Alila Diwa Goa is a low, white-walled resort, big enough to be family-friendly but still cozy and appealing to couples.
Just before dawn on a humid morning in Goa, I arrive at the huge, high-ceilinged lobby of the Alila Diwa to warm smiles and a cool towel. After a fuss-free check-in, the staff leads me to my room, where the air conditioning is mercifully fierce and the soft bed is huge and cushion-strewn. Everything you want after a long journey and 4 a.m. arrival.
The guestrooms in the low-rise 153-room resort have a cool, modern look, with a muted cream and mustard palette and touches like lattice screens that nod to the Alila group’s Southeast Asian roots.
Most rooms have large private balconies overlooking the central infinity pool, where waiters hover unobtrusively, offering fluffy towels and water to sunbathers in the sunken lounge chairs.
The hotel is split into two sections; the Diwa is in the newer wing and has its own bistro, which serves Indian fusion cuisine, but purists might prefer the resort’s signature restaurant, Spice Studio. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are prepared using local recipes in an open kitchen. Take the plunge and ask the waiter to bring a selection of that day’s dishes. Or ask very nicely in the bar and they’ll rustle up the most popular local street food: an omelet doused in coconut-based gravy and sandwiched in a fluffy white bun.
Like all new hotels in the region, the Alila was built away from the beach (a strict planning requirement), but Majorda Beach is just a 10-minute golf cart ride away. Goa has a reputation for being party central, but this wide, palm-fringed strip of coastline couldn’t be further from the cliché. You are more likely to see a local fisherman selling his day’s catch than a backpacker in tie-dye.
The concierge is on hand to advise and book day trips in the region, but most guests seem happy to spend their time by the pool or in the spa. The Balinese massage and a cup of ginger tea banished my jetlag instantly.
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Review by Collette Lyons, courtesy of Jetsetter.com, modified to fit the format.