PUBLISHED: 11:46 08 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:46 08 June 2015
The best things come in small packages and as India's smallest state, Goa certainly made a positive impression on Rebecca Underwood
Goa, India’s smallest state, attracts 2 million tourists every year, all drawn to its beautiful beaches, sedate pace of life and World Heritage architecture. Goa, ruled by the Portuguese for nearly 500 years, offers visitors a fascinating insight into a rich and vibrant culture, as well as a colourful history.
Among Goa‘s exotic beaches is Miramar Beach in Panjim, the capital. It’s the ideal spot for an afternoon snooze on the soft sands. Should you prefer a good massage, head for the nearby Goa Marriott Resort and Spa. The Quan Spa offers first class treatments including the Goan Magic — 90 minutes of therapy massage that is ideal for weary travellers. For a pre-dining cocktail, stop by the Waterfront Terrace and Bar to relax in style, and for a memorable al fresco dining experience, the hotel’s impressive Simply Grills restaurant is excellent.
For those seeking accommodation with privacy and space, consider a high-end 2,000sq ft, three-bedroom ground floor apartment within Aldeia de Goa, a gated community in Bambolim, just 7k from Miramar Beach. Features include an open-plan lounge and dining area with contemporary furnishings and a fully-fitted kitchen with every appliance. The spacious patio and seating area has direct access to the gymnasium and an open-air heated swimming pool surrounded by beautiful gardens scented with frangipani and partially shaded by a tall banyan tree. Facilities include secure onsite parking or you may wish to take advantage of the services of a local driver, which can be arranged by the property owner.
Should you wish to dine out, the Grand Hyatt Hotel, within the complex, offers a wide range of restaurants including Chulha, which features an open kitchen where guests are welcome to observe and interact with chefs preparing authentic Indian and local dishes. The Verandah restaurant presents an outstanding array of seafood options or, for a more casual affair, visit the Dining Room, where the sumptuous buffet includes Asian, Indian, Italian and Middle Eastern options. Afternoon tea is served in the beautiful Bay View Lounge and the views of the surrounding tropical gardens are simply unforgettable.