Goa! Say, think or speak the word and visions of miles of beautiful, golden, sun-drenched beaches pop into our heads. Close on the heels of those images comes the aromatic, tantalizing taste-button pleasures of Goan seafood; stately, dazzling, whitewashed cathedrals; colorful haciendas shaded in a Portuguese style; lively, foot-tapping Goan mando music and you’re instantly swept away to paradise.
This laid-back paradise has several quiet exclusive enclaves of ultimate relaxation. Here you will be pampered by attentive services that cater to your every need. Their serenity, beauty and sumptuous comforts will rejuvenate you like never before.
Here is our selection of those heavenly retreats.
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The LaLit Golf & Spa Resort (TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 / 5)
The LaLit Resort is located on the incomparable Raj Baga Beach in Canacona. It offers beautiful views of the Arabian Sea and the Talpona River. Surrounded by the coast, manicured gardens and numerous trees, The LaLit Resort is guarded by the Sahyadri Hills. It is a sprawling 85 acre oasis in tranquil South Goa.
The whole complex, including the luxurious suites, is indicative of the rich and ornate Portuguese architectural style with possibly a little Goan influence. The place exudes grace, elegance and luxury without being ostentatious. The intricate chandeliers, hand-painted tiles in the lobby and slow-turning antique ceiling fans will immediately set the stately atmosphere.
The landscape and service of The LaLit Golf & Spa Resort has won many awards, which is self-evident and truly deserved. The 18-hole golf course (which is a great spur to many guests) has won the “Best Golf Resort, India” awarded by the International Awards for Asia-Pacific Hotels.
The LaLit Golf & Spa Resort has several private villas, each with 3 bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen and private pool. There is a dedicated staff to attend to your needs. It’s better than ‘home from home’.
There are also five excellent restaurants with a number of cuisines to tantalise your taste buds. It also has facilities for cycling, parasailing and windsurfing. There are also sunset and fishing cruise options. There is a leisure and sports complex with children’s play area and tennis courts.
For all its expansive areas, The LaLit Golf & Spa Resort is about privacy and luxury.
Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, Goa (TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 / 5)
Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa is located in North Goa. The resort is surrounded by and co-opted in the historic Portuguese fortress of Aguada from the sixteenth century. The elevated position ensures that guests have an unparalleled view of the Arabian Sea. The resort consists of more than 140 rooms and suites, but the surrounding eighty acres of tropical vegetation, gardens and trees camouflage that. The atmosphere stimulates in peace and privacy.
The air-conditioned rooms and other built-up areas reflect the distinctive Goan-Portuguese building patterns. The environment of the Taj Aguada Resort fosters a sense of unhurried, attentive (twenty-four hour) service and tasteful comfortable luxury.
Dining is simply a wonderful experience at the Latitude restaurant serving Italian, Goan and other European dishes. There are two bars – SFX Lounge and the Martini Bar where you can get your ‘SPIRITUAL’ fix.
One of the highlights of the resort is the all-natural Jiva Spa. Enjoy their wonderful India based aromatherapy sessions. There are also traditional Indian body scrubs and massages. There are a whole range of therapies and treatments that will help you relax and get rid of all that stress and tension that your nine to five life throws at you.
At the Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, the emphasis is on relaxation, luxury and self-indulgence. So go immerse yourself.
Mayfair Hideaway Spa Resort (TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 / 5)
Mayfair Hideaway Spa Resort is located at the southern tip of Goa and is an amazing place. Bordered by the Arabian Sea, the River Sal and lush forests, the resort truly lives up to its name. As soon as you enter the property, down the country lane and through the quintessential Goan village of Betul, you are surrounded by a welcoming green tropical embrace.
The living space consists of 30 rooms and suites created and decorated in the ornate Portuguese architectural style with gilded furnishings. Rooms offer a choice of river, sea or pool views. The infinity pool is a great attraction and a perfect gathering place for guests.
