Luxurious Stay, Friendly Staff & Wholesome Food, The Westin Goa Offers An Unforgettable Experience

Westin Goa

When you think of monsoon getaways, Goa usually doesn’t make the cut. Beaches and shacks shut down during the rains, so it’s not the ideal spot. But on my recent trip to Goa, this commonly held notion was thwarted. Goa is so much more than its beaches and nightlife. I witnessed a different side of it–Goa is green and beautiful in the monsoon months. As someone who prefers slow, relaxing vacations, South Goa is my go-to spot. But this time, I headed to the north, the stories of raucous crowds played in my head- it wasn’t exciting. I should not have worried because the minute I checked into The Westin Goa my worries were put to rest. Despite being in Goa’s hotspot, Anjuna, the property is far away from all the hustle and bustle but close enough to access the best bars and restaurants, and of course, the beach! 

I would suggest asking for Westin team to arrange for your pick up from the airport, because the warm hospitality begins right then and there! Your concierge offers a refreshment box that includes an avocado tart, vegetable sandwich, a chocolate pastry, among others for you to munch on your way. Once I was done binging, I was also offered some beer–of course, I didn’t refuse! What better way to start your Goa vacay anyway?

A long yet peaceful drive surrounded by greenery finally gets me to The Westin Goa. Unlike other luxury properties, this one has a different vibe. Enter through a large doorway into the spacious lobby with Bali-inspired architecture and head straight to the koi pond sit-out outlined with tropical trees–the part of the property where you’ll get the perfect Instagram pic! And if you head up to the deck, you’ll get a picturesque view of lush forests and tree-laden hills. 

Living The Luxe Life 

After getting a warm welcome from the team with some champagne and cake, we were escorted to our luxurious room. That’s when my holiday actually began. We got to experience the beautiful patio room that gives you direct access to the swimming pool. Yup, you can literally dip into the pool from your room’s patio. I’m a sucker for resorts that give direct access to the beach but with a room like that, I didn’t even miss the sand and sea. The best part is that the pool is open till 12 am at night–hello midnight dips! And once you’re done with a swim, you can sit by the pool with a glass of champagne and enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing. 

A Much-Needed Detox

We had a delicious lunch and followed that up with short nap to digest all that food,after which we gave our body and mind some more TLC at the Heavenly Spa. The experience was indulgent. A dimly lit walk-through with candles and calming music leads you to your spa room, where you’re first asked to perform a small tradition of breathing out all your worries into a basket. I opted for the 75-min therapy which gave my body that much-needed relaxation. The session ended with a hot sauna and detox drink (green tea) with dark chocolate. 

Good Food = Good Mood

The Westin Goa is situated next to some of the lively bars and restaurants of Anjuna, but you might not even want to head out after seeing the multiple culinary offerings available here. The Market gives you a multi-cuisine dining experience. Start off with the special monsoon thali available in veg and non-veg all under INR 1,000. Executive Chef Ravish Mishra prepared a generous Seafood thali for us that took our palate on a flavourful journey of authentic Goan and Karwari flavours on the day of our arrival. We began with the fried elements Rawa Fried Kingfish, Rechado pomfret and prawns, and Hare Tawa ki Macchi. It gives you a good hit of that spice which is why you can then dig into the Cabbage Fogath and Goan Khatti Dal with some bhakri or chapati to cut down the heat. The Goan Fish Curry with Goan red rice is a match made in heaven and don’t miss out on the delicious Prawn Balchao. Before I dug into the thali’s sweet dish, Godshe (a dal and jaggery kheer), I kept the best for the last–the Crab Xacuti. You’ll want to gulp that glass of Sol Kadi after your meal–it’s a good digestive for all that heat! 

What’s more at The Market? An inviting Pan-Asian menu. We devoured the Edamame and Truffle dumplings, Crab sushi, Avocado Cream Cheese sushi, and prawn tempura from the appetisers.  The Edamame fried rice with Asian greens is a comforting pick from the mains. Director of Beverages Rohan Rege crafted a series of cocktails whose ingredients took a cue from our Asian-themed dinner. For instance, the Tokyo Sour was made with a Japanese single malt mixed with soy sauce and gingerale, and the Wasabi Martini had rum, homemade green apple syrup and wasabi, and was served in a cool bird glass that elevated the drinking experience. We ended our meal on a sweet note with the lip-smacking Sakura dessert made with a Madagascar chocolate centre filled with sour cherries and white chocolate ice cream.

