Monsoon is probably one of the most underrated time of the year to travel within India. But for good reason of course. Indian monsoons can be a menace in certain parts of the country, leaving little scope for outdoor activities or travel. But this time around, Neil and I decided to change that for us and hopefully for you too! And if there’s one thing that catapulted our decision of travelling this monsoon into action, it was coming across Escapes Club and their handpicked luxury holiday packages.
Escapes Club is the Indian entity of the Australian brand, Luxury Escapes, that is known for curating some of the most exclusive luxury travel experiences by partnering with top brands in the industry. Escapes Club is for those who are looking for more than just a hotel room and want a complete experiential stay. With exclusive perks and benefits included in their travel packages for members, this felt like a great opportunity for us to experience travel a little differently than we typically would.
Choosing the right travel experience on Escapes Club
Neil and I had been itching to take a trip this monsoon, so the first step was to search for and choose the right kind of travel experience on Escapes Club for a destination we can reach without much hassle. I have to admit, the holiday Gods heard us, and how!
A few minutes of browsing later, we were immediately drawn to a travel deal for a 3 night’s stay at The Park Baga River in Goa. That sounded like the perfect choice for us. Even though Goa is typically known for its beaches, it is said to be stunning during monsoon with vibrant greenery everywhere. To top that, the property itself looked luxurious and welcoming, ideal for a leisurely getaway from our hectic routines.
So that was it! Without any further delay, we booked the deal, which not only included accommodation in a Luxury River View room for 3 nights, but several additional perks, which awaited us at the property as you’ll soon find out!
The Park Baga River – Escapes Club package inclusions
Apart from the fact that Neil and I were really keen on experiencing a rain-soaked Goa, the curated deal on Escapes Club made it even more lucrative. Our chosen package included the following benefits for a couple:
- Accommodation in a Luxury River View room for 3 nights
- Daily unlimited buffet breakfast for 2
- One full course dinner at the in-house restaurant for 2
- Cocktails for 2 every evening (1 drink per person every evening)
When you add up the actual price of these individual items and compare it with the price you’re paying for the deal, it’s easy to see why it makes so much more economic sense to opt for an Escapes Club package. With 3 days in hand, we were eagerly looking forward to our impromptu mini holiday and were excited to see what difference Escapes Club made.
Our experience at The Park Baga River, Goa
A contemporary boutique hotel on the bank of the Baga River, The Park’s newest property in North Goa was a revelation in more ways than one! An adults-only, 28-room property, The Park Baga River epitomizes modern, effortless luxury. Located a mere 5-minutes drive away from the popular Baga Beach, the hotel’s prime location makes it an ideal choice for those looking to be close to all the action, yet maintain enough distance to cut off all the chaos. A perfect abode for couples looking to take a break from the daily grind or just to take some time out for each other, away from family and kids, The Park Baga River is the perfect place to spoil yourself rotten! Whether it’s the food, the service staff’s hospitality or even a specially concocted drink, you’ll soon see how their attention to detail took our experience a notch higher.
As part of our Escapes Club package, we were entitled to a Luxury River View room. Turned out, it’s not just a room, but a full-fledged suite including a separate living area with an attached toilet, 2 spacious balconies and a master bedroom with an attached bath space (because calling it a bath “room” would be an understatement!).
As we walked into our spacious suite, what immediately caught our eyes was the clean, minimalistic decor in the living area, accentuated elegantly with a bright yellow wall, creating a warm little corner, brightening up the entire space. Fitted with a comfortable couch, a flat screen TV, a fully loaded beverage counter and artistic lamps, the living area looked warm yet stylish.
With one end of the living room opening up to a balcony, we couldn’t resist the urge to step out to get a glimpse of the view outside. Overlooking the Baga River, lined with swaying coconut trees on one side and forest-covered hills on the other, we already knew where we would end up spending most of our time during the stay! Before getting completely absorbed in the view, we decided to have a look at the rest of the suite too.
Lavish, luxurious and elegantly designed, the bedroom of our river view suite looked impeccable. Furnished with a comfortable king sized bed, a plush lounge chair, and a sleek workspace, we couldn’t help but feel at home here.
One end of the bedroom opened out to another beautiful balcony, complete with seating arrangement for the two of us, looking out at the serene Baga river flowing by. The other end of the bedroom led to a massive bathroom that screamed indulgence! With a full sized bathtub, a separate shower space and fitted with the best bath fittings and Portuguese-inspired Goan tiles, this space felt like something we would love to come back to at the end of a long day.