The Nautica is a multi-cuisine buffet restaurant serving authentic Goan dishes as well as Thai, Indian, Chinese and continental dishes. Then there’s the Aquarium Bar which offers a range of vibrant wines and spirits. The Grill Bar, right next to the infinity pool, offers a selection of some amazing dishes and drinks.
Also remember that this is a spa with a number of relaxing and soothing spa options – therapies, massages, steam baths and other wellness offerings – to refresh your tired body and mind in the city. If you want to stretch and test your muscles there is a modern and really good gymnasium where you can do that.
Calm and serene is the understated description that makes the ‘Hideaway’ part of this resort so compellingly appealing.
Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort
The Novotel Dona Sylvia Resort is discreetly tucked away amongst the greenery bordering Cavelossim Beach in South Goa. The compact yet spacious structure marks the first striking impression of the resort. It is sheltered among 26 acres of trees, palm trees, lush greenery and carefully landscaped gardens. The entire space is airy, including the one hundred and eighty rooms and dining areas, reminiscent of Mediterranean architecture combined with a Goan touch.
You will be delighted and never tire of the Sylvia Resort’s food choices. Seagull’s buffet offers a wide variety of seafood and different meats. Mama Mia combines different cuisines in their dishes that are eclectic and tempting. Kebab and Kurries give the best of Indian food.
Its compactness belies the fact that it has excellent facilities suitable for conferences and off-site meetings. Plus it’s a spa. Treatments include Ayurvedic and Western massages and wellness practices. The treatments are administered by qualified and highly experienced doctors and professionals.
Caravela Beach Resort
Surrounded by 24 hectares of greenery, the Caravela Beach Resort borders the beautiful beach of Varca. It is also a golfers dream. The Portuguese-style buildings with their red-tiled, pitched roofs are a delight to the eyes as they hint at cool, high-ceilinged, quiet elegance. In keeping with the adjoining golf course, the property has been beautifully landscaped and the lawns trimmed.
The rooms and suites exude a traditional Goan warmth, comfort and lightness with expansive views of the vast Arabian Sea and white sand beach. Owning one of the largest swimming pools in the area adds to the spacious impression. The open planning of all facilities, be it the dining areas or guest rooms, helps bring in natural light and let the cool sea breeze caress your skin. There is no better therapy!
There is no shortage of food choices at the Caravela Beach Resort. The Beach Shack serves some of the best traditional Goan food you will ever taste. Carnival offers a wide variety of seafood, while Castaways offers light snacks and appetizers. The Lanai and Café Cascada are open 24/7 and should help you with those late night cravings or an early morning cup of coffee. You can get a lot of refreshing drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic and cocktails – in the Sunset, Island and Atrium bars.
The Caravela Beach Resort has some of the best Ayurveda spa services. Treatments include massages, body scrubs and aromatherapy. One can even opt for yoga here.
The services, amenities and therapies all combine harmoniously to make you a new person.
The Leela Goa (TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5/5)
Located in South Goa, The Leela Goa is the ultimate in serenity, heartwarming beauty and seemingly infinite greenery. It is both a river and oceanfront resort – the beach is private and exclusive to the resort.
The Leela Goa encompasses an area of about seventy-five acres that contains large expanses of tropical and fragrant trees and gardens, a 12-hole golf course, tennis courts, and several mesmerizing water features and lagoons.
The resort is a seamless blend of the traditional and modern in terms of structures. There are over 200 rooms, suites and terrace villas to choose from. They all have views of the attractive lagoons and several even have sun terraces.
The dining options are hearty and the spread of cuisines is large and wide. You have a choice of The Restaurant, Italian fine dining in the form of The Riverside, the Jamavar (Indian food), Susegado-Beachside (authentic Goan and seafood restaurant). There is also a poolside bar and lounge.
The spa facilities at the Leela Goa are among the best. The therapies include Ayurvedic treatments, massages and yoga sessions.
The stunning location, the incredible view, the exquisite food, the impeccable and attentive service all add up to the most luxurious and relaxing experience.