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A Tranquil Hideaway Amid Nature
A magical jungle of ferns, red hibiscus flowers, and palm trees lies under the glittery mirror ball behind the protective steel gates at Yab Yum.
The name is a curious one. A short investigation reveals it to represent the union of wisdom and compassion, and the divine strength of creation, through the joining of feminine and masculine energy.
The feeling of being cocooned away in a calming oasis is pervasive, along with an aura of health and wellness. There's yoga, Ayurvedic massages, organic coffee, an abundance of healthy food prepared with locally sourced ingredients (the nightly Indian thali is a must-try), and a fitting eco-friendly concept.
Location and Setting
Yab Yum is set on two acres of sandy soil fronting Ashwem beach in far north Goa. The trendiest area in Goa, it remains exclusive and relatively undeveloped as it's a nesting spot for Olive Ridley turtles. Boutique beach clubs, resorts and restaurants pepper the shoreline. And, it's delightfully devoid of the... usual north Goa crowds.
Ashwem sits between Morjim and Arambol, Goa's lively hippy-haven. It's about an hour and half from the airport. If you're coming by train, Thivim and Pernem are the closest railway stations, around 35 to 40 minutes away.Continue to 2 of 3 below.
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Nestled among the foliage at Yab Yum are 14 uniquely designed huts (also referred to as domes or pods), and five white and blue Goan-Portuguese style cottages.
The spacious "space-age" huts are made from a range of natural materials including lava rock, palm leaves and grass. You'll find that Yab Yum is a family-friendly place. The huts come in all sizes from standard with a king size bed sleeping two adults, to large family with a king size bed and two single beds. For added seclusion, two Honey Pods perfect for couples sit on the sand dune overlooking the beach. There's also a similarly placed Suite Pod, with two bedrooms and a sea view.
The huts have attractive attached tiled bathrooms and a supply of hot water that can be hard to come by in beach huts. Plus, each hut has a private outdoor sitting area with chairs, table and hammock. Paddling pools and toys are extra features of the family huts.
The design of the huts is supposed to keep them cool all year round without... air-conditioning. But, to be honest, there isn't a great deal of airflow and they do get stuffy inside. I stayed in a hut during an unseasonably hot and humid early December, and spent the night sweating under my mosquito net. It would be so much worse from March to May, as Goa really heats up then.
If you'd prefer air-conditioned comfort, you'll find the cottages to be the best choice. Smaller and simply furnished, they're located closer to the beach (some just meters away) and have undercover porches to relax on. Two of the cottages sleep two people, while the two family cottages have two bedrooms that can accommodate two adults and two children. There's also one cottage with a double bed and a single bed in one room.
Do note that Yab Yum is closed every year from June to October, due to the monsoon.
Rates start from 4,200 rupees per night for a cottage and 4,000 rupees per night for a hut, including taxes and a substantial breakfast (order what you like from the menu and it will be delivered to your accommodations at the specified time in the morning). Expect to pay 5,400 rupees upwards for the Honey Pod and 8,100 rupees upwards for the Suite Pod.
Book Online with Tripzuki and Get the Best Rates. Tripzuki lists India's best boutique hotels and they personally visit each one to ensure high standards.Continue to 3 of 3 below.
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Facilities and Things to Do
Yab Yum has an in-house yoga instructor and offers drop-in classes every morning (usually starting at 8.30 a.m.) at the purpose-built yoga shala. The classes last for an hour and a half and cost 800 rupees. Alternatively, it's possible to take a private class, which I did. (Private kids yoga classes are offered too).
The private classes are very flexible in terms of the workouts. My regular yoga practice doesn't extend beyond surya namaskar, so I chose to focus on alignment of postures along with some breathing. Nothing too intense! It really helped and I definitely felt the difference. The instructor also showed me a series of postures that I could do to relax and energize myself. I went away feeling refreshed and inspired, and super impressed with her knowledge and capabilities. (Ah, if only I had such strength and flexibility)!
Four different types of Ayurvedic massages are available -- balancing massage, yogic massage (involving stretching), full body massage and head... massage. They last for one and half hours, and the price ranges from 3,000-4,500 rupees.
The restaurant and bar at Yab Yum fronts the beach and is quite sedate, despite having a 24 hour liquor license. Happy hours, with discounted cocktails, happen every evening.
If you'd like to venture out somewhere, Yab Yum conveniently provides a taxi service with cars available at short notice. There are some renowned places to eat in the area (and Yab Yum lists them all), so it's worth exploring. Otherwise, spend the day lazing in a hammock or on a sun lounger by the ocean.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, Tripsavvy believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.