Valentine Goa

Guests at Mitaroy Goa Hotel 3

What better place to celebrate Valentine’s Day than in a cozy Heritage Homestay in Goa’s Latin Quarter of Fontainhas ? 

If you are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Goa, then you certainly won’t be alone. Goa seems to be the No. 1 Valentine’s Holiday destination for Couples this year.

Among Indian cities, Goa seems to be the most popular choice for Couples looking for a quick romantic getaway. Goa has always been one of the most beautiful Valentine’s Day destinations, being blessed with miles scenic beaches with swaying coconut palms, old colonial Heritage Portuguese buildings, delicious cuisine and a easy going, laid back populace.

The Goans themselves celebrate Valentine’s Day with an zest and enthusiasm that is typical of their passionate nature as they express their undying love for one another. Love-struck Couples can be seen at many of Goa’s popular beaches walking happily hand-in-hand. In the evenings and indeed throughout the day, the local Goan restaurants are filled with couples gazing deeply into each others eyes.  

Over the years however, North Goa (especially Anjuna beach, Baga beach and Candolim beach) has become increasingly commercialised, with gift shops, card shops and restaurants doing roaring business in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Large red hearts and big, cuddly teddy bears greet you at the entrances to most shops and restaurants. Not just shops, even bakeries, music stores, coffee shops, theatres, jewellery, watch shops and malls gleefully sport the Valentine look in an attempt to entice couples to show their undying love for each other in material terms.

However, if you want to spend some quality time with your loved one away from the madding crowd, here are a few unique things you can do as a Couple this Valentine’s Day in Goa: 

A romantic walk on Miramar beach

After checking in to their hotel, the first thing that couples usually do is to head to the beach. There is nothing more romantic than walking hand-in-hand across miles and miles of scenic beach. And while other couples fight their way through crowded beaches like Anjuna beach, Baga beach and Palolem beach, you can take a romantic walk on Miramar beach, a short drive from The Mitaroy, Goa. While the waves crash in the background, the few couple on Miramar beach seem completely oblivious to the beauty outside, so taken in are they by the beauty of their partner walking hand-in-hand beside them. And after a while of walking on the beach, the honeymoon couple sit down, close to each other, and admire the expanse of seemingly endless blue ocean.

Champagne Breakfast

One of the most popular things for couples to do on Valentine’s Day in Goa is to wake up leisurely to a Champagne Breakfast. The Mitaroy, Goa is one of the few hotels that offer a complimentary Champagne Breakfast and it truly is a unique experience. Instead of having to fight your way past other couples in larger 5 star hotels and resorts in Goa, allow us to serve you your Champagne Breakfast either in our private garden or in the privacy of your Romantic Suite.  Either which way, waking up to a glass of Champagne is one of the most romantic things couples can do on Valentine’s day in Goa.

Watch a Romantic Movie at the INOX cinema in Panjim

Panjim’s newest and most impressive cinema, INOX is also home each year to the International Film Festival of Goa or IFFI as it is better known. And thanks to public demand, INOX usually has atleast one or two romantic Hollywood and Bollywood movies with just the right dose of romance and drama. So sink into your seats, hold your partners hand and drift away into a magical world of make believe fairytale romance!

View the impressive colonial architecture in the capital city of Panjim (Panaji)

Goa is not just about the beaches. 400 years of Portuguese rule has left an indelible mark on the architecture of Goa and nowhere is this more evident than in the capital city of Panjim or Panaji. After building up a glorious capital city in Old Goa, the Portuguese were forced to flee to Panaji or Panjim to escape the water contamination in Old Goa. The upper class Portuguese set up residence in and around the Neighbourhood of Fontainhas and then set about building up Panjim as a worthy successor to Old Goa. While certain buildings and statues had pure prestige value, other buildings like the high court and the administrative offices also served a bureaucratic purpose. Today, couples can marvel at the Portuguese architectural heritage as they walk past magnificent buildings built in the Portuguese era such as the first Medicine University or the old City Library. Many couples also like to walk hand-in-hand along the Mandovi pier as they watch the twinkling lights of the luxury yachts and casino ships moored in the river.

