Goa, India, Reviews, Unique Places to Stay
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Alila Diwa: A Little Bit of Goa and A Whole Lot of Luxury.

Alila diwa goa

When I dream of Goa, I don’t hear the roar of the ocean or feel the sand on my feet. I hear the pitter-patter of rain on old Portuguese roofs and the chatter of women in their rice paddies. I feel potent home-brewed Urakh smoothly slipping down my throat, a burst of flavors from fiery curries on my tongue and my mind slipping into a susegado mode.

Earlier this year, when I landed in India after a six-month sojourn across Central and North America, I knew I needed Goa as much as I needed a cocoon of luxury to call my own. Alila Diwa was the kind of place on my mind, and this is why I loved staying there:

Floating on the edge

Alila Diwa Goa, Alila Diwa Goa reviews, Alila Diwa Goa infinity pool

Floating in Alila Diwa’s infinity pool!

You know that feeling of lounging on a relaxing beach chair, floating in a pool that has no edge, shades on your eyes to keep the sun out, the wind ruffling your hair, a cocktail in your hand, lush rice paddies stretching out into the horizon? Yeah, I didn’t know it either. Until I found myself in Alila Diwa’s infinity pool – treading the thin line between Goa and heaven. 

Also see: In Photos: Goa in the Monsoons

“Chai Paani”

Alila diwa goa reviews, Goa boutique hotels

Chai paani, anyone?

Who needs high tea and scones when you can have Indian street food, prepared fresh off a rustic street cart, and chai in a kullad? Alila Diwa’s innovative take on high tea made me nostalgic as bells rang and carts rolled into the courtyard; as a child, bells on the streets in the early evening announced the arrival of the ice cream cart or the cotton candy seller! Although home-baked Goan savories were surprisingly absent from these carts, I felt culinarily pampered in the most non-pretentious way.

Also read: 7 Authentic Goan Restaurants in North Goa

Keeping the traditions of Goa alive

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Sunny courtyards at Alila Diwa.

Even months after my stay at Alila Diwa, I can close my eyes and picture myself lost amid its sunny Portuguese-style courtyards, hugging the aging banyan trees they surround, strolling amid the dimly lit corridors with traditional roofs and old red stone pillars that are fast disappearing from Goa. This is where Goan, Balinese and Portuguese aesthetics meet, and prove me wrong in thinking that luxury hotels are robbing Goa of its soul.

Also read: Offbeat Goa: 12 Mind-blowing Experiences

All day breakfast!

Alila diwa goa food, Goa where to stay

Happy me with a late, lavish breakfast.

Maybe you know the feeling of wanting to stay cuddled up in a cozy hotel bed while your alarm clock urges you to grab the free breakfast buffet before it’s too late. I know that feeling too well. And as a creature of the night, who hates early mornings with a vengeance, I hate that feeling. Turns out, Alila Diwa does too, so it offers a lavish all day breakfast for late risers like me. And it’s no ordinary breakfast either; an a-la-carte spread is rolled out to you and personally customized and served by a butler. Can you think of a better way to start your day?

Also read: Goa is a State of Mind

Living like a diva

Alila diwa club room, alila diwa goa, alila goa

My gorgeous bathroom and bathtub!

I love club rooms in five stars hotels in India, for they offer indulgent (complimentary) high tea and cocktails. But Alila Diwa has taken its club rooms to another level; mine came with the most gorgeous bathroom, with a bath tub smack in the middle; the club wing is set far from the bustle of the rest of the hotel, with an exclusive swimming pool, jacuzzi and restaurant; afternoons are for chai paani aka high tea, and evenings for sundowners. I guess that’s how divas pamper themselves?

Also read: There’s Something About Taj

Dining in the dark

Spice studio goa, Alila diwa goa food

Gorgeously designed Spice Studio.

I can talk about the gastronomy at Spice Studio, Alila Diwa’s award-winning South Indian restaurant, but I’ll let you in on a secret instead – every Thursday night, Spice Studio plunges into darkness, offering Goa’s only “Dine in the Dark” experience. I couldn’t time my dates right, but if you do, I imagine it will be an intriguing and sensory meal, with an explosion of flavors on your tongue. Even on a normal night, the food (plenty of choices for vegetarians), prepared by four different expert chefs, was something to revel in.

Also read: You Can Shake the Sand From Your Shoes but Not From Your Soul

What would you most like to experience at Alila Diwa Goa?

Planning a trip to Goa? Read My Alternative Travel Guide to Goa.

I was hosted by Alila Hotels on this trip. Opinions on this blog are always my own.

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30 Comments

  1. Loved your floating picture in the infinity pool. Could totally relate with your luxurious stay experience because I blogged about Goa just yesterday on similar lines.

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  2. I love goa for the same reasons .. The rice paddies, the monsoons and the Portuguese culture . Looks like you found a little piece of tranquil heaven there! The resort looks fab 🙂

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  3. You revived our memories of Goa once again, Shivya, as we were just back from our monsoon trip from South and North Goa exactly a month back and here I see your mail in my inbox! Feeling absolutely nostalgic and carried away once again to the rainy, lush, refreshing weather of Goa!

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    • I’m glad you got to experience Goa at its best, Urvashi! Hope we both go again soon for all the reasons you’ve mentioned 🙂

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      • Yes, the more you visit Goa the more inkling you get to be there again and again! Sure, it would be immensely joyful to stroll on the lovely beaches of Goa with you if you wish really!

        Am in fact, planning hard to buy a small house in one of the beachside stretches in North Goa (though my soul rests in South Goa which is so serene and surreal!).

        Well, am sure you must be an avid reader as well as you are a traveller and let me suggest if you would love to read the book “Moving to Goa” by Katharina Kakar. This book changed my whole perception about Goa and made me fall in love desperately with the place so much that I now wish to ‘moving to Goa’ for ever! Lets hope things work out the way we dream…fingers crossed!

        Would love to hear from you and stay connected, happy travelling and enjoy life…

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  4. I have stayed at the Alila Diwa and can’t agree with you more! Those never ending paddy fields and that infinity pool that seems to flow into them is truly magical. Hadn’t heard of the dine in the dark concept being offered there… but it sounds very interesting.

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  5. Avi says

    Damn! there you are again in Goa stirring my memories of Divar and Chorao. My boss gonna kick m a** if I ask again for a week’s leave 😛

    Love your blog!
    Avi

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  6. Lakshmipriya says

    I’m in love with your blog! There are just too many beautiful places I’ve never heard of and you’ve written it so beautifully! I am just 18 years old, I want to travel and explore all the unknown places. Your blog inspires me to do a lot of things. Thank you.

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