Picture your ideal luxury beach getaway in Goa… what does it look like?
An undisturbed beach with white sands lapped by foamy waves; you, sipping a cocktail while lying on a beach bed, with palm trees offering welcome shade under sunny skies. Meters behind you, a delicious meal awaits in an open-air restaurant fringed with bougainvillea – and when you’ve wined and dined, walk a couple of steps ahead, to your quiet little sanctuary of a room, it’s little verandah facing an azure blue pool that you will soon float in aimlessly.
This is what every day at The White, a resort in Agonda looks like.
The White is a boutique resort in South Goa that is inspired by Santorini, the postcard perfect town in Greece! And picturesque it is here, too – in fact, it is hard to walk around without a camera glued to your hands. Elegance and a lot of that carefree bohemian vibe marry effortlessly at The White. Dream catchers sway in the wind, wicker lanterns exude a gentle glow, a gazebo swathed in white cloth sits on the beach and pinterest-worthy outdoor décor is sprinkled everywhere – from the large circular lobby to the rooms and restaurant.
The White is the brainchild of Aarti and Dileep Menon, avid travellers who’ve always aspired to have a Bed & Breakfast on the beach when they retire. Having fallen in love with Agonda Beach, they jumped when the opportunity to start their dream project presented itself and their vision fell into place decades earlier than planned. They’ve merged touches of the Mediterranean with South East Asian elements to create this chic little beachside resort that has a personality of its own.
A single pathway leads from the reception to the restaurant, and 14 Indonesia inspired wooden cottages, each with a little verandah come into view. Christened with names like Basil, Mint, Honey and Citrus, each room is spotlessly white, except for subtle accents in the colour written on a wooden signboard outside.
My room, Citrus, had orange accents on the throw cushions as well orange flowers on the white window blinds that added subtle vibrancy to the room. It is compact and minimally decorated, ideal for travellers who want nothing more than a cool, comfy room to rejuvenate in, before hitting the beach again. Each room also has a self-contained washroom with amenities and some rooms even lead out to an open shower.
The little verandah is a sweet spot to read a book, smile and wave at other happy guests walk by. A small, but thoughtful gesture was a positive affirmation card placed on the bed that sets the tone for the day and the vacay. When it comes to intricacies like these, no stone is left unturned at the White.
Located a few steps away from the ocean, the breezy restaurant is the place where you can not only latch on to one of the White’s signature cocktails, but can mingle with other guests. The fact that the White has only a dozen or so rooms means that you keep seeing familiar faces around the property, and conversations are bound to ensue, making the restaurant a fun, energetic place to catch up, as soothing tunes play in the background.
The breakfast menu features the English breakfast, waffles and pancakes as well as an Indian special of the day – be it Puri Bhaji or Idli Sambar, made to order by Chef Santosh.
As the temperature rises, give beer a pass and sip on finely crafted cocktails like the Botanist, served in a red bell pepper, the flaming samcuba or the White Signature.
Coming to the food, I sampled bits and pieces off their multi cuisine menu and my personal favourites include the fresh watermelon and feta salad, veg chilly – the hakka Chinese treat, indulgent baked mushrooms stuffed with spinach and cheese, grilled fish and the recheado prawns. The crab and corn cakes, mixed with a creamy sauce had me reaching for spoonful after spoonful, and the Moroccan Pork Chops that are coated with a finger-licking-good sticky glaze will have you tuning out of the table conversation to enjoy it in joyous abandon.
The huge slab of moist carrot cake, served warm with a scoop of ice cream is comfort food at its best – and try as you may, I guarantee you won’t be able to stop yourself from ordering it again.
If you’ve never had a hot beverage at the beach, there’s always a first time! It won’t be long before the friendly staff at The White bring you a cuppa and as you take those first few sips, it almost feels like you’re enjoying the views of the sea from your backyard. Blissful!
Whether you need a break from your wily brood (let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) or a place where you can cut ties with whoever is on the other side of the cell phone, it’s down to The White you go. This luxury resort in South Goa is racking up rave reviews, and all for good reason.
It may not have amenities in spades, but it offers spectacular vistas and tranquility that cannot be bought. The fresh air doesn’t hurt, either! While there are resorts all the way down the road, the White still manages to feel secluded. You may actually want to check ‘exercise’ off your vacation to-do list with a run along the sandy shores or attend their morning yoga class (If you’re anything like I am, the thought itself is a milestone *wink wink*)
Due to the fact that The White is one of the more intimate resorts in terms of number of people it can accommodate, the cottages are almost perennially sold out. So book your stay well in advance, and if you do happen to visit, drop me a line on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to tell me how much you loved it.