Bringing everything to the guest in one place with very hospitable staff and great ambience is something the Citrus Goa excels at
Living in Calangute means I pass by innumerable new ventures – cafes, hotels, joints and shops – almost every day. And sometimes the traffic in this bustling little village can be a good thing; it makes you notice places that eventually turn out to be gem finds. The Citrus Hotel in Goa is one such treasure – an affordable luxury in the heart of the buzz that offers its guests a great 5-star experience.
It was the upcoming chain’s trendy signboard that caught my eye. Simple, yet elegant, with a flash of bright sunny colours on a balmy day – this was something I wanted to feel in the grey ambience preceding the monsoons in Goa. I thought I’d take a look and was pleasantly surprised by a wonderful weekend with friendly people.
The décor is fresh, and not unexpectedly, sports fizzy oranges and bright yellows and effervescent greens. The equally bright General Manager Rahul Dev Mehta presented a great welcome to my stay at the hotel. We had a little chat before I was escorted to my hideaway for the weekend. The Citrus Group has eight properties across India, including hotels in Alleppey, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, Pune and Sriperumbudur. The hotel in Goa has 85 well-appointed rooms, which offer views of the relaxing pool, verdant garden and busy village.
The Citrus is an oasis in a flurry of activity, its spacious rooms a cocoon within the getaway itself. I was happy to be put up in the Delux Room, fitted with an expansive bed and beautiful views of activity outside. Guests milled about with their families, on a summer break from work, school and college. With the heat and humidity turned all the way up outside, the pool and garden formed the centre of activity, and from my cosy hideout I was privy to a bird’s eye view of vacationers’ happy moments at Citrus.
Many guests wandered by the hotel’s efficient travel desk to help them get set for their Goa experience. Attendants at the help desk are always ready with information and can be seen trying to help guests circumvent any inconvenience that might occur. The Citrus also offers foreign exchange, a nifty addition for travellers. A trip to the spa will leave them feeling at the top of their game after a relaxing massage.
It’s possible to stay in the hotel all day if you feel like it, as the friendly staff keep you happy and feeling loved. The rooms offer all modern amenities, including hair dryer and tea and coffee makers. A convenient laundry service means clothes from yesterday’s visit to the beach or last night’s party will be returned to you cleaned and ironed, and in case you feel a little green with all the activity, a doctor is on call to bring you back to life.
Another reason I thought the pool-side was such a rage with guests was the wood-fired pizza they served just there, the flavours of the cheesy delights wafting their way around the hotel. Vibrantly coloured cocktails and classic spirits made their way to guests from 60ml, the poolside bar. Room service is available at any hour of the day or night, but one wouldn’t really pick that option during the day when dining at BISO is possible. The all-day multi-cuisine coffee shop offers a wide range of Indian as well as Continental dishes.
Executive Chef Amit Jenna overlooks the tasty food and its service at the hotel. He ensured that the kitchen did a great job with my dinner. We started with the Bruschetta con Pommodoro, with freshly baked bread, slathered in basil pesto and topped with grated parmesan. This was followed by a lovely Mushroom Cappuccino soup with garlic grissini that paid a perfect compliment to the cloudy skies above. For my main, I couldn’t resist the platter of fresh fish on a bed of sprightly vegetables.
During my chat with General Manager Rahul Dev Mehta, he mentioned that the hotel could also double up as a perfect venue for conferences and business meetings. At the hall aptly called Citron, I saw how right he was. Clients will find it fully equipped with high-speed WiFi connectivity, built-in LCD projector with screen, surround sound system, DVD player and white board. With a capacity to sit 110 people in a theatre setting, it makes for a pretty flexible venue.
The Citrus is the ideal place for package tours that cater to holidaymakers and look after their every need from arrival to departure. With the easy-going, friendly and very able staff, I would certainly be most comfortable with the hotel’s outstanding hospitality if I found myself on a package holiday here.