Discover the Latin Quarter of Fontainhas

Quietly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Panjim or Panaji, the capital city of Goa, is the neighbourhood of Fontainhas, home to The Mitaroy, Goa. The neighbourhood of Fontainhas (which means “little fountain” in Portuguese) is home to the last surviving Portuguese families of Goa. In 1984, Fontainhas was declared a UNESCO Heritage Zone & most of the buildings and churches here date back to the mid 19th century.Fontainhas has a number of designer boutiques where you can shop for Portuguese crockery, glassware, art and clothing. With its narrow winding streets, quaint bye lanes, old heritage houses and distinct Portuguese flair, Fontainhas evokes a nostalgia and longing for the romance of an era gone by.

Visit the location of the tragic love story of Dona Paula de Menezes

The Dona Paula beach and promontory is named after the Portuguese Viceroy’s daughter Dona Paula de Menezes.

This young, innocent girl fell in love with a local Goan fisherman. This match was however, quite unacceptable to the Viceroy who forbade his daughter Dona Paula to ever see her young lover again. Distraught with love and sorrow, Dona Paula could not bear a life without her young Goan lover and threw herself off a cliff into the unforgiving Arabian Sea. Left with nothing but his daughter’s memory, the Portuguese Viceroy named the area Dona Paula, as an eternal tribute to his stubbornness and forbidden romance & love. Today, there is a black stone statue of the young Dona Paula and her Goan lover on a rocky promontory jutting into the sea with a sweeping view of the Marmagoa Port in the background.

The Dona Paula beach and pier is a popular spot for couples to visit on Valentine’s Day. Most couples walk up to the top of the cliff to pay tribute to the stone statue of the young Dona Paula and her undying love. A slightly melancholic yet unique way to spend Valentine’s Day. 

Make love in your own Romantic Suite

No Valentine’s Day is complete without Valentine’s Night! 

After a romantic dinner under a starlit sky, it is time for couples to return to their Romantic Suite, light up a few scented candles, turn off the lights and discover the pleasure of making love to each other till the wee hours of the morning…after all, that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about, isn’t it?

Book your Valentine Goa Package now!

  • Complimentary Champagne Breakfast 
  • Complimentary Bottle of Goan Wine 
  • Complimentary Tickets to a Romantic Movie
  • Complimentary Valentine’s Day Surprise on Arrival
  • Complimentary Late Check Out till 5 pm, subject to availability
  • Complimentary selection of daily Goan Newspapers
  • Complimentary bottled Mineral Water throughout your stay
  • Complimentary Hand made Bath Amenities

4 days 3 nights Valentine Goa Package in a Romantic Suite: Rs. 19,000

Please make your reservations well in advance since we are a small Homestay and are often booked out quite early.

India: +91 94480 87708
Europe: +43 680 2303682

mihirnayak@outlook.com

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Goa to become the next educational Hub

“Goa has the potential to be a prime education hub and should be known as the ‘Boston of India’. The State has the right mix of stakeholders who can enable this change,” said Bharat Vir Wanchoo, Governor of Goa. Speaking at the first Higher Education Summit organised by CII in association with the State Government, Goa’s Governor also emphasised the need for training and up scaling most faculties.

Eager to push the stakeholders out of their comfort zone, Shrinivas Dempo of Dempo Education Trust emphasised the need for improving research facility in the colleges and universities. Other speakers mentioned the dire need to revise the curriculum in most courses as it had been left unrevised for about 30 years. Academic autonomy was termed another important factor.

“Goa needs to develop an empowered cluster of autonomous colleges to improve its higher education system. Colleges can be given the power to recognize industry-linked training provided to students while undergoing a course. This will enable students to go out of the colleges becoming more employable. To give these powers to the university, the Goa Universitys Act will have to be revisited,” Nigavekar told Goa education officials.Former chairperson of University Grants Commission ( UGC) Arun Nigavekar interacted with education officials during his recent visit to Goa and has suggested that the state should prepare a cluster of autonomous colleges to improve delivery of higher education. The state government is considering Nigavekar’s suggestion of setting up a Goa higher education development corporation.

