Luxury Hotels

INDIA – 8

Girlahead went to Goa for HOPE, but more of that anon. It was a chance to visit Taj Cidade de Goa, a fascinating hotel with an interesting story. In the 1970s two law students, studying together in Delhi, fell in love and married. After practising for a while there they, Mr and Mrs Ardu Timblo, moved south, to Goa.  Mrs Timblo had three sons but she wanted more than baby-rearing.

The pair built a 201-room hotel, Cidade de Goa, in Portuguese style, on the beach of the Arabian Sea,  Mrs Timblo, Anju, oversaw it as CEO and MD – it’s the daughter she never had. Two years ago they opened a second hotel, a seven-floor, 299-roomer, 500 metres away by steeply-inclined, sharp-bended road but probably 150 metres were a crow to fly between the two. Both properties are now managed by Taj. The older hotel is Taj Heritage Cidade de Goa  and the benjamin is Taj Horizon Cidade de Goa.

Girlahead checked into Horizon. Room 1179 had a magnificent view – see the video below. Advice was immediate. Head up to the seventh floor pool for the sunset was an order rather then a suggestion, and it was well worth going up to the seventh floor before even un packing. See a sunset view, above.

Both hotels share a GM, Ashwini Anand, and stay in one for full run of both properties but in fact Heritage people are more likely to be slower-moving holidaymakers while those in Horizon could be conventioneers.

Horizon has two restaurants. ABD – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner –  is an indoor-out buffet restaurant leading off the lobby. C2C, a two-floor-high seafood dinner restaurant is reached from the lowest floor, one floor down from the lobby, whence you can look down into an enticing space hung with fishnets.  Taj MD/CEO Puneet Chhatwal hosted a Valentine’s Dinner, complete with red roses, the first night, and both Mr and Mrs Timblo came along. It was lots of fun, with drinks outside followed by indoor dining with enough sharing plates to satisfy a Portuguese Man O’War.

Taj Cidade de Goa was to be one of the two main sponsors of the conference, starting on the morrow. This was an optimistic prelude…