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Inside Ronil Goa, India’s First JdV by Hyatt five-Star Resort, Where There is Space for Party Seekers and the Quiet Holiday Seekers

 

At Ronil Goa, there are spaces for high energy sundowners as well as those who seek some quiet

At Ronil Goa, there are spaces for high energy sundowners as well as those who seek some quiet | Photo Credit: Mohsin Taha/Special Arrangement

At Ronil Goa, JdV by Hyatt’s first property in India, Sachin, aka Rocketman, greets guests lounging in the cabanas with a free shot. Strapped to his back is a large can with the drink of the day. The Rocketman, who stands by the Energy Pool (one of the two pools on the property), is one of the many small additions that makes Ronil Goa less of a formal hotel and more of a relaxed holiday space. I watch the cheer with which Sachin’s gesture is received, while trying an apple-cinnamon slushie.

Old and New

A swim-up bar serves cocktails and mocktails

A swim-up bar serves cocktails and mocktails | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The hotel which was established 37 years ago has been renovated, keeping some of its Indo-Portuguese design elements — such as the sloping terracotta roofs — intact to offer a hint of nostalgia to old-time patrons while reimagining it for contemporary holiday seekers by offering minimalistic, functional decor with pops of colour.

The 135-room boutique resort situated on the busy Baga-Calangute Road tries to make both party seekers and holidayers who seek some quiet, at home. The Energy Pool thrives with music by an in-house DJ until the wee hours of the night (the decibel level goes down by 10pm). The DJ alters the playlist to suit guest preferences and one can listen to music while trying the barbecues and wood fired oven pizzas.

Although the Energy Pool is at the heart of the boutique resort Pratiti Rajpal, the general manager, points out that Ronil Goa is also for those who seek a quieter holiday and a breather from the party spots on the Baga-Calangute stretch. “The idea is to make both younger and older people find their space. We see susegad (the cultural concept of Goan lifestyle, derived from the Portuguese word ‘sossagado’, which means quiet) as a state of contentment. For one, contentment could be checking out the party scene and for another, it could be about winding down and having a quiet time,” she says. Hence, while one set of rooms flank the Energy Pool, another is by the quieter Tranquil pool.

Energy Pool

The Energy Pool | Photo Credit: Mohsin Taha/Special Arrangement

 

A farmhouse breakfast kickstarts the day at the bistro and the chefs ensure there is something for every guest till late at night. The menu is an assortment of cuisines, with Goan specials, South Indian and North Indian staples, Italian and Continental; tasting trials are on for Asian additions.

Native Specials

The charm of travel lies in savouring local specialties. Chef Pankaj recommends the cafreal. Traditionally it is made with chicken, but if you are vegetarian, the bistro is game to make the dish with mushrooms. I tried the cafreal with the local poee bread, a chewy bread made of wheat flour that works like a pita pocket. The cafreal has a hint of tang from the tamarind, offset with the blend of spices and coriander greens. I also tried the vegetarian Goan xacuti. The assorted veggies cooked in a base of coconut milk with a touch of vinegar and spices made this ideal to go with steamed rice. The vegetables retain their textures and the spices blend in without an overpowering note.

Try the barbecue and Goan specials

Try the barbecue and Goan specials | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Watching the sun go down, you can try the barbecue or signature wood-fired oven pizzas. The sourdough base offers crunch to the melt-in-the-mouth pizzas. The dessert section is limited but the experience is worthwhile. Their warm churros dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with chocolate and their pistachio gelatos are winners.

Sourdough wood fired oven pizzas are among the top picks at the boutique resort

Sourdough wood fired oven pizzas are among the top picks at the boutique resort | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Murals with a pop of colours

Murals with a pop of colours | Photo Credit: Mohsin Taha/Special Arrangement

The off white exteriors are contrasted by terracotta browns, with occasional bursts of colour coming from the wall art all through the property and a large mural near the Tranquil pool. The abstracts give way to figurative art that celebrates the contemporary woman.

If travelling with a group and looking to host a get-together, try the Ronil Studio or The Loft with a mix of formal and relaxed seating arrangements or the garden area. A lounge area named the Soul Station welcomes guests to use noise-cancelling headphones to cut off the music and catch up on reading.

A fun addition to the breakfast spread is the option to have a Bloody Mary. “A spirited holiday can begin at dawn if the guests want to,” says Pratiti, adding “Imagine you are at a friend’s luxury holiday home.”

David Dasshttps://www.sunburstsignals.com
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