Goa – or if you may please, the party capital of India – has much more to offer than a regular tourist can think of.
Taking the first trip to this very green and serene state, what kept me going in spite of poor health was the sheer enthusiasm for discovery. I was determined to discover something unique about the place — like I do in all my trips – something to take back home and store in my palace of memories to cherish for the years to come.
Although ill health restricted my adventurous journey to this southwestern state of India, what tiny bits of joy I experienced were worthy enough to take the risk of embarking on a three day trip with 103 F fever!
Warmth of the place
This place not only offers a luxurious and comfortable stay but also hosts a lot of fun-filled experiences.
The welcoming reception is decked with thick curtains of like-seashells all around, instantly giving you a flavour of the sea. As you head towards your room, the greenery endorsed by butterflies, grasshoppers, and caterpillars on the way is sure to make you go ‘wow!’
You can cannonball into the large swimming pool in the property, and splash around before lunch, or simply take a leisurely walk along the beach. Or just soak in some warm goodness of a bubble-bath in your room itself.
Hot to take care of a sick guest!
My very pleasant hosts at the Azaya Beach Resort, in south Goa were more caring than probably many people’s families are! Yes, I have the audacity to say that. As soon as they learnt of my health condition they shipped me off to my comfortable room and called for a doctor to check on me.
Meanwhile, as I was slowly unpacking my stuff and admiring the welcome desserts plate laid out at the table, they brought me some hot chicken sweet corn soup with numero uno garlic bread. If not for the poor appetite and a tasteless tongue, I’d have ordered for more!
Following this, I had multiple knocks on my door throughout my stay when the hotel staff took a trip from across the 10 acre property just to query about my health.
When it comes to food, Azaya has a great deal to offer. From authentic Indian and world cuisines to lip-smacking drinks to tailor-made combination cooking, to an amazing dinner under the starry night sky — you’ll get it all at this 5-star property. Furthermore, your minibar is stacked with innumerable mouthwatering snacks and classy drinks.
Talking about food, a must mention from the Goanese kitchen is bebinca– a traditional layered cake. Why the special mention? Well, this is unlike a usual sponge cake, and what makes it stand out of the cake world is the use of very Indian ingredients – jaggery, ghee, coconut milk, and some flavours of aromatic spices. Who would’ve thought of a cake made of jaggery and coconut milk?
Well, they work their own magic tantalising your taste buds. This Indo-Portuguese dessert is very famous at Christmas.
Says Executive Chef Swatantra Gautam, from Azaya, “The process of preparing bebinca requires a lot of time. There are eight layers in the cake. Each time, a thin layer of batter is spread out on a baking tray, which is shoved into the oven, once it is baked for a few minutes, another layer is added and the tray is put back into the oven. The same process follows until eight layers are completed, and then after the entire baking is complete, you are left with this yummy cake right in front of you to gorge upon.”
Taking a trip around town is simple. Goa’s identity lies in the presence of uncountable beautiful and colourful bungalows all over the place. While that laid-back charm of a small town rules the mood of the place, the bright coloured bungalows kickstart your imagination taking you on a mind trip to centuries back when the Portuguese set up their base there.
When you start off with the idea of a relaxed trip, it definitely calls for a spa, and Azaya’s long list of spa treatments might make it difficult for you to choose from. It is advisable to go for the all-time favourite aromatherapy, or Swedish massage to calm your senses and rejuvenate your inner energy. Feel alive after an hour-long session, and set out to sieze the rest of the day!
Memories are made of these
One of the highlights of my stay in Goa at Azaya was definitely the dinner at the beach. Some super good music, platefuls of yummy Goanese food, bellyfuls of laughter, unending service of alcohol, and the roaring sea at the backdrop – that’s all it takes to call it a day.
Apparently, Goa gives one a moment of their lifetime, be it through the unending party scene on the beaches, brilliant live music accompanied with a lovely glass of wine and some cheese-balls, or just a good read of your favourite book by the Benaulim beach – this is a destination to be at, at least once in a couple of years to let loose the negativity, allowing it all to set sail towards the horizon with the sunset.
All the while, it will be the gorgeous roar of the sea as massive waves crash just feets away from you onto the sand — the sight and sound that you’d kill to come back for.