When I said yes to an invitation from Sol De Goa a few months ago, little did I realise that it would open my heart to a very different Goa – where one feels faint need to go even close to a beach (although Candolim beach is just 2 km from this tucked away resort in Nerul, overlooking the Sinquerim river). Strangely, Sol De Goa seems unperturbed by its more opulent neighbour LPK, which going by the signs all along Candolim, seems to be some sort of party capital – a thing I am perhaps too old or too sensible for.
Once a getaway for distinguished Portuguese officials, Sol was redesigned, renamed and restored by its current owner, Suraj Morajkar – one of the few real estate people who genuinely cares about restoration and heritage. Designed by acclaimed designer Tarun Tahiliani with strong Goan influences and a classic Portuguese feel, the property includes 21 rooms: four suites, two deluxe suites and 15 well-appointed rooms. All these are made further charming by the fact that they hug a beautiful central courtyard pool, flanked by some exquisite pottery.
So unwittingly, I found pieces of my soul in different ways at Sol De Goa:
Like when I entered the resort and felt it was someone’s grandparent’s home, with all that old world charm.
Or when I sat in my balcony the next afternoon and nibbled at my chilli cheese toast, listening to bird song by the Sinquerim river. Or when I partnered with the resident chef, a lovely man named Prashant in creating mangane, a traditional goan kheer of sago, yellow gram, coconut milk and jaggery for Ganesh Chaturthi. And had two full bowls of it.
Or when I stared into space, eating my pancakes with strawberry butter one morning, wondering just how long would the twin towers of Our Lady of Hope church be. Or when I attained zen just by loUnging by the courtyard pool, doing nothing, wondering which one was a more exquisite shade of blue: the pots or the pool.