A Rejuvenating SpaCation at Coco Shambhala, Goa

A daycation spent amidst nature, tropical 🌴 green setting, a lush pool, a therapeutic spa, jacuzzi, and a scrumptious 3-course meal, what more can you ask for. A perfect monsoon indulgence @cocoshambhala  got me covered to enjoy a luxurious staycation where I enjoyed all of this and lots more.

The spa package packed with a daycation was the kind of mid-week getaway I am a sucker for. The day to day life is so hectic with work, that even a hint of such an opportunity is something I grab with both hands wide open. So for a girls day out, Coco Shambhala, the luxury resort nestled in Nerul was a perfect option.

I was thrilled at the inclusions that this spa package offers. A relaxing massage, access to the villa which has a jacuzzi as well, use of the expansive swimming pool and a delicious and healthy 3 course meal along with a bottle of wine, like I said above, literally what more can you ask for. And at Rs 12500 for two people, its definitely an offer hard to resist.

The spacious and tastefully decorated rooms of the villa take care of all your comfort needs, the outdoor shower 🚿 is such a delightful experience and the patio serves as an excellent area for some relaxed time.

After lazing around in my room and exploring the natural beauty that surrounds Coco Shambhala, it was time to indulge in super delicious food.
The dining table was laid out perfectly and the decor was in resonance with the tropical 🌴 surroundings. The use of jute and lots of green plants on the table made the lunch even more inviting and alluring.

The Welcome Cocktail, A Curry Leaf #margarita made with Tequila, lime juice, Cointreau not only matched the ambiance but also tasted extremely refreshing 🍸

Spiced Beetroot Cakes stuffed with roasted peanuts & cheddar and served with coriander sauce made for a perfect starter. I loved the texture of the cakes and with subtle spices, one could taste the beetroot and peanuts without anything overpowering the flavor.

Raw Papaya & Carrot Salad tossed with roasted fennel, dill & sun-dried red chili was nutritious, juicy, healthy and super delicious 😋 

Beef Moussaka Timbale along with Greek salad, herb butter-toasted poi was the best I had in recent times. 

Chilli Chocolate Ganache with plum sauce, basil crumble & pomegranate was a dessert to die for. 

For me, the spa day at @cocoshambhala meant a complete relaxation of mind, body, and soul. For my always stressed body, I went ahead with the INVIGORATING Body Massage, it’s especially meant for those who are feeling the streaks

An oil blend containing pure essential oils of Frankincense, Orange & Grapefruit is massaged into the body to revitalize and stimulate both the body and mind thereby balancing the flow of energy. All three essential oils used in this massage are known for their energizing, uplifting and stimulating qualities. The massage helps increase energy levels and improve mental clarity and comprehension.

The aroma of candles, the mediating soft music, and this lovely massage literally made my day and then, of course, it was time to let my hair down and have some fun in the pool and private jacuzzi.

What a splendid way to spend a day full of luxury, comfort, relaxation and great food as well. For more details on the package, you can check the link here

WHERE TO FIND THEM

Coco Shambhala
Coco Beach, Nerul Bardez,
Goa, India
E. stay@cocoshambhala.com
+91 80073 74123
+91 85509 85232

New York City: Exploring This Famous Concrete Jungle

New York is perhaps the symbol of America, more so than Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago etc. Even though the Big Apple is not the capital of the country, it sure does act like it. The streets may be paved with a greyish-black tarmac, the vents might be spewing up steam, the buildings might be made from dull brown bricks but even the urban neighborhoods are worth exploring. In fact, high rise buildings and skyscrapers are just what you see in the center of the city. The financial heart of this concrete jungle is teeming with activity all throughout the day and night. NYC is the city that just doesn’t sleep. Burning the midnight oil are those that believe in the mantra that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Full of ambition and lights, this city is ripe for the picking when it comes to delving deeper into what it has to offer. Don’t just go to the usual places if you want a more authentic experience, you have to see what’s in the back alleys first.

Into the grittiness 

The Lower East Side is the gritty part of the city. It’s the picturesque image of what you think of when considering the ground level of New York. More than likely you have seen this part of the city in many movies. The Godfather, Once Upon A Time In New York, and Gangs of New York all have this neighborhood in mind and featured in their tales. The buildings are tenant-style, with three sometimes four stories. Here you’ll also find unique boutiques that sell items that you couldn’t find anywhere else in the city. It’s changed a lot since the 50s and even the 90s, because now some of the most trendiest bars and restaurants are located in among the broil. Upcoming bands also play their music for free in many places, and of course, you have the traditional delis that do fantastic food for a very reasonable price.

