Our trip continues now in India; our first stop is Goa which is reputed to be an exotic destination where various cultures and flavors have mixed over many generations to create a unique paradise. With beautiful beaches, lush green trees and abundant flowers, it is a perfect setting for a honeymoon or a 25th wedding anniversary celebration. The treasures of Goa are not just the physical setting but the people and cuisine that make it truly special.
We decided to stay at the Taj Vivanta Holiday Village Resort on Candolim Beach in Bardez, Goa. The property covers many beautifully landscaped acres. As soon as we entered the main building, I felt the change in attitude from the high pressure of a business city to the relaxed, peaceful congeniality of a resort community.
After checking in, we were treated to a traditional, tangy Konkan drink made with local kokum fruit before we walked to our sea-facing cottage. Yes, we had a room with a view of the water! The walk was worth it to get one of the best cottages in the hotel. The property had been renovated a few years earlier so everything sparkled. The Portuguese influence was reflected in the architectural design of the cottage from the balcony and sit out patio. Inside the room was large and spacious with every amenity we could want. I was impressed with the built-in marble sofa (with a padded cushion and soft pillows) and the huge bed. Staying here would be a treat!
The staff was unique. Every time I met someone on the path or in the lobby, he or she was very friendly and went out of his or her way to be helpful. I prefer this informal approach to making guests feel welcome. Our ‘room boy’ created towel sculptures each day. Upon checking in we were met by Lord Ganesh, an elephant, on the desk and later found a dog with a note wishing us a good day on the bed. Efforts like these really did brighten my day.
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