Karnataka, India


Rates from (inc tax)$309.04

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21INR), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Luxury yoga eco-haven


Karnataka's aptly-named Om Beach

Nourishing body and soul is central to a stay at Karnataka-based hotel SwaSwara, a holistic hideaway overlooking the ocean that’s focused on improving wellbeing through Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation. Complimentary tutors can help novices center themselves on request, but seasoned swamis can head up to their villa’s mindfully-built deck for self-guided sessions.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One 30-minute private yoga class a person per stay


Photos SwaSwara – Karnataka – India

Need to know


24 thatched split-level villas.


Normally 11am, but flexible depending on the season. Check-in, 12 noon.


Double rooms from $309.04 (INR20,661), excluding tax at 21 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (INR25,000.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include breakfast, daily group yoga and meditation sessions, daily cooking classes, guided nature walks and bird-watching, art and pottery lessons led by the resident artist.


SwaSwara aims to help guests on the road to self-discovery, so meditation, yoga and Ayurvedic therapies are central to its philosophy.

At the hotel

There is Internet access in the rooms but otherwise you can enjoy the quiet in a TV- and music-free environment, air-con in the bedrooms, emperor-sized beds (plus extra pull-out bed), and a lounge area for making tea or coffee.

Our favourite rooms

All villas are identical, built in the local Konkan style of clean, uncluttered spaces, using natural materials. Air-conditioning has been discreetly fitted without interfering with the authentic design. The lower level comprises a sitting area to unwind in the evenings, and the upper section contains a semi-open bathroom and calm bedroom area. Assume your favourite yoga position on the upper deck.

Packing tips

Comfortable clothes for yoga, good walking shoes (the main mode of transport here, and the terrain can be tricky), sun protection, and during monsoon you’ll need wet-weather gear. Should you forget anything, there’s a shop.


Idyllic locations like this come with mosquitoes, so be prepared, but there are emergency creams available. Smoking is not encouraged since the focus is on health and wellbeing, but it is permitted outdoors. Five-night minimum stay.


Leave the little ones at home – grown-ups seek tranquility here.


Extremely eco-friendly: packaging-reduced bathroom toiletries, reminders about water conservation, harvesting of rainwater, on-site bio-gas converter – ecological impact is minimised wherever possible.

Food and Drink

Photos SwaSwara – Karnataka – India

Top Table

The beach grill is the most attractive option for those who just can’t tear themselves away from the sea.

Dress Code

This is not the place for your little black dress or suit. As with everything else, comfort is most important: a floaty tunic and your favourite flip-flops should do nicely.

Hotel restaurant

The thatched terrace provides a tranquil setting for chilled dinners. Healthy is the keyword with the cuisine, so expect lots of fresh vegetables and fish.

Hotel bar

There is no bar as such but guests can linger over a bottle of wine in the restaurant. 

Last orders

Lunch is available from 12.30–2.30pm; dinner, 8–10.30pm. No beer or liquor – embrace healthy living.


Photos SwaSwara – Karnataka – India
Donibhail, Om Beach, Gokarna, Uttara Kannada,


The nearest airport is Dabolim in Goa, which is 170 km away from the hotel. Another option is to land at Mangalore Airport, 240 km away.


The closest station is Gokarna Road, on the Konkan Railway. The scenic ride links up Mumbai with Kerala’s big cities, including Cochin and Trivandrum.


The main road that spans the coast is the NH 17.


Photos SwaSwara – Karnataka – India

Anonymous review

A friend, who’s spent a fair bit of time in India, told me before I came that when they do luxury in India, they do it very well indeed. This country is, of course, also the birthplace of yoga and the ancient healthcare system of Ayurveda. SwaSwara combines all these features, and more, exceedingly well.

Having spent the best part of two days getting there, I could not have looked more shabby upon arrival, but I was immediately put at ease by the calm efficiency of the informal but courteous staff. However, something was missing. Ah yes, the incessant mechanised background noise, which is part of Indian city life. The only sounds here are those of the abundant wildlife and the rumble of waves rolling onto Om beach below.