It’s a little morbid

You cannot take off and leave this city, without visiting Broadway. Actors of all kinds come to the city to hone their craft and perform in the many shows that are on. You can book cheap broadway tickets online so when you arrive in the city, you already have something to look forward to. Take for example Madame Morbid and her custom-made trolley that guides you through the dark history that impacts New York. Many places in the city are around 200 or more years old. Ghosts are said to linger in dungeon halls, and basements where the humble barrels of beer are stored. Some people say they have seen creatures crawl the walls at night, pertaining them to be vampires. Come and see the show and take the tour, learn about the back alleys of the city where the rich and famous have once walked through on their way to the top.

This concrete jungle is only getting bigger. Luckily however, some neighborhoods like the Lower East Side are trying to keep as authentic to their roots as possible. 

The Time Away Your Family Needs

Your family definitely deserves some time away. We don’t know who you are, and we don’t know what your situation is, but we just know that your family is going to deserve some time away. There’s no time like the present to start thinking about this as well, and thinking about where your family could go, and what you could do. But do you want to know why your family really does deserve some time away? It’s because we spend so much time wrapped up in the cycle of life, we forget what it means to actually be a family, and to actually enjoy time together. This is seriously true for those of you who have older children and perhaps find it a little harder to connect with them now. Or, it applies to those of you with younger children, who you feel like you’re missing out on tons with because you have to work until it’s nearly their bedtime. So, if you know you truly do deserve some time away, keep on reading and find out how you can get it.

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To Leave Or Not To Leave The Country?

Just because we’ve started to talk about a family holiday, it doesn’t mean that you and your family actually have to leave the country. You could easily do a family holiday by renting out a lodge for the week, or if you know money is super tight, you could just go on a family camping trip  for the week, and have a lovely time away doing that. Going on a family holiday is not all about going abroad and going to flashy hotels. It’s just about getting away from the norm that you’re used to, and actually enjoying family life together! But if you are going to leave the country, then the next paragraph is going to apply to you. It doesn’t matter how big or small the clan you’re taking with you is, you’re still going to need to save as much money as possible!

Grabbing Yourself A Bargain

Now for the fun part. If you’re going on a family holiday, it might not be just you, your partner, and your children. You might want to bring the in laws along, and why not bring your brother or sister and their family. Because it’s expensive, that’s why!? We’re sure that’s what you’ve just said to the screen you’re reading from, but if you were to look at event home rentals, you would find huge homes to rent purely for this reason. For getting the whole family together on a much wider scale, and enjoying some time away together. Plus, the more of you there are, the more of you there are to split the cost between. If you were just looking to book as you and your children, try booking everything separate to save some money. Package holidays are not always the best deal!

Making It Serious Family Time

It’s all well and good getting away for a family holiday, but you need to actually put a focus on family holiday time. It’s so important that you connect, and do things that you wouldn’t usually do at home. Watching them play in the pool or leaving them in the hotel room all day isn’t family fun. If you have older children, you might have to force them to join in a little, but a fun day out is definitely worth it when the laughs are flowing, and the memories are being made.

5 Reasons Why Exploring Divar Islands With Blive E-Bikes Is A Great Idea

Divar Island had been standing long on my list considering the fact that I have been living in Goa now for over a year but due to some reason or the other it didn’t happen until today.. this came as one of its kind of blogging opportunity and I really didn’t know whether to say yes or no.. the issue was that this tour was supposedly a bike tour and since I didn’t know how to ride I felt I was gonna miss it yet again, but then with the kind gesture of B:Live I was made a part of the tour and very comfortably been ridden around an activa while others rode these e-bikes. My reason for choosing this tour was my belief in the concept, even if I don’t do something doesn’t mean I can’t enlighten my readers, so for all you guys who know how to ride a bike, here are top 5 reasons you must consider exploring Divar Islands and other parts of Goa with BLive E-Bikes

Ecological

Bikes are always good for the environment, but when you get electronic bikes that give you the extra kick and yet aren’t harmful to the environment, it’s a win-win, isn’t it? These bikes come with the throttle and pedal assist modes for effortless riding. They also come with a battery life of up to 50 km which means you can keep riding without any worry and even if the battery is drained, you can pedal your way for the extended fun. You probably won’t have a chance to get lost as these bikes are GPS enabled too.

