Affordable luxury in North Goa: Grand Mercure Goa Shrem Resort
I lie down in my private spa chalet, hearing raindrops drizzle on the roof, while treating myself to a rejuvenating Swedish massage, surrounded by foliage on all sides on my first visit to Goa in 23 years. I had never been to Goa *insert judging sneers*. Especially having lived in Bombay for 10 years, Goa should have been my second home. Only that it wasn’t, and least did I expect that my first visit to the state would be a work visit to a property in North Goa.
Invited as a part of the bloggers meet at Grand Mercure Goa Shrem Resort in Candolim, I packed my bags in what is usually considered ‘off-season’ in Goa. I wonder why, since the rains, coupled with the greenery gave me a Kerala-sque peek of the state. Definitely, we couldn’t enjoy the usual sun ‘n’ sandy beaches people flock to Goa for, but the rains made India’s most popular tourist destination a wondrous celebration of nature.
Passing lush green avenues and rain soaked roads, we arrived at the Accor property, to treat ourselves to a lavish lunch at Chy. Being a pure vegetarian, I was sure that either I would starve myself to death or just convert into a non vegetarian, given the variety of Goan coastal cuisine. But was I pleasantly surprised! Not only was I spoilt for vegetarian food choices but also found myself enjoying authentic north Indian food, in Goa!
Be it Oriental, Italian or Indian, food poured in from Festa, their all day-diner, to the point where food became one of the highlights of our trips. Evening commenced at the Junho bar, where I sipped on a posh champagne cocktail and martinis before heading out to explore Goa’s nightlife. When at the property, one simply can’t miss the seaside Sunday brunch at La Brise, complete with live music, live counters and delectable desserts. This was followed by the traditional Goan Saraswat Thali
Meditation and yoga activities
One of the most exotic spas I have been to, Grand Mercure takes their wellness activities very seriously. You enter to a plethora of foliage into their spa chalets and villas, which include an Ayurvedic massage room and a couple’s massage area. Since the property hosts several wedding, there are dedicated bridal packages at Balæ Spa.
Start your mornings with yoga sessions and meditation activities. Kids and adults alike will have a great time zorbing and zip lining at the pool, while enjoying hourly treats which do the rounds for guests.
Why Grand Mercure
Apart from serving as a leisure destination, Goa has increasingly started garnering MICE tourists, who prefer having offsite conventions here.
With the property’s dedicated banqueting facilities, meeting spaces, combined with a waterfront restaurant and poolside party hall, one could easily plan an office convention or a destination wedding, well within the premises of the hotel. Plus the executive suites, in a duplex set up are perfect for a family getaway or even an exciting bachelorette event.
Well, it may have been a 2 day visit, but I couldn’t have asked for a better first trip to Goa! Thanks to Grand Mercure Shrem Resort for making me lose my Goa-ginity!