With more than a 100 km of glorious golden coastline, exquisite cuisine and a rich Portuguese heritage, Goa has long been India’s most loved resort destination. Ever since the colonial times India’s smallest state has attracted tourists from all over the world. Thanks to the influx of tourism over the last 50 years however, it is among India’s richest states and undoubtedly boasts some of the best beaches in all of Asia. Goa is a place where there are no restrictions in enjoying your fullest regardless of whatever age one is at. It is quoted that in Goa one always feels young!
This was my second visit to Goa, and this time I planned to stay for a few days both at North as well as South Goa. I was booked for my first 3 days at Taj Exotica, South Goa. Located along the white sands of Benaulim Beach, the Taj Exotica is spread over 56 acres, enjoying spacious grounds and ample facilities. Peace and tranquillity are easily found in its lush manicured gardens, while activities can be enjoyed in the shape of several sporting opportunities.
|Atrium – Lobby Area|
|Golf and Sea View from the Atrium Balcony|
As you enter the gate of this property, you are directly transported to a green heaven. The elevated porch takes you up to the lobby and a traditional Goan style welcome awaits you with open arms. A Goan band (duo) sings a traditional Goan song while playing the guitar. A fresh tender coconut is offered while the check-in is done after you are in your designated room or villa. This whole process is so easy and you don’t even realize that it’s been done with already.
We were escorted in a buggy (golf cart) to our Presidential Villa which also had personal swimming pool in it. I was totally stunned by the sheer excellence and the ambience of the villa. Each and every element, be it the lamps, the dining table, loungers, beds and the upholstery were just stunning. Keeping the colonial essence intact everything was done in the most modern way.
|Villa Main Door|
More than living up to the reputation which comes with the Taj name, Taj Exotica is a luxurious, palatial hotel with something of a colonial style in terms of its architecture and design. Grand polished marble floors, beamed wooden ceilings and antiques all add to the hotel’s character and charm, flaunting a stylish and affluent appeal that adds to the memorable aspects of a stay at this luxury hotel.
|Living Room – Villa|
When it comes to the rooms, you’ll enjoy spacious and comfortably decorated choices, harmoniously blending Goan and Portuguese influences. The recently renovated deluxe rooms are set in the main building, while the Garden villas and Pool villas are scattered within the gardens. You’ll enjoy a great range of features in the rooms, including air-conditioning, a minibar, a television in every room (of the villa) and tea/coffee-making facilities.
|Pool inside the Villa|
A special mention of the restrooms of our villa is mandatory, as it was beautifully done in golden hues. The walls, ceiling and the vanity area are done with opulence. A bath tub with Jacuzzi in both the bathrooms was also an added feature. Though, we didn’t really get a chance to use it, as the personal swimming pool was just four steps away inside the villa itself.
|In Room – Butler at your service|
|In Room Dining – Taj Style|
As this want enough, we also had the luxury of a personal butler, whenever we needed his services, he would come over and serve us hot and fresh food onto our own dining table in the most pristine and hospitable manner onto a perfectly laid out table full of wine glasses and the silver cutlery.
|Personal Lawn – Inside the Villa|
Did I mention the lawn, Oh! How can I forget that? There was a personal lawn inside this villa too facing the manicured golf greens and the Arabian Sea; it was about 300-400 sq yds with coconut palms and the greenest grass I have ever seen. You have all the liberty of walking alongside the serene Benaulim beach just at the edge of the resort which will enrich you with priceless memories.
|Exec.Chef Shyam Longanii (centre) and Masterchef Rego (right)|
Taj Exotica, has a wide range of dining experiences for the food lovers to choose from. The hotel has 6 restaurants (some are being renovated) and bars, offering a variety of different culinary options from Mediterranean, Oriental or Goan. Round the clock in-Room Service is available while the resort serves buffet breakfast every morning in the Eugenia restaurant. Breakfast here is an amazing spread catering to every diners needs in one or the other way. You won’t be disappointed at all.
We also tried the Mediterranean restaurant Miguel Arcanjo at dinner and the experience was truly superb. I recommend this place to everyone while you are staying or not at Taj Exotica.
|A Glimpse of some of the dishes we had at Taj Exotica|
The hotel also offers a Jiva Spa offering Indian and holistic treatments. The Spa has a number of treatment rooms, steam rooms and a Jacuzzi. Jiva spa offers its guests an impeccable place to relax and detox themselves with exquisite pure Indian Wellness Treatments. The resort has 2 separate spa’s Jiva and Jiva Ayurveda, one of the only resorts to have 2 spas as well as a combination of Ayurveda & Yoga therapies. A dedicated 7000 sq ft area of Jiva Ayurveda has got therapy rooms along with a large Yoga pavilion in the plush greens.
|SPA entry & YOGA PAvillion|
|JIVA AYURVEDA SPA|
|STEAM Session in the SPA|
The sprawling lawns of around 20,000 sq ft not only add up the beauty of spa but also provide the fresh organic supply of raw materials required for the therapies. All of these make it unique form other spas.
The hotel has an extensive list of facilities that you would expect from a resort of this kind. This 5-star property also houses a business center and offers small meeting rooms and audio-visual equipment and takes care of even the samllest of the things. Taj Exotica has event space as well consisting of ballroom, banquet facilities and conference/meeting rooms. The hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle which is available on request. Additional hotel amenities comprise a library, a coffee shop and a concierge desk.
|Children’s Activity Area|
Moreover, you can keep your kids busy in the activities which are specifically designed for them. These include cycling, swimming and a children’s activity centre with sand pit, crafts and computer zone. Fun and innovative games are conducted daily for children.
Taj Exotica is a showcase for relaxation with tropical-inspired design touches, grand architecture, a sun-drenched atrium, wide shady corridors, and flower lined patios for a memorable stay. The ambience created all around this resort gives one a feeling of bliss in which nature as well as the architecture plays a great role.
My overall experience was just exceptionally fabulous. The property, its ambience, the location, the setup and most importantly the people who were impeccable in what they did.
|Atrium – Lobby area|
The Tajness! as they call it is what I really experienced. Tajness can only be felt , it’s something more than perfect a feeling which is so royal and grand, I don’t have word to express my gratitude and joy. Each and every staff member will go to any extent just to make you (guests) happy and satisfied.
|With the TAJ Hotels Team at TAJ Exotica|
|Biraj Saikia (Left) – Most Hospitable and Always at your service|
I strongly recommend this heavenly property to each one of you, who wish to taste a piece of heaven in Goa. And I bet on it, you stay once at Taj Exotica and you will be here for your lifetime.