Convenient

Since electronic bikes require less effort, they are perfectly suited for the terrains of Goa with its slopes and elevations. Also since exploring Goa could mean traveling through narrow roads, bikes definitely make for a better option. You don’t even need a license to ride an e-bike, just saying!

Curated Tours

B Live are the first in India to do curated e-bike tours and they have quite a few options keeping in mind different needs of both the travelers and also the local enthusiasts

Expert Guidance

Right from helping you to ride and operate the bike, the staff and captains at B Live ensure that you have the smoothest and most enjoyable ride ever. Not just operational help, but the captains are so well versed with the touring areas that their knowledge is commendable and some of the places that they take you to are like hidden gems and I bet you cannot explore them on a car or even otherwise without an expert guiding you through. I personally witnessed some of such places which one can’t even think of. Dirt roads leading to such beautiful places, but it’s only possible, one when you are riding a comfortable e-bike and second when you have an expert taking you there, so in short, it means you can only experience such things with B Live.

Economical

Last but not least, these tours are very economical and won’t pinch you on the pocket. Each penny that you spend on this tour will only be worthwhile. Rather the knowledge and the memories that you will bring back will only make you richer.

So simply log on to www.blive.co.in and book yourself an experience of a lifetime! Don’t forget to thank me later and also it would be great if you could mention to them that you came to know about them through my blog or social media posts. Your words can go a long way for both me and the brand. Special mention to Anuj, and Captains Deepak and Rajesh for their immense support all through the tour.

Keep watching this space for my next post, wherein I will talk more in detail about the places I saw and experienced at the Divar Island

5 Reasons You Should Consider Goa Unlimited To Plan Your Next Goa Trip

Well, who can deny Goa being the hottest travel destination in India. Goa indeed is a favorite with both the Indian tourists as well as foreigners. It is one of its own kind of place and you simply cannot compare Goa’s charm with any other place. Goa is like a slice of heaven that you can never get enough of. Even though I have been living in Goa now for over a year, I still feel like a tourist because there is just so much to explore in Goa.

Whenever time allows, I try and take small breaks within Goa and make the most of it. Sometimes these breaks mean exploring new and untouched places, a hint of adventure and sometimes, they simply mean relaxing. Whatever way I may choose, where to stay and what exactly to explore always seem like a challenge because even when we think we know it all, we actually don’t. At such times, I always feel surrendering to experts is the best thing to do. Experts who can help me decide both wonderful stay options and plan out my experiences depending on my budgets and duration. One such expert is Goa Unlimited. I regularly avail services of Goa Unlimited to make my breaks the best possible, I let them decide for me while I just enjoy what they suggest, because they know the best.

Here are top 5 reasons you should consider Goa Unlimited for planning all your Goa trips

Stay Options

Whether you are looking at chilling at a hotel or resort or renting out an apartment or villa, Goa Unlimited will provide you with enough and more options suiting all kinds of budgets. Villa rentals though are one area, where they surpass everyone. Goa Unlimited now offers over 60 villas and around 20 service apartments in different budget categories without compromising on the quality and service. I personally prefer villa stays more comfortable than the hotels as they allow me to chill and relax at my own pace. There is no hurry to wake up early for the breakfast or wonder about the closing time of the restaurant. Villas provide me with the kind of independence that is ideal for a place like Goa. Villas also offer an opportunity for friends and family to stay together. From one BHK villas to 3-4 BHK villas, one can easily choose as per the total number of people. They allow privacy, as well as a common, connect for the family to experience togetherness. My recent stay at one of the villas in North Goa was just perfect. Serene, quaint and yet equipped with all modern amenities, it had a perfectly balanced feel.

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Many a times within Goa I look for weekend gateways to unwind myself and often I am confused on where to head.. I dig for places that are calm, quaint and beautiful… places that help me relax and also that help my creative juices flow and bring me back fully charged.. on such confused occasions I prefer leaving the choices in the hands of experts.. and like their tag line says.. if it’s Goa.. it’s got to be @goaunlimited. They truly know and have all the best places under them and once they understand what your requirements are they provide you with the best possible options at best possible rates.. Stay tuned to know more about them and my experience at this beautiful place…!! . . . . #goa #goaunlimited #staycation #travelblogger #travel #travelersnotebook #weekendvibes #relaxation #travelgram #weekendgetaway #lovetotravel #travelgoals #solotravel #solotraveler #exploregoa #openmyworld #wonderfulplaces #traveltime #stayoptionsingoa #ikreatepassions #flashesofdelight

