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  • Writer's pictureFaye Bradley

The St. Regis Goa Resort | Hotel Review

GOA


When venturing to Goa, India's coastal gem steeped in history as a former Portuguese colony until 1961, one is transported to a place where time seems to slow down, and the fusion of cultures creates a unique tapestry of experiences. Nestled within this idyllic landscape are well-preserved 17th-century churches, remnants of a bygone era that still stand tall, echoing tales of colonial grandeur.


All images courtesy of Adam Thompson | CSP Times.



But a visit to Goa is not merely about architectural relics; it's a journey into a world where the vibrant pulse of life meets serene tranquility. The quintessential Goan getaway often involves leisurely days spent basking under the warm sun, perhaps punctuated by refreshing dips in the azure waters of the Arabian Sea. Yet, beyond the sandy shores lie a myriad of experiences waiting to be discovered. From immersing oneself in the festivities of the region's famed carnivals to seeking inner peace through yoga retreats, there's something for every traveller seeking rejuvenation of mind, body, and soul.



As a first-time visitor to Goa, this was exactly what I anticipated for my trip. However, amidst its increasing popularity among tourists in recent years, Goa has also witnessed a surge in new openings, ranging from international resorts to boutique hideaways. Among these offerings, villas like The Orchard Manor in Anjuna stand out, offering a slice of private paradise nestled in the lap of luxury. These developments add yet another layer to the Goan experience, providing travellers with a diverse array of accommodations to suit every preference and budget. Despite its evolving landscape, Goa retains its timeless charm, captivating visitors with its blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and hospitality that keeps them coming back for more.



On our trip, we ventured to The St. Regis Goa Resort, formerly known as The Leela Goa, to immerse ourselves in the essence of Goan heritage spread across 49 acres of lush land.


Those familiar with Goa may recognise the iconic Leela hotel, which graciously hosted guests for three decades before transitioning into the Marriott group's portfolio and reopening as The St. Regis property, maintaining its cherished values, heritage, and iconic symbols while undergoing a rejuvenating facelift. Remarkably, many of the hotel staff, such as Mario, the Horticulture Manager, and the jewellery boutique shopkeepers, have been with the property since its inception, bearing witness to its evolution over the years.



And so, our check-in process commenced as we entered the grand, airy lobby, adorned with open-air spaces that welcomed a gentle breeze. Despite checking in from another hotel, the process was seamless, albeit preceded by an hour-long drive from Goa International Airport. Our arrival was greeted with refreshing coconuts, followed by a thoughtful gesture of complimentary flower necklaces and shell bracelets, a warm tribute to welcome us to The St. Regis Goa Resort.



Pictured: The Manor Suite


One notable aspect of the hotel is its sheer size; navigating from one area to another often necessitates the use of a buggy. However, this expansive layout offers a diverse range of accommodation options to cater to varied preferences. From the serene lagoon rooms and opulent Astor Suites to the luxurious Manor Suites, complete with private pool options, guests are spoiled for choice. During our stay, we opted for the Manor Suite, which provided an exquisite retreat. Additionally, for those seeking ultimate luxury, the Presidential Villa boasts three bedrooms, a plunge pool, and picturesque golf course views, epitomising indulgence amidst the serene surroundings of The St. Regis Goa Resort.


Our Manor Suite, spanning 968 square feet, graced the second floor of the building, offering enchanting views of the sea and the golf course. Adorned with predominantly rich wooden furnishings, the suite exuded a cosy ambiance that immediately made us feel at home. The spacious balcony provided an ideal spot to savour morning coffee while soaking in the tranquil surroundings. Moreover, staying in one of the Manor Suites granted us access to the exclusive Manor Restaurant and the private beach reserved solely for Manor guests.



With its expansive grounds, The St. Regis Goa Resort offers a plethora of activities to indulge in without ever leaving the premises. Complimentary offerings include engaging cocktail-making classes, featuring the signature Bloody Mary, each St. Regis property's variation, and rejuvenating yoga and meditation sessions to kickstart the day on a tranquil note. For those seeking leisurely pursuits, the golf club and spa provide perfect avenues for relaxation and indulgence. Additionally, guests can bask in the sun at the semi-private beach or take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool, followed by a workout session at the fitness centre.



Nature enthusiasts can embark on a nature walk, meandering through the hotel's extensive collection of trees, plants, herbs, and spices, with over 2,000 coconut palms adorning the landscape. Along the way, guests may encounter the hotel's resident pets, including an endearing family of white bunnies and a diverse array of wild bird species, adding a touch of whimsy to the serene surroundings.



For travellers eager to explore beyond the confines of The St. Regis Goa Resort, Goa's diverse attractions beckon with promises of adventure and cultural immersion. Excursions to Dudhsagar Falls offer awe-inspiring views of cascading waters amidst lush greenery, while visits to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing classic baroque architecture, provide insight into the region's rich history. Additionally, touring the exquisite Shri Manguesh Temple, situated 38.6 km from the hotel, offers a glimpse into Goa's spiritual heritage.


Each evening, The St. Regis Goa hosts its famed Champagne Sabering ceremony on the beach, a delightful tradition harkening back to the hospitality group's founding family, the Astors, and their champagne ceremonies inspired by French history, particularly Napoleon's sabrage technique. Dating back to Napoleon Bonaparte's battles, where he famously opened champagne with a saber in moments of both triumph and defeat, sabrage has become the hallmark of the St. Regis Evening Rituals series.


Festak Traditional Goan Lunch

While dining options may appear limited for such a vast property, The St. Regis Goa offers an array of culinary experiences to satisfy discerning palates. Miri provides all-day dining with a mix of international and local cuisine, including its signature Festak dining experience, while The Drawing Room offers an elegant setting for afternoon tea and beverages. For beachfront dining and fresh seafood, Susegado is a standout choice, while the upcoming Oliveto promises Italian culinary delights.



A highlight of our stay was the Celestial Dining experience, where we dined in a glass dome under the stars, savouring local Indian wine paired with mixed Asian delicacies. Moreover, the resort offers unique experiences such as lagoon-side picnics and private beach cinema nights, complete with a three-course meal and dedicated butler service.


The St. Regis Goa endeavours to make every moment memorable, enveloping guests in a blend of lush greenery and beachfront serenity. It's the attention to detail, from nightly champagne ceremonies to postcard-writing activities, combined with the luxurious accommodations, that truly elevate the experience, transforming the resort into a cherished home away from home – a sanctuary for the soul.



Location: Mobor, Cavelossim, Goa, 403731, India | Phone: +91 832 662 1234 | Email: sr.goixr.reservations.goa@stregis.com | Instagram: @stregisgoaresort | Facebook: The St. Regis Goa Resort


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