Relax Amid the Bustle

Swissotel Goa at Calangute offers sumptuous dining and tranquil accommodation at the core of the state’s hip party zone…

By Sinead McManusImage

Some are inclined to think that Goa’s popular northern belt has enough luxury hotels to go around. A new venture would certainly have to stick its head out to be noticed. With its international pedigree and local sensibilities, Swissotel doesn’t have to do much in order to attract guests. After all, the hotel chain which is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland is an internationally recognized brand name with a presence across 17 countries with over 40 properties. Having barely opened, the holiday resort is already hitting the vibe in Calangute with style.

The clean lines and minimalist decor grounded mostly in virginal white leave guests with enough space to introspect on the vibrancy of the bustling party outside. As the latest among the internationally renowned chain’s properties, Swissotel Goa is offering a range of attractive offers that blend smoothly with the country’s holiday season, catering to everyone’s wants the business executive expecting a side of relaxation, the family beating the heat of summer, the couple looking for a romantic luxury getaway or a bunch of independent youngsters all set to paint the town whatever shade they feel fit.

The Accommodation

As many as 135 guestrooms and suites are spread across nine three-level buildings, removing any sense of a mass of high-rise buildings in the village of Calangute. And with a wide variety of rooms to choose from, Swissotel could leave you in a dilemma  rom the Grand Rooms with king-size beds and views of tranquil lily ponds to spacious Family Rooms with a full range of amenities and the ultimate comfort of deluxe accommodation in the Superior Suites.

The designers, Malaysian architects Chong Chee Ching and Greg Dall, kept space and privacy in mind when they put pencil to paper, keeping rooms anywhere between a cosy 31 sq m and a luxurious 72 sq m. Bold portrayals of contemporary India by designer and artist Krsna Mehta compliment the modern visage of the hotel. They also find their way into the accommodation  the Swiss Advantage and Swiss Advantage Pool View rooms, the Family Room and Grand Room, and the Superior and Deluxe Suites.


With the heat bearing down on Goa, most guests prefer lounging by the pool, where close access to fresh juices, lifting cocktails and zesty mocktails make a day out in the sun strangely refreshing. The pool-side bar, North 16, also plates up delectable snacks in answer to any holiday cravings.

At the Swissotel’s Grab & Go deli, it’s fun on the run 24 hours a day. From mouth-watering pizzas and sandwiches, to delicious pastries, cakes and beverages, it’s the place to pop into as you hurry off to do some last-minute shopping or to meet friends.

For those looking out for a more leisurely meal or perhaps even a business lunch, North Cafe is the perfect restaurant with its wide range of dishes to suit most tastes. The buffet breakfast lays out a spread of international and Indian delights, while for lunch and dinner, take your pick from the line-up of an eclectic mix of European, Indian and local food.

Meetings and Events

For companies who like their staff to get inspired in relaxed settings, Swissotel Goa has it covered with meeting rooms and ballrooms kitted with facilities that accommodate different configurations and set-ups.

Lugano, a spacious banquet function room with state-of-the-art facilities, is ideal for meetings, conferences or intimate dinners, while the permanent boardroom Ticino inspires well-thought out executive decisions in its formal setting. And for the coffee breaks and pre-dinner cocktails that accompany nearly every meeting, Swissotel Goa provides the easy Pre-Function Area.

To help with arrangements, a professional on-site event organiser makes meetings and events a breeze.

Other amenities

Swissotel Goa looks after its guests. At any hour of the day or night, room service is available, as is access to the fitness centre  equipped with a range of cardiovascular equipment and free weights should one feel like burning off some extra holiday calories. Keeping up with contemporary requirements, internet access is available in all rooms and suites as well as in public areas such as the restaurants.

Children from ages four to 14 years can be kept busy with free access to the Kids Club.The resort is currently looking at opening its Beach Club at the end of this year, catering exclusively to hotel guests on Calangute beach. It will also feature two spa treatment rooms, a pool, restaurant and a bar lounge.

The Experience

Tucked away down a narrow lane in Calangute, the large gates and warmly-lit spacious lobby portion hint of the ambience to come. My Swiss Advantage Pool View Room was centrally located, its chic interiors and thoughtful luxury evident in all the ‘mod-cons’ one may desire.

As I took a walk around, I found drawn toward the full-length swimming pool, possibly coaxed by the afternoon heat. It appeared that other guests were similarly beckoned by the sparkling blue, and the poolside bar, North 16, was abuzz with the chatter of people having fun. A thoughtful feature of the resort is its policy towards smoking, which dissuades guests from lighting up anywhere except in allocated areas around the hotel.

A quick chat with Chahnaz Gayraud revealed that she assumed her role as General Manager of Swissotel Goa after two decades of experience in hospitality. Having been part of the pre-opening team, she has gelled well with Goa, riding the short distance to work on her very sparkly customised Enfield chopper. It lies perfectly displayed in the lobby, an edgy statement alongside the chic interiors.

Imagine my surprise to see an old friend, Chef Amar Chawla, behind the apron! His recommendations were perfect as usual, this time laying an emphasis on Goan cuisine. The selections on the menu are varied and although North Cafe is the main restaurant, I could choose to eat anywhere I fancied  near the pool, beside the relaxing water bodies that dot the area or even in the comfort of my room.

But I couldn’t pass up the vibrant atmosphere at North 16 as guests clinked cocktail glasses, chatted about their bargains and made plans for the evening. Bereft of any party plans that night, I took advantage of the warm ambience, the friendly staff and the luxurious setting.

With a couple of cocktails and fabulous food to keep me company, I felt quite content to stay put right there amid the dissolving chatter of guests, a view of the pool and a completely relaxed mind.

Published – Viva Goa Magazine on May 14th 2013

Written by: Sinead McManus

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