Goa gets its newest luxury hotel at Candolim

Indulge explores it all!
Goa gets its newest luxury hotel at Candolim

Far from the maddening crowd, the serene locales of Goa offer you a picturesque destination, a postcard of colours, a vibrant and decadent history, culture and tradition and a fantasmagorically pleasant culinary landscape. 

While a lot of pre-conception around the city boasts of its casual parties, nightlife and casinos; there’s also a seismic cultural scenario with food, forts, historical monuments, and iconic tourist spots that lay in wait for someone who visits Goa. We experienced a lot during our stay at the newly opened Astor Goa which welcomes individuals from all over the country and outside alike and offers some of the best services around Candolim.

Situated in Western India, Goa is known for its beaches, each with its unique charms and pictorial scenes which has more often than not made it a favourite spot for movies like Khamoshi- the musical, or Madgaon Express in recent times.

The Astor Goa situated at the heart of Candolim is a luxe property with all modern amenities and is definitely the stop while in the city for lazying around in the sands or for corporate trips.

An interior wonder

Situated less than a kilometre from Candolim Beach, the hotel welcomed us to a lavish lobby which boasted of spaciousness, wonderfully done lounge chairs with pastel colours and beautiful artwork running across the length of the wall.

Moving beyond, the open-air poolside view with the Plushpool bar and a temperature-controlled swimming pool, designed to accommodate adults and children separately, was soothing to see during the usually hot weather of the city.

We stayed in the suite which had all the basic amenities required for a comfortable stay. From a drawing room with a pool-side view verandah to a mini-bar, a study desk for all the writing works, soft bedding and a vanity stocked with everything lavish, the interiors reflected the pastel shades in tune with the lobby. The hotel boasts of 58 operating rooms with four under-construction penthouses.

The corridors were strewn with artworks that depicted local culture with each brush stroke. The paintings of windows and doors added that touch of colour to the otherwise serene corridors. While taking a stroll we caught a glimpse of the fully–functional and equipped with state- of-the-art facilities gymnasium. The spa- Hibiscus- with its calm and soothing atmosphere and comfortable assists was ready to welcome us for some self-pampering.

Suit your appetites

From quick bites to a lavish buffet to custom-plates, The Astor Goa offers all in terms of its culinary legacy. Starting with the newest first, The Astor Baking Company, operational only in Goa, bakes everything sweet and savoury in-house.

From the soft butter croissant to the delicious tea cakes, from the moist muffins to even made-to-order cakes for outside order, we found them all. We relished the almond croissant with the moist almond puree and banana cake, sitting at the outdoor seating area the Deck 88 Alfresco, overlooking the quaint neighbourhood and sipped a cup of hot tea along with it.

We recommend after a quick bite to take the only available buggy service by a hotel, to the beach to take a stroll around. At the beach we watched the setting sun leave orange and blue hues on the reflecting waters while the silhouettes of boats and swimmers casted a black contrast which made the scenario look like straight out of a painting. As the tiny shacks lit up their lights along the coast for evening service we returned to the hotel to take a sip at the bar and tried out Pinacolada made with locally sourced ingredients and spirits like Cabo paired with the sweet and tangy Pani Puri bomb.

Dinner from Deck 88 was a reminiscence of the culinary grandness Astor is known for intertwined with the local flavours. The Thai Litchi Soup resembled the Thai Red Curry but the bulbous sweet litchis made all the difference to this appetiser.

The Chicken Tikka on a Boat had an eye-catching presentation. These soft and succulent kebabs with mint chutney reminded us of Kebab-e-Que in the heritage Astor Kolkata, in every bite. The midnight snackers have a whole separate menu to themselves. Breakfasts too are a grand affair with a buffet spread across Deck 88 comprising salads, live counters, smoothies, shakes and more. We definitely recommend chicken sausage, ham and cheese omlette, baked raspberry yogurt, fresh fruit juice and marble cakes from the spread.

The sights around

We stole some time out from the trip and took a ride around to some of the must-visit destinations when in Goa. It is ideally recommended to jot down an itinerary that would aid in the visit or else, sit back, relax and let the hotel be your guide.

We took a walk along the tall ramparts of Fort Aguada on the Sinquerim Beach and imbibed the rich history of the Goan freedom fighters at the Fort Aguada Jail Museum. This well–preserved fort overlooking the sea, houses interactive and educative installations which give the visitors an idea of the Goan contribution to the Indian freedom struggle.

Up next was the bank of Mandovi where we found two of the most beautiful and famous structures of Goa- the Reis Magos Church and Fort. The Church has been home to several Bollywood movie shoots and was a sight to behold, while we took our chances for a short trek to the fort along with sufficient hydration.  

We couldn’t get enough of selfies at Fontainhas with its colourful and vibrant buildings giving off a Latin American vibe, interspersed with European-influenced architecture, flora and fauna and cosy little pubs and eateries. The outgoing culture of Goa pretty much comes alive in these colourful streets.

To check out some of the water-sports we headed over to the Sinquerim Beach which offers adventure sports like motor-biking or parasailing, jet-skiing and more; or as we did, a leisurely walk around the beach with sunset views.

Goan art, forms an important part of its culture. To experience that, we made a quick stop at the Museum of Goa, a privately owned contemporary art museum.

The Museum was a treasure trove of artworks, sculptures, and portraits that made us contemplate on several themes. The three-storey museum hosts several interesting events and also houses a curio shop where we did take some remnants of our trip back home.

Special tips for fashionistas should be to browse through the summer fashion or beach fashion outfits which include colourful bikinis, monokinis, flared pants, crochet tops, shirts with vibrant prints, hats, sandals and more. One must not forget to do a braid-hair-look for the Goa gallery on Instagram and collecting shells or lac artifacts and magnets are unmissable.

The Chef’s Table

Our trip would have been incomplete without the Chef’s Table. For our last night at the hotel we got a special six-course Chef’s Table with a fusion of coastal food and local flavours. We were elated to have findally found the right Kokum flavour that we were searching for during the whole trip. Our favourite picks were the Goan Red Rice Risotto with butter garlic poi, a local bread and Malabar Paratha with Raita, poriyal and kokum curry with prawn; and of course, no course is complete without raising a toast to the dessert which was Fresh raspberry jelly with chocolate with an added personalisation with our name on top.

Our Take?

If you are looking for a luxury property to stay and relax then The Astor Goa should be your go-to this summer in Goa. It is meticulously connected by roads to all the airports and places of interest. The in-house staffs are ever helpful and ready to assist with smiling faces and that just adds on to the charm of the place. It is a must-visit place to chill out with family or host your corporate offsite in one of the top-of-the-chart travel destinations; or simply manifest the childhood dream of visiting Goa with friends.

Indulge travel guide

How to reach: Kolkata to Goa flights are regularly on offer by several airlines. From The Goa Airports, The Astor Goa is around a 50 minutes (approx) drive.

What to see: Candolim Beach, Fort Aguada, Fort Aguada Jail Museum, Reis Magos Fort, Fontainhas, Museum of Goa

Souvenirs: Local liquor like Cabo and Feni, magnets, artworks, shell / lac gifting pieces

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