What does the name Mitaroy mean ?

Legend has it that there was a rich Indian businessman during the time of the British Colonial Raj.

Thanks to his dealings first with the East India Company and then with the British Government, he had amassed a great amount of wealth. But more precious to him was his only daughter Madhumita (or “Mita” for short). He loved Mita more than anything else in this world and he wanted to get her married off to a boy from a well to do family who was of their same social stature and class.

However, as fate would have it, Mita (who used to accompany her father for his meetings with the British Government) fell in love with a lowly and penniless clerk in the administration called Roy. She began to meet him in secret without her father’s knowledge and soon realised that she could marry no other.

When she told her father about Roy, he was furious and prohibited her from meeting Roy. Distraught and love sick yet obedient, she obeyed her father’s wishes.

However, the once happy and cheerful girl lost her appetite along with her zest for life. Slowly as days turned into months, she became thinner and thinner until one day she was so weak that she caught a flu and passed away in the night, still pining for her lover.

The “Mitaroy” Goa Hotel – India’s only Couples Hotel – is dedicated to the tragic love story of Mita and Roy and their unrequited love…

About Us

My name is Mihir Ignatius Nayak and this is the story of how I started the Mitaroy Goa. 

From a very young age (I think I must have been 2 or 3 years old), my parents used to take me on a number of holidays across India. My father was one of India’s first travel journalists and he got to stay at many hotels as part of his work. My mother, who had a really stressful job as a Doctor, loved to travel.

My earliest recollections as a small boy, were packing our stuff, getting into our small car and driving away to some new, exciting place. And when my little sister was born, we used to bundle her into the car too, nappies and all!

When I started school, we used to go every summer for a week’s holiday to Goa. Delicious Goan food, miles of untouched beaches and the knowledge that school was a full 2 months away meant that I looked forward to the summer holidays the whole year round. For me, the summer holidays were undoubtedly the best time of my childhood.

It was then at the tender age of 10 that I had a dream. One day I would open my own hotel in Goa and it would be called “Mitaroy”.  

When I told my mother about my dream to open my own hotel someday, she must have smiled to herself, wondering how I could ever dream of owning my own hotel.

When I finished high school, my parents wanted me to study law like my grandfather. But I was determined to study hotel management and pursue my childhood dream. After looking at a number of hotel schools in the UK, Switzerland, Australia and Austria, I finally decided on the Salzburg Tourism School in Austria, where many famous hoteliers from across the globe had studied.

5 years later, I graduated with excellent grades, topping my class, even though all the subjects were in German! From making beds and polishing cutlery to checking in dignitaries and cooking with a Michelin chef, I worked my way from small bed & breakfasts to Grand Hotels. But I never forgot my boyhood dream of opening my own hotel some day.

When I returned to India, I was looking to start out on my own. My parents owned an old house in our ancestral neighbourhood of Fontainhas. They didn’t know what to do with it and it was lying in a dilapidated condition. I decided that I would take up the job of restoring the old house and convert it into a hotel.

And 15 years later, I actually did open my first hotel, thus making boyhood dream a reality.

In the future, I plan to open hotels in Salzburg, London, Berlin and Cape Town.

But whatever the future might hold for me, I have learnt that if you dare to dream and believe in yourself, all your dreams will come true…

O’ Coqueiro Restaurant Goa

No Couple’s Holiday to Goa is complete without a visit to O’ Coqueiro Bar and Restaurant.

While you have famous Goan restaurants like Brittos on Anjuna beach, Infantaria and Souza Lobos on Calangute beach, O’ Coqueiro is by far one of the most romantic restaurants in the whole of Goa.

O’ Coqueiro (pronounced as o-co-ke-roo) means Coconut tree in Portuguese. The O’ Coqueiro restaurant is housed in a sprawling, old Portuguese-style ancestral bungalow right on the Mapusa – Panaji highway in the small village of Porvorim. Rather plain by day, in the evening the lighting and greenery give it a romantic atmosphere that is hard to describe.

While you can sit in the A/C section called the sala de jhantar (dining hall in Portuguese), we chose a table in the garden under a starlit sky.

When the waiter came to take our order, we immediately chose the house special – Chicken Cafreal (pronounced as kaf-ri-el). A greenish coloured chicken curry, the Chicken Cafreal was first created here at O ‘ Coqueiro, many moons ago. I pick a Goan feni to wash down my meal.

And then the highlight of the evening begins.

We chose Friday to go to O ‘ Coqueiro since that is the day when the legendary Goan mandolin player, Emiliano and his band play at O ‘ Coqueiro. And Emiliano (who is an old family friend of ours) doesn’t disappoint. He belts out a few Goan songs that get the couples around us tapping their feet.

As the food arrives, I cannot wait to tuck in. I first go with Chicken Cafreal and Goan Paav bread. The Chicken Cafreal is a delight, lightly spiced and flavoured with mint and spinach, if I am not mistaken. For my second course, I chose Chicken Cafreal with rice. I am not quite sure which combination is better so I suggest that you try both!

For desert, we order the Bebinca, a traditional Goan layered cake that takes hours to bake because it is cooked one layer at a time. The Bebinca is good but I still maintain that the best Bebinca I’ve tasted is made in a small bakery in Fontainhas.

As we finish desert, Emiliano strikes up the music and a few couples venture out onto the dance floor. An old couple catches my eye. They must be married over 40 years yet the glimmer of love in their eyes is unmistakeable.

I only hope that I am that lucky in love…

Stay Romantic!

Mihir

Emiliano plays every Friday at O’ Coqueiro Bar and Restaurant in Alto Porvorim, Bardez, Goa. Please check local listings before going to avoid disappointment.