Not sure if I told you all, but the purpose of the trip to India was to relax. That is why I picked Goa. I wanted a nice place by the beach so that I could relax. It also meant I needed to find a place in Goa that had a nice beach, a pool and everything available at the hotel. I didn’t want to be taking taxis everywhere to eat or go to the beach. It also meant I wanted a more of a luxury experience. There were lots of options, but a friend of mine at stayed at a Taj Resort on her trip to Kerala, India and said is was very nice, and the service was excellent. The Taj hotels actually have three hotels in Goa!
After doing some research, I decided to book the Vivanta by Taj Fort Aguada. I choose it because it was on the beach, and the pool looked amazing. The reviews on Trip Advisor were also pretty good. Unfortunately, the room I wanted to book was no longer available online, and I had to call the hotel directly. I ended up paying more but got a better room for not much more. This is where the trouble started. If you read my post about my India Trip Jitters, then you recall I was nervous. After calling and making the reservation, I never got a confirmation email. After several emails back and forth, I ended up calling for the confirmation number. In the end, it all worked out and I there was a car waiting for me when I arrived.
This was my room! I arrived early in the morning when it was still dark outside, so I wasn’t that impressed at first, but I appreciated it more in the light. The first picture is the view from my room and the small patio I had. I couldn’t have asked for a better view. In the end, I was glad I had paid more for this room because I could walk out from the patio to the pool and the restaurants. If I had been in the room I originally planned for; I would have had to walk out the back and had to go down the stairs to get to the pool. You get what you pay for! The best part was, I could hear the waves crashing on the beach, which is the best sound in the world.
The bed was very comfortable and while I was checking for bed bugs, as I always do, I noticed the mattress was new. My friend complained that her bed was uncomfortable, so it may be a matter of taste or my mattress really was new. The room was small, but fine for it just being me. The property is an older property. I believe it was built in the late 1970s, so that explains the small room and bathroom size. It was clear the rooms decor had been updated, though.
The rest of the property was also great. The pool was an infinity pool with plenty of lounge chairs. It was a bit small, so one of my friends would go to the Vivanta by Taj Holiday Village pool that was just down the road. It had a much larger pool that you could swim laps in. Unfortunately, the waves at the beach were too rough for swimming as it was still monsoon season. I had to be content with walking on the beach instead of swimming it. The beach was very clean and not crowded, although during the high season, I know that this beach will be packed with people and huts. This was another reason to come during monsoon season.
Both Vivanta by Taj hotels had excellent restaurants. My favorites were the Italian and the seafood places at Fort Aguada. You may be thinking, you went to India to eat Italian food!? I eat Indian food on a weekly basis in Qatar due to the high Indian population in Qatar, so it wasn’t a big drawn for me. The wine selection was also amazing. I even tried some of the Indian wine and was not disappointed. Holiday Village has a Goan restaurant that was good and offered all the traditional Goan cuisine. It was easy to get to Holiday Village as they had free car service to the other resort.
I had a massage at the spa. The massage itself was great and I felt very relaxed afterward. However, the environment for the spa was not ideal. There was no place to relax before or after your appointment. I could also hear people talking and doing things outside the treatment room door. The spa is also not at either resort, but in a small villa between the two. I took a car there but walked back.
Overall, my stay was a pleasant one and I would recommend the resort. During the off-season, it seemed like a lot of Indian families were staying there, which made me feel good about my choice as female traveler. I also enjoyed seeing the families interact with each other, which brought an unexpected cultural experience. Next time I go back, I want to stay at the Holiday Village as they seem to have villas and not hotel rooms. These also might be suited to families better as they looked bigger.
Have you stayed at a great place in Goa? Where was it?