Pandemic has brought about a slow down in the tourism sector. The hotel industry has been badly affected during the pandemic period, particularly, the second wave. From December 2021 onwards, the tourism has been slowly picking up in Goa. But the inflow of foreign tourists has been minimal owing to the covid restrictions. What I found was most of the foreign tourists, during this period of pandemic, has been flooding Dubai beaches.
ROYALE EXOTICA HOTEL, GOA
Posted by A G Aranha | 16-2-2022
I visited Goa in February 2022 by road just to take stock of the situation at the ground level. After scouting through a number of hotels and resorts listed on the net, I narrowed down my stay at Royale Exotica Resort at Maddo Vaddo because it is offering a sea view from the room. I was quite excited to stay in this resort and enjoy the view of the sea from the room. But, as it appears, there are a number of shacks built on the beach itself providing beach side seating and food. The shacks are an eye-sour for a view of the sea from the hotel. The only way you can enjoy is visiting the beach itself.
Even though the Covid situation is not completely normal, the Calangute beach was fully crowded with tourists getting into the water with ethusiasm. There is hardly any covid protocol being followed but who cares! I could see couples taking selfies on the beach, enjoying the Valentine’s Day, children playing football on the beach, youngsters enjoying water games, some simply walking on the beach etc.
Goa is accessible by Air, by Train and also by Road. Although the climate of Goa is hot and humid for around the year, the month of May is considered to be the hottest. Best time to visit Goa is between September and December.
Although I stayed at the Royale Exotica Resort, I hired a two wheeler (you can hire a two wheeler by depositing your id card and paying the per day rent and fill the required petrol) and went scouting for hotels and resorts around Calangute and Baga beaches, two of the most crowded beaches in Goa.
Some of the quality hotels in Calangute Beach area are:
|Sr.No.||Name of the Resort||About the Resort|
|1||Treebo Trend Dona Eliza Resort.||This is on the Calangute-Baga beach road. It is well maintained with an entrance from the side road. Rooms are clean and well maintained and reasonably priced.|
|2||The Park||A five star hotel in Calangute right next to the sea. Being a five star hotel, the rooms are well furnished and maintained. One important area I observed in the beach surrounding areas is the roads are quite narrow and bumpy. Even the approach road to The Park is also a narrow road. You can walk down to the beach. Here also there are shacks built on the beach area.|
|3||Andores Resort and Spa||This is located on Tivai Vaddo. You have to approach the resort inside lanes but once inside, the resort is beautifully maintained.|
|4||Paradise Village Beach Resort||I had stayed at this resort on earlier occasion also. This is also located in Tivai Vaddo. The approach road here is slightly better. This is a spacious resort with studio rooms, suite rooms and cottages. The Cottages are located near the beach. Compared to the other brand hotels and resorts, during my visit I found this is priced reasonably.|
There are many other hotels and resorts in addition to Guest Houses,home stays,cottages and cheaper hotels.
Some of the eating joints I enjoyed are :
|Sr.No.||Name of the restaurant||About the restaurant|
|1||Roayle Exotica restaurant:||The food at the restaurant of the hotel was of good quality and the ambience well maintained. The resort also offers dinner on the roof top for the guests.|
|2||Souza Lobo||One of the oldest established restaurants in Calangute, Goa (1932), the food quality has been consistently maintained over the years. Even though Covid situation drastically affected the restaurants for want of tourists, this restaurant has maintained its décor and taste.|
|3||Britto’s (1965)||Located in Saunt Vaddo of Baga on the Calangute-Baga Road, this is one of the best Goan food restaurants in the area. One unique feature of this restaurant is its floor is filled with sand. You get a feel of sitting in the beach and eating.|
|4||Fat Fish Restaurant and Bar||Located on the Calangute-Arpora road, this is a fish lovers paradise. The Fish Thali, provides 4 different types of fish with varying and excellent taste. Why fish, even if you take a Chicken Thali, you will be served with 4 types of chicken items in the thali, every item tasting different and excellent. I found this restaurant fully occupied with tourists.|
Goa is a state filled with beaches and a lot of activities for the tourists – right from moving around on two wheelers to water sports, casino, visit to water falls and so on. Some of the structured activities with prior bookings with agents are :
I visited the Harvalem or Arvalem Waterfall located at Sanquelim about 34 kms from Calangute by taxi. You can travel by hiring a two wheeler also or by your own car. Even in the month of February, the waterfall is active with full of water. The best time to view this waterfall would be monsoon.
Adjacent to this waterfall is a Sri Rudreshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is now extended.
Goa is fun filled and adventure filled with some beautiful beaches around. Go visit Goa and enjoy!!