Over the last few years, I loved exploring everything that Goa had to offer. From quaint little villages to the gorgeous coastline, I’ve had some great experiences. However, this monsoon I experienced a rather different side of Goa – a Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat experience that can only be described as a unique wellness journey.
Located on the serene Divar Island in Goa, Mercure Goa Devaaya provides an holistic treatment route through Ayurveda, Naturopathy & Yoga under one roof and follows an integrated alternative medical treatment. There are a quite a many trendy wellness retreats exists across the country where the concept of wellness is limited to instagrammable smoothie bowls or a scenic session of morning Yoga, but Mercure Goa Devaaya prides itself on scientific and result driven approach. No wonder, it is the most preferred destination for treatment seekers from across this globe.
Flew into Goa from Hyderabad for a 3 Days/2 Nights experience and as we drove past the entrance, was greeted by the cheerful staff, who ensured for the smoothest & quickest check-in. I looked around the lush green paddy fields around the resort and could not believe that this peaceful heaven was just an hour drive from the bustling city of Panjim.
The morning of the first day was spent walking around this sprawling retreat. There is a scenic meditation center, gorgeous, Vedic Ayurveda centre, tasteful restaurants, Ayurvedic Pharmacy, In house boutique and a plenty of landscaped corners to help you feel like your miles away from the maddening crowds. The 57 Goan Portuguese styled rooms with private balcony/cozy sit out area is sure to wow you.
My favorite part of the resort was the calming meditation area overlooking the Mandovi river and Malar Restaurant – a restaurant that specializes in healthy, macrobiotic, body-type specific menu including Ayurvedic, European and Indian delicacies to suit the individual palates. I dined here for most part my stay and thoroughly enjoyed my meals. A typical meal comprised of healthy salads, nutritious soups and wholesome main courses that left me thoroughly satisfied. Every morning I dropped by the Jetty Restaurant for my mid-morning snacks and to sip on healthy juices while the jetty transports the commuters from Divar to Charao across Mandovi River.
These carefully planned meals were aptly complimented by a daily fitness rituals. You start with Yoga by the Mondovi River every morning followed by two Ayurvedic therapies and treatments curated for each body type. In between you could enjoy walks and hikes in and around Divar or to a nearby Vanxim island – a little islet hidden behind the island of Divar. I would absolutely recommend you visit this quaint island. A church and a chapel built hundreds of years ago, a number of water bodies, a sea of mangroves, old Goan houses surrounded by papaya, coconut or jackfruit trees, is what this little island is all about. If you are not into walks or hikes, you could opt for a different types of meditations, or just reading a book at the gorgeous pool side or in the comfort of your private balconies.
I sampled most of the treatments from leisurely body therapies to detoxifying treatments. But my most favorite would have to be the traditional Abhyanga Ayurvedic massage and Circular Jet bath. Each of these treatments were detoxifying and would definitely recommend them.
At the end of the three days at Mercure Devaaya Resort, I felt incredibly enhanced with a tangible sense of well-being. As I drove past the lush paddy fields of Divar, I recalled a quote that I read somewhere “Nurturing yourself is not selfish – it’s essential to your survival and well-being