There are many cliches associated with Goa. The most popular one is the notion that all Goans are ‘sussegado’ and that we live a relaxed life, hence when in Goa, do as the Goans do and relax. Well, these cliches and stereotypes are based on some truth, and though Goa is quickly becoming a mini-metropolis with its traffic and flyovers, there are still a few hidden treasures where time, like you, takes a break. There are places that turn rural Goa on its head in favour of opulence and grandeur and create an experience that is so out of this world, it feels like this is a Goa that no one told you about. That is the feeling you get when you step into the Sol de Goa.
Heritage meets urban chic
The Sol de Goa by Unomas is a sight to behold. What was originally an old Portuguese heritage house deep in the heart of Nerul, is now an elegant Goan-Portuguese boutique hotel designed by Tarun Tahiliani. The property screams affluence. Wood detailing with marbled floors, and that gorgeous pool in the middle of the courtyard. It’s probably the most unique setting you will ever find in a Goan property. But if one pool wasn’t enough, there’s a second infinity pool out on the deck by the restaurant, overlooking the lush paddy fields of Nerul. Sunsets have never looked more beautiful. This residence hotel-themed property promises an intimate, comfortable yet stylish place you can call ‘home’ during your stay. The main idea here is to provide a space that combines an elegant Goan-Portuguese design ethos with a lively vibrant urban chic vibe.
An unparalleled dining experience
While writing this, admittedly it is uncommon to talk about dining before the core feature of a hotel being its accommodation, but Sol de Goa is different. See the true charm of this exclusive property lies in the extraordinary vibe created in the restaurant and adjoining bar and verandah. Thursdays are widely regarded across Goa as SolDay, and rightly so because unlike the commercial music stylings that accompany most restaurants and properties, Sol de Goa is in constant pursuit of the exceptional.
Every Thursday, you will have the opportunity to get transported to a different music scape thanks to an impeccable selection of musicians. These range from Portuguese Fadoists, to Jazz ensembles, international DJs to world music practitioners. Every Thursday offers a splendidly unique experience that attracts the who’s who of Goa, engaging them and you in an exciting evening of unrivalled dining and entertainment. Add to this the occasional food fusion pop-ups, concept events and mercados (Spanish for market), and this chic verandah becomes a haven for the arts.
Food for the Gods
Dining at Sol de Goa is a crucial part of the experience, especially since the property’s gastronomy is taken very seriously. This is seen in the open kitchen on the verandah giving patrons an opportunity to experience the delicate fusion of contemporary Indian cuisine first hand. Led by the extremely talented Chef Sanchit Behl from Chandigarh, and the young chef savant Maia Laifungbam, dining at Sol de Goa is a world-class experience. The menu is best described as eclectic, even though the selection is predominantly Indian. This is because of the international cooking methods and techniques that make these dishes a true fine dining experience. The food menu is in turn accompanied by inventive cocktails that consider the seasonal goodness that Goa has to offer. In fact, with specially curated and themed menus that change weekly, you always have something to look forward to at the bar.
Fresh produce is sourced locally on a daily basis so it would be advisable to ask for the evening’s specials. A couple of favourites to consider would definitely be the Ceviche and the Tenderloin Steak. The former is the perfect start to the evening. This seafood salad is fresh and bursting with flavour. The prawn and calamari are delicately cured in the citrus juices of the lemon-lime dressing, and accompanied by fresh lettuce, orange, edible flowers, and paper-thin slices of apple. The result is an explosion of flavour with every morsel. The latter is a house favourite, and why not. Beautifully plated, the tenderloin medallion is accompanied by a wonderfully flavoured grilled cabbage, and a sweet carrot aioli. The meat itself is not overseasoned, opting instead to revel in the sauces while maintaining the succulent flavour of a perfectly cooked medium rare grill.
Stay in the lap of luxury
It’s the details that make the difference, and a stay in one of 21 suites and rooms at Sol de Goa is nothing short of luxurious. Originally designed by Tarun Tahliani, each room received a statement makeover, undergoing a refreshing refurbishment. The well-appointed rooms are replete with everything that you would require from modern accommodation. State of the art audio-visual accompaniment, reliable WiFi, and tying it all together, plush furnishings and exquisite bathrooms. The details come in the form of tastefully curated toiletries by Inara, and for your morning pick-me-up, a wide selection of tea and gourmet coffee from Devi’s coffee. The rooms itself overlook a range of views that cover the lush paddy fields of Nerul, the beautiful swimming pools, and the Nerul river itself. No matter what the view, you are assured a relaxing and rejuvenating stay.
Not every property can promise the kind of luxury and opulence that Sol de Goa by Unomas intends. Every moment spent in this palace is a memorable one and with a phenomenally warm staff, nothing is impossible. Whether you’re travelling solo or considering your honeymoon, looking to organise your next corporate gathering, or just celebrating your dad’s 70th, Sol de Goa is the perfect destination and reason to leave Goa behind.