Friday, February 28, 2014

The Tamarind Hotel, Goa



the entrance
 My first trip to Goa (technically the second, I first visited Goa when I was just 8 and so I do not count it :p) was made all the more special because of the hotel we stayed at. It is called "The Tamarind" and is located opposite St. Michael’s Church near Anjuna beach. 


I would not be lying when I say that I did do a bit of research about the hotel (who doesn’t?) before we zeroed in on it and booked it (reading the reviews, checking the hotel’s official website). Established in the year 1987 it calls itself a boutique hotel. Their official website claims to cater to most of the facilities a traveller looks for (read: wi-fi, money exchange, shuttle service etc) for a comfortable stay. The photo gallery gave me a virtual tour of the hotel, its rooms and the restaurant.  The website and the reviews hoisted a green flag for the hotel; hence we went forward booking it.

From my research I knew that the hotel would turn out to be decent like any 3 star properties but as I entered the hotel on arrival, I must confess that I was more than happy. The place looked better than it was in the pictures. Their open area on both sides of the passage that succeeded the main entrance made me say “suuuuweeeeeet!” It was perfect for a romantic date with your special one.

The hotel looked serene painted in the colour scheme of white and turquoise blue. While we waited for our room keys I chose to do a quick reconnaissance of the hotel. The reception area was adorned with various frames that had pictures of the beach with lovely quotes. From their reception desk to the poolside chairs to the outdoor and indoor furniture, everything was in the same colour combination. And let me tell you it did make an appealing combination (I personally love both colours). The hotel’s building had an old-times feel to it. The rugged grey rock walls of the building with the red roof-top added charm of another period to it. The ambience was relaxed and peaceful. 

The greens in the open area on each side of the main passage were well pruned and were done up tastefully and beautifully with lights and other decorations hanging from the trees. White tables and big white sofas were placed to enjoy a drink with your friends or partner. Candles and sand filled mason jars added to the outdoor décor. There was a customised Vespa (manufacturer of two wheeler vehicles) painted black and white like a chess board to add an edge to the décor and maintain the feel of the effervescent city (most people, especially tourists prefer travelling by a two wheeler in Goa).

the outdoors

 more of outdoors

 
the trendy customised vespa
There was also a table tennis table in one corner of the garden, a foosball table and a pool table alongside the bar to provide as sources of entertainment if one wishes to spend the day in the hotel itself. 

The pool looked spectacular with its sparkling blue water, sitting amidst the rocky grey walls and the white and turquoise furniture placed around it. I noticed the colourful balls and a Frisbee lying around the pool and could not wait to dive in, swim and play (and I did just that the next morning before leaving for the beach).
Once we were checked in we proceeded towards our room. The room was neat and clean and was equipped with the essential facilities: television, mini refrigerator, electrical kettle, hair dryer and so on. Our room had an adjacent balcony facing the pool which was adorable. It gave me and my husband a cosy feel and a beautiful view to enjoy our morning tea.

the view of the pool from our cute little balcony

The hotel has a restaurant cum café called “Cotinga Café”. Keeping up to the theme of the hotel the restaurant looked perfect draped with white sheer curtains and white walls with one statement turquoise blue coloured wall that had beautiful mural painted on it. The food was exceptionally good and the desserts would want you to spoil your sweet tooth. Out of all the places that we ate at, we got the best fish fingers at the Cotinga café. They are a must try. Their grilled fish, grilled prawns in butter lemon sauce, Chicken Florentine, all are must haves. The desserts too not just looked tempting but tasted good too. The best part was that one could order these desserts at any hour. All of us have experienced that 1 A.M. craving for something sweet to indulge in and to satiate that urge the hotel served just right. We tried their tiramisu and chocolate ecstasy and we loved both.  

mrs. and mr. posing
 
cotinga cafe from the inside

The breakfast buffet which came complimentary with the stay catered to both continental and Indian taste buds. From fresh fruits, cereals and eggs to chole bhature (spicey chickpeas and fried bread made of all purpose flour) and poha (rice flakes); the breakfast menu took care of both its domestic and international guests. The freshly baked brown bread served there was simply yum!
The hotel provided the guests with the facility to hire four wheelers and two wheelers to move around the city as per their own liking. There was also a free shuttle service to Vagator beach every morning (we never availed it; we were too lazy to get out at 9:30 in the morning). 

The staff/team of any hotel or restaurant makes a huge difference to a guest’s experience there. We were glad that the staff and the waiters at The Tamarind were polite and friendly. The service was always upto the mark. We always found our room spic and span on returning from the beach, thanks to the people working in the housekeeping department at the hotel. Special thanks to Pradeep, who attended us during most of our meals, helped us with suggesting what we could order and always served us with a big smile.

Since the hotel has a limited number of rooms leading to a limited number of guests, it gave us an opportunity to interact with other guests staying there. We met a couple from the U.K. who had visited the tamarind twice before and were enjoying their third visit there. 

The only drawback was that the hotel was slightly far from the main hustle bustle of the beach (about 10-15 minutes). This could also be a plus point for the ones going to relax or the ones visiting with kids and family, as the hotel is not right in the middle of the madness of the beaches and is yet just a short drive away.       On a personal note we did not feel too bad about the 10 minutes drive as our experience with the hotel was wonderful.

All in all we had the most comfortable stay at the tamarind and would love to stay there again.


P.S.:  My Mr. loves Goa and he absolutely loved The Tamarind , so much that he specially requested for car stickers which read "I love Goa, The Tamarind" while we were leaving. And it was happily taken care of :)

3 comments:

  1. .Lovely pics and good post... I have never visited Goa...have heard a lot about it.. now, I'm longing to go there... :)

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  2. Hi..Nice post. The party capital of India, this little paradise on earth is a package full of surprises and contradictions. Also, when it comes to accommodation, check out these hotels in Goa offering reasonable accommodation.

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