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Hotel check: Alila Diwa Goa

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Published: 31/01/2016 - Filed under: News » Tried & Tested » Hotels » Tried & Tested » Tried & Tested » Hotels » India »

WHAT'S IT LIKE?

Opened in 2009 this is a lovely, design-led property, very different from other five-star resorts along the Goa coast, and with a clear focus on both the corporate meetings market as well as leisure, without losing the sense of being a retreat.

It is on the edge of a village with views out across paddy fields, and almost fits into the landscape with its walls of the local red laterite stone, pitched roofs, wide verandahs and corridors of teak. In the evening the brass lanterns and moon lanterns create a magical atmosphere.

Alila Diwa Goa

WHERE IS IT?

In Majorda, about 25 minutes from Goa International airport, at the edge of the village and about 600 metres down to the local, very quiet and unspoilt Gonsua beach.

ROOM FACILITIES

The 153 rooms come in a number of different categories. Entry level terrace rooms (44 sqm) have terraces overlooking the gardens while those on the ground floor are the same size, but termed Family Terrace Rooms as they open onto an outdoor garden patio and have an additional daybed along with being close to the kids' pool and club.

As with the public areas, the interiors of the rooms have simple furniture with clean lines, leading to the view out to the fields or wider resort, and the pale wood and cream surroundings of the rooms are augmented to by lattice screens and linens.  

All rooms have free wifi, but this is very slow and to do any work I had to use my phone’s mobile roaming as a wifi hotspot to download emails to my laptop. For browsing on an iPad or your phone it was just about fast enough.

There are also 30 plus rooms in the Club (the resort within a resort) which has its own pool and Bistro restaurant for day-day dining (a la carte rather than buffet down in the main Vivo restaurant).

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

The public spaces feature classic Goan touches, such as the art installation in the Edge Bar by contemporary Goan sculptor Subodh Kerkar. The hotel’s restaurants include the all-day dining Vivo overlooking the pool which has a huge range of Indian and international cuisine for breakfast (and throughout the day).

The signature restaurant is Spice Studio which is on an elevated platform that has been built around (and under) an old banyan tree and has a choice of Indian cuisine from every region of India: Punjab, Rajasthan, Kashmir and Awadhi from the north, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh from the South, Assam, Bengal, Orissa from the East and Maharashtra and Gujarat from the West.

The restaurant also offers a master class with the chef to learn about signature Indian delicacies, cooking techniques and age-old culinary secrets. There is also the Edge Bar and Lounge (pictured below) which is a real designer treat – and has an almost nightclub feel to it. If you are in the Club, there is also the Bistro. We ate one evening meal there and the service was friendly, but inconsistent, with the food arriving cold, or not at all, or in the wrong order.

Alila Diwa Goa

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

The pillarless hall can take groups of up to 100 for a banquet, and looks out onto a grassed private events lawn. Full details can be found here.

LEISURE FACILITIES

For a small resort the leisure facilities are extremely impressive. As well s the infinity pool and kid’s pool, there’s another pool up at the Club.

The Spa Alila has two double treatment rooms, two Ayurveda rooms and five single treatment rooms, each equipped with individual steam, shower and outdoor patio with daybed. Two of the double rooms have a private jacuzzi and chilled shower.

The spa facilities also include a sauna, well equipped gym with a fabulous view over rice fields as well as an upstairs yoga studio a relaxation lounge and retail outlet.

The resort also has a beauty salon, a leisure concierge service where day trips and half day trips can be organised to local attractions such as a Spice Plantation as well as cooking classes. There’s a Kid’s Club and Teen Zone and even a mini theatre where two films are shown daily, a kid’s film and a more adult film in the evening.

Alila Diwa Goa

VERDICT

The design of this hotel is lovely. Alila means surprise in Sanskrit, and it was a surprise – it has a very international clientele – a lot of European but also family groups visiting friends and relatives, and it mixes a five-star aesthetic with genuine Indian hospitality.

The brand has a lot of properties slated to open across Asia (see here) and it is definitely one to consider – it is also part of the Global Hotel Alliance.

FACT FILE

  • ROOMS Terrace Room (69) 44 sqm; Family Terrace Room (20) 44 sqm; Loft Room (21) 44sqm; Family Suite (6) 88 sqm; Alila Suite (2) 88 sqm; Diwa Club Room (27) 66 sqm; Diwa Club Suite (6) 85 sqm; Diwa Club Two-Bedroom (2) 128sqm
  • HIGHLIGHTS the location is fabulous – close enough to the beach to get there in a few minutes, but surrounded by fields and with wonderful design, both by day and by night when the resort is stunningly-lit. Free wifi (slow admittedly) and lovely dining options. An excellent choice, and not too far from the international airport
  • CONTACT Alila Diwa Goa, 48/10 Village Majorda, Adao Waddo, Salcette; alilahotels.com/diwagoa

Tom Otley

Alila Diwa Goa

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