As I stepped down from the stage after giving a talk, a young journalist walked up to me and asked – What do you do for your Holidays? Her question made me think – if traveling is becoming a profession, what do I do to relax. I told her when I live by my body clock – that is when I relax. However, the question stayed with me. Every time I had back to back travels, I wondered what should I do to relax and take off. Top this up with the fact that I live in India’s hottest dream destination – Goa, a dream destination for most people.
So, when I got an invitation from La Vida Resort at Varca to come and spend two days with them – I decided this is going to be my Goan holiday. Varca is in South Goa – another district, good 50 Km from my home. I can do all the touristy things that people do in the state and let the resort guys pamper me. I am happy I accepted the invite and spend 2 days doing nothing and getting pampered.
La Vida Resort at Varca, Goa
The La Vida Varca is a new property under the banner of Sterling Holidays. Located close to Varca beach, its air carries a quintessential Goan character. Right from the Shell windows at the reception to the fishing boat outside the glass window and terracotta figurines in the gardens, you never forget you are in the holiday state of India.
We reached around lunch time and were welcomed with some cool coconut water.
Being a newly built property, the rooms are well designed for a new age traveler. The size is adequate and furnishing very contemporary.
What I appreciated most was the ample power points on both sides of the bed and on the study table. I could easily plug in my laptop, my cameras, and our phones. This usually remains a challenge in most hotels. We loved the generous fruit basket and snack jars – perfect for munching in between meals or with your Chai.
Almost all the rooms give you the view of the lovely swimming pool that sits at the heart of the property.
Breakfast and Dinner are served as Buffet although you always have an option to order a la carte. Lunch is what you order. Day 1 we allowed their team to spoil us with food.
I had a huge vegetarian platter and Shashi had a sumptuous seafood platter in a multi-course meal that ended with a colorful grilled pineapple dessert.
You can come here for a Sunday brunch or celebrate your birthdays and anniversaries too – if you live in the state.
I am not much of a spa person, but as I said, I was in a mood to get pampered. So, in the evening, I entered the simple spa there. The doctor had a quick chat with me and suggested the Deep Tissue massage that would help me relax. For the next 90 minutes or so, I was in the hands of a kind therapist. A steam bath and a shower later, I was relaxed yet full of energy.
My favorite memory of my stay at La Vida Resort would be the lovely live music played by Daniel and Shanthi. This lovely couple would go around the table, taking requests from people of their favorite songs. They would invite people to sing along. Daniel could play a mouth organ and a guitar at the same time. Dinners became soulful, thanks to their lovely music.
They also have a banquet hall that can host up to 200 people and a conference hall that makes is a great place for small events like conferences, parties or even small weddings. I am putting on to my list of potential places for my upcoming writing retreat.
Given the hospitality of Sterling Holidays, I am going to look for their other properties when I plan my next travels. I liked the homely feel of their property and warm friendliness of their staff.
Now, let me tell you what can you do when you stay at the resort.
Things to do in Varca, Goa
Varca is a small coastal village next to the better known Colva and Benaulim villages. What makes it interesting is the quaint air that it still carries when you walk through it despite the fact that it is home to many well-known hotels and resorts.
Walk around the Village
Step out of the resort and take a leisurely walk in the village. Hidden amidst the greenery of Coconut, Mango and Banyan Trees are the lovely colorful houses. I walked across the length of the village and could not find any two houses with the same color. It was almost like the color is your address. Imagine – Lavender House, Varca, Goa being your address. While I did see some unoccupied new apartment complexes, most people still live in the large colorful houses with and an army of dogs.
The village has a lot of old Banyan trees and it is always fun to go around them and attempt to figure out which of the network of trees is the mother tree. The age of these trees also tells you that they have been an integral part of the village for a long time.
You can never be too far from a beach in the state. If you are visiting Goa, it is probably because of this sea that you are visiting.
From La Vida, Varca you can walk to the beach – it is 700-800 meters. This is a relatively secluded beach with few shacks. So you can sit on this wide belt of white sand. Best time to visit is at sunset when you can see the sun going down.
Read more – Colva Beach
Like most popular beaches, Varca beach also offers water sports like Jet Ski rides, Parasailing & Banana Rides.
Easiest activity is to take a boat ride to watch the dolphins. I must warn you that you have to be lucky enough to see them.
Having done all these activities, what I enjoy the most now is sitting back and watch the people live their Goan Holiday. Even on the Miramar beach where I often go for an evening walk, I enjoy looking at the families taking their selfies and enjoying their holidays.
Goa is home to many species of birds. The best place to find them is near lakes and in the fields. Walk along the fields in the village and keep your eyes on the treetops to see the birds movements. With a bit of patience, you can admire the birds of the state.
This is our favorite activity in the villages of the state – all of which have a lake and many fields.
Read More – Birding in Maina
Back in Time – San Thome Museum, Varca
Just a couple of km from La Vida is a lovely private museum in a yellow colored Goan home. Curated by Thomas Antonio da Costa, this museum traces the evolution of everything that is now on our mobile phones. As you walk through the two floors of this museum you realize that what you carry in your smartphone today is actually a collection of the evolution of various technologies – from the phone to music, to clocks, to calculators, to word processing, and to cameras.
There are many quirky items like soda bottles from the earliest days to the iconic piano with keys made of ivory.
Entry Fee – RS 150/- per adult and Rs 50/- per child. No photography is allowed. For more details check the museum website.
Goa Chitra and Chakra Museums
Both of these iconic museums are not too far from the beach. You can easily spend a couple of hours soaking in the ethnic history of the state and the wheels from around the country.
For more options read – Must see things in South Goa
This post has been written in association with La Vida Varca of Sterling Holidays