Before we get into the details, let me say this: Westin Goa is a delightful place to be. If you truly want to experience the susegad way of life - the other relaxed side of Goa, you don’t necessarily need to head to South Goa. Nestled in Anjuna, North Goa, just 15 mins away from the most picturesque and Instagrammable Parra village, Westin Goa is an idyllic spot to revive your mind, body and soul. Surrounded by verdant green hills and captivating landscapes, it lets you take a break from the crowded beaches and nightclubs for a more immersive experience with the local culture, communities and the environment.
Not to mention the pandemic has changed the idea of travel. Travellers are now looking for ways to travel more responsibly and meaningfully. Sustainable travel has emerged as a growing trend over the past two years with people being more mindful about the planet and doing their bit towards the environment. Keeping all that in mind, the Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy programme is helping their guests reimagine travel with an enhanced sense of purpose by promoting both cultural understanding and positive sustainable change.
Sustainability is the way of life and Westin Goa is catering just that to conscious travellers. They follow sustainable practices like iPad check in check out, no plastic in the room, energy efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, on-site organic food waste converter installed and environment-friendly refrigerants.
The rooms are tastefully done and have a deluxe patio with direct access to the outdoor pool surrounded by beautiful hill and forest views - just what I needed to enjoy my long-awaited solitude to reacquaint myself.
The good taste
Their take on food has quality and class that gets finer with their friendly staff and cooking. With all the ingredients and seasonal produce for the kitchens sourced from local organic farms and vendors, the property houses not one but four dining spaces where guests get to sample delicious local cuisines - The Market, The Drift (the pool bar), Anjuna Coffee and Co (patisserie and coffee shop) and Thyme and Ash (multi-cuisine).
After a delayed flight, a glass of Bird in Heaven - a lovely concoction of lavender syrup, vodka and soda wore off all the tiredness. Next on the table was an authentic Goan thali especially curated by Executive Sous Chef Rajeev Kumar that included some delicious recheado prawns, cafreal chonak, rawa fried king fish, prawn balchao, goan fish curry, khatti dal, goan rice, phulka, cabbage foogath, and halwa. The centrepiece of the meal was the rawa fried king fish and the prawns cooked in spicy, hot and tangy goan masala recheado.
The dinner choice comes from their French and Italian menu that was an utter joy. It kicked off with a delightful bite of ‘Walk in the Forest’ amuse bouche - a complimentary small bite that was served before the meal. To nibble on, I started with the Tomato pesto parfait made with grape seed oil, trebbiano fumee and aerated bocconcini that tastes as divine as it looks. Full marks to their art of plating! What came as a surprise, and a pleasant one, was their take on the ravioli made with wood sorrel and feta curry leaf noisette. The taste was spot on. However, the highlight of the night was the magical hand-selected mushroom soup with truffle alba - hands down one of the most intensely flavoured mushroom soups I have savoured. I must say that they really know the art of making the perfect soups; our second most favourite from the menu was the Spinach cream soup that was simply terrific. For dessert there was royal crunch made with fresh raspberry, caramelised hazelnut, bitter chocolate mousse, and raspberry fluid gel - can be skipped!
Eat well menu
Their sustainable ‘eat well’ menu promotes mindful eating with a selection of nutritious dishes, handcrafted by the chef. From flexible portion sizes to consciously selected ingredients from local organic farms, their special menu offers a variety of healthier choices to help you eat well. They have a delicious avocado toast made with gluten free bread, feta and tomatoes that definitely gets a nod from us. Next up on the menu is Spinach and egg white roll made with egg white, broccoli, onion, and tomatoes which tastes decent. They also have a special silken tofu with multigrain toast topped with sprouts, Indian spices. Their range of nourishing, revitalising juices and smoothies like yogurt, papaya, mint, cinnamon, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, mango, turmeric and cardamom offers you with plenty of healthy options to choose from.
The heavenly spa
If your post-lockdown relaxation is long due, don’t miss out on their top-notch wellness treatment that will help you connect deeply with your emotions and make you feel good about your body. I opted for their signature massage - a combination of Swedish and Balinese techniques with a therapeutic blend of white tea aloe and lavender oil in heated herbal compress form. It helped to relax back muscles leaving me physically rested, deeply relaxed and mentally uplifted.
Their range of heavenly spa also includes Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy massage, sports massage, warm stone massage, and abhyanga massage. 75-minute spa treatment is priced at Rs 5,500 and a 90-minute massage costs Rs 6,500.
To sum it up, North Goa is blessed with many things, but what tops it all is Westin Goa’s exceptionally warm and unparalleled hospitality.
Where: Survey No: 204/1, Dmello Vaddo, Anjuna, Goa
Tariff per night: Starts from Rs 13,230 and goes up till Rs 28,500