Westin Goa
Crab Sushi | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Westin Goa
Avocado Cream Cheese Sushi | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Westin Goa
Prawn Tempura | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Chicken Dumpling | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Wasabi Martini | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Tokyo Sour | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer

If you’re searching for your good ol’ desi khaana, indulge unabashedly in the Indian cuisine at The Market. We tasted the platter featuring Chicken tikka, Murgh Malai tikka, Macchi tikka, and melt-in-your-mouth Lamb galoutis. Amritsari Chole Kulcha was served as mini open tacos. A steaming hot Lahori Gosht Ki Chaap made a theatric entrance on our table too. But the winner was definitely the Kaali Dal, which I could eat as is without any rice or roti as accompaniment. Other must-try Indian dishes include Amritsari kukkad masala and Ahuna gosht (perfectly-cooked mutton served in an Earthen pot). And if you’re a sucker for Indian sweets, there’s a lot to try–Agra Halwa bazaar with three different halwa preparations, rabdi, malpua, and different varieties of pedas such as apple, mala and pista. There was no space left in our bellies for cocktails at this moment. 

Westin Goa
Non Veg Kebab Platter: Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Westin Goa
Amritsari Chole Kulcha: Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Westin Goa
Kaali Dal | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer

Even the breakfast is as comforting and luxurious. Executive Sous Chef Rajeev Kumar prepared and personally served us a lavish breakfast in bed. The spread featured an Eat Well Concept Platter with healthy dishes such as Avocado On Toast, Mango Chia Bowl, Trail Mix, Granola Bar, Zaatar Croissant, and an Exotic Fruit Platter. There was also a Continental breakfast plate with the Middle-eastern egg preparation Shaksouka, Egg White Cheese Omlette, pita bread and hummus. Needless to say, we enjoyed the breakfast thoroughly. You can also try the breakfast buffet at The Market with an array of options to choose from or taste the special breakfast thali that gives you bites of authentic South-Indian food.

Besides The Market, you can also opt for a fine dining experience at the restaurant Thyme & Ash, where the food is artistically plated with generous portions. Chefs Manoj Vijaykumar and Nishant Diwakar brought us delectable meals. We loved the Abby Beet Salad which has peeled pieces of stewed apple and slow cured beetroot rolled in conical shapes, stuffed with rosemary diplomat creme and mango relish, and presented in a cluster that reminded me of a hydrangea. Is this how the judges at Masterchef Australia feel? I imagine it is. The soups here are unmissable as it is served in a unique way. The mushroom soup is served with a mix of mushroom paste topped with 6 different varieties of fungi (White Shimeji, Brown Shimeji, Enoki, Button mushroom, porcini, and shitake) along with stock served by the side. Similarly, the Seafood Bouillabaisse soup is served with a seafood flavoured broth poured over squid, clams, scallops, fish and prawns along with a Poiee bread that pairs beautifully with it. You must try the Sofrito chicken with black rice poppadams and the crunchy Wasabi langoustine (fried prawn with mango salsa, puffed quinoa and flattened rice crisp) from the mains. Vegans can choose to have the fulfilling vegan mezze platter and pizza lovers can opt for freshly prepared pizzas straight outta the woodfire oven. We thought the cocktails during our Asian meal were innovative but Rohan proved us wrong with cocktails that took things a notch higher. The highlights were the El matador (Tequila peach puree, lime and mulled wine shaken and smoked), Clarified whiskey sour (a spin on the classic cocktail with Bourbon, lime, sugar and clarified using a milk punch process, which takes around 18 hours to get the clear cocktail) as well as the Barrel aged Negroni (Gin, Campari, vermouth–aged in an oak cask barrel for 90 days). We finished our dinner with two decadent desserts–the Peach cobbler and Ferrero Rocher! 

Westin Goa
Abby Beet Salad | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Westin Goa
Seafood Bouillabaisse Soup | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Westin Goa
Sofrito Chicken | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Westin Goa
Wasabi Langoustine | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Westin Goa
Barrel aged Negroni | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Clarified Whiskey Sour | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer
Ferrero Rocher | Photograph Courtesy: Isha Mayer

Put in a nutshell–you get everything under one roof at The Westin Goa with the chefs ensuring you are well-fed. And as the food is that good, I didn’t care about the calories I put on. 

Awaken The Artist Within You 

The Westin Goa is big on getting guests to explore Goan culture. Art enthusiasts will love the Mario Miranda art gallery tour that the team arranges for you. But it doesn’t stop there. The art experience goes a step further by letting you draw a Mario Miranda painting on a tile, which you can take as a memento or like I would like to call it–a slice of Goa–back home. Of course, we are no Mario Miranda so for right now, our stick figures will have to cut it. 

A slow, relaxed lifestyle with great food amidst a tropical paradise and a friendly staff that not only greets you but genuinely takes the time to stop and ask you about how your day went is exactly what you’ll experience at The Westin Goa. Check out our reel below for a glimpse of our stay.

 

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