Being a long weekend, we decided to go out for few days from the city. I generally like going to beach resorts near Chennai in ECR road for a peaceful stay. Since I had been to GRT Temple Bay & Fisherman’s Cove in Mamallapuram, Ashok Resort in Pondy I looked out for a different resort. After reading about Dune in The Man magazine, I narrowed down on Dune Eco Village in ECR Road at Pudhukuppam, Tamilnadu near Pondicherry University.
Dune is an Eco-friendly resort with most of the materials used for construction being reused and with little chemicals as possible. They say they used more limestone than cement, Solar water heaters, the doors & furniture are from old houses, no tar roads inside the property and so on. Each of the rooms is different than others and with unique characteristics, the room we stayed had a nice display of Golu (coincided with the seasonal holidays as well). The resort provides 2 cycles for each room for the guests to go around the huge property (over 30-40 acres) on the Bay of Bengal seashore. The food in their F.U.N (Food U Need) restaurant promotes the hypo-toxic diet by a French biologist (from their brochure I learned his name was Doctor Jean Seignalet).
I liked the fact there was no Satellite connection in the room – so no boring TV Soaps and Serials that my wife can watch or the usual Pogo/Cartoon Network for my son. Each room had a small TV with built-in DVD Player and you can borrow DVDs from the restaurant for free, they boast a collection of over 1000+ titles on various Genres. They have programs to entertain the kids in evening like Milking the Cow, Pot Making, Sand Pit, etc.
The room rates are expensive especially for an Indian tourist, guess the rates are fixed primarily with Foreign tourists in mind (I am in disagreement to this practice, Indian Resorts and Hotels should make it attractive if India wants to attract more tourists, India happens to be the most expensive tourist destination even for Indians in South East Asia region). They also have programs for Meditation (every day free for guests) & Ayurvedic Health treatments (some of which for 14 days were priced at few lakhs of rupees!)
The items where Dune has to improve:
- ECO-friendly tag doesn’t mean cutting corners in service & providing poor amenities – they need to improve on the quality of the Television, Cycles, Furniture’s, Bathroom Amenities they provide
- Providing a Mobile Phone to all guests instead of In-Room Intercom is a good idea, but they need to ensure the signal is good. I had to step out of the room every time when I needed to talk to reception or to FUN restaurant (which was very near to our room, so I went directly to speak to Chef)
Overall, I will certainly recommend Dune Eco Village for spending few days (not worth for shorter stays of 1 or 2 days) to relax. Service by staff was generally very friendly, good ambience and nice food.