Goa Beyond Beaches & Booze, The Emergence of Goa as a Wellness Destination!

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“Health is the biggest wealth. In today’s times, where most people lead high-stress lives, owing to job expectations, residing in polluted environments, and being constantly absorbed in the rat race, it has become even more essential to take a pause and rejuvenate”, says Trupti Wesley from Cabo Serai.

Goa has always been perceived as a place of sun and sand, the sun-kissed beaches, booze, bikinis and at most churches and forts, but slowly, steadily, and surely it is emerging as the “new hub for wellness tourism.

Contrary to the travellers who come to Goa for fun and probably toxify their bodies with drinking and gastronomical indulgences, there is a set of audience who comes to Goa to completely rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul. They opt for detoxification and indulge in healthy activities like yoga, Ayurveda massages & therapies, nature treks etc.

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For instance, Cabo Serai provides an ideal getaway for those looking to take a break from a lifestyle of stress. Their sprawling retreat is perched on a hill by the azure waters of the Arabian Sea and nestled in lush native forest. Immersing yourself in nature is the most refreshing experience, allowing you to connect with yourself sans the stressors of everyday life. Activities at Cabo Serai, like forest bathing, nature walks, river swimming etc are curated to enable this process.

Goa as a wellness destination

Wellness today has taken on an entirely new dimension, not only in our daily life but also as a means to travel. Wellness Tourism is the new way of exploring places, connecting with nature, taking a break from your daily chores, and giving your body a much-needed pause.

In the usual grind of life, we do not realise how much damage we are causing our bodies, only when we reach an alarming stage is a time, we take some action. But there is a wave of change engulfing our Goan shores.

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There is a conscious effort of choosing vacations and even weekend breaks in a way where rather than overindulging in things, people want to take it easy and look for means to heal their bodies and relax their minds.

While for some people, weekends continue to mean party time, many have taken the shift of using weekend getaways to detoxify their bodies and mind. From yoga retreats to Ayurvedic therapies, and visiting resorts that have no WiFi or TVs, people are happily choosing social and physical detox.

“The legend of wellness comes with a legacy – treasured wisdom of the past painstakingly preserved for the present. Wellness tourism is the journey into the infinite knowledge of our past to gift its glories for a better tomorrow, by embracing the best traditions of wellness and combining them with modern luxuries, serene destinations, nourishing cuisine and immersive experiences to craft a moment in time, when we are one with nature; where our soul is in a state of bliss; for our inner energy to rejuvenated and recharged”, says Anmol Ahluwalia, GM, Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa

India being the seat of Ayurveda, Goa is fast taking over as the destination for wellness.

Goa naturally is an ideal platform to attain peace in its sublime beauty, the abundance of fresh air, organic food and diverse rustic accommodations to suit every budget. All these go a long way in the effectiveness of Ayurveda and Yoga. The naturally available requisites enhance the positive possibilities of the carefully curated wellness regimes.

Goa as a wellness destination 5

Goa is home to several retreats ensconced in the cosy nature, the breath-taking landscapes and serene scenic shorelines with an almost surrealistic feel of joy and peace.

Ratheesh Nambiar and Shriram Kane Founded inner Living Ayurveda and resort in the year 2020 with the right expertise, vision and genuine thought to promote natural living, natural science, and most importantly to ensure every guest is taught to follow Dina acharya during their stay at Inner Living.

They provide guests with the opportunity to experience Ayurveda and various wellness retreats in the most authentic form and also made it affordable for everyone to experience.

Ratheesh says, “most importantly we work on lifestyle improvisation to ensure lifestyle disorders which are most common amongst the youth today, are rectified. We offer specialized Ayurveda treatment for various ailment-based diseases, beauty care and old age health issues.

At inner living Ayurveda and Yoga retreat, Mandrem, Goa, we offer an experience of peaceful stay which is surrounded by nature, healing with Ayurveda, yoga and other natural treatments, eating natural & organic food, connecting with local culture, and a perfect abode to meet “The Inner You”.

Anmol also shares the same sentiment and adds, “Today there is a growing need for wellness retreats that offer holistic healing of the body, mind and soul coupled with centuries of sensory experiences. At Taj North Goa we have natured the infinite wealth of nature, uncovered the abundance of knowledge seeped in heritage with traditions reinvented to revive the spirit through a host of immersive experiences. At our serene locations, we have curated experiences derived from their very roots, intrinsic to the local cultures, steeped in tradition and truly life-changing. With the quintessential Taj hospitality, we recreate transformative experiences as we invite guests to join us on a wellness sojourn and discover the art of serenity through these multi-sensory moments. Amidst tranquil environs, under the expert guidance, savour life’s simple pleasures that evoke intense emotion; awaken hidden passions and conjure magical memories.”

