t2 checks into a picturesque resort in South Goa for some quiet time

Lush green, rain-soaked and in a haze of petrichor, I arrived at the Karma Royal Haathi Mahal on a June afternoon. Located at Cavelossim in South Goa, this property is tucked away from the swarmed northern parts and is a mere seven minutes from the beach and an hour’s drive from Dabolim airport.

  • Published 13.07.18
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Karma Royal Haathi Mahal at Cavelossim in South Goa.

Lush green, rain-soaked and in a haze of petrichor, I arrived at the Karma Royal Haathi Mahal on a June afternoon. Located at Cavelossim in South Goa, this property is tucked away from the swarmed northern parts and is a mere seven minutes from the beach and an hour’s drive from Dabolim airport.

Haathi Mahal is the flagship property in Goa of the Karma Group, an international travel and lifestyle brand headed by John Spence, with more than 30 resorts across the world and around 55,000 members in its point-based club.

Divided into deluxe and superior rooms and standard and imperial villa apartments for guests, the latter comes equipped with a fully-stocked kitchenette and a sitting and dining area, apart from the bedroom and balcony. A standout feature of the property are its luxurious Jacuzzis, nestled amongst the abundant greenery, reserved exclusively for the villa apartments.

The splash of blue in the pool area — this property has more than just a couple of them, apart from the private Jacuzzis — is a sight for sore eyes. The Karma group’s love for children and efforts to make vacations a family affair can be seen in the Three Monkeys Club, which with its play area and specially designed activities offer a safe refuge for kids, even as their parents decide to take a dip in the main pool or enjoy a drink at the Splash Bar.

 The resort is divided into deluxe and superior rooms and standard and imperial villa apartments for guests. The apartments come equipped with a fully-stocked kitchenette and a sitting and dining area.

In the Karma Spa, I went in for their signature Karma massage — a mix of Ayurveda and aromatherapy — at the end of which, I could hardly feel the many hours of travel and work that lay behind me. I was all set for dinner over wine at Casa Lisboa, the restaurant in the hotel, whose staff cooked lobsters, pork vindaloo and sinful cheesecake.

 The Goan-themed restaurant on the property, Casa Lisboa, serves local and Continental cuisines. Go for an English breakfast spread with cold cuts and salads, or the traditional Goan curry and rice, roti and dal, and beef teriyaki. 

There’s a mini store to stock up your kitchenette, a jewellery shop selling lovely trinkets and a gallery of sorts where an artist paints all the canvases that find pride of place in all the rooms, and with its many pretty nooks and corners, there’s ample opportunity for guests to while away time in the best way possible. One of the highlights is Attwood’s Bar — the on-site pub that locals often refer to as the best bar in the area with a distinct British feel, much like John Spence himself.

Next day, a lunch of kingfish curry and rice at Casa Lisboa was followed by a short trip to Cavelossim beach and some bebinca from a nearby outlet of the famous The Fisherman’s Wharf, about 20 minutes away. Happy and contented, I tucked in for the night to catch an early morning flight back home.

Text & pictures: Anannya Sarkar

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