For a brand born out of the chaos of New York City, W Hotels pays the ultimate tribute to Goa. Sitting on the edge of Vagator, just seconds away from its pristine beaches, W Goa – India’s first and the world’s 50th is here to energize and at the same time gives you a glamorous escape into tranquility.
Invited for a tour of the property and a review of Spice Traders – the signature pan Asian restaurant, the W-Insiderreadily welcomed us at the lobby and escorted us around the property. Right from the entrance itself, you’d realize that the hotel is fantastically an indulgent one with a bit of wild side. The flashy, gold installation of W at the entrance offers a playful elucidation of the traditional design, while the ropes in the living room offer an interesting design feature which is inspired by the nautical theme of goa. Both the Living Room and Woobar transform from comfortable hangout by day, to buzzing lounge by night.
Spread across 25 acres, the hotel boasts of 160 rooms, chalets, and villas which are customized with eclectic décor with a touch of local undertones and modern nuances. And finally, the Rock Pool which is poised to become the next big party destination in Goa is set upon a high cliff with an amphitheater setting. With the ocean crashing below, The Rock Pool blends bohemian vibes with sunset beats for the ultimate late night revelry.
The resort’s casual all-day diner – The Kitchen Table, is where most of the action is. It comes with a pool & a sun deck and serves modern spin on spicy local specialties. The resort’s destination restaurant, however, is Spice Traders which has an all’aperto terrace and bar that offers some delectable Pan-Asian fare overlooking the sea.
Spice Traders is just as buzzing and vibrant as the hotel itself. Smacked by the surf on one side and manicured green on the other, the eclectic and intimate design is a result of the Portuguese architecture. Hundreds of dome-shaped lights perforated with intricate patterns inspired by Indian textiles, along with a red backdrop wall and the detailed decoration of the wooden staircase leading to the upper floor, together transport the energy from the kitchen into the rest of the restaurant.
“Feed Me” brunch on offer is W Goa’s way of reinventing the art of Asian gastronomy that for sure would spice up a Sunday Afternoon. With dishes from China, Japan, Thailand and much more the menu was extensive and revolved around the concept of quarter plate meals.
Started off the afternoon with Tuna Truffle Pizza from the Raw Bar – a crispy thin crust pizza with a refreshing flavor of cured tuna sashimi and the richness of truffle that keeps wants you for more. Red and Yellow pepper pizza was the other choice from the Raw Bar.
The salad sampler included Larb Gai, Prawn and glass noodle, Cucumber Salad and Spinach Gomae. The classic, traditional Larb Gai was definitely appealing and so was the Prawn & Glass Noodle. The star among the samplers, however, was the Spinach Gomae – loaded with the goodness of spinach & black corn and seasoned with delicious & creamy sesame dressing, this was a delightful prelude to the hearty Sushi and Seafood surprises to follow.
California, Spicy Ebi roll, Sweet & spicy shitake roll and Hanoi Hannah were part of the Shushi Platter. Filled with creamy avocado, sweet crab meat, and crunchy cucumber – the California roll was by far the favorite of the lot while the rest were good in their own different league.
Truffle mushroom, Vegetable & chive dumpling, Prawn har gaw and Chicken Shao Mai constituted for a perfect yumcha. Mushroom dumpling pocketed with fragrant truffles was an instant hit. Particularly memorable were the vegetable & chive dumpling which had an assortment of ingredients that worked together remarkably well. The Chicken Shao Mai was fantastic and so were the Prawn har gaw.
Next up were the seafood surprises. The unofficial national dish of Singapore, the Chilli Style baked Crab with its bright flavors, sweet crab, and a sweet, spicy sauce all come together for a crab cake nirvana. Absolutely loved it! Rock Shrimp Tempura with spicy mayo was as classic as it could get.
A variety of mains from the Wok – Wok Fried soba noodles, Stir-fried Asian greens, Mapo Tofu, Cumin Lamb, Prawn Thai Basil, Black pepper chicken along with Jasmine rice and Thai Red & Green curries played right into Spice Trader’s theory. Each of these dishes would leave your taste buds tingling and guarantees surprising flavor combinations to keep the palate hissing.
Chocolate spring roll, Almond Fudge and Banana Caramel ice cream summed up a truly titillating Asian dining experience at Spice Traders.
All in all W Goa absolutely captures the rustic and dramatic landscape of Goa as well as its cosmopolitan vibe. With its spectacular views, impeccable design and a reputation that’s nothing short of stellar – I can’t wait but to return for a full-fledged staycation.