Our river view suite quite honestly took us by surprise simply because of how spacious and well thought out it was, but who knew there were more surprises awaiting us!
Food and dining
Neil and I truly believe that the dining experience offered at any hotel has the ability to make or break how you feel about your stay. And The Park Baga River’s kitchen clearly turned out to be one of its biggest strengths! With a cozy in-house restaurant aptly named Saltwater, food and drinks were always available in abundance here no matter what the time of the day.
Warm lighting complementing the royal blue and ochre yellow seating arrangement and ceiling to floor glass panes looking out at the lush greenery outside, gave the restaurant a touch of class as well as a much needed vibrant feel.
Our Escapes club package gave us access to the hotel’s buffet breakfast which meant that the first meal of the day on all 3 days was an elaborate affair. And who doesn’t love a big breakfast on a holiday? We certainly do! The breakfast fare at The Park Baga River catered to everyone’s tastes with plenty of North Indian, South Indian, as well as English breakfast items on offer. Whether you want to start your day with soft, fluffy Idlis or a plate of toast, scrambled eggs and sausages, it’s hard to run out of options here. Nothing beats fresh, hot food first thing in the morning and The Park’s service was on point every single time!
Breakfast also came along with specially made drinks to go with the property’s adults-only theme. Need a quick pick-me-up after a night out? Or hungover from last night’s drinking session? The Park Baga River will have you covered! Start your day with a shot of their nutritious energy smoothie made out of bananas, dates, nuts and milk or opt for their hangover cure potion of ginger and lime juice and you’re all set for the rest of the day! We tried one shot of these drinks in the morning during our stay and we could actually feel the difference all throughout the day. With personalized experiences like these, The Park Baga River hits the nail right on its head.
Our special Escapes Club dinner was another beautiful gastronomic love affair! We had the option to choose between an exclusive Goan Bento box meal and an indulgent Amritsari Thali. Being the curious foodies that we are, we decided to take one of each so we can sample different cuisines and dishes. The chef and the staff happily obliged to our request and presented us with the most exquisite meal we had during the entire trip!
While the Goan meal had authentic local flavours in the form of fish curry, fried fish, local red rice and veggies served in a Japanese style Bento box, the Amritsari Thali transported us straight to the northern part of India with every bite we took. Comprising of at least 10 different side dishes and a MASSIVE jug of Lassi to wash it all down, to say we were really full by the end of it would be a gross understatement! But more than the variety or quantity of food, what impressed us the most was the quality of food, authenticity of flavours and the care the chef took to prepare and serve the food to us.
Hotel amenities and service
The Park Baga River’s approach towards boutique luxury reflects in every aspect of the hotel. With only 28 rooms to serve, they have made sure that every guest gets the attention and care they desire. With a super prompt 24-hour room service and housekeeping team in action, this is the place to make all your whims and fancies come to life! Be it a lavish in-room breakfast or cocktails for a romantic in-room date night, the service staff will not leave any stone unturned to ensure you have a memorable experience.
As you explore the property, you’ll see how they’ve thoughtfully created little green patches everywhere to give the hotel a fresh vibe. The backside of the hotel also houses a huge swimming pool, surrounded by greenery and pool beds on one side. Sip on a refreshing cocktail from the in-house bar and spend a laid-back day under the sun, while soaking in the peaceful vibes of this quiet neighbourhood.
One part of the poolside is also set up with beautiful cabanas perfect for lounging with your partner as the light monsoon drizzle creates an ambiance of romance and tranquillity. You also have the option to hire a trained masseuse to indulge in a therapeutic massage session by the pool. Just talk to the reception staff to help you with the arrangements and be ready to get that ultimate holiday pampering. If you are keen to head out for some time, also ask them to help you plan an itinerary and the logistics for a Panjim city tour.
Neil and I have taken many holidays together and have put up at hotels of various kinds, but this experience with Escapes Club had a completely different effect on us. Not just because visiting Goa in the monsoon season was a brilliant decision, but because of how well put together our stay at The Park Baga River was. It was a completely hassle-free stay, to say the least. Very few properties are able to truly live up to the commitments they make and The Park Baga River definitely delivers on its promise of providing an intimate and relaxing environment for its adult clientele. Just the right amount of luxury and indulgence, coupled with comfort and care made this experience with Escapes Club something we would love to opt for again!