The Hotel Shompen provides perfectly adequate accommodations. It is basic to the nth degree. The only problem is the lack of fire exits. Our room was located about as far away from the main stairs as could be and we only found the one set of exit stairs.
The hotel is centrally located and it is easy to get anywhere in town on foot. The rooms were very clean. We did have to find the attendants to get towels, but other than that, the basics were provided. There was AC that worked to cool the room in the evening. We shut it off after the room was cooled and relied on the fan to keep us comfortable during the night.
Our room faced the main street and it was quite noisy. That may have had something to do with the fireworks that were being set off to celebrate Diwali. It was quiet after 10 pm and we slept well. The bed was a bit on the hard side and if we had to spend more than one night there it may have been a problem, but for one night we did OK.
Our room was on the second level up, so climbing the stairs was a must as there was no elevator. If you are not able to climb stairs, do not stay here.
The people that work there were nice, but spoke very little English. The man at the front desk was very polite and although we had booked an auto-rickshaw to get to the airport he offered us a ride. The room attendants were polite and were quick about getting us the towels we requested.
We would most definitely spend a transit night in the Shompen if we were to return to Port Blair.
We just arrived in Port Blair and were very hungry. We happened upon the Ananda Restaurant and dropped in. We sat in the AC section. It was very crowded with local people on their lunch break. A good sign. Even though several folks had finished their lunch and left during our stay, another group would walk in and take the first group’s place. Turnover was high, another good sign.
The menu had a typical range of Indian food and we were able to pick some of our favorites. The waiter was right there to take our order. The food came quick by Indian standards and was piping hot when it arrived.
The food was excellent and the price was good. We would recommend this restaurant to other travelers.
Ha O Restaurant
The restaurant is in the Sun Sea Resort. It is a rather boring place with little personality. The staff were attentive although we were the only patrons when we arrived. The food was only average and cost slightly more than the average restaurant. No major complaints, but no kudos either.