mermaid eco resort: a taste of idyll
The setting is one just out of a Garcia Marquez book; the clay clad walls flanked by creepers and the green shrubs growing in wild abandon, a wind beaten path fringed by coconut trees serving as a canopy, leading you to a place of magic.
The Mermaid Eco Resort is located beside the Rezu Khal along the Marine Drive about sixteen kilometres from downtown Cox's Bazaar. What sets this resort apart is that it has set a great example by keeping all of its buildings environmentally friendly; the raw materials used to build the resort are mostly bamboo, thatch, mud and wood. This is particularly important in a place like Cox's Bazaar, a place of unbridled natural splendour that we can ill afford to contaminate with urban and industrial wastes.
Bangladesh has a wealth of natural beauty, and it is imperative that we utilise the tourism potential of such sites. In this respect Cox's Bazaar has been streets ahead of the rest, and a recent and glowing landmark on that path is the Mermaid Eco Resort, Cox's Bazaar.
Officially inaugurated in September 2009 and a sister concern of Mermaid Café, the resort accommodates about 70 people at a time and provides facilities that will keep guests immersed in the beauty and splendour of Cox's Bazaar.
You are drawn in by the mermaid motifs in coloured chalk adorning the walls, the lone frog hopping, the flutter of butterflies keeping you company while you indulge in a shower.
Luxury two-storied or even duplex bungalows with wide windows or beautiful lofts carpeted with mats made out of straws or coconut leaves, spacious beds, long verandas facing the blue sea, instantly relaxes your tired urban mind. You just toss your body on the hammock; swing to the rhythm, close your eyes while the sea sings you a lullaby. Your worn out self, willingly gives in to the loveliness around you.
Walks on the beach studded with seashells and pebbles, taking mud baths, riding the country boat, are equal parts pleasure and leisure.
The return to simpler times seems to be the theme of this resort. Contemporary amenities and facilities married with unspoiled nature is what you get at Mermaid Eco Resort in Cox's Bazar. And its owners, the adventurous and romantic duo Bristi and Shohag, with their infectious happy smile and awesome hospitality allow you to tuck away your worries and enjoy nature at its best - untainted and natural.
The bungalows are equipped with modern hygienic western toilets and verandas overlooking the sea, the lake or the lush green hill range. The villas also have the same facilities but are topped up with a better view and a private sitting space.
“I loved the back-to-nature feel of it,” said a Dhaka-based guest at the resort. “They have struck up a lovely balance; the rooms are beautifully kept and you have all the amenities, while at the same time you are always connected to nature.”
This reconnecting with nature is best exemplified in the bathrooms. They are fitted with the common western amenities but look up, and you will see a green canopy of coconut leaves.
“The al fresco feel of the bathrooms really drives home the realisation that you have left the city behind and come to a more organic place,” the guest continued on her extolment of the resort's virtues. “Even the coconuts on the menu are from the coconut trees all over the resort. They don't even give you a straw; it's completely organic.
“The bungalows don't have air conditioning, but that is something I got used to pretty fast. It would not feel as natural or organic with air conditioning in the room because you would have to close all the windows, and that is not the point of coming here. This resort is about bonding with our natural environment and I think they have done an excellent job in accomplishing that,” she concluded.
The Mermaid Café in Cox's Bazaar was merely the prelude to the wonderful story that you unravel at the Mermaid Eco Resort. If you are looking for a quiet time out with just a good read for company, this all-out deshi resort should be on top of your picks.
Guests can choose from a range of Standard Bungalows (Tk 2500/night), Deluxe Bungalows (Tk.3000/night), Premium Deluxe Bungalows (Tk 3500/night), Supreme Deluxe Bungalows (Tk 4000/night) and Villas (Tk 5000/night).
The resort also facilitates its guests with a well-kept Crafts Shop, Restaurant, Movie Nights, Herbal Spa, boat rides, Car/Motorbike/Bicycle rentals, Laundry Service, wave surfing facilities and a Tour Desk. There are also special tours, which take the tourists to a nearby sand dune island where special security is arranged for a comfortable and fun sea bathing experience.
As a tourist spot, as well as a getaway spot, Mermaid Eco Resort at Cox's Bazaar is hard to beat. No matter what your inclination, you will be satisfied with the natural beauty and the various attractions on offer at the resort. So if you want to get away from the madness of city life, don't look overseas for a quality holiday experience; go south and visit this gem in our very own Cox's Bazaar.
If you want to sample a piece of this organic haven, call 01841416464 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Raffat Binte Rashid and STS
Photo courtesy: Mermaid Eco Resort