Living in Bangalore, we feel quite beach deprived here. The lakes are, of course, not the same. And, during the pandemic, we had only been to a resort by the hills. Nevertheless, beach holidays rejuvenate you, don’t they?
We were yearning to visit Goa, my home town (my dad was a Goan), for several reasons but the beach was our main focus. So, we decided to book a hotel in the South of goa where the beaches are cleaner and less crowded, so one can really enjoy a private and family time on the beach.We stayed at a property on Uttorda beach and spent all 5 days and 4 nights right there on the shores.
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort is located on, and has a direct access to, the white sandy Uttorda beach located between Majorda Beach and Cansaulim Beach. It was energizing to see the vast expanse of the beach, with very few people around, mostly tourists. The beach gave a sense of exclusivity. We noticed that the security personnel at the beach side entrance were quite vigilant and watchful of the guests, especially the children.
So one evening, while we let the kids build sand castles on the beach, a few meters from the eyes of the security, hubby and I took a lovely (and a little romantic) evening walk through Majorda Beach and almost reached Sunset Beach, about 20 mins away. One can even reach Colva Beach (6 kms) and Benaulim Beach (8 kms) from here, but we wanted to get back to the kids, so we didn’t venture that far.
It took us about 20 mins by car from the airport to arrive at the property. Hubby had pre-booked a private car for the ride. When we arrived, we were welcomed with a dhol baja troop welcome. Well it wasn’t really for us but for guests of a corporate conference group who were also checking in at the same time. While hubby completed the check-in process, the kids and I were fascinated to see the whole resort themed in a ‘Hollywood’ style with various pictures, signatures and clay models of Hollywood celebrities and the like. The lobby looked cool with the custom furniture and designer lighting. The resort had a huge auditorium for special events and, something that’s not common in many resorts here, was pet-friendly, too. While we were escorted to our room by a sweet hostess, we were told about the facilities and restaurants at the property.
The rooms were flat out – lovely! The ground floors had a private garden and the upper ones a lovely view. We took the one on the ground floor to have easy access to the pool, spa and restaurants, especially with kids running around. The room itself had its decor themed around Hollywood. It had a large king-size bed and was spacious to accommodate the four of us (my kids are 9 and 5 years old). The sit-out (or balcony) had a double lounger and chairs to relax after a tiring time at the beach or pool. The bathroom was extra-large, well designed and unlike most star resorts, had a welcoming dark mosaic tiled theme. There wasn’t anything we didn’t like or could be critical about in the room. We later realized, during our walk around the property, that they also had a few cottages by the beach having an exclusive view of the sea and we decided this is something we would book on our next visit to Goa.
We got a pretty good deal at the property. Hubby’s friend who runs a travel agency called ‘Fernweh’ has been making all these lovely travel arrangements for us since 2016. The hotel prices included a breakfast buffet, which had an absolutely elaborate spread including varieties of cold cuts and freshly baked pastries, South Indian breakfast options and live counters for eggs, dosas and pancakes.
Being super excited on Day 1, we immediately rushed to the pool with the kids for an hour (while it was too hot to be at the beach). The resort had some pool toys for the kids including a toy paddle boat that can be rented per 15 minutes for a reasonable amount at the poolside. After about an hour in the pool and Jacuzzi, we headed to the beach for a dip. In all the excitement, we had forgotten to have lunch and at about sunset decided to park ourselves in a beach shack nearby. Now I won’t really comment about the shack, as it was a disappointment with regards to the food taste and quality, but we enjoyed the open, unhindered, direct view of the breezy waves. The kids were so relaxed (and tired) that they dozed off at the table, so, hubby and I carried them back to the room while they took their power naps. After our refreshing showers and some chit chat, we were hungry again and feeling lazy to head out anywhere, we decided to order in. The room service had quite an elaborate night menu and with the luxury of fresh food in the comfort of our room, it was the best end to the day.
We enjoyed each day at the swimming pool as it was a huge one and only 1.2 meters deep throughout. So, I did not have the fear of suddenly drowning somewhere. (Yes, I’m scared of water). It also had a pool bar where we could sip our drinks and quench our thirst. During the noon’s, it was Gin and Tonic that was hubby’s standard order there. They have another shallow pool for kids and an open Jacuzzi for everyone. The whole deck is made of wood to keep your feet from burning during the day. We got badly tanned though. But it’s Goa, who cares about the tan!
One thing we look forward to on all our holidays (who doesn’t) are the SPA treatments. We prefer the couple’s therapies and I am in charge of getting them organized. I wanted to treat hubby (and myself), so, after some inquiries at the SPA reception, I booked a couple’s massage at the PINK ROOM. The treatment room was nice and extremely relaxing. The masseuses’ were humble, gentle and professional, but a bit more finesse during the massage would have been something we would expect at a resort priced like this. For the SPA prices, it is at par with any other 5-star resort in Goa, but as guests at the property we were given a 10% discount. It was overall a nice experience though we felt there was room for improvement.
There were 3 restaurants there.
Planet Dailies was the place I ran to early in the morning. Like mentioned above, they had a delicious spread that I looked forward to every time I woke up. The pastries were fresh, the service was wonderful, the eggs were cooked right and the pancakes were yum.
Due to the pandemic, Fame restaurant was kept open only for recreational activities in the evenings. The kids enjoyed art activities, karaoke and movies on separate evenings there. All the events were well organized.
On one of the days, we decided to have lunch at Poseidon’s Cove Beach Grill located by the beach. We stayed there until sunset not only because it took a while to get our orders but because we were enjoying the fresh seafood. We ordered sushi, sashimi, fried prawns, calamari in rechado masala and some yummy fish curry and rice. Though the price was on the higher side, it was worth every penny. The chef came to inquire about the food and if we had any grievances. We had none and appreciated the customer service instead.
If you want to explore other restaurants around the area, I would recommend Cajy’s Multicuisine Restaurant and Bar. It was a few meters away from the beach side. We enjoyed the butter garlic calamari (the dish I loved best), masala prawns, fried fish, roast beef (tender and yum) and prawn curry and rice.
If you want to get out of Uttorda, I suggest you try another popular restaurant called Mickey’s Beachside Shack in Betalbatim. It has an amazing view and superb service. The food was great but I was mainly impressed with the coconut crumbled fried ice-cream there. It was well done and had just the right flavours and taste.
You can book a room yourself by clicking here.
The closest airport is Goa International Airport. The Margaon Bus Station is 9 km away and the Madgaon Railway Station is 12 km from here. You can also check out their brochure and address here.
As a family, we had a ball in Uttorda. Though their skin turned into a different colour, my kids did not want to get back home. We satisfied our desire to be by the beach during those days. The resort and good food were like cherry on the cake.
Though you can book the place to host elaborate parties, like weddings, anniversaries, milestone birthdays, etc., if you’re looking for a ready party scene, this may not be the place for you.
Do you love the beach side, too?
This blog post is part of the blog challenge
Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla
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