We can never tire of a fresh list of things to do in Goa. Here's eight new(ish) spots to visit in the sunshine state this season, from an EDM cafe that hosts beach tennis to a native American head gear stall at the Saturday night market. Hat tip to Deveshe Dutt, our honorary Scouter in Goa.
The Diwa Club
Semi-submerged pool chairs with champagne-sugarcane cocktails. That's really all you need to know.
A couple of weeks ago, the Scouters hit The Diwa Club, a boutique hotel inside the Alila Diwa hotel space that recently opened up to non-members. Here, rooms are spacious with uber-luxe bathrooms that are given almost as much importance and space as the rooms itself. And while the pool too is humongous, we much preferred the one on the regular side of the hotel, with abovementioned chairs.
You'll find that the concierge desk here offers scores of activities around the area: Margao market tour with the chef to bring back fresh catch and learn how to cook it; a packed picnic basket to carry to the Three Kings Chapel on a hill where the view is stunning; and a meal cooked by the lady of Palacio de Deao, an old Portuguese house. The cool bit is that these services are available for non-hotel guests as well, so if you’re living in the South, call them. For those who prefer to dine in the hotel, Indian and coastal restaurant Spice Studio is yum. PS: bpb was invited to visit, and was hosted here for two nights.
48/10 Village Majorda, Adao Waddo, Salcette , call +91 8322746800 or visit http://www.alilahotels.com/diwagoa, Diwa Club rooms currently start at Rs 15,900 but change subject to season.
On the third floor steps at the Saturday night market, right across from the angel card reader, look for a guy who sells only Native American head gear. One of us Scouters bought a mad-lush one for a friend’s Goa birthday party, which became the object of every Instagrammer’s affection.
While gossip of Greek restaurant Thalasa's new South Goa branch continues to do the rounds - they insist don't have a new love child but the whispers continue - here's a brand new sexy for you. With a convincing Miami beach club vibe, Bardo, launched by the same team as Aurus in Mumbai, has wide-as-a-grin white cane chairs overlooking an azure pool that overlooks the beach. While hot bikini-clad women flit in and out, you can order burgers, pizza, steak and more courtesy chef Vicky Ratnani. We went during the first week to find terrible service and many order muck ups, but our resident Goa friend tells us that it’s gotten much better now. Plus, there’s a Rs 900 Sunday brunch with unlimited alcohol that everyone’s talking about.
Bardo, house no 62, Ashwem Vaddo, Morjim Ashwem Road, call +91 9890167531, http://www.bardogoa.com.
Although we’ve developed a fatigue for Alice in Wonderland inspirations, this yummy restaurant that opened a couple of months ago should come with an ‘eat me’ sign. Under a maze of the prettiest lights – some look like giant tears cried by the moon - you can sample Middle Eastern treats (order a mezze platter with a bunch of drinks) and later, hang out in giant wire teapot structures. Samovar also opened a jewellery and clothes store at the premises that we’re told is well-priced and worth a browse. Plus, all profits from Samovar go to the Samarpan Foundation.
House 1136, Mazal Waddo, Anjuna, call 09637007413 or view the Facebook page here.
The Soma Project
This EDM beach cafe and restaurant kicked off two months ago by two Russian DJs, who play music until midnight. And recently, they started hosting beach tennis during the day. While the voice on the phone recommended the kitchen here for “barbequed stuff”, someone had another suggestion for grilled things – the Atona Waterfront on the Mandovi River with live music and a lovely view. Bring mosquito repellent.
Aswem Beach, North Goa, call +919822642624 or view the Facebook page here.
Now this tapas bar has been around for a year, but it’s still not recommended and visited enough, our Goa friend tells us. Score a pretty seat in the al fresco section and choose from a tapas list that covers Mediterranean, South East Asian, Latin American and Goan food - try salmon quiche and chicken cafreal skewers.
Opposite O’Coqueiro restaurant, next to Urban Dhaba, NH-17, Porvorim, visit http://www.maracas-goa.com.
The Paper Boat Collective
Launched at the beginning of this month by two NID graduates who used to run Monkey Business pottery studio in Mumbai, this concept store operates out of a Portuguese house in Sangolda that you’ll want to make your home. Here you’ll find ceramics, furniture, bric a brac and texiles. See cushions that spell L-O-V-E, gorgeous teak rocking horse, yoga chair, airy bateek kurtas from Ruh and more. They’ve also been supplying to Mumbai’s fancy Le Mill store and exporting to others in London and Singapore.
No.248 Bella Vista, Chogm Road, Sangolda, Near Alua Resort, call +8326521248, view the Facebook group here.
Native American Head Gear Guy
On the third floor steps at the Saturday night market, right across from the angel card reader, look for a guy who sells only Native American head gear. One of us Scouters bought a mad-lush one for a friend’s Goa birthday party, which became the object of every Instagrammer’s affection. Many feathers in our cap!
Saturday Night Market, Arpora, North Goa, start at Rs 2,000.
If your Goa trip is one of those spontaneous lets-leave-now plans, chances are that you need some fun beach clothes when you get there. If you’re staying around Morjim, hit the adorable Beach Candy, where tiny, tiny printed shorts come with ribbons that you can tie on the side. If you’re going soon, also hit the Jade Jagger store that’s currently on sale, where we acquired a safety pin crop top for Rs 600.
Morjim Beach, North Goa, view product pictures here.
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