On 9th October 2020, we walked into Novotel Goa Resort & Spa, who could have imagined that this would happen in 2020! While making plans for 2020, Neharika and I talked about doing a long trip in the latter half of the year. Little did we know that it would mean 8 months of NO TRAVELING.
After a rough 8 months of staying indoors, we got to do the thing we love the most, Travel, and what better place to visit than the much beloved Goa. We already saw friends travel there and Goa anyways has a sense of familiarity when it comes to a trip.
Novotel Goa Resort & Spa
There are a few hotels in the world where you feel secured, a sense of familiarity, at home yet away from home, and Novotel Goa Resort & Spa was all of this and much more to us. A sprawling property with impeccable hospitality and scrumptious food.
WIIFT – (What’s In It For Travelers)
Located right in the heart of Candolim, brilliant food on offer and a sense of calm. Their safety standards are incredible, and the staff is ready to deal with the new normal.
Getting to Novotel Goa Resort & Spa –
Novotel Goa Resort & Spa is a 45min drive from the Airport and sits just around the Fort Aguada road near the Candolim Market. You can hire a self-drive car from the Airport (Rs. 2000/day) or take the Goa Miles cab after booking on the app (Rs. 900). You don’t need a Covid test when you land in Goa. So, you can just collect the luggage and walk out of the Airport. Since we flew on a weekend, the crowd at the Airport was a little more than expected.
Check-in at Novotel Goa Resort & Spa –
We got to the property and our luggage was taken away for sanitization. At the entry, the staff did a temperature check and entered our details in their records. The check-in counters are enclosed in glass for safety and the whole process is done with caution. Even the key cards are sanitized before handing it out to the guests. We collected our keys and took the lift to our room.
First Impressions –
The boutique 5-Star property stands tall in the heart of Candolim yet snuggled amidst lush greenery and the mighty hill. The place boasts all things luxury from an attractive outdoor swimming pool with a sunken bar, to a combination of Al fresco and in-house/in-room dining options, free Wi-Fi, live cooking station, luxurious spa options and lots more. To us, 3 days spent there, were like a breath of fresh air in these trying times. We were relaxed, safe and 2 happy bunnies hopping around.
Our Room –
Novotel is known for their spacious rooms and our room here brought back the memories from our past stays at Novotel properties around the World. It’s this sense of familiarity which builds that confidence when it comes to any brand. The sight of that comfortable Hotel bed brought in such happy emotions. All we wanted to do was fall into the beds and take a nap, but then content comes first, so we had to shoot the room! Our favorite part of the room was the spacious balcony overlooking the vast greenery. It gave a sense of peace in these times.
Dining Options at Novotel Goa Resort & Spa –
Goa and food are like marriage made in heaven, and Novotel Goa Resort & Spa will spoil you for choices. These guys sure know how to feed their guests to their hearts desire.
The Chef was ever so kind and supremely talented and fed us his signature dishes, from the legendary Goan Thali, to the lip-smacking Pan-Asian fare to even his own signature dished from the hills of Uttrakhand. We sure left their restaurants with a few pounds heavier every single time in 3 days.
If you feel like a lazy beanbag, you could opt for the 24 hours in-room dining service. We also got an opportunity to learn to whip up the local Goan recipe of the Shark Ambotik from Chef at the Food Exchange cooking station.
Both Chy and Food Exchange serve some amazing food. The best part was to see the staff be aware and very prompt in the current scenario as well.
While we didn’t really get to experience their Spa as it is shut at the moment owing to the Pandemic woes, the Warren Tricomi Spa did give us some Bali feels, thanks to its wooden structure build, with the tropical mini forest surrounding it. The peaceful expanse has a variety of massages from Balinese to Swedish and Hawaiian Lomilomi. Their salon also offers the one of its kind Turkish Hammam.
The property premises offer a variety of activities to their guests including free yoga sessions, cooking lessons with Chef, movie night set-ups and so much more. With so much happening within the space, it’s hard to leave.
The staff was extremely courteous, and brilliant management from one and all.
This time, Goa felt different. The people were the same, the roads to our favorite eatery joints were the same, the salty air, the blazing sun, it was all the same, yet so different. The crowd was lesser and that meant ample social distancing everywhere. But the stay had a happy positive vibe that we surely missed in 2020.
Contact number – +918327112424