We wanted to go somewhere close by for a day-trip on occassion of my parents' anniversary, and decided on the Padma Resort. It looked great on the website.
Located in a shoal on the Padma river just opposite the Louhajang Police Station (in Munshiganj District), the Padma Resort was developed by a local businessman about five years back. I made a reservation over the phone with their Dhaka office, they kindly agreed to waive the advance deposit, agreeing that we could pay on the spot, and we were all set!
We set off at 9am on a Saturday for the 100 minute 43 km drive. The traffic was relatively light but it still took us an hour to clear the city. Then it was a pleasant hour's drive through paddy fields and mustard fields. And immediately, we began to relax.
At Louhajang, we had a bit of trouble finding the exact place though, as there were no signposts anywhere. Once we located the ghat (jetty), I called the resort guys and they came to take us across in a trawler (engine boat).
It took some maneuvering to get Candy aboard, but she managed it in the end, walking gingerly on the plank, and the other passengers gave us a wide berth.
At the resort we were shown to our cottage: one of approximately a dozen.
The cottages were very picturesque from outside, and the layout within was very modern - with a lower sitting area and an upper bedroom. But we were very disappointed at the poor upkeep within. Some wooden floor planks had in places moved as much as an inch away from its neighbour, there was dust everywhere, the furnishings clearly had not been laundered in recent days (more like weeks!), and the wooden railings surrounding the deck were literally falling apart (making it totally unsafe for adults and children alike, and dogs too). The bathroom, thankfully, was modern, clean and functional. But the short staircases leading from the lower area to the deck and from the deck to the upper area were made of wood planks, and not very safe for children or the elderly.
We walked around the place. It was a nice enough stroll, and relaxing to sit on the deckchairs. We went in December but during the monsoon season the place is more picturesque.
But as far as activities went, there was nothing to do! One could take a boat ride but that was about it. Not very exciting.
Some of the other guests had brought badminton nets and Frisbees and boisterous games were in progress. Some people had also brought along a picnic.
We ate our lunch at the restaurant - clean and functional. The food was a bit pricey but the chef clearly was talented. We ate a LOT! And they very generously provided (free of cost) a bowl of rice and chicken for Candy (who was a novel guest, it appeared).
I came away feeling a little sad at the lack of maintenance of a place which clearly has a lot of potential. It's a pity because the people of Dhaka don't have too many options when it comes to a day-trip. I hope the management will start soon on the urgently needed maintenance work, and some renovations as well, making at an attractive and safe place for visitors of all ages.
Padma resort's website is: www.padmaresort.net