There’s one mistake many regular travelers to Goa often make. It is assuming that no matter whenever you go, you will find an accommodation of your choice and budget. I was no different. Since I travel often, I know most Goa hotels and resorts and have always managed to find a suitable place to stay. But not on my last trip. It was last August, right after the rains. And as interesting it was, I was traveling with my mother. It had been long that we had an exclusive ‘mother-daughter’ trip and wanted to enjoy our special time.
I knew she would love the quieter South Goa, so we went straight from Madgaon station to this boutique resort in Patnem. As luck would have it, they were under renovation and were not back in business until the end of the month. I quickly made a few calls around the area and most of them were still shut for the rains. And as always, my mother gave me that ‘I told you so’ look. Without wasting any time, I immediately decided to find a good car rental and take us near Panjim or further northward, where chances of finding a cozy, quiet place were higher. I spoke to four or five local car rental services and each of them bombed me with their sky-high rates, obviously because I had no ‘fixed destination’. It was more like going on a hunt for a hotel. But then I found Savaari Car Rental.
The savior of our bad day
Savaari’s car rental price in Goa was the cheapest, which I really needed on that day. The driver reached in no time, saving us from the long wait.
We were lucky to have a very professional, knowledgeable and well-mannered chauffeur. And when he noticed an elderly passenger (my mother) he immediately suggested some good places where she would be comfortable. As a local, he knew his way around and recommended some places near Dona Paula. It was quite a drive from Patnem to Dona Paula but with our chatty driver and my mother’s endless stories of life, we breezed through the hours.
Although I had visited the Dona Paula Bay, I had never stayed in that part of Goa. We finally landed at Prainha Beach Resort. This cozy little retreat sat on the cove, off the Dona Paula harbor, and had a private beach. Lined with coconut groves and Greek-style cottages, this was right out of a travel magazine! Thankfully, they had a bay-view room empty and my mom seemed finally relieved. I couldn’t thank my driver enough for introducing us to this amazing property and make me add one more to my list of Goa favorites! Before he bid adieu, the driver also said that if we needed, we could book with Savaari again for a day tour the next day. Now, after the morning experience, I did not want to take any chances and made my booking immediately. We were so impressed with our chauffeur that I asked for him again for our day tour. It was so comforting to know that the company honored such requests of passengers, which is a rare case with most travel services.
The best of Goa in a day
For the next day, I had three main things on my agenda that I wanted to do with mom. First visit the Panjim Church (and also do a quick tour of Old Goa, if possible), do beachside shopping, and have a fancy dinner at Martin’s Corner in Betalbatim. Although it seemed quite a back and forth from north to south and back, we managed our travel like a pro, thanks to the expert driver.
After Panjim Church, we went to visit the Convent of St. Francis of Assisi in Old Goa and ended up in Baga for shopping and lunch. The colorful streets of Baga never cease to amaze me. With shops lined with all kinds of clothes, souvenirs, artifacts, and edible goodies, my mother and I were like two kids in a candy store. We had a quick grub for lunch and headed back for Martin’s. After all, how can a trip to Goa be complete without a meal at Martin’s Corner? It was a Wednesday and ladies night at Martin’s which made the rest of the night perfect! With karaoke, live music, and fresh seafood, we were two happy souls!
The next day, we decided to stay back at the resort and enjoy the property to the fullest. The evening experience of the resort was the most amazing of all. Watching the sunset on the bay, taking a walk on the clean sandy beach and talking about things that we often miss, and then enjoying a poolside barbecue, made for the perfect vacation that I could have my mother. And needless to say, without Savaari’s prompt services this would not have been possible.
Here are my recommendations for a comfortable Goa trip-
- Always book a Goa cab with an experienced driver.
- Check with your desired hotel in advance for availability.
- If traveling during monsoon, or before late October, avoid the south and north Goa beach resorts.