Say Hello to the Warm and Welcoming Westin Goa

A pandemic, a cyclone and still making it onto the list of top hotels in Goa, The Westin offers a special brand of hospitality to tourists and locals alike since it opened earlier this year finds Samira Sheth

The Westin Goa opened in the midst of a pandemic while we were between lockdowns. Not the ideal scenario for any brand new property, it is truly commendable how the hotel has found its niche in Goa despite a sea of hotels here and managed to become an attractive destination in itself fairly quickly.

Located in Anjuna, The Westin is not a beachside hotel. It is a short drive away from Anjuna beach and while that may be a drawback for the guest seeking a seaside venue, the hotel manages to hold its own and create a memorable guest experience, attracting a repeat crowd in the process. There is plenty to do in the vicinity – a vibrant nightlife, lots of restaurants, clubs and bars to visit and of course spend time at the beaches of Anjuna or relatively close Morjim. There is lots to tempt you to spend time at the hotel itself, with four venues to dine in, including the wonderful rooftop bar Drift with its super talented Beverages Manager Rohan Rege. A whiz at whipping up a mean cocktail, either a classic or a new concoction siphoned and infused with fresh herbs – Rohan will keep you busy with his flair for variety and experimentation.

Executive Chef Ravish Mishra, with years of experience under his belt, runs a tight ship with each venue offering gourmet food. An interesting menu with both the exotic and the regular manage to appeal to and satiate even the fussiest or long-staying guest at the property. Chef oversees a dedicated team and is committed to staying on top of all the latest food trends and innovations.  Breads and desserts are made in house and tea sommelier Shree is also on hand to help guests embark on a journey through various teas from around India and the world. Coffee time is also taken very seriously and the deli and patisserie Anjuna & Co whip a great brew of pretty much any kind you fancy.

The rooms are plush and most offer forest views and more importantly the signature Heavenly Beds to curl up in. Art and design elements are peppered through the property including a great selection of coffee table books to browse through in the lobby. Among the usual double rooms, suites and family studios, the hotel offers the pretty pool patio rooms where guests can dip into the pool directly from their room and swim with an element of privacy at their discretion. With their focus on wellness and wellbeing The Westin’s Heavenly Spa is an integral part of the hotel’s philosophy of Sleep Well, Eat Well and Move Well and offers great treatments to soothe wearied guests escaping to Goa looking for just this haven of relaxation. 

To keep guests coming back and draw in locals as well, Marketing & Communications Manager Swastika Ghosal has drawn up an interesting roster of events. The recently started Sunday Brunches accompanied by live music or a flea market showcasing local artists and brands are proving very popular with guests and the different collaborations are bringing in the local community. Sunset sessions with celebrity DJs, Jazz and Salsa are also turning the hotel into a lively hotspot and draw in a good crowd.  A grand ballroom, a well equipped gym and a cheery Kids Club are other attractions. All in all, whether you’re here to explore Goa or just relax on a staycation The Westin Goa gives you a happy place to pause and be pampered.

Excerpts from a leisurely chat with GM Sunil Kumar

“We opened the hotel with a contingency plan. We are a brand new hotel in the city and didn’t want the risk of teething problems. First, we had the lockdown and then the cyclone hit after we opened! Our internet was down, we had no diesel and there was a lot of damage to the property.  A lot of talent left and our key strategy was to get our talent back after the lockdown. We had about 100 Associates when we were supposed to have over 200! Every member of the team who was here, however, pitched in and everybody did everybody’s job- the Front Office Manager for instance doubled up and did valet parking as well! The beauty of our pre-opening was the legacy we are creating where we are more like a family than a hotel. In less than 2 weeks after the cyclone, we were back and the hotel was as good as new again. In just a few months since opening, we have generated quite a buzz and the hotel is ranked in the top few on Trip Advisor.

“The easiest slip in our industry is consistency and we want to make sure we keep up and maintain the standards of experience we offer our guests. While we are a premier hotel and not a luxury one, we want every guest to walk out with a feeling of luxury and a customized personalized experience.”

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Author: By Samira Sheth
Art collector & Curator Samira Sheth loves to explore what is new and exciting in food and art and particularly enjoys celebrating all things Goa.

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