- This chance to be a goofball with your parents
2. This chance to have your strawberries and eat them too.3. This bright yellow which is your mamma’s favorite color 4. These sunflowers you can use as a muse for watercolor afternoons5. This funky pool to splash in the evenings6. This road to your cottage7. This strawberry butter making session 8. This BFF you made over the strawberry butter making session9. This grand finale to your high tea10. This play area you can be a goofball in all over again
- This great way to start your day with a picnic by the stream
2. This view while chomping on your post-breakfast Danish
3. This walnut grove to hug
4. This evening of story-telling
4. This tiramisu you never tire of eating
5. This shortcut to lunch
6. This comfort of watching Harry Potter movies
7. This corn-on-a-cob at sundown
8. Or this lolling about on a beanbag
9. This magical glow after sundown
10. This hide and seek we never tire of
11. This quick screen time while mamma is at the spa
12. Or this play with water curtains that tells you she is still watching
13. And this new BFF who totally gets us
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.
So I spent a few days in Candolim during my Goa R&R last month and one of the places that hosted me was the Novotel Goa resort and spa (Pinto Waddo, off Candolim road). Here’s why you should go too:
- There as much room to do nothing as there is to pack it all up
- There is splashes of color when you need it
3. And then there is tranquility when you need it too. And some wonderful spa treatments at their poolside spa.4. And how can I forget the memorable Sunday Brunch at La Briese, their beach-side restaurant, which also features a live band every weekend. And is also a great spot for sunset cocktails. 5. Just when I was missing the boy, I saw this father-son duo X-box connecting or Nintendoing (to me, it’s all the same) in the lobby. There’s plenty more where that came from. 6. And certainly it’s not all about the kids. Some things are all yours 7. And while you sip your poolside cosmopolitan, you can stare at this view8. Or take a selfie (or if you are lucky, a photo) before you say good bye to it all 9. Did I forget to mention there is a special tree sandwich for those you have the eye for it? 10. And how can I leave you without a sunset?