Alila Diwa chain of hotels started in Indonesia and they grew with their Balinese influence, but in times when luxury hotels are robbing Goa of its colonial essence, Alila Diwa managed to mould a little bit of Bali with a lot of Goa in their exquisite property in Marjorda. It was a delight to see traditional Portuguese-style courtyards around banyan trees they surround where sun beams danced on the ground, just like cold charmed days. Old charm never really fades away with time if you know how to preserve it, and the resort surely does.
Strolling languidly through the dimly lit corridors that were adorned by traditional roofs and old red stone pillars and clicking random pictures was probably my favorite pastime there. The hallways and the tiny clear pools of water give the place a surreal appeal while the courtyards and the verdant covers give it an earthly feel.
I stayed in one of the loft rooms of the hotel, and it was undoubtedly one of the prettiest rooms I have ever stayed in a hotel. But prettier still was the view from my room – a pool with no edge! My room was just above the famous infinity pool of Alila Diwa, but my view comprised not just of the celeste blue swimming pool but also of the infinity of lush green paddy fields that surround the property.
My room had a cool balcony, a king size bathtub and high ceiling roof like a traditional Portuguese house, with all the luxury amenities like any other five star hotel but I loved the room for its view and aesthetics. That says a lot right?
Alila Diwa has food centers for contemporary gastronomy fans to authentic Indian cuisine lovers, from breakfast for late risers to dine and wine for night owls – what else can you ask for? There are four in house restaurants in the property including the Edge Bar and Lounge, though I can speak about just two of them. ViVo, where I had my breakfast is an all-day dining space within the hotel’s indoors with shaded open-air spaces overlooking the infinity pool. The restaurant offers an elaborate breakfast selection of European and Indian cuisine had has a plethora of baker fresh delicacies.
Vivo also offers an a la carte menu during lunch and dinner but for those we indulged in some authentic Indian dishes at Spice Studio. I found out from the hotel authorities that the restaurant uses some very old-fashioned Indian cooking techniques for some of the dishes in their menu and has the only dark dining experience of Goa every Thursday night. Though I really can’t vouch for the authenticity these information, I loved Spice Studio for its ambience. Seats on an elevated platform with tilted tiled roof around a huge banyan tree and surrounded by a stretching water body slabs, place lit up by dim lights, tea table lights and Turkish lamps – you get the picture, don’t you?
While ViVo wins in taste and Spice studio in ambience, Edge has it with the location. Though I didn’t really spend time in Edge, some blogger friends and I spend hours chatting just outside the lounge right next to the pool on the pleasant fall night.
Anyways, if you really are looking for a slice of old with some very luxurious new experience, you might want to consider Alila Diwa Goa for your next trip.
Ambience and Connect to the Area – 5/5
Rooms and Amenities – 5/5
Location and Property – 4/5
Food – 3/5
Value of money on the whole – 3.5/5