Paradise re-invented in Goa

first_imgExperience a happening beach party in GoaThe soft, melodic hum of the azure ocean is given a thumping rhythm thanks to the nearby beach party that is ‘rocking’ in all its fenny-laced fervour. The sight of bikini-clad bodies paying obeisance to the sun is juxtaposed with the image of veiled ladies proceeding to the chapel for evening prayers. This beach paradise is filled with such contrasting experiences that somehow seem to cohabit in an ambrosial setting that typifies Goa, a place that has over the last four decades, achieved the iconic status as India’s ultimate party destination.Singing is a way of life on Goan beachesWhile Goa might be all this and more, it is certainly not static. A place that is constantly changing, yet keeping a firm grip on all that makes it super-special, Goa is the perfect microcosm of all that is new… and yes, happening!Stay wildThe charming Casa dos Colacos in MargaoNever has there been a place in India that has the distinction of seeing a new hotel being launched almost every week, but Goa comes close. It offers a mind boggling variety of new accommodation options that suit almost every budget and taste. For those who prefer to try out something different, Club Fresh Resort at Morjim beach in north offers tents that are kitted out with all the mod cons to make your stay memorable. It also has 15 rooms, a spa and multi-cuisine restaurant. For a great insight into the Portuguese legacy, the Casa dos Colacos, in Margao, is the perfect place for some culture-vulturing. A boutique bed and breakfast kind of place, it is housed in a renovated old-style bungalow steeped in history. Perched on the idyllic sandy beaches of Candolim, the new Casablanca is a beachside resort that offers you the doorstep to the sea. Replete with typical Goan hospitality and charm, it is one of the best stay options at Candolim.Shopping for styleA quiet walk on Baga beach is a great way to experience the placeIt is no surprise that Indian designers like Malini Ramani and Wendell Rodricks have set shop in hip Goa. The eclectic boho-chic sense of style is all pervasive here with flea markets and quaint boutiques that sell everything from 70s inspired shirts, string bikinis to flower-power lounge pants. The latest designer to open a store here is Arjun Khanna whose signature boutique in Saligaon is fast attracting the swish set with its superb creations. Another brand new shopping destination is Arte e Mobilia in Panjim that is full of unique objects and art sourced from Goa, Mumbai, Kolkata and beyond.Foodie’s delightSinful seafoodWhen it comes to eating, Goa offers a newer smorgasbord of tempting possibilities. Located in one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Panjim’s Latin Quarter, Ernestos maybe a newbie on the scene, but it packs in quite a mighty punch with its world cuisine favourites like filet mignon and barbecued ribs. Republic of Noodles in Candolim pays homage to Southeast Asian cuisine with its superb nosh like the Bangkok Pad Thai noodles. For the loungers CafÅ Chocolatti’s new branch at Altinho is just the place to indulge those post lunch or 4 p.m. truffle cravings that are best washed down with a steaming mug of hot chocolate with lovely marshmallows floating in it.Where’s the party tonightHead to Republic of Noodles for Southeast Asian cuisineWhen the sun takes siesta, Goa comes alive to claim its well-earned title of being a hedonistic heaven and manages to come up with interesting options throughout the year. A nightclub that is becoming a destination of its own thanks to the mind boggling variety of cocktails and other heady libations is ‘The Nightclub in the Sky’ Club Cubana in Arpora at north Goa. Recently voted India’s best nightclub, Club Cubana is legendary for its Bikini Friday nights that draws the bold and beautiful in droves who party till they are ready to drop. Another Yber-popular joint is Mambo’s on Baga beach that has recently gone in for a great new overhaul. This open-air club is one of the most happening places in north Goa, and spending a few hours on a Saturday night at Mambo’s is a match made in party heaven.Fine dining at the beach during sunset makes for a picutre perfect settingFor the last couple of months a quiet riot of sorts has been taking place every Saturday night at Neptune’s Point in south Goa’s idyllic Palolem beach. As India’s only silent party where revellers don a pair of headphones that are tuned to the frequency of the DJ’s console and groove to music that only they can hear, this is Goa’s answer to the legendary headphone parties that originated in another party capital of the world-Ibiza. Alarming, though, the sight may be of hundreds of people dancing to zilch sound, this is one of the most fun new things to do in Goa.Be GameWater sports on Anjuna beachAs the only Indian state to legalise gambling, Goa’s casino scene is slowly but surely throwing up some interesting options for punters to part with or earn cash. Not far from Panjim, the Chances Casino is situated at Vainguinim Valley Resort in the scenic Vainguinim Valley. This 24-hour casino features American roulette, poker and 35 slot machines and is a big draw for tourists.Goa promises you a new journey every time you visit it. Brace yourself as this temptress embraces you with a vice-like grip that will leave you breathless and satiated!advertisementadvertisement Fact fileClub Fresh Resort H. No. 782, Gawdewado, Morjim Beach; tel: (0832) 645 0599Casa dos Colacos Bernardo Da Costa Road, Margao, Salcette; www.casadoscolacos.comThe lovely Casablanca beachside resort at CandolimCasablanca Wadi Candolim, Candolim, Bardez; tel: (0)93225 09495; www.casablancagoa.comArjun Khanna’s boutique Vespa Rodriguez, Bungalow no. 5/67, Donvaddo, Saligaon, BardezArte e Mobilia Rebelo’s Arte e Mobilia Rebelo Building, first floor, Panjim; tel: (0) 98231 00400Ernestos Ernesto’s House 6/49, Mala, Panjim; tel: 325 6213Republic of Noodles Amarante Beach Resort, Vadi, Candolim; tel: 248 9600Cafe Chocolatti Goa Centre for the Arts, 63/C-8, Altinho, Panjim; tel: 242 1311; www.sgcfa.orgClub Cubana Arpore Hill, Arpora, Calangute; tel: (0) 98235 39033; www.clubcubanagoa.netMambo’s Tito’s Lane, Saunta Vaddo, Calangute Road, Baga; tel: 227 5028Neptune’s Point Palolem Beach; tel:(0) 919730 935334Chances Casino 184/189, Machado’s Cove, Dona Paula; tel: 245 2201last_img