Staying at The Leela, Goa + Resting our heads at this dreamy resort
The Leela , Goa is for the tired soul, a little luxury, a little pampering never hurt anybody but the privacy & exclusivity is the key
Every time I sit down to work on something I am blank, the view is obstructing , its arresting , my mind wanders. The view outside my balcony must have been dreamed up by a painter. Why else would they put a lagoon right outside our room, with delicate pink lilies poking out of them? Right after the pond it’s all trees, with the branched softly touching the water and the blue skies reflecting over it. Damn you, perfect view , I can’t work like this. And I take a sip of my perfect coffee which came in a delicate white pot and cups & saucers to match. We are at the Leela, Goa. When we got married V & I decided to start a tradition to celebrate our birthdays on the 6th of August since mine falls on the 8th & his is the 4th of August so that we don’t have to think of which day take off for our holiday , another tradition we are trying to maintain along with a trip to the anniversaries. So, I sit & I read, I read by the balcony as the Goa rains splashed over the waters. We soon get drunk on the birthday champagne,placed by the helpful people at the Hotel, along with the tiramisu cake , it makes for a decadent brunch.
We step out for long walks everyday around the huge property, V stopping every few steps to admire a plant or a tree , plants & gardening fulfil him.And the resort is carefully filled with trees, flowers, spice plants, huge jackfruits hanging from the trees, the aroma of the spice tress filling the air. We would often find surprises as we pushed through the trees & come across a clearing, a bridge leading to nowhere with a view of a small island in the middle of the ponds & a lagoon that runs through the property. We find little birds swaying away on the branches.
We spend our days reading on our private balcony, accompanied by the sound of rain splashing on the lagoon outside our balcony, later we would walk a few metres to go to The Fisherman’s Wharf just outside the property. Its a restaurant , Goa shack style , with views of a backwater. We eat copious amounts of prawns in every form but mostly Prawns Rava fry (or Prawn fried in a batter of semolina lending it a crisp exterior & soft on bite) & drink beer , I try Simba beer for the first time, I am in love with their Simba Stout. We walk to the beach, its monsoon in Goa, the dark clouds gather over the ocean as we walk into the water and our one umbrella makes sure that both of us get wet, we run back to take shelter, holding hands.
Read: Cancio’s House: Slowing down in Goa + Finding ‘Home’ at this Goa Homestay not near a beach
The first evening, we are too sleepy to go out after taking a morning flight and V from his excruciatingly busy schedule that we sleep off at 8 pm , right after a burger, bless the room service. We spend a good two hours at breakfast every morning savouring the golden croissants, pain au chocolat, danishes & muffins and every hot & cold breakfast that you can possibly imagine. One early morning I walk on the beach and see fishermen pulling a long rope to take out the nets full of fishes, I wish I had taken a picture, but I was so mesmerised that I didn’t remember till much later. One afternoon we drive up to this restaurant our cab driver has recommended , called ‘Joe’s River cove’ (it’s by a river) and a favourite local haunt and we spend the afternoon eating a salty version of the the traditional Goan Sorpotel- make of pork liver & other offals. In the night V surprises me by booking a table at the Riverside , the italian restaurant in the Leela, Goa looking over the backwaters , lit by candlelights , it’s a perfect place for two. The spinach & ricotta stuffed mushroom with 3 types of mushroom including porcini had my heart. We spend a long time talking to the Head chef, and we are told that they flow in a lot of ingredients from Italy and the rest they grow in their garden. I have a bouquet of flowers waiting for me when we get back to our room and more birthday champagne, a perfect ending to a perfect evening.
This was a few months ago and I am writing this at my desk in my study room staring at a white wall but the sky is blue right outside the window and it’s a beautiful day. I wanted to put this out to inspire you,if are planning to go to a resort style break. I am sharing photos here, like you would show photo albums after a holiday. Go, go book The Leela Goa, if you’re looking to rest your head, if you’re weary, for a few days to go away from the world, but in luxury, so much luxury, you will feel pampered & rejuvenated. It’s not going to be easy on the pocket but sometimes you should give yourself something, like a gift, we all deserve it.
The Leela Goa is not a cookie cutter resort like many others (I am not a big fan of those & yet I am sold) making it a luxurious place sprinkled with ample amounts of nature and solitude, it’s another Goa (there are many, in case you were wondering) we did no see people unless we had to. It’s in Cavelossim, in South Goa far away from anything so if you plan to see Goa , this is not the place. It’s a quite alcove , sometimes you forget where you are, the monsoons are easy on the pocket as well as are romantic.
Read: Lébu Wander Guide for Goa
How to reach: The Leela Goa will send a car for pick-up at the airport for you, make sure you specify it to them. Its located in Cavelossim in South Goa
Rooms: There are beautiful rooms, overlooking the lagoon. We stayed in the ‘Lagoon Terrace’ room.
Costs: We paid around Rs. 26,000/- for two nights (which included breakfast)
What to do around the resort: You can hire a car from the resort to go around to restaurants or the local market. They have a private beach right at the property.