Arrival Experience: Following a small security check, guests wander into the open-air lobby to find a wafting breeze from the gorgeous sea views billowing through their hair. The local seashell chain necklace given as a greeting at the Marriott Goa Resort and Spa swings around the neck as guests refresh with chilled towels at sit-down reception. It is hard to peel your eyes away from the view, and there is plenty of cushioned seating farther in the lobby so that guests can linger as long as they wish. The multilingual staff is used to clientele from around the world, and as with most Indian luxury hotels, there are more people with name tags greeting you and offering assistance than guests can handle. Hospitality is king here.
Dining: Numerous options to quaff and sup keep most guests at the resort during their stay. Restaurants are certainly nearby, but there is no reason to leave as variety is great here. An international poolfront café serves three meals a day, often buffet style. Upstairs by the lobby, a coffee shop also pours fresh juices and bakes dozens of sweet treats. Wan Hao is the hotel’s own Chinese restaurant, also on the pool level. Views of the water are limited, but the atmosphere transports you to an Asian oasis with notable recipes from across the Chinese culinary landscape. Poolside snacks are available at the grill, and drinks are easy to come by as you just need to swim up to the bar. Servers will happily deliver munchies to the padded lounge chairs as well.
Rooms: Marble and tile floors mark the foyers of guest rooms while the king or twin beds are coated in Marriott’s signature bedding package with a duvet and thick pillows to wash away jetlag. Flat-screen cable TVs face the bed, and cabinets hold minibars, free bottled water, and safes. Large desks provide free wireless Internet to members of the Marriott Rewards loyalty program, and phones have voice mail in case you are off wandering the beach. Rooms mostly have sea views although some are tucked back into the garden. All feature uniform décor including oversized marble bathrooms with fog-free mirrors, rainfall glass showers or soaking tubs, and aromatherapy toiletries. Air conditioning is strong in this humid city, but many guests find the breeze to be too comfortable to miss spending time on the rooms’ furnished balconies.
Amenities: Quan Spa features five treatment rooms with a long list of services. The Goan Magic massage is the most popular combining ayurvedic and Swedish techniques for 90 minutes of relaxation. Steam rooms, whirlpools, a full-service gym, and relaxation areas round out the recreational amenities. In front of the hotel’s beach, cruise and watersport operators are easy to find, but are run independently. Swimmers spend their day at the infinity-edge pool watching the waves while culture addicts head into town to visit the Portuguese influenced city. The resort is about an hour from the airport, but many hotels in this area are quite the drive away. Americans will find the Marriott to offer true paradise with the amenities they are accustomed to in one of India’s most beautiful port cities.