ITC Grand Goa Resort & Spa offers a multi-level pool, sprawling gardens and opulent suites
Unhurried, quaint and peaceful, South Goa’s sleepy seaside villages are not what first spring to mind when you think of the coastal state. But it was here that we found ourselves, riding through winding roads, flanked by tall coconut trees and charming Portuguese-style villas. The newly opened ITC Grand Goa Resort and Spa on Arossim beach, was our destination and the luxury treatment started at the airport, where we were picked up in a plush BMW. The car cut an incongruous figure amidst the paddy fields and coconut plantations, but we were not complaining as we feasted our eyes on the unadulterated greenery surrounding us.
Located half an hour from the airport, the hotel is a sprawling 45-acre property, with landscaped gardens dotted with lagoons and coconut palms. Welcomed with a traditional Goan song and dance, and a garland of seashells, we were then served a large tender coconut that was just what we needed after our flight. The lobby of the hotel is truly breathtaking and from the seating area, one can view the large pool and the sea beyond. The check-in was quick and once we were done with our welcome drink, we were taken to our room on the far side of the property. Getting from place to place can be tricky given the area of the resort but it’s nothing a buggy cannot solve. On the buggy ride to our room, we were accompanied by our personal butler, who made sure we were comfortable, was forthcoming with information, friendly and polite.
Dripping with luxury, the Seaview Suite with a lap pool, was our home for two nights. The suite has a spacious living area, a large bedroom, and outdoor lap pool and jacuzzi and an oversized marble bath with a sunken tub. It was late afternoon as we entered our room and having checked out all the features, the thought of a cup of tea while taking in the sunset from one of the many outdoor sit outs sounded like a great idea. As the sun dipped into the horizon, we rested on a lounge chair in our private garden, breathing in the aroma of freshly cut grass and wet sand, as the gardeners packed up for the day.
Post our tea, we made our way to their spa, Kaya Kalp - The Royal Spa, for a session that proved to be utterly blissful. Spread across 3,344 square metres, the spa is equipped with 16 treatment suites that are built around a traditional Goan courtyard, an expansive space for yoga sessions and multiple relaxation areas. Their signature, Kaya Kalp Massage, was what we opted for, as it is designed to relax the body and ease tension. The massage uses a blend of essential oils and caters to very specific needs such as stress soothing, healing and muscle easing. The 90-minute session was focused on easing our muscles and the aromatic blend of essential oils soothed our senses.
The therapy still having its effect after our dinner that day, we headed to our gorgeously appointed room where a night of peaceful sleep awaited us. The next day, a light breakfast later, we were back in the spa, to try one of their Ayurvedic treatments. A mix of two to three therapies, our session started off with a head and shoulder massage, before moving on to a full body massage. The warm oils used alleviated tightness and stress and eased niggling aches and pains.
This was followed by a tour of the property and off we went, past lotus ponds and man made lagoons, stopping by the beach for a few minutes (as it was early afternoon and the sun was too strong), the herb and vegetable garden (where they grow guavas, coriander, mint, papaya, spices and more), the multi-level swimming pool, and the shopping area with stores selling Indian, Western and beach wear, souvenirs and accessories.
Another day at the beachside resort came to a close before we knew it. But we were excited for our next day there, as we were scheduled for a cooking class with Sarita Carvalho, the head chef of their Goan-Portuguese restaurant, Tempero. On our last day, we feasted on a breakfast of traditional Goan bread, poi, and potato curry before heading to Tempero for a one-on-one session with chef Sarita. We learnt to make a simple salad, fish recheado and other local dishes. We then sat down to a delicious feast made by Sarita’s team of experts and ourselves. Then, with the flavours of Goa still lingering on our taste buds and images of gorgeous sunset views etched in our minds, we found ourselves being driven back to the airport for the flight back home.
Ideal for luxury seekers and honeymooners, looking for unadulterated pampering, the ITC Grand Goa Resort & Spa is truly one that gives you holidays that cannot be easily forgotten.
Rooms start at Rs.17,100. At Arossim Beach, Cansaulim, South Goa
The writer visited the property on invitation from ITC Grand Goa Resort & Spa.