Posted by Mansi
It was the super reasonable airfare - Rs 5,000 round trip - that prompted our last minute weekend plan to Goa, but what we didn't anticipate was that getting a place to stay would be such a hassle. All three Taj properties, Lemon Tree, Ashiana Lakhanpal, The O Hotel, The Hyatt: we tried them all, and to our utter astonishment they were booked out completely, despite the fact that it's off season and not on a long weekend. After many phonecalls and much cajoling, we finally secured a cottage at the Taj Village. It was overpriced and garden view, but hey, at least we had somewhere to sleep.
Other than our early accomodation issues, though, Goa was extremely... accomodating. The weather held up, and we got enough sunshine to go hang at the beach and chill by the pool, and enough rain to keep it nice and cool. Plus, a lot more restaurants than we expected were still open, which was nice. If you do go now, be check out:
Ernesto's: Right in the middle of old Goa, this is a super pretty restaurant that serves up what might be the best, cheapest steak in the country (Rs 300). Vegetarians, resign yourself to a meal of chilli cheese toast and pasta in red sauce. If you plan on ordering a bottle of champagne, call ahead and ask them to chill it. Mala, 49, Near Fontainhas Post Office, Panjim, North Goa, call 09823015921, Rs 1,000 for a meal for two.
Curlies: Yes, it's open! And the shack's elevation works particularly well in the monsoon, when the surf is all the way at Anjuna beach. Service is terrible as always, but the pancakes and prawns are still good. Also try - chicken snitzel sandwich. Anjuna Beach, Rs 100 for a beer.
Cavala: Possibly the happiest roomful of dancing moms and dads, 16 year old kids, couples and a few cheerful gay guys in the world. Plus a super skilled, madly energetic band that belted out one crowd pleaser after another. We'll have whatever they're having. Baga-Sauntavaddo, Calangute, North Goa, call (0832) 2277587, Rs 150 for a beer.
What we were sad was shut: Mezcal, A Reverie, Fiesta, Thalassa.