Official trips are no fun, as they end up being tiring and hectic. However, things turn around when you are at The Leela Goa, which redefines luxury and offers you the best in the business, making your stay comfortable and safe.
Any road trip, when planned suddenly, is fun, as everything seems to be in control. But this doesn’t apply when you book yourself a premium stay at the last moment amidst the pandemic, as you can’t predict the good or bad. Somehow, this dated theory stood false when we reached The Leela Goa. Yes, we did a last-minute booking and headed out in a BMW X3 to Goa. Though we had gone through the pictures on the official website, a last-minute booking confirmation made us have a mix of positive and negative thoughts, raising our expectation levels, because not everything you see in pictures is true in all cases. And, guess what, I was wrong! Everything from the main gate was beautiful and good-looking. Trust me on this one.
Stepping down at the front desk, the keys to the car were handed over and we were escorted to the reception desk. We expected a usual warm welcome but were overwhelmed when the staff greeted us wholeheartedly! And the warmth was the same for each and every guest we saw there. Usually, at a reception desk, coffee or tea is offered as a welcome drink, but we were in travelers’ paradise — Goa — and the climatic changes which we undergo after reaching the destination, can only be leveled up after having ripened coconut water. After a quick check-in, a buggy reminiscent of a Golf cart waited for us to drive us to our respective rooms.
Now, we had a comfortable and safe drive all the way from our home base in Pune in the X3 and we expected something more premium and luxurious in its comparison. I know, it’s unfair to compare a car and a property. But even for airport pickups and nearby tours, The Leela Goa has a fleet of BMWs that comprises of X5s and a few 7 Series. On entering the respective rooms, a welcome letter along with a bottle of premium wine awaited us. All the touchpoints and items that are used by guests were sanitized. Clean-ironed bed sheets, towels, degradable plastic-wrapped electronic items, said the untold truth of adherence to all the safety guidelines. In our case, the suite room, where our CEO-Publisher, Mr. Abhishek Kulkarni stayed was no less than a luxury apartment. Equipped with amenities like a colossal sofa, a life-sized television, an in-house bar, and a king-sized bed, made him make a statement saying ‘He was at home away from home.
Mind you, this was a similar case with me and Vishal Joshi, our Principal Correspondent too, with whom I shared the room. When we entered the room, we did what everybody does, and that is bombarding our social media with pictures and videos, while also finishing half of the bar (wink!). We had a mesmerizing view from the balcony, the chirping of birds, and slow drizzle that made the surrounding so soothing that we couldn’t resist ourselves from getting into the ultimate relaxation mode. This view was not just for us, but from every room around. The property, which is based around a picturesque location, has a view of the beach, lush greenery, and a man-made lagoon in the middle of the premises.
Post some relaxation, we needed to refuel ourselves, so we headed to the dining area. Now, you should enter here at your own risk, as the food that is important to keep you going, can make you gain a few extra kilos by the end of the trip. With a variety of cuisines that include the lip-smacking Asian, Continental, and street food, was hard to give up on. We also gorged up on some seafood, which was obvious since we were in Goa. The next big thing that may pull you back is the dessert studio at the exit and is always densely crowded because it is heaven for those who have a sweet tooth. With the abundance of options to choose from, you will fall in love with every single bite of every dessert.
After a two-day stay and a heavy heart, we progressed towards the front desk, for the post-stay formalities. While heading back, we had thoughts of going back again many times, because everything and every moment spent here at The Leela Goa redefined luxury for us and we wished to be a part of this wonderful experience soon.