Not everyone is prepared for the type of accommodations Arambol Beach Goa has to offer.
If this is your first time traveling to Arambol you will most likely be the happiest staying close to the beach. This means you will want to stay in a beach hut on the beach or very near by.
Here’s what you should know about Arambol Beach hut living.
First off, Arambol can best be described as a mystical hippy beachside town with a gritty edge. It is its own community of expats, tourists and locals. People take up residency here to offer transformational workshops, massage and yoga trainings. Some make music or theatre and gig all over the beach night after night.
Others come for an affordable and lengthy beach holiday. While there may be a few places that are “nicer” than others, if you want luxury go to another beach like Asvem or Anjuna where you will pay double to triple what you pay in Arambol.
What you may be lacking in Luxury you are making up for in vibe. This is a community like no other and you have the luxury of connecting with that energy if you wish.
The Lay Out of the Town
There is one main road that takes you into Arambol. It runs parallel to the beach and eventually ends there as well. Along this road are shops, cafés and guest houses that are most likely in the Portugese style. These tend to be more expensive than huts.
Once on the beach you have the option to go right which is “cliff side” near Sweet Water Lake or go left which leads to a long stretch of beach where most of the yoga halls, cafes and beach huts will be.
There is a cove between the cafes looking out to the ocean and the main road with various shops. In this cove you will find more restaurants and beach huts that are often cheaper because you have to walk a bit further to the water.
These huts can sometimes be quieter but that all depends on what is around you as you never know when a party may continue until the wee hours of the morning.
Along the beach are tons of cafes and restaurants, all of them selling pretty much the same thin with a few specializing in items like pizza, kombucha or raw food.
Most cafes have accommodations in the back, which will consist of multiple beach shack like huts. While some are nicer than others, all are incredibly simple and for some people can appear down right horrifying in the beginning.
I say “in the beginning” because depending on how long you stay, Arambol has a funny way of rubbing off on you. It can be somewhat of a rough entry when you are from the west and have a certain level of expectations and comfort.
More often than not something incredible happens. After a few days you settle in and recognize that you don’t really need anything more than what serves you. Sure, luxury is wonderful in its moments, but not always necessary. What matters most in India is safety, cleanliness, creativity and nature.
Arambol Beach is Seasonal
Most of Arambol gets taken down at the end of every season because of the monsoon, so it isn’t as if everything is built with the utmost sturdiness and care. Allot of items are reused and sometimes huts can feel a little off with slightly tilted floors and holes in the makeshift bamboo wrapping.
Inside the Huts
A simple bed with a mosquito net, one or two overhead lights, a toilet that might even look a bit off center, a wash bucket, an overhead shower and some spouts, a small sink and maybe a broom.
The wooden floors aren’t a solid wood but more of thin plank style wood or sometimes it might even be poured concrete. There may or may not be some rugs on the ground.
I would keep a bucket of water by my door to rinse my feet whenever I came inside. This was a huge help to maintain the sand in my room.
Candles are a plus but this being a beach hut, you have to be mindful not to go up in flames!
There Will be Bugs
Most places should provide mosquito nets. These are helpful when sleeping but not as much when you are awake. I brought charcoals and loose incense and would use herbs like copal to smoke my place out every now and again. Regular store bought incense is helpful too.
Water and Electricity Will Most Likely Go Out
It’s just something that happens and usually never lasts for more than a few hours- a day at most.
Your best bet for a hot shower is in the middle of the day. The tanks are kept up on rooftops so it’s the sun that heats the water. A cool shower is refreshing in the heat so overall this isn’t such a big deal.
Things to Pack or Purchase to Feel More at Home:
The great thing about Arambol is that the stores are fairly well stocked with things that can make you feel a little more at home, especially if you are staying longer than a week.
A few extras I recommend packing or purchasing are:
Camping Lamp or Headlamp
At least two bath towels (to rotate between laundry days)
2 -3 small hand towels for hands, face and feet
Plastic containers or sealable plastic bags to store any snacks like dried fruits.
Beware of ants!
Purchasing an electric tea kettle made for easy tea in my hut at any hour. It was such a tiny comfort that went a very long way.
The Best Tactics for Finding the Perfect Beach Hut
So now you are ready to dive in and join the Arambol beach community for a season. Here is what I recommend to help you with your search.
If you arrive in the morning or early day time, take refuge at a local café and ask to leave your luggage ( if it seems like too much to lug around the beach) while you go out and hunt for the best option. It’s much easier to bargain on the spot than over the Internet. Obviously you’ll need to feel really good about leaving your luggage behind. I never had an issue because Arambol is its own community. Café owners come back year after year, so unless it’s a crook just looking for trouble you should be fine.
Book a room online for your first two to three nights and if you aren’t satisfied go out and begin your hunt.
Ask other westerners if they have any recommendations. India tourisim is built on word of mouth recommendations. People will be very truthfull with you too.
Here are a list of places that are decent and will put you in a great spot for seeking out elsewhere if you should choose.