OUR 1ST MARRIAGE ANNIVERSARY
It was going to be a year since we got married and we had been on the road for the last 5 months! On our way back I wanted to surprise Archana with a trip to Goa. She loves the beach and Goa is her favorite holiday destination. Our drive from Delhi to Bangalore would take us through Pune so I decided to take a detour to Goa. I had already made a list of luxury resorts in Goa, contact them and soon we heard from Alila Diwa! They offered to host us for our special event and have us over for 2 nights! It was perfect! The property is close to the beach and not in a crowded area but close to good eating joints!
The best kind of therapy is beach therapy and Goa is the perfect therapy centre that heals you beautifully; inside and out!
ALILA DIWA – 1ST IMPRESSIONS
From the moment you drive into the property, you enter into vacation mode. You are welcomed at each interaction with the staff and we were so happy that they all knew our name! Charmaine was our point of contact and she took us for a quick tour of the entire property! What we really liked about the property was the stunning artistic elements in the architecture. It is a great fusion of nature, beach culture and contemporary Goan richness. There’s tall coconut trees, palm tree and flowers everywhere in the property giving it an open and natural feel to it.
Along with a gorgeous beach close by, Alila Diwa offers a perfect blend of culture, natural elements, and luxury essentials! As you move further inside, you can’t help but be awed by the stunning beautiful infinity pool! It is definitely the center of attraction and flows along the bar. You can immediately picture yourself in the pool with a nice cocktail, overlooking a beautiful sunset!
The beach is visible on the horizon and the pool is a great spot for a relaxing evening. The really cool aspect of the pool is that they have put lounge chairs inside the pool and you can just sit there enjoying your drink inside the pool and appreciate the view of lush green paddy fields right next to you!
Alila Diwa Goa has 118 rooms and suites that represent the quaint and relaxing feel of Goa. They also have an exclusive wing, The Diwa Club with 35 rooms and suites and an all-day dining restaurant. It feels a lot more private since it has its own pool and restaurant, away from the all-inclusive side of the hotel.
Alila Diwa Goa has rooms in different categories that include the Terrace, Loft, Alila Suite and Diwa Club Suite. The Diwa Club Suite is in the Diwa Club which is a resort within the Alila Diwa resort and all the other rooms are in the main building where we stayed.
Charmaine had put us up in one of the Terrace Rooms which offer plenty of space, a private sit out and a luxurious attached washroom with a bathtub which is closed off by sliding the room’s glass doors. The room had a view of lush green paddy fields and we could spot the beach on the horizon!
We were surprised to see a recent picture of our trip, beautifully framed and kept on the bed surrounded by roses! Such a sweet gesture and it immediately made us feel so welcome and appreciated as guests! We loved the vibe of the room, mainly due to the ambient lighting, plush decor, and wooden paneling.
THE FINE DINE EXPERIENCE
The one experience that we have always missed out on our Goa trips is having authentic Goan food. But we were assured by Alila Diwa that they had some lip-smacking Goan delicacies in store for us! The resort has 4 very different dining spaces available that serve an assortment of cuisines.
Vivo is a live kitchen restaurant and our breakfast venue for the next 3 days. We were expecting to have the typical mix of Indian and continental buffet breakfast spreads. But to our amazement, they also served Goan delicacies such as Pork Chorizo, Pork Sausages, and Aaloo Patal Bhaji.
The famous infinity pool runs in front of the Edge Bar which is the most fun part of the resort! You can enjoy a great time dining and drinking poolside and is a good spot for those looking to letting loose. The infinity pool at the Alila Diwa makes it an awesome experience of enjoying the different cocktails from the bar.
Spice Studio is their Indian specialty restaurant. It is open only for dinner and the menu features Goan, Northern Indian, and South Indian delicacies. The catch of the day at the restaurant is the main highlight whenever you are dining at the Spice Studio.
Bistro is the ala-carte restaurant at the Diwa Club is right next to the pool for an amazing view. It offers Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-influenced cooking and it’s definitely one of the best in the resort.
Right from the moment, we stepped into Alila Diwa, we felt relaxed. Everyone knew us, our requirements and everything was done even before we could ask for it! We never expected the entire staff to know our name and it was a friendly experience to talk to people who knew about us! They all knew we were bloggers and asked us about our recent Himalayan trip!
The Anniversary Specials!
On the day of our anniversary, Charmaine had arranged a sundowner at Bistro. As we sat by the pool sipping on our favorite Martinis, we looked back at our trip and agreed that we couldn’t have planned a better end. It had been a long and tiring drive. And, Alila had pulled out all the stops to ensure we could spend a relaxing time at the resort.
After a couple of drinks, we decided to head back to the room before we got ready for dinner. Entering the room, we saw the bed decorated with rose petals, an anniversary cake and the bathtub too decorated with petals and lit up with scented candles! Wow, this was a huge surprise and we were elated at this gesture by the hotel. Over the next hour or so, we really enjoyed a dip in the tub, thanks to the calming effect of the bath salts!
Dinner at Spice Studio
We were invited to dinner, the next day, at the Spice Studio and introduced to Chef Edia who has been with Alila Diwa for a long time now. Heading over to the catch of the day, we picked our jumbo prawns as the Chef recommended Goan style dishes for our dinner. Spice Studio is a quiet restaurant. A portion of it is occupied by the open kitchen, from where delicious aromas waft your way as Chef Edia whips up your food of choice.
We were served a variety of Prawns, Chicken, and Mutton and everything was just so heavenly. The delicate succulent meat has absorbed the flavors perfectly and each bite of everything was juicy, tender and full of exciting flavors! I was elated, almost in tears, as I had never experienced authentic Goan food that tasted so amazing! It was a culinary delight and I never wanted it to end, each bite was relished as much as possible!
The end to our trip couldn’t have been at a better place than Alila Diwa and it had been a memorable 3 days in Goa. In fact, we had such a good time enjoying the resort that, for the first time in Goa, we didn’t go to the beach! The hotel had pampered us, treated us to amazing food and made us feel so special every moment. The time we spent at the resort was one of the best we had on our trip and something that we take back forever!
Also, read offbeat beaches in South India.