Musings of a Journalist

A 4 Suite Hotel only for Couples, the Mitaroy Goa Hotel is located in the UNESCO Heritage Zone of Fontainhas. Fontainhas is quietly tucked away from all the hustle and bustle of Panjim, yet is only a few minutes walk to the Panjim Jetty. Known as Asia’s only Latin Quarter, Fontainhas is quaint, quiet and pollution-free – an idyllic bastion of the old Portuguese times.

The property itself is an over 200-year-old Portuguese Bungalow, carefully restored by one of India’s most respected architects who has created a happy blend of the old and the new – an inviting water-body at the entrance, terra-cotta floor-tiles, typical white walls, exposed laterite stone walls, wooden staircase, large French windows, old doors, a relaxing red-oxide balcao to while away the time of the day.

The Suites are spacious near 1000 sq feet with a lounge, bedroom, bath and balcony or garden area. Antique furniture, airconditioning, modern toilets, hand made toiletries, crisp bed-linen and caring service blend seamlessly to offer the discerning guest a memorable stay.

Couples staying at the Mitaroy Goa Hotel experience life in the slow lane – cats stretched out lazily on window-sills, fisher-women doing her rounds, replete in her marathi-style sari, bakers with their hot Goan “pav” breads tooting along on their cycle. Fontainhas is seemingly an idyllic “vaddo” (village) but just a stone’s throw from city-centre. A walk through the narrow lanes and quaint bye-lanes of Fontainhas makes for quite an unforgettable romantic experience.

In congruence with the leisurely lifestyle of the Goans, breakfast is served at a time of your choice (none of the hustle and bustle of a typical hotel buffet). Bacon, salami, boiled-eggs, fresh fruit & fruit-juice, Goan pav bread, aloo bhaji, butter, natural fruit jam, marmalade, cheese and freshly brewed coffe or tea.

Lunch and dinner are not served at the Mitaroy Goa Hotel. Instead, guests are encouraged to wander and visit the typical local Goan restaurants and sample the local fare – typical Goan cuisine at Linda’s, fusion cuisine at Venite (Latin for “Oh Come” ) or a typical Portuguese food at the Horseshoe restaurant – that is in abundance in and around Fontainhas. For entertainment, the local hotspot “Down The Road” or the casinos with their jettys just a 5 minute walk away beckon the daring. A boat cruise at sundown on the Mandovi River, a romantic movie at the Inox multiplex cinema or window shopping at the swank, new Caculo Mall nearby are pleasant ways to while away your time.

Jack, your natty caretaker & guide will be happy to assist with any longer journeys you may wish to make to the beach, Old Goa, Mangueshi Temple or the famous bird sanctuary in Diwar. He might even take you for a walkabout in the Fontainhas area, known for its heritage walk circuit.

Innumerable options to keep you busy on the 4 Day 3 Night Romantic Package with late check out option if you so wish comes with a price tag of Euros 100 per night.

For more information and pictures, check out their website at http://www.mitaroygoahotel.com or mail them at mitaroygroup@gmail.com (call 0-9448087708). For those living in Europe, Mihir Nayak, the young Austria-based owner is available at mihhirnayak@gmail.com (call 0043-6802303682).

Goa Monsoon – Romance in the Rains

Finally, its that time of the year.

Whether you prefer to take long walks in the pouring rain or cuddle up cozily in your spacious Suite and watch the rain beat incessantly against your windows, Goa in the monsoons is the perfect place for romance.

Goa is a great place to visit in all seasons but my favourite time of the year has to be Goa in the monsoons. 

After a long and hot summer, the monsoon showers in Goa bring much needed respite to the soil. Nature in Goa takes on a newly washed look, looking fresher and greener than ever.

Goa in the monsoons is perfect for romance because, for some odd reason, most tourists choose to visit Goa either during Summer or Christmas / New Years, leaving Goa quiet and peaceful for couples that visit during this time of the year.

As you walk along the Panjim pier (a short distance from my Mitaroy Goa Hotel), you can see a few couples holding hands as they marvel at the spate of the Mandovi river, in all its glory!

Stay Romantic!

Mihir

Dona Paula Beach Goa – A tragic love story !

The Dona Paula Beach (a 10 minute drive from my Mitaroy Goa Hotel) is a pristine beach with a tragic love story to its name.

Dona Paula beach was named after the Portuguese Viceroy’s daughter Dona Paula de Menezes.

This young, innocent girl fell in love with a local Goan fisherman. Of course, this match was unacceptable to the Viceroy who forbade his daughter Dona Paula to ever see her young lover again.

Distraught with love and sorrow, Dona Paula could not bear a life without her young Goan lover and threw herself off a cliff into the unforgiving Arabian Sea.

Left with nothing but his daughter’s memory, the Portuguese Viceroy named the area Dona Paula, as an eternal tribute to his stubbornness and forbidden romance & love.

Today, there is a black stone statue of the young Dona Paula and her Goan lover on a rocky promontory jutting into the sea with a sweeping view of the Marmagoa Port in the background.

The bay of Dona Paula in Goa lies at the sangam (or meeting point) of the Arabian Sea and the Goan rivers Mandovi and Zuari. Dona Paula is located in the suburbs of the capital Panjim (where our Mitaroy Goa Hotel is located). Dona Paula is also a very fashionable residence for the rich and famous of Panjim. Originally a fishing village, Dona Paula attracts its fair share of visitors and tourists who come to marvel at its pristine beach, its natural beauty and the romantic legend associated with it.

When you are in Dona Paula, you must visit the ruins of the Cabo Fort, erected in 1540. The Cabo Raj Niwas is one of the most elegant governor’s residences in the whole of Goa.There is also a 180 year old English cemetery, open to the public along with a chapel, which has a memorial tomb of Dona Paula de Menezes with her history engraved on the tombstone.

In Dona Paula, you also have the National Oceanography Institute which was opened in 1960 to study the local Goan marine life alongwith the Marine Biology Museum. A little further (around 9 kms from Dona Paula) is the famous Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, in the island of Choro by the side of the Mandovi river and named after the famous Indian ornithologist. The Bird Sanctuary is spread over an area of 2 sq km and is a delight for bird lovers. 10 km from Dona Paula is the famous Reis Magos church. This historical landmark is one of the oldest Churches in Goa and was dedicated to the three wise men of the East who brought the baby Jesus gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh.

The Dona Paula beach itself is one of Goa’s best beaches for water sports such as windsurfing, water skiing, para sailing, motor boat rides etc. There are also several organised water sports facilities on offer in Dona Paula. If you do happen to get serious hunger pangs with all the water sport action, there are quite a few seafood restaurants along the stretch from Dona Paula to Miramar – including Martin’s Beach Corner, Sea Pebble, Menino’s and Sea View.

Stay Romantic!

Mihir