It’s not just mountains and temples that are awash with ‘good vibes’. It’s also places like the idyllic, gorgeous and uber luxurious Novotel Goa Resort & Spa at Candolim. An infinity pool against the backdrop of lush coconut trees and grassy green lawns, a state-of-art play area at the reception and the newly opened bistro & bar called Vero Cibo define this five-star property in North Goa.
During a recent weekend trip to India’s happiest city-state, I checked out of Ibis Styles Goa Calangute for an unforgettable launch brunch party at Vero Cibo, the new Mediterranean bistro and bar. Overlooking the verdant fields of Candolim, the restaurant promises to serve modern versions of Italian, French and Greek dishes.
We walked through an open air food pavilion to reach the restaurant, where drinks and desserts would be served. The air was alive with the echoes of cheery Latin American tunes, courtesy a live band and a gentle breeze wafted through the balmy afternoon.
The restaurant was refreshingly cool and a high Balinese-style ceiling with wooden beams retained the feeling of being close to nature. We found a table adjoining the fields and enjoyed the serene panorama.
Presently, waiters appeared at our table and began plying us with exotic cocktails and starters. We enjoyed the vodka-based Purple Passion, the sweet signature cocktail of Vero Cibo, the citrusy Beer Limebun cocktail and the overturned beer bottles in glassfuls of ice. Some bruschetta and open burgers offered less heady distraction.
After some ‘spirited’ drinks and conversation, we decided to check out the outdoor brunch spread. Grabbing a plate, I served myself some salad from the array of fresh, colourful salads, a spinach and egg tart, a juicy plum and a fried broccoli preparation. The dishes at Vero Cibo are by and large fresh, light and easy to eat.
There was an enticing dessert display in a cabinet within the restaurant and I was quite glad when I finished my lunch. I was awed by the delectable pastries, mousses, lollipops and ice-creams all topped with liberal helpings of exotic fruits and compote. But in the end, the berry lemon cheesecake and the espresso creme brulee stole my heart.
Once we’d eaten, we found a glass of wine and wandered over to the source of the wonderful music we’d been hearing. A four member band with stunning acoustics regaled us with peppy beach-side music.
We had a few hours left in Goa and decided to take the hotel shuttle to Candolim Beach. Smiling beach bums and shacks made for a familiar Goan sight at this sweeping beach. We stayed until the sun scattered a fistful of gold petals across the raging sea and eventually descended beyond the horizon.
Address: Novotel Goa Resort & Spa, Pinto Waddo, Off Candolim Road, Bardez, Candolim, Goa 403515
Phone: 0832 249 4848