For #Bawagroom, the year is not complete if we’ve not gone on a holiday to Goa.
Regardless of what exotic destination I choose for our annual break – this year we went to Guangzhou – a trip to Goa is still mandatory. Generally, this peeves me to no end given I am those kind of people that loves going to new places rather than the same old ones and Goa is always just too hot and crowded for my liking.
However, good Bawi Bride that I am, I decided to indulge R and head to Goa one more time earlier last month. This time, instead of making the controversial North v/s South Goa decision we stayed in the centre of the city about 2 km away from Dona Paula at a resort called Bay 15.
Bay 15 is a bit different than your usual Goan resort. It doesn’t have big luxurious rooms, there’s no huge multi cuisine breakfast spread and nor is there a beach close by that you can swim in. So, why would I recommend you stay in such a place? Well read on, and am sure the five reasons I fell in love with Bay 15 will convince you otherwise.
Bay 15 is well tucked away from the main road and the advantage of that is that it’s pin drop silence all times of the day. Add to this mix the fact that it’s not a big resort complex and it’s 15 cabanas can only accommodate 30 people at a time and you’ve got magic. When on holiday, I love places where I don’t bump into any people (I am quite a ghar keeda that way) and so I really enjoyed the solitude that Bay 15 offered up. It helps of course that we went in August, a time that’s generally quiet for Goa.
I’ve always had the hard decision of picking between North and South and the problem with this decision is that once you choose a side it’s a long painful drive to the other end of the city should the craving strike you. By staying in Dona Paula, both of these areas are about a 25 – 35km ride away which is not too far if you’ve got some great company and music. Panjim is also close by and it has some really amazing under-rated restaurants that you can pay homage to. I’d definitely recommend George and Hotel Venite. The former for its quintessential susegaad Goan feel and the latter for its portuguese feel that makes you feel you’ve stepped back a few decades.
Beach facing cabanas
While Odxel Beach overlooking Bay 15 is not one you can swim in as it’s quite rocky, it definitely adds to the overall charm of the place. We were lucky to have got Room 108 which is in my opinion the best room in the resort! Not only can you spend hours gazing at the sparkling blue water outside while you’re snuggled in bed but falling asleep to the sound of the lapping waves has to be one of the best things I’ve done in a long time.
Fresh Affordable Seafood
Seafood is to Goa the same way that Vada Pao is to Mumbai. While there’s no local shacks around Bay 15 that you can head to for some fresh seafood, Bay 15 has quite a Goan spread that you can choose from. They also do Mediterranean and North Indian food but if you’re like me you’re going to stick to all that lovely Goan seafood. We tried prawns, surmai, lobster and squid in varying amounts each day and everything we tried was not only very fresh but also well-cooked and relatively affordable.You must try the Lobster Recheado and the Butter-Garlic calamari – these were my two favourite dishes during our time there!
Brilliant Sausage Pao
Even though I’ve spoken about Bay 15’s food above, their Sausage Pao deserves another reason altogether. When I’m in Goa I make a point of eating only those things that aren’t available in Mumbai and that means binging on Sausage Pao. The one at Bay 15 is cooked beautifully and is not too oily or spicy at all. I love that they make their own Goan bread to go with the sausage and that they source the sausages from local women who make it in their homes rather than the larger branded stuff – you can really taste the love in these beauties. Chef was kind enough to even go to Margoa and get me 5kg of the sausages to take home – now if that’s not going above and beyond I don’t know what is!
If you love food, travel and importantly Goa, then I hope I’ve convinced you to add Bay 15 to your bucket list. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Disclaimer: This post was made possible thanks to Bay 15, Goa. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review; however readers may exercise their own discretion.