Subsequent in our collection that delves into the luxurious aspect of Goa, Rebecca Milford critiques Goa Marriott Resort & Spa in Panaji – the place fabulous hospitality makes this a haven for seashore bums and foodies alike.
Location and grounds
Panjim won’t instantly strike one as being the perfect place for a soothing vacation. Don’t get me flawed – this state capital is definitely an exquisite and culturally wealthy spot to go to when in Goa. Cobblestone streets and shiny Portuguese structure hark again to the colonial period and supply a wealth of alternatives to discover. However for a beachside escape, you may contemplate different areas of Southern India.
Nevertheless, there’s a seashore, and sitting alongside a stretch of palm-lined sand is the place you’ll discover Goa Marriott Resort & Spa. Sweeping into the curve of driveway on the entrance, you may anticipate this to be one other metropolis lodge superb for enterprise travellers or these passing by way of. However wait, as a result of what you’re about to expertise is, in truth, the epitome of an city retreat.
Sure, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa is situated in prime metropolis place. But by some means, wandering by way of, you get the sensation of being in an expensive personal retreat. There’s a distinctly beach-resort environment to the entire place, rigorously curated to make you are feeling calm, tranquil, and immersed in a tropical escape.
This sensation begins instantly as we stepped foot into the foyer. Regardless of how typically you examine in to beautiful motels, I defy you to not be momentarily awe-struck by that view of the Arabian Sea, shimmering calmly in a mild undulation to the horizon.
Right here it’s also possible to look instantly on the pool, cleverly situated in order that, if you’ve completed swimming laps and are resting on the aspect (maybe with a drink from the swim-up bar), you possibly can look throughout and really feel such as you’re virtually within the sea. Apparently in monsoon season the waters lap as much as the sting so intently that there’s hardly any differentiation between nature and the man-made pool. That is one thing I’d like to return and see.
The proximity to the slender stretch of Miramar Seashore is an enormous draw to this lodge – it’s just some steps from the poolside lounging space, the place a mess of sunbeds imply you’ll not often be clamouring for a spot. Goa Marriott Resort & Spa could be sprawling (a wander spherical reveals a spa, a number of eating places, cafes, and even a bakery – extra on that later), nevertheless it’s not too giant that you could wait to name a buggy. Every little thing is inside strolling distance, which is admittedly refreshing! And but you’d by no means ever know you have been so near a essential street, or certainly the capital metropolis centre – you can be misplaced on a tropical island.
So, the place to relaxation your head when staying at this city retreat? There are 4 forms of room to select from – both searching to the backyard, or with a view of the bay stretching out forward. Naturally, our choice was the latter – there’s one thing so soothing about waking as much as the sight of morning solar rays bouncing off a placid sea. If you wish to push the boat out then seize a set for additional area, though to be trustworthy we discovered the Bay View Room pleasant. A big mattress was suitably squishy, there’s loads of area for packing your baggage away, and the bathe is robust, scorching, and excellent for blasting that sand off your newly tanned pores and skin. There’s additionally a separate tub in the event you fancy a soothing soak within the tub, and people of you who can’t resist checking emails or doing a spot of labor whereas holidaying can use the desk. I simply loved how mild and recent the entire room felt – because of the panoramic views that afforded us day by day blue skies and waving palm fronds. In case you wish to wander immediately from room to pool with minimal effort, go for a Bay View Patio, and have your personal al fresco spot for these sundowner cocktails.
Talking of cocktails, the place’s greatest for a bit of refreshment at Goa Marriott Resort & Spa? You’re more likely to be spoilt for selection, as there are a great deal of consuming and eating choices. F&B choices are headed up by Chef Roy – the ‘papa’ of the household regardless of his youth. And it actually looks like a household – everybody (from the sous cooks to the waiters that guarantee each want is met) are clearly eager to work upwards and progress inside the lodge. Actually, it’s widespread for workers right here to remain for a very long time, there’s that sort of household nurturing environment.
The day begins at breakfast, searching on the sea whereas chilling on the Waterfront Terrace and Bar. I like to recommend eschewing the traditional cereal, toast and eggs (though they’re all obtainable) and as an alternative go for one thing much more genuine. Chef Vijay and Chef Selester are in control of Southern Indian specialities, and the roast omelette was a spotlight for me. This Goan brekkie consists of Goan bread (type of like a muffin) topped with oozing fried eggs, a shredded hen and wealthy spiced sauce, all speckled with recent herbs and chopped onions. Actually filling, with unimaginable flavours coming via – it’s a good way to understand the tastes of Southern India.
