Saturday, October 31, 2015

Weddings, infinity pool and spa retreat at Alila Diwa

After a 37 hour door to door journey, we were relieved to enter the grounds of Alila Diwa Goa.  Sure, our taxi got scanned for bombs and we had to walk through metal detectors but once we were in, we were ushered to seats in the open air lobby where refreshing towels and juice was brought to us.  We were told the hotel was booked to occupancy for the weekend so I wasn't too thrilled to hear that off the bat.

The hotel grounds are exceptionally beautiful. Some people have different definitions of beauty but I loved the infinity pool against the paddy fields.  Workers were constantly cleaning leaves and brush form the pool and the grounds to keep it immaculate.

We had a terrace room on the 2nd floor with a large bed, a work area, a spacious bathroom with a "walk in closet" and a separate bath and shower area. Not bad for $100.00 USD a night!

The room had a balcony overlooking the gardens leading to the spa. It was nice to sit, relax, drink and use it to hang dry our clothes.

View from balcony
Sometimes when we came back to our room, we were surprised with a towel monkey.  My biggest pet peeve that our room didn't get cleaned until 3 PM and turn down service was around 5 PM.  When would we have time to nap and shower and mess up the room for you to clean it up?

During the afternoons, we would read and drink by one of the three pools to cool off.  My favorite was the infinity pool on the Alila Diwa side. There was poolside service and I loved seeing the different animals in the patty field.

On the Diwa Club side, there was a seated jucizzi, that was cool!


I loved the lychee margarita!

One night for dinner, we rode the beach buggy to Gonsua Beach in Majorda and had a beach side candle lit dinner for a fraction of the price we'd pay at the resort.  Matter of fact, we didn't eat dinner at the resort once, we went to Albert's Beach Shacks, Fish Ka and Martin's Corner nearby.

Seaside Dinner at Albert's Place $18.00 USD

We had a good night sleep on the mattress and when we woke up early in the morning (around 3:30 AM, which we always do on vacation). the strong WIFI signal was great for us to blog and check emails and Facebook.

Breakfast buffet was served at VIVO at 7:30 AM, which I thought was kind of late. I think they should have other options for early risers, even if its from a set menu.  There was an Indian station with dosas, Idli, vegetarian dishes as well as western stations with made to order omelettes, sausage, bacon, cereal, etc.  There were also a made to order waffle and pancake station but the chef seemed like an amateur and kept burning my pancakes at least 3 times in a row.

Service was inconsistent. For the first two mornings, no one came around to clear our plates, take our coffee orders or assist us with anything.  On the last day we were there, the service was eager to please, assisting with bringing the food to our table, refilling our coffee and clearing our table.  It was like night and day.  For the most part, the spread was the same everyday. I would get really sick of it if I was there for a week.

Breakfast buffet

To burn all those excess calories from lunch, there was a modern fitness center onsite overlooking the paddy fields.  There were cardio machines and weights.  I ain't gonna lie, I only made it once. The Mo went a few times.

Some days we skipped lunch but if we were hungry. we ordered room service.  Prices were reasonable for room service. We ordered a small chicken pizza which was about $10.00 USD.

Alila Diwa room service

We liked hanging out on the balcony and taking selfies.

I booked an a la carte treatment at the onsite Spa Alila (they also do Ayurveda Detox week long sessions).  Prices were really reasonable for hotel spa services and was about $50.00 USD not including taxes and gratuity. I went with the deep tissue massage. The spa menu describes it as "An ancient healing therapy that combines gentle stretching, long therapeutic strokes and pressure point work to help relieve muscle pain, and deep nurturing touches to eliminate stress."

Spa Aliwa Treatment room entrance

Upon entry to the spa, I was given some herbal ginger tea and given some time to unwind.  After a few minutes, I was ushered into the treatment room where there was a closet with a robe, disposable panties, a steam shower, a regular shower, a sink and an outdoor shower.  Ajay started my treatment with a foot wash in the corner of the room before I moved onto the massage table.

I'm not going to lie, the massage was a bit more painful than I thought but it was a good feeling.  My muscle was very tense and had lots of knots.  Ajay would point out locations of irregularity (based on my requests) and show me where things felt where they shouldn't be (like my spine disks) . It was a very informative and good treatment, one of the best I've ever had.

Spa Aliwa 

After the 60 minute treatment, I continued on to the steam bath for a couple minutes. I didn't want to stay in there too long. The steam bath was followed by an outdoor shower.  It was a magical experience to be nude with nature.

Spa Aliwa Outdoor Shower

Now on the weddings! This was the downside of our vacation.  There were two weddings going on during our stay.  Most of the clientele were from England.  The first one was more modest and I didn't mind it so much because it was just a few low key ceremonies in gardens.  The 2nd wedding took over the resort. The hotel's main area was adorned with flowers, crystals, portraits of the soon to be married couple. It was pretty much in your face and made us feel like we were outsiders disrupting a private wedding.

On our last day, we received a notice that we couldn't use the main infinity pool and had to use the one on the other side at Diwa Club. During our check out, it took the concierge 35 minutes to gather our luggage from our room because the lobby was chaotic with guests, photographers and other staff people surrounding the wedding.  I was glad we were checking out.

Overall, the resort was average. I loved the pool and the spa treatment and the lush gardens and landscape.  Service in the concierge, housekeeping and restaurant could have been improved.

48/10, Village Majorda, Adao Waddo
Salcette, Goa 403713