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Dipping my feet in the pool, relaxing by at a quaint place.. my kind of weekend getaways.. thank you @goaunlimited for making my little vacation a perfect one..!! These are the guys you need to connect with for all your travel plans in Goa.. not just they help you with some of the best stay options but also help create memorable experiences.. if it’s Goa it’s got to be @goaunlimited . . . . #wonderfulplaces #vacation #vacationplans #flashesofdelight #travelwithme #travel #travelblogger #traveling #travelholic #travelgram #openmyworld #staycation #placestostayingoa #goablogger #goatravelblogger #travelersnotebook #ilovetravel #solotravel #nomadiclife #getaway #weekendgetaway #instapic #ikreatepassions

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These 6 New Places To Eat & Drink In Goa, Need All Your Attention

Experiences

From helping you experience the famous tourist spots to discover lesser known places, Goa Unlimited can customize travel packages as per your needs and requirements. From water sports to cycle tours, from spice farms to unknown waterfalls, from exquisite bars and restaurants to local joints, they simply know it all and can help you with multiple options for each category.

Add Ons

Bike Rentals, Car Rentals and anything and everything that you need to make your trip stress and hassle-free, Goa Unlimited is at your disposal.

Pricing

Basis my several experiences with Goa Unlimited, I can easily say that they very competitively priced. I have never found them expensive. In fact, they have offered me better prices than most online travel platforms, for some of the places and hence my trust in them is unmatched.

24 Hours @Sol De Goa- A truly blissful experience!

Service

One of the best things about Goa Unlimited is the personalized service that they provide. The team headed by Nikhil Mirkar and Jui Damle is the most hospitable you can ask for. Nikhil’s experience of 25 years in the hospitality sector comes across very evidently and Jui who after quitting her corporate life joined Nikhil has only taken the company to newer heights. Her contribution in expanding the venture and managing the entire operations has been an integral part of their growth story. They ensure that your stay is not just a memorable one but also extremely comfortable and hassle-free. They strive for repeat business and clients come back to them every single time because they make your travel so easy without denting your pockets that you simply cannot help but look up to them.

I always choose Goa Unlimited for all my travel needs in Goa because as they say if its Goa, Its gotta be Goa Unlimited. Hope you will do the same for all your future trips to Goa and experience a wonderful stay.

These 6 New Places To Eat & Drink In Goa, Need All Your Attention

Goa is always buzzing of new places to explore, eat good food and enjoy drinks, but not all are actually that great. In the past couple of months, I have tried a whole lot of new places and some of them really deserve your attention. Also, I have tried to highlight different kinds of experiences and thus these places don’t overlap each other’s charm. Each of them is unique in its own right and you can visit them all for some amazing experience. Lets get started

Diva

Diva as they say is Goa’s freshest catch.

Chef Ritu Dalmia’s Italian restaurant, is elegant, warm and welcoming with a beautiful indoor and outdoor seating by the pool. The place spells class right from the moment you enter, the effort gone in designing the place to curating the menu and then delivering it right on your plate is evident all through. The restaurant uses authentic ingredients, often flown in directly from Italy and offers an extensive collection of wines.

It also has an outdoor pizzeria with a wood-fired oven. From handmade dough to handpicked herbs, every ingredient is chosen by the chef herself, making every dish special. The menu changes seasonally, as it does in Italy. For a truly authentic and unforgettable dining experience, one must experience Diva, it’s truly worth it! 

Top Recommended Dishes

Prawn Salad With Fennel Shavings and Citrus Fruit
Potato Roulade With Grilled Vegetables & Baked In Tomato Ragu and Parmesan
Ravioli Filled With Ricotta & Sun Dried Tomatoes With Butter Almond Sauce
Linguine With Prawns, Garlic & A Drizzle Of Chilli Oil
Tiramisu

Cuisine

Italian

Address

Andores Resort and Spa, Tivai Vaddo, Calangute, Goa

Average Cost

₹2,000 for two people


Artisan Backerei

This tiny little bakery in Calangute should definitely be on your list and there are more than one reasons for you to do so. Well the bakery uses traditional and year old recipes of baking that have been long forgotten.. be it savouries or the sweet delights.. each recipe has a history behind it.. the ingredients used are the finest in quality and using only raw sugar or low gluten free wheat flour, pure Belgian chocolate, and fresh crafted cheese is something that one of the oldest pastry chefs of India Vijay Nagpal is extremely particular about.. I tried the BBQ Chicken Croissant which was delicious, the Classic Lorraine Quiche loaded with bacon, cheese and egg is something you shouldn’t miss, the Hummingbird Cake Slice will give you a riot of flavors and the Hungarian Esterhazy Torte will simply melt in your mouth. This is one place you would definitely want to visit again especially for the cakes and pastries. So go on and indulge!

