Coco Shambhala at Nerul, Bardez in Goa is not your run-of-the-mill luxury resort. It is a cocoon of comfort and joy that is as rare as it is breathtaking. And unless you have experienced staying there, it’s difficult to imagine that such a gorgeous shelter is nestled in a touristy place like Goa.
Here, then, are the six reasons why we think you should choose Coco Shambhala for your next holiday to Goa.
Their website proudly states “Officially the Best villas in Goa” and if you have lived in one of these, you would have to agree. Coco has four villas to choose from (a difficult choice to make), each with two big yet charming bedrooms. The highlight of the villas, for us, was the tree top living pavilion where we spent endless hours chatting away through the day and well into the night. The décor is striking, and invites you to just lounge on the sofa. Add to that the chirping of birds in the backdrop and the delightful view of nature in its pristine form, our conversations were not going to end soon. To indulge you further, every villa has its own private plunge jet pool—makes for a nice romantic way to spend an evening or just relax by yourself with a good book!
The natural environment
Coco Shambhala is nestled in a tropical forest and Giles, the owner, has made sure that much of the original habitat of the place was retained while building this luxury retreat. Moreover, since we visited during the rainy season, the vegetation was in its full glory. Simply being in the midst of so much greenery is in itself rejuvenating and healing, particularly for city dwellers! Be forewarned that this may jeopardise your other plans, especially those of exploring Goa, because once you are in Coco, you just won’t feel like stepping out.
Guests are given a mobile phone (a basic one) with a local sim card inserted. The device has phone numbers of all the key staff, should you need to contact any of them, even when you are not at the resort. There is also a car at your disposal with a driver, to take you around either for shopping or to touristy spots or simply to explore the beauty of Goa; you only need to pay for the fuel. This is one incentive that may make you leave the endearing cosiness of Coco.
It would be safe to say that this is one-of-its-kind of a pool in Goa. It’s not a sprawling one but in keeping with the theme of the resort, a quaint jungle style free-form pool. It’s what caught our attention as soon as we entered and we couldn’t wait to jump in. By the way, the pool is open 24 hours; where else could you get this kind of luxury?
A new menu is created for each season by Director of cuisine, Shagun Mehra; it is then personalized to suit guest preferences. A few days before our trip, we got a call from Suhas, who looks after the kitchen, to enquire if we had any special food requests or choices. Before your food is served, the sit out in your villa is transformed into this magical dining place with dim lights, candles, fresh flowers and a perfectly set table. The food is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. The Mezze Platter that’s served with Goan Poe bread is top class. And so are the other delectable dishes. Chances are, the food at Coco Shambala will leave you craving more. If so, you can sign up for a cooking class with Shagun herself.
The Coco Shambhala Family
The staff are like family. Everyone—from the driver, to the housekeeping staff, to the chef—genuinely care about making your stay comfortable and enjoyable. If you make a request, they will try their best to please you. The eager staff, always sporting a smile, lend a relaxed and friendly aura to the place.
So there! If we have whetted your appetite enough, and you decide to visit Coco Shambala, you may find your own reasons to love the place. If you wish, please share your experience with us.