The Bheemli Resort – a hidden gem in a windswept beach town
“It’s the second oldest municipality in the country, ” remarked CP Reddy, my driver and guide as we drove around a nondescript beach town, one of the windswept places near Vizag called Bheemili or Bheemunipatnam. I realized that I had just discovered a little piece of paradise in a small fishing hamlet on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, barely 45 minutes away from Visakhapatnam. Surrounded by hills and oceans, this village , named after the legendary Bheema of the Mahabharata was once a colonial settlement. The Dutch had been here and so had the British and they had left behind lighthouses, cemeteries, churches and other monuments, mostly in ruins around the town. An old Narasimha temple, probably dating to the medieval period of 14th century stood atop a hill. Most of the hills here had been relics of ancient Buddhist monuments. Bheemili had a story everywhere. But there was a charm around Bheemili that can only be experienced and there was no better way to do it than to stay in the luxurious and elegant Bheemili Beach Resort, managed by Accor Hotels, a little hidden gem which stood right opposite the ocean.
Every room here offered hypnotic views of the sea and I woke up either looking at the pristine sun or at the golden orb of the moon rising from the horizon. Bheemili Resort was so unlike the other resorts that I had been to.
Cosy and intimate, Bheemili Beach Resort was also a picture of luxury and was surrounded by coconut trees and offered a lovely view of the windswept beach. It was the perfect weekend getaway and one of the places to visit near Vizag. Looking out into the sea from the infinity pool on the terrace, I was lost in a world of blues. I almost felt that a wave of serenity had descended upon me.
The infinity pool was located next to the Teppanayaki Restaurant and I was actually amazed that the chefs were trained by Japanese in the cuisine. The vegetarian option had a great combination of Japanese and Indian dishes, customised to the Indian palate.
And yet the chefs told me that they got most of the ingredients including the sauces from Japan. While this was definitely the surprise element of the resort, the food was absolutely delicious.
And yet everything about Bheemili Beach Resort merged with the milieu, including the pastel shades and the gardens around it. I watched a movie in the private theatre, read loads of books in the garden cafe while sipping cups of tea and wandered away aimlessly around the beach and roamed around along old colonial churches.
In the afternoon, I relaxed in the spa, treating myself to a massage as I felt rejuvenated. It was the perfect holiday. I could not have asked for more, except that I wished that i could be here for a longer period. Personally for me it was one of the best retreats and places to visit near Vizag where one could do just nothing.
I continued exploring the village with Reddy. My favourite haunt was the silent fishing harbour along the picturesque estuary of the river Gosthani as it meandered into a little stream while joining the Bay of Bengal. The fishermen were at work with their nets as I wandered away taking in the beauty of nature.
Reddy told me that an entire eco system and tourism had actually sprung up around the resort. ” Earlier people used to just come and spend time in the beach which is dangerous for swimming but now we see so many tourists who are interested in the history as well, ” he added saying that tourism had actually helped in getting more employment for the locals as well. I walked up the 200 odd steps of the Narasimha temple and took in the views of the windswept town.
I was here for just a day and it was probably the best holiday I have ever had. I only wished that it was not so short lived. Long walks on the beach with the breeze on my face, a tryst with the fishermen at the estuary, watching the tides recede, listening to the songs of the birds, hiking up an old temple, losing myself in the ruins of a colonial past – Bheemili’s charm grew on me. As I sat with a cocktail on my balcony, I closed my eyes listening to the rhythm of the waves. And when I opened them, a beautiful round blood moon stood right in front of me, having just risen from the horizon.
I was hosted by Bheemili Beach Resort, managed by Novotel Vizag and Accor Hotels. People make places for me and it is always inspiring to meet those who are dedicated and sincere and who go out of the way to ensure that you have a wonderful stay. And I am grateful to Reddy, my driver. Besides being my guide who narrated stories around Bheemili, he was also very proactive to ensure that I do not miss my flight. There was a confusion regarding my cab to the Vizag airport, but Reddy was so quick and committed that he immediately drove me there and ensured that he got me in touch with the liaison officer at the airport, Vimal Nayak who checked me in and was waiting for me with the boarding card, when I got there. The drive from the airport from Bheemili Resort is over an hour and it is advisable to always leave early because of traffic . And this incident stayed long in my mind, even as I remembered the song of the waves and the sight of the bright red moon emerging from the horizon.