Om Beach is so named due to its double cove shape, but it also reflects the spiritual feel of the whole area. Gokarna has been a pilgrimage destination for over two millennia for generations of Shaivites, devotees of the God Shiva, and the town is inhabited predominantly with Brahmin priests. The ‘shanti effect’ is also heightened by the backpackers who come here to the beautiful local beaches to make the most of the relaxed atmosphere, say their ‘boom Shivas’, and chill.

Each of SwaSwara’s identical 24 villas is designed around a split-level open atrium with miniature grass lawns on both levels, which happen to be just big enough to lay out a towel and work on a total white-bit-free tan. A study/lounge area is on the lower section, containing the kettle and the alcohol-free minibar, while the semi-open bathroom and enclosed bedroom are in the upper section. The covered deck above the bedroom is designed with meditation and yoga practice in mind, but as I discovered serves equally well as a sunset viewing point. The bedroom below contains a superbly comfortable bed of gigantic dimensions, so big that even lanky-legs Mr Smith could lie full stretch any direction and still not hang off the end.

The added wow comes in the local wildlife, which includes kingfishers, sea eagles and brahmini kites, as well as long-tailed langurs (shy, black-faced monkeys), lizards, geckos and, thankfully, surprisingly few mosquitoes. Dolphins are often seen, and can be swum with, in the waters of the coves below. I have to confess it was a treat to see the red snapper too – particularly, as I discovered at supper, the way it was grilled with a sublime coriander and yoghurt masala sauce.

The apparently very palatable locally produced wine is available at dinnertime but no other alcohol is available for sale at SwaSwara. But even without it, my spirits and energy were being revived after the long journey, and I could feel a natural sense of calm growing within.

In the local language, Kannada, SwaSwara means inner voice or rhythm. The owners of SwaSwara, the six Dominic brothers who run CGH, prefer not to call it a hotel or resort, but rather an ‘experience’ – a CGH Earth Experience, in fact. And as every staff member can tell you, the letters nowadays stand for ‘clean, green and healthy’, and SwaSwara is certainly one of the most progressively environmentally conscious luxury hotels in the world today. From the packaging-reduced bathroom toiletries and reminders about water conservation to their own harvesting of rainwater and the on-site, bio-gas converter to recycle organic produce into cooking gas, it is evident that the owners have taken great care in establishing an operation that minimises its ecological impact.

And being a secluded and beautiful location, with excellent facilities and staff to provide first-class guidance and treatments, there could not be a better place to experience yoga and Ayurveda, especially if you are new to either of these ancient practices. The simple luxury of SwaSwara make any initial challenges one may encounter a lot easier to attempt and cope with. Private tuition sessions can be arranged with the well-experienced resident yoga masters at no extra cost, and they are happy to discuss just about anything to ensure that these steps along the yogic path, especially if they are your first ones, are enjoyable and positive.

SwaSwara’s Ayurvedic centre provides a range of treatments, which focus on tension-reducing and rejuvenating massages with medicated oils to release toxins stored in the body fat. Activities and diet will also be recommended according to one’s individual ‘dosha’ or body type. A full ‘Panchakarma’ treatment, which is basically a total system overhaul, normally requiring a minimum of 10 days, can have dramatically positive effects, mentally and physically. And, as this lucky Mr Smith discovered, if you are going to make the long trip to this idyllic eco-haven, then there can be no better place than SwaSwara to totally immerse into what India does so well, yoga and Ayurveda, in luxury where your conscience, as well as your body, soul and mind, is clean, green and healthy.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in SwaSwara’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The whole atmosphere is perfect. It is a wellness centre but you feel like you are staying in a hotel. Food was amazing but still lost weight and the yoga instructors were excellent. Definitely going back! 

Don’t expect

Indian corporate service. It is friendly and laid back.


Stayed on 5 Mar 2016

You’ll also find SwaSwara in: