Hotel Daiwik, Rameswaram
When you go to a destination with the least of expectations and get pampered to the hilt, you feel ecstatic. That’s what it was when I hit the holy town of Rameswaram. For the first time, I was not just a pilgrim in this small dusty town. I felt like a tourist spoilt for choices in the town’s first star hotel.
Going by the past experience of mostly staying in budget hotels and dharamshalas, I never thought a foot massage or spa was even available in the pilgrim centre. The moment I arrived at the six-month-old Daiwik Hotel, I was whisked away from the hustle-bustle of the national highway to a silent room called Vyom with a predominant smell of herbal oils. The welcome foot massage turned out to be comforting for the tired feet.
Food was the next surprising delight as much as the ambience in the dining zone and I pinched myself to believe that I was in Rameswaram, where all previous trips have been in grime, dust, hurry and worry even though people land here for peace of mind. The multi-cuisine vegetarian dishes laid out in Ahaan offered an interesting and surprising melange of dal-chawal to naan-paneer preparations, Jain specials and ayurvedic food to pasta and noodles. The guests too made an interesting combination. They were from France, Africa and across India who filled up the 90 neat rooms the hotel has including three suites.
“People are travelling more for spiritual experience these days. The religious traveller is no longer a typical pilgrim of before. He is a modern tourist who demands comfort and credible information while seeking divine blessings in places of worship,” says general manager Gowri Shankar.R.
To assist its guests to convert smoothly into modern pilgrims, the hotel offers non-intrusive neatly packaged guided tours of either the main Ramanathaswamy temple or the lesser known places of worship or even few unexplored locations. The best part is they provide enough well-researched facts and information about the spots you choose to visit. The property does not stand amidst nature. But what makes the environment soothing is its activity room where hymn rendition and satsangs take place. The hum of soft religious prayers elevates the atmosphere to a spiritual level. The hotel offers three types of rooms – superior, deluxe and the suites. All the rooms are provided with the comforts of a luxury hotel. Since guests mostly come for a short stay, there is no scope of getting bored even though there are no activities.
But Diawik gives ample opportunity to relax, unwind and meditate, if you are so inclined. You can happily avoid the tensions of temple visit and instead explore some lesser known spots in peril.
The planned packages for touring the temple and the town
Clutter-free rooms and courteous staff
What is missing at diawik is perhaps a store selling religious books and CDs
If you scan 360 from your room, you find empty plots littered with plastic, a baneful sight
How to get there
Name: Daiwik Hotels
Contact: NH-49, Madurai Rameswaram Highway, near Rameswaram bus stand, Rameswaram – 623526, Tamil Nadu; Ph: +91 9840336162/ 04573-223222; www.daiwikhotels.com
Tariff: Rs. 3,500+ (62 superior rooms); Rs. 4,500+ (25 deluxe, including one specially designed for physically challenged); Rs.7,000+ (3 suites)
(The writer was at the resort on invitation)