Top Recommended Dishes

Classic Lorraine Quiche
Hungarian Esterhazy Torte

Cuisine

Bakery

Address

Shop 16, Kamat Holiday Homes, Calangute, Goa

Average Cost

₹500 for two people


LIFE Beach Lounge

The launch of Life Beach Lounge and the first Sunday brunch that offered lovely drinks and a very appetizing Pan Asian meal gave my weekend the perfect end. This property overlooking the Morjim beach is so beautiful that one can spend hours sitting in, chilling and relaxing while also enjoying food and drinks. The view is breathtakingly beautiful and I mean who wouldn’t love such a beautiful Sunday, isn’t it?
Now coming to food, Life lets you enjoy a specially curated brunch menu that explores food and flavors from different parts of Asia. Salads, Soups, Sushi, Pizzas, Thai Curries, the menu has a lot to offer and is totally worth the money

Top Recommended Dishes

Glass Noodles Chicken Salad
Japanese Beef Salad
Gazpacho Soup
Margarita Pizza
Sushi
Red Thai Curry With Jasmine Rice
Panna Cotta

Cuisine

Japanese, Italian, Asian

Address

House 763/A, Gawde Wada Road, Morjim, Goa

Average Cost

₹1,000 for two people and Sunday Brunch starts from 1800/- onwards


The Coastal Spice By Ziva


The Coastal Spice at Ziva Suites is yet another hidden gem that I loved exploring, known for their home-style cooking offering great dishes from different coastal regions of Maharashtra, this place should definitely be on your list.. nestled in a quaint village side in Siolim, the peace, tranquility and, serenity that this place offers is unmatched. Surrounded by greens on all sides and enjoying a meal by the poolside is something that you will love. Coming back to the food.. they have a special emphasis on Goan and Malvani cuisines and particularly known for their fish thali but since I was alone and I wanted to try a few things, the very hospitable staff and Pooja Sawant who runs the place helped with smaller portions and customizations to make it more like a platter rather than full portions

Top Recommended Dishes

Prawn Papad Roll
Prawn Rava Fry
Rosemery Chicken Tikka
Malvani Chicken
Prawn Sukha

Cuisine

Goan, North Indian, Continental

Address

Ziva Suites, Wadi, Siolim-Chapora Road, Siolim, Vagator, Goa

Average Cost

₹1,100 for two people


Alibi and Pizzaronee

Two friends.. two different backgrounds but same passion..food.. one boasts of authentic North Indian cuisine to be his forte while the other is super proud about the Pizzas.. together they brought both these poles apart cuisines at a single place.ALIBI Goa is your go to restaurant for some lip-smacking Indian food. I personally loved the kebabs while Pizzaronee serves the best possible pizzas in Goa, there 20 inch super pizza is totally worth the indulgence if you are looking at sharing it with a set of friends and to top it they serve White Owl beers that simply complete your meals and compliment both the cuisines so just go for it!

Top Recommended Dishes

Murg Angara Kebab
Murg Pahadi Kebab
Chef’s Choice Pizza in 20 inches

Cuisine

North Indian and Italian

Address

1/281, Gauro Vaddo, Calangute Bardez, Opposite Tarkar Ice Factory Next To Literati Calangute, Goa

Average Cost

₹1,000 for two people


Owl Premium Night Club

If dancing the night away is your thing, then this place is definitely for you. The new kid on the block and situated in a prime location, Owl is a club you would not want to miss.

Goa is called the party capital of India and known for its lively and throbbing nightlife scene and beach parties that go all night long.

The Owl is a perfect spot to hit for a crazy night out with top-notch DJs who play music spanning across different genres, from funky and electro punk to trance, techno, EDM, Indian and pop that will persuade you to get your groove on. The vibe gets energetic and livelier with every passing hour and a wild party ensues. Although I visited the place during the launch and won’t pass judgment on the food, overall it’s one happening place that I guess everyone would love to explore.

Cuisine

Fast Food

Address

Owl Road, Shiroli Pulachi, Calangute, Goa

Average Cost

₹1,200 for two people