Marriott actually need individuals to be speaking concerning the meals choices right here, with twists on what you may anticipate and a precedence to raise the standard eating expertise. Wan Hao presents one thing somewhat totally different with its array of Cantonese and Pan-Asian dishes, loved al fresco in a leafy courtyard lit by glowing lanterns. Chef Roy spent ten years in China and so is aware of his Asian delicacies. From handmade dumplings to rigorously constructed stir-fry dishes, you realize this isn’t going to be ‘Indian-Chinese language’ meals which, with all due respect, isn’t all the time the genuine fare you may hope for.
Nevertheless my favorite place to spend the night was in Merely Grills, their sea-front restaurant serving an excellent array of a number of the freshest seafood you may hope for. Glimmering scales of pink snapper; big curls of pink-armoured prawns; the blubbery mass of tentacled squid – all are lined up on crushed ice prepared so that you can decide from relying on what your urge for food wishes. However this isn’t only a ‘you select it, we’ll prepare dinner it’ kinda place (though that’s an choice if simplicity is your factor). As an alternative, we feasted on the likes of squid full of crab meat on pumpkin purée with peas, and Lobster Goan curry with brown rice and a wealthy orange sauce created from the bisque.
These twists may also be encountered within the onsite bakery. Yep, I did certainly say onsite bakery. The Goan Baking Firm is a wonderful grab-and-go idea that lets visitors and locals alike come and luxuriate in freshly made pastries, desserts and biscuits in an enthralling little cafe. One thing I didn’t realise was that Goan’s love baking, and their prowess is greatest loved right here. Overlook your standard savoury croissant – right here it’s all concerning the hen keffir croissant. SERIOUSLY tasty, however be sure to purloin yours early, as a result of such is their reputation that they do promote out. The hen tikka twists are additionally out of this world, as are the flaky, salty, golden cheese straws.
Nevertheless it’s the candy treats – ah, the candy treats! – that make this place such a delight. Freshly baked carrot cake, delicate and spongy banana bread, and people rainbow colored desserts! White chocolate pistachio delight, anybody?
No marvel Goa Marriott has gained awards for its meals – every little thing is so creative but completely executed. What’s extra, they’re always difficult themselves. For instance, on Indian Independence day, particular person cooks have been invited to decorate within the conventional seize of their house state, after which create a dish from there. On Independence Day there have been 29 totally different delicacies from every state!
It’s not all consuming although – there must be a while for enjoyable, and it’s referred to as Goa Marriott Resort & Spa for a cause. When was the final time – if ever – you felt each a part of your physique had been unlocked of its hidden stresses? It’s time you had a Goan Magic therapeutic massage. This 60 min remedy (or 90 in case you really feel like actually indulging your self) is sort of an expertise. By no means earlier than have I felt so kneaded, rubbed and pressed – in a totally fabulous approach, in fact. Even the little bones in my ft and every particular person toe was attended to, and there was a satisfying click on as my wrists have been rotated. It’s the last word approach to unwind. However the great point was it additionally left me energised – my muscle tissues felt as if I’d endured an honest exercise after which been given a rejuvenating sports activities therapeutic massage. For somebody who’s foremost ‘sport’ at Marriott Goa was reaching for my mocktail from a solar lounger, then this was very gratifying. Then in fact all you must do is locate your self a solar lounger and get again to chilling…
What one needs from a vacation will typically change relying on the state of affairs. On some journeys, journey is desired. Typically it’s a necessity for tradition, different events it may be rest. For me, what I all the time need to really feel it doesn’t matter what, is a way of consolation.
Consolation may are available many types. It might be the thread rely of the sheets; it could possibly be the proximity to the practice station so your journey is as swift as potential. It may be 24 hour room service so you will get a cheese toastie at 2am. Maybe it’s an grownup’s solely pool so there aren’t youngsters splashing round close to you. One of many most important ways in which consolation is translated to me is how the employees make me really feel. Subsequently I contemplate myself utterly justified in saying that the Marriott Resort & Spa in Goa was probably the most snug motels I’ve ever stayed in. Not often earlier than has there been such a sensation of being absorbed right into a household the place individuals genuinely care about you. It doesn’t shock me that that is the primary Marriott in India and now there are 110 – what am unimaginable blueprint to work from!
To study extra about staying at Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, head to their web site right here: www.marriott.co.uk/inns