The Hotel That Wows
W Hotel Goa in Vagator takes one’s breath away with exquisite views and outstanding service
Hotels are a dime a dozen in Goa, so to stand out, new entrants must be exceptional. W Hotel hits the nail on the head starting off with a jaw-dropping location against the historic ruins of Chapora Fort in north Goa, and world-class hospitality.
The hotel brings the bold attitude and upbeat culture of its New York City origins to the laidback environs of Vagator as it overlooks one of the most pristine beaches in north Goa. W Hotel Vagator is innovative, inspiring and infectious, offering a different experience in Goa’s hospitality range.
Led by dynamic general manager T J Joulak, the hotel aims to blow guests away with an experience unlike any they’ve had before and make it a travel destination in itself.
A creative vision of Design Wilkes brought to life in collaboration with Eco-id Architects, W Hotel in Goa combines colour and culture. It makes a statement right from the start, with an oversized mirrored W at the entrance where the doors feature an artwork on the phases of the moon by renowned Goan artist Dr Subodh Kerkar.
Acknowledging Goa’s popularity among Indian celebrities, W Hotel makes things grand and celebratory, typifying the Bollywood element that helps market the country abroad. All through the hotel are murals and artwork that never overpower but still provoke. Goan folk art features in a beautiful mural behind the welcome desk where local capiz shell mobiles hang serenely.
As many as 160 guestrooms, suites, chalets and villas are spread across the vast property in a way that creates illusions of private spaces all around. There are fabulous views to wake up to from either a terrace or a balcony, and custom furniture that mix old-world and contemporary. The comfortable bed and pillows are hypoallergenic, and guests can avail of room service 24 hours a day.
For rainy days, there’s a 49” LED flat screen TV in the room and excellent Bose surround sound systems for that movie theatre experience. The designers have looked to Goa for inspiration on décor, with the flooring and blinds reminiscent of traditional Goan Portuguese heritage. To bring in the vibe of Goa’s meditative side, the mirrors in the rooms are outlined by the shape of a Bodhi leaf. All in all, the rooms are comfortable yet evocative.
W Hotel offers three major food and beverage menus for guests. Spice Traders is a lux beach hut with awe-inspiring views of the Arabian Sea, a top floor bar, lounge and an all’aperto terrace. Its ambience is quite fluid and can accommodate romantic to fun to relaxed across its spaces. Here, chefs whip up delectable pan-Asian cuisine that feeds both body and soul.
The stunning rock pool is paired with the outdoor Wet deck, where healthy snacks and sips from the bar are certain to refuel your tired body. For a taste of the high life, head to The Kitchen Table which serves all-day international favourites as well as classics and modern interpretations of dishes from around the world. Additionally, there’s the Woo Bar and Living Room bar that transform from day-time hangout to evening lounge, offering a wide range of premium spirits and inspired cocktails that perfectly complement the sunset panoramas of Goa’s dramatic red cliffs and the sea.
Expansive is one word to describe the Spa by Clarins at W Hotel Goa. Clarins has had the experience of spa and beauty since 1954 and has developed unique treatments that combine specialised massages with the purest plant extracts and aromatic essential oils.
At W Hotel Goa, Clarins is spread across a sprawling 14,000 square feet, with eight luxurious treatment rooms, special couples’ rooms, heated indoor vitality pool and a wet section with steam, sauna and experience showers.
W Hotels Goa also offers a wide range of ancillary facilities for events, conferences, meetings and seminars. A variety of spaces that suit every need spread across 4,200 square metres boosted with fully adaptable conference equipment and world-class audio-visual facilities.
Its Sensory Set Up concept allows hosts to elevate the event experience with mood music, signature scents and appropriate cuisine for all tastes. There’s the sprawling 350 square metre Great Room for grand events, and a 200 square metre oceanfront area for outdoor parties. The hotel has its own business centre called Wired, so you can attend that emergency work meeting without ruining your vacation.
W Hotel Goa also has a Wee Kids Club and SPG Kids Pass for children, a well-equipped gym, complimentary valet parking, free high-speed internet access in all rooms, as well as The Store to satiate your shopping needs.
As one of the first guests to stay at the W Hotel Goa, I was blown away by the service and hospitality. If they keep this up – which I have no doubt they will under the able leadership of T J Joulak – this could be the next best thing in South East Asia.
The first thing that hits you is the arresting location – set against the backdrop of the 18th century Chapora Fort, it is the perfect spot to take in breathtaking views of the river, Vagator beach and a 180 view of the Arabian Sea.
We enjoyed a warm welcome by the staff and couldn’t wait to see what the hotel had in store. First, there was a delicious lunch at The Kitchen Table where we dined on the Caesar with twice cooked egg and chicken, and rack of lamb with cauliflower mornay. The lamb melted in the mouth. So divine!
The lunch demanded a stroll around the property, but we were pampered with a golf buggy and did not resist. It took us around the steep slopes and winding lanes of the hotel and lulled us into a serene feeling. But this was taken away with a mind-blowing view from the northern edge of the property, right by my favourite place in the hotel – the Rock Pool Bar. I love everything about this spot, from its space and design to its location and ambience. It offers a treasured view of the pristine Vagator beach and at sunset, amplifies the view and surrounding sounds of nature. I certainly know where I will be spending many more sunsets from now on.
Later that evening, we headed to Spice Traders where Chef Tanveer put together a delightful menu that showcased his vast repertoire. We had raw pizza, truffle tuna with crispy cabbage, Chongqing chicken with cashewnut and Sichuan oil, bamboo charcoal tempura prawn with wasabi and mang, baked Singapore chilli crab, black tanuki, cumin lamb with scallions, dry red chilli and coriander, ginger chicken stir fried with carrot and pickled chillies and Cha han rice with a trio of Asian greens and crispy spinach. All that food made it hard to have dessert, but we couldn’t resist the delectable cheese cake that rounded off the meal.
The following day, we indulged ourselves at the amazing Spa by Clarins. We certainly took advantage of the Sunday at hand and indulged in the Ultra Hydrating Facial Treatment with Katafray, a rebalancing massage with essential oils and a melting honey deep touch massage. Katafray is a desert tree with water storage capacities, and its extracts help stimulate the skin’s natural hydration process for a softer, suppler property.
The rebalancing massage uses enveloping movements with tonic body treatment oil to stimulate the body and mind, while the melting honey deep touch massage used hot polished marble and slate stones to drain the body of stress, soothe and energise.
My stay at W Hotel Goa was sadly at an end and with one last cocktail, I took my time with it to enjoy and appreciate the time I’d spent here. For me, W stands for ‘wow’, and it’s surely had that effect for me. I now know where to unwind into that Goa state of mind.