Hotel Review: W Goa, Goa in India
Situated between the verdant jungle and the stunning coastline of Vagator Beach, W Goa features 160 vibrant guestrooms, including Villas, Chalets, a Marvelous Suite and an Extreme WOW Villa (the brand’s take on the Presidential Suite).
A one hour flight from Mumbai and a 90-minute drive from Goa International Airport, this W Escape overlooks the Arabian Sea and spans 25 acres of exotic sandy beach set against the backdrop of a 500-year old Portuguese Fort.
From the eye catching gold installation of W at the entrance, the ropes that form a part of the design feature in the lobby to the colorful artwork in the lobby all make for a unique design, a visual treat. The reception area called the Living Room, opens up to W’s signature Woo Bar, a perfect spot to unwind what with expert bartenders, fabulous food and music.
W Goa marks the debut of Clarin’s first spa in India, a huge facility complete with a vitality pool where a guest can spend almost the entire day just relaxing and rejuvenating. Nestled in a subterranean space, the spa boasts 14,000 square feet of total relaxation, with each detail inspired by the great baths of Pompeii and a labyrinth of corridors leading to private rooms.
The spa includes an Oxygen room, eight treatment rooms, a heated vitality pool, steam room and sauna. It was fascinating to be informed of W Goa’s iconic Whatever/Whenever® service that delivers guests whatever they want, whenever they want it, often facilitated by the W Insider, who shares with guests the inside scoop on what’s new/ next in Goa.
The grand entrance features huge, unframed doors that are perpetually open and adorned with art by Goan artist Subodh Kerkar, representing the lunar phases. Behind the reception pods adorned with simmering white Capize shells is a massive street art mural by Indian artist M. Narayan featuring gutsy, raw imagery that celebrates the melting pot culture of Goa, as well as the spectrum of color one can see through divine meditation.
I was hosted in one of their rooms where Goa’s Bohemian spirit comes alive along with a lot of Indian influence on the cushions such as auto rickshaw art, interesting décor on the walls, a beautiful chandelier, a lounger in the shape of a tepee, spacious bathrooms with a lot of blue and purple notes. Each guestroom in the hotel is drenched in a psychedelic look and feel with trippy hues of purples and blues.
Foggy metal closet doors to the “beaten” metal drawers in the bathroom are so designed so that guests cannot clearly see themselves, but rather just their shape and movements. Each guestroom features a chandelier that looks as though the lights are melting from the ceiling, and each bathroom features a mirror adorned with the shape of the Bodhi Leaf which is often associated with enlightenment.
W Hotels recently announced the appointment of Cajetan Araujo as the General Manager for W Goa. Cajetan, fondly known as Caje, has added excitement to the team by bringing alive the innovative whatever/whenever philosophy and delivering infectious and electrifying experiences to guests at India’s first ever W Hotel in Goa.
Caje is a global luxury hotelier who began his journey in hospitality as a Front Desk Executive in Geneva, Switzerland and since then has been a culinarian, an entrepreneur and an icon leading some of the finest restaurant and food and beverage operations in New York, Miami, Bermuda, Ireland, Dubai and Qatar.
His remarkable journey with St. Regis Doha, Qatar and The St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami, saw him bring his passion and excitement to Mumbai to launch the now iconic “Best Address” in Mumbai – The St. Regis Mumbai as Hotel Manager. With over 21 years in luxury hospitality, he has joined the stunning W Goa and the energetic team to grow its footprint as the most celebrated lifestyle hotel in India.
In addition to his impressive 21 year professional journey, Cajetan is also an ardent musician, painter and photographer who loves to travel for food and wine. Calling Graz in Austria home, he is joined by his wife Anna Barbara and 9 year old son Alessio.
As someone who personally embodies the “W” way of life, speaking of his new role, Caje says, ‘I’m thrilled to be a part of W Goa’s talented family. We are ecstatic to bring forth Goa’s infamous beauty, heritage and vibe combined with W’s globally renowned and unique ‘lust for life’ energy that must be experienced.”
W Goa’s restaurants and bars each with a distinct charm of its own add to the hotel’s appeal in many ways. Spice Traders offers Pan Asian epicurean flavors amplified with sumptuous ocean views and al fresco dining. The Kitchen Table, an all-day restaurant serves popular local classics and modern interpretations of international favorites.
The WET deck bar refuels guests with healthy snacks and delicious cocktails, while the Living Room and Woo Bar transform from comfortable hangout by day to buzzing lounge by night. During my stay Executive Chef Vikas Vijay Vichare created Spice Trader’s signature dishes.
The Kitchen Table serves delicacies such as Nalli Nihari and Rassa Omelette for breakfast along with the regular favourites. While at The Kitchen Table it is a good idea to try a Goan thaali which consists of all the local specialties. This time I also spent time at the hotel’s mind blowing outdoor venue called Rock Pool which is always buzzing with pulsating music, intoxicating drinks and interesting food to match.
W Goa is a destination in itself and while I was there, I didn’t feel the need to step out at all as W Goa offers the best of Goa whether it is the local food, the nightlife, the entertainment, fantastic views of the beautiful beachside, a friendly team and relaxation at the Clarins spa. There is enough happening in this vibrant and fun hotel to keep one busy, an absolute must visit when in Goa!
Address: Vagator Beach, Goa 403509, India
Phone: +91 832 671 8888