As one of the stakeholders, The Mitaroy Goa Heritage Homestay in Fontainhas, Panjim has been at the forefront of trying to promote education in the state, especially in the important area of tourism education. While tourism is one of the biggest sectors in the Goan economy, there are few schools and colleges that cater to tourism students. Most students are forced to study outside the state or lose out to better qualified graduates from other cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi.

I have always believed that Goa needed to improve and expand its current tourism education offer. The tourism education sector in Goa needs to cater to three main segments:

1. Unskilled workers / students – This segment consists usually of school drop outs or low and unskilled workers who would like to work in the tourism industry. For this segment, basic courses such as ITI or 6 month courses in housekeeping, cooking and service are needed. Goa’s tourism industry has a huge requirement for low skilled workers for jobs in housekeeping, cooking and service.

2. Management cadre – The second most needed segment is that of management cadre. Special hotel management schools need to be set up in Goa to train highly educated students to manage hotels and other tourist businesses. Subjects such as hotel management, destination marketing and eTourism should be taught in these schools and colleges.

3. Tourism Researchers – Last but not least, there is a great requirement for academics and researchers in the field of tourism in Goa. As a PhD student myself, I am quite surprised at the lack of research conducted into the Goan Tourism field. Goa Tourism needs researchers and research scholars studying and working at Universities in Goa to put forth suggestions and recommendations based on scientific research that will help improve Goan Tourism.

It is time that the Goa Government and Goa’s Tourism Department sat together with the stakeholders in the tourism industry to chalk out a Tourism Education Masterplan for the next 20 years. Only then will Goan Tourism not only survive but prosper.

View from my Balcao: A special Christmas in Goa

My dad blogs from Goa…

Goa has always celebrated its Christmas with much gusto, ressurecting the traditional nostalgia with much revelry – read wine, song and a banquet fit for a king, in every home across this tiny, beach-state. Although the population of Goa does not boast of a high percentage of Catholics, Christmas has always been big hereabouts.

You will get to listen to Christmas carols aplenty as you pass by any Catholic home (being painted, decorated and spruced up), as Christmas is in the air, come December 1st !! There are the eternal favourites like “White Christmas” (by American-born Russian Irving Berlin) first performed by Bing Crossby way back in 1941, or Carol of the Drum (Little Drummer Boy) made famous by the Von Trapp singers of Salzburg (Sound of Music, remember) down to the most popular “Silent Night” composed in German by a schoolmaster in Austria in 1818 and declared as an intangible heritage by UNESCO.

Midnight Mass is a well-attended service with devotees spilling out of the many whitewashed Churches of Goa, into the open spaces; Fontainhas, in the Latin quarter boasts of a service held right out in the open with all its predominantly Catholic residents proud to come to the little 400-year-old St Sebastian Chapel – bumped into our neighbour, the legendary architect Charles Correa and his beautiful wife after the service over a piece of cake and coffee, generously served up by the padre !

Retreating to our ancestral-home (now a heritage homestay too), we pour ourselves some hand-made red wine (from my neighbour Pinto, as in Pinsons), something normally associated with Christmas the world over.

Christmas-day is a social affair with a few early visits to neighbours and close friends. otherwise it is a family-lunch that starts at noon and ends whenever you wish it to !

Culinary-wise, the Goan table on Christmas-day recreates a traditional feast handed down the ages with very little modifications. It must include lots of red wine, a pork dish, maybe roast, suckling pig replete with the apple in the mouth or at least sorpotel or cabidela de leitao. Add a roast chicken trussed a la turkey style, a beef assad, a whole fish lathered in reshaad masala and arroz (pullao), to ensure a fitting tribute to the girth of Santa ! Round it off with Christmas plum cake and a sherry … and if you choose to ( well, I did ! ), a fat Cuban cigar – ah ! the world seemed merrier through the blue haze, hic !!

Did I “have yourself a Merry Christmas” ( Frank Sinatra’s rendition is superb) ? The answer is simply – yes I did – and a full “12 days of Christmas” (amusingly calculated by PNC Wealth Mgmt to cost $ 107,300) !!!

 Thank God for our home in Goa, now restored as Mitaroy Goa Heritage HomeStay in the Latin quarter of Fontainhas.

