adapt classes for individual needs through her thoughtful, insightful, and inspiring manner, each session can accommodate absolute beginners through to advanced practitioners. She supports her students to find their greatest expression of health and wellness.
The yoga retreat takes place in The Flying Elephant, in Kalapathar Village, Havelock Island, The Andaman Islands, India. Your resort is surrounded by nature, only two minutes to the local beach, which offers fantastic sunrises and delightful swimming opportunities.
The Andaman Islands are situated off the east coast of India, close to Myanmar and Thailand. Havelock Island is between one and a half and two and a half hours by ferry from the capital, Port Blair. There are approximately 10,000 permanent residents, and the developed area of the island is approximately 12 square kilometers.
Tourism is relatively new to these islands. The first hotels were built in the late 1990s and the largest increase in tourist numbers was post 2004. The infrastructure on these islands is challenging, with minimal telephone, public transport, medical, and internet services. The nature, however, is truly spectacular with white sands, turquoise waters, and lush forests. Hotels and residents are not allowed to build 50 meters from high tide, so the coastal areas are an untouched natural paradise.
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Simple vegetarian food, mainly Indian local cuisine and lightly spiced, is included in the price.
During your stay in Havelock Island, you can arrange some additional excursions for a complete beach experience. Enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and other boat excursions, massage, nurturing treatments, and beach tours at an additional cost. The surrounding jungles, in addition to your front doorstep, are perfect for bird watching. You may also like to take a guided jungle walk to observe or photograph the local flora and fauna.
One nurturing treatment of your choice is included in the price.
Please book your flights to arrive at Veer Savarkar International Airport (IXZ), also known as Port Blair Airport. The only way to enter the island is through India with direct flights from Delhi (sometimes stops in Kolkata), Bangalore, Kolkata, or Chennai (Mumbai flight via Chennai).
The Flying Elephant will pick you up from the airport. From Port Blair, you will be taken by a ferry which takes about one and a half to two and a half hours to Havelock Island. Airport pickup, ferry tickets, and all transfers to and from Havelock and Port Blair are included in the price.
"This review is about two years late. I didn't get around to writing it until now though in my head I am constantly going back to The Flying Elephant. We visited Havelock on our honeymoon in December 2013 and stayed at Wild Orchid, Emerald Gecko, and The Flying Elephant. Of the three, Flying Elephant was my favorite. It's a little far from the main stretch of Havelock with all the other hotels and not on the beach, which might defeat the purpose for a few people, but for me the setting was ideal. Kalapathar Beach is close enough and if you have a scooter, it's a nice drive away from the rest of the activity on Havelock. It's on the other side of the island from Radha Nagar Beach, which is the only bummer. The accommodation is set in the middle of fields a row of raised wooden huts. The huts are really well made and comfortable, with a lovely semi open bathroom and a seating area outside the room, where you can spend a large part of the day lounging. Although the rooms are in a row, there is still enough privacy and all the rooms look out to the field. All the rooms seem nice, but the last one closest to the field, is the best. There was no hot water there when we were staying. Now I hear you can get it for a part of the day. With or without that luxury, The Flying Elephant is a gem of a place to stay. The restaurant is across the road, so it's a good idea to carry a torch for when you are walking back after dinner. It serves delicious food, mostly vegetarian and some seafood. It has a great view and you can spend hours there reading a book or staring into space listening to the bells in the distance. They have yoga classes here in the morning and the staff is really nice. Our stay here was accidental, but when we do go back to Havelock, we will definitely be staying here again."
TripAdvisor website, edited
"We had a lovely four-day holiday at The flying Elephant, at Havelock. The rooms were clean, simple, and comfortable, set in this lush jungle of trees and palms. We had a great sense of freedom as there's no cell phone coverage or internet. Hot water was a problem though, and only available at certain hours. The restaurant was across the road. They had very friendly staff, always eager to help. There is a yoga hall and classes are conducted daily for those interested. The Kala Pathar Beach is just a two-minute walk away! Absolute heaven. Bikes can be hired to move about, as it's slightly away from the town area. It's best to complete all your activities for the day and then head back to the resort. Pity the lighting is so dim. I could not lounge in bed and read."
TripAdvisor website, edited