Christmas in Goa – Reflections

Christmas in Goa - Reflections

My mother blogs from Goa…

This was to be my second Christmas in Goa. My nephew’s new Goan bride tells me its the best place in India to celebrate Christmas. My daughter asked me what I felt was so special about Christmas in Goa – she thought it was like Christmas everywhere, with houses decorated with stars and lights and Christmas trees and cribs.

But my husband pointed out that Christmas in unique in Goa, in the Latin Quarter of Fontainhas with its cluster of Heritage Homes (and Homestays such as The Mitaroy, Goa where I am staying) and where a lady can safely walk alone for midnight Mass. It is only in Fontainhas that you can have a 400 year old St Sebastian chapel puts chairs on the road for the service since all the houses surrounding it are Catholic and their owners keep their doors open and attend the Mass from their hall rooms! The service for the 500 people gathered together is made meaningful with a live enaction of the Nativity. The beautiful choir had a lovely soprano singing “Mary Did You Know” along with other traditional and new Carols.The short sermon stressed the light that Jesus brought into our lives!

After Mass while sharing the delicious plum cake and hot coffee (generously offered by the priest to foster communal harmony) to ward off the cold (yes, its the only time Goans enjoy a little cold weather) we meet and greet our neighbours -the tiny tots,the teens the adults and very old have all come decked in their Christmas best-one can see all the latest fashion in gowns and skirts. Our famous resident Goa’s famous architect Charles Correa has come with his wife all the way from the other side of the Mandovi because it feels so Christmassy in the old Latin Quarter of Fontainhas.

Almost every house is decorated with lights and stars (some after a fresh coat of paint) in the neighbourhood of Fontainhas with its majority of Catholic residents and for days one hears Carols playing loudly, giving the whole neighbourhood a festive air. “Zai re, maka Zai re, Santa munta maka zai re”- Santa’s season is celebrated with great pomp in Goa. Lunch tables are loaded with traditional fare like roast suckling pig and stuffed turkey. My friend Martha D’ Cunha has invited us for lunch with her extended family – the table groans with the weight of different delicacies like roast stuffed chicken, pork vindaloo, chicken xacutti, beef assad with sannas and Arrroz pulao. The food is accompanied by lots of red wine and sherry and ends with a delicious Christmas pudding and Christmas plum cake made lovingly by the entire family, along with the regular traditional Goan sweets of kuswar, doss, bebinca, nevrios, kulkuls and dodhol. It is okay to indulge this festive season, I tell myself.

The party continues and the festive spirit will last till Goans usher in the the New Year with their own typical bonhomie and camarderie.Yes Goans really do love to enjoy life to the full while welcoming the hordes of tourists who descend on Goa at this time – you dont feel odd to wish a stranger a Merry Christmas – its all one big family celebration!!

Soon it is time to return to Bangalore and to work but I cant help looking forward to another festive Christmas in Goa next year…

Casino Royale Goa Packages

Casino Royale Goa Package

Mitaroy Goa Hotel is a Heritage Hotel situated 2 minutes from the Casino Royale Goa Jetty.

For all our guests who enjoy staying so close to the Casino Royale Goa Jetty, we now offer a Special Casino Royale Goa Package that includes:

  • 3 Days and 2 Nights of accommodation in a Heritage Suite
  • Full Goan Buffet Breakfast 
  • Free Beer and Wine throughout your stay
  • 2 Nights Complimentary entry to Casino Royale Goa
  • Rs. 6,000/- worth of One Time Play (OTP) chips
  • Free Airport Pick Up and Drop
  • Free Pick Up and Drop from Casino
  • Complimentary multi-cuisine buffet dinner and live entertainment onboard
  • Unlimited house brand alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages onboard
  • 24 Hour Check Out, subject to availability
  • Free Bottled Mineral Water throughout your stay
  • Luxury Bath Amenities
  • Welcome Cocktail on Arrival

Casino Royale Goa Package: Rs. 28,000

Please make your reservations well in advance since we are often booked out quite early.

Call Us Now

+91 94480 87708 (India)
+43 680 2303682 (Europe)

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