This conscious need has led to the emergence of nature, Ayurveda & Yoga retreats and even health-based cafes. The trend has seen so much upward growth that even the biggest & most luxurious hotels have taken notice and added spas, yoga classes and other therapies to their offerings and now fun and wellness go hand in hand.

Agreeing with this fact, Trupti says, “Over the years we have seen a huge shift in the choices made by travellers. The focus is more on wellbeing, eco-conscious living, and experiential travel. This shift is extremely encouraging and provides an impetus for more hospitality businesses to adopt and expand in the wellness sector.

And this urge for wellness is not restricted to travellers visiting wellness resorts or retreats, even at a micro level, it’s an emerging trend. Throwing more light on the same, Nelson Paes, MMA fighter and owner of Nelson Paes Fitness Studio adds, “today there is a rising demand for personal trainers and yoga teachers whose services people avail of even on a vacation of 4 days. The trainers visit clients at their hotels or villas and ensure that their fitness regime remains intact while holidaying too. It is a good thing to see people taking their health & fitness so seriously that they consciously take out time for exercising during their travel.”

Goa as a wellness destination 4

Trekking, Kayaking, Cycling Tours etc. also indicate the rise of such nature and wellness-loving tourists, and it indeed is a welcome change. We can easily say that yes there is a Goa beyond beaches, bikinis, and booze that people are taking notice of, and it could serve these wellness stakeholders of the tourism business well.

Goa is ready to provide you with a comforting experience of being put through an exhilarating feeling of wellness in the land of sunshine and beaches, and now your most coveted destination for wellness and good health.

If you are also planning for a wellness vacation in Goa, here are our top picks:

Cabo Serai, Cabo De Rama

Built on the grounds of sustainability and embracing the philosophy of barefoot luxury, the charming cottages and tents at Cabo Serai allow guests to explore the outdoors, whilst generously offering all the modern comforts of luxurious accommodation. All are ocean-facing whilst being nestled in the privacy of their flourishing forest.

Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Candolim

Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa is one of the finest luxury resorts in Goa. With the beach on the side and cocooned in dense foliage, their 142 terracotta-roof suites and villas in Goa deliver contemporary luxury in the midst of nature at her most glorious. The resort’s al fresco offerings are as captivating as its stately accommodation. You can savour a three-course Thai lunch at Banyan Tree – one of Goa’s top-rated Southeast Asian restaurants – after a drink and aperitif at the sunken bar and pool. A workout at the fitness centre, a round of tennis or water sports can be topped off with a hedonist massage or facial at their award-winning Jiva Spa. The resort welcomes you to their beach resort in North Goa to unwind and revel in a captivating Goan paradise.

Goa as a wellness destination 3

Inner Living, Mandrem, Goa

Inner living, nestled amidst beautiful, lush landscapes and in the heart of nature, stunning open fields, and serene surroundings overlooking mountains, makes it a perfect abode for relaxation and rejuvenation. They offer traditional Ayurveda treatment, yoga classes with 15 cosy exotic cottages, a Yogashala, a restaurant, and an Ayurveda product shop. It’s tagged as one of the best affordable Ayurveda and Panchakarma treatment destinations coupled with yoga and meditation in Goa.

Goa Marriott Resort & Spa

Discover five-star hotel amenities in a beautiful beach setting at Goa Marriott Resort & Spa. Situated on the edge of Miramar Beach, with picturesque views of the Arabian Sea and Mandovi River, this luxury hotel blends relaxing resort services with award-winning hospitality. Settle into well-appointed rooms and suites with sweeping views of the bay or the hotel gardens. Taste the flavours of Goa and the world at their restaurants and bars, including a swim-up bar in their outdoor pool. Treat yourself to pampering at their spa or take a yoga class at their 24-hour fitness centre or simply relax in a hammock. Whether visiting for work or enjoying a quiet beach getaway, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa is the ultimate choice.

Images contributed by Cabo Serai, Taj Holiday Village, Inner Living

AditI Malhotra
AditI Malhotrahttps://foodandhospitality.incrediblegoa.org/
Having covered more than 1000 restaurants and hotels across the country and globe, Aditi found her passion for food and travelling right in her childhood. At a later stage, travelling for work only fuelled this passion further and she started documenting her experiences as a food and lifestyle blogger 12 years ago and since then there has been no looking back! A woman who wears many hats, she holds a dual MBA degree in Mass Communications & Event Management from NIM and has 22+ years’ experience in marketing. She specialises in designing and executing marketing campaigns for brands, content management and digital media. Aditi moved to Goa 5 years ago after quitting her high profile job as AVP Client Servicing with Candid Marketing & DGM Strategy with Percept before that. Today she successfully manages social media and marketing for a handful of brands and enjoys planning events & weddings too. Experimenting in the kitchen and trying her hand at mixology is what she loves and in fact, it’s the combination of both that made her win the title of Mahou Maestra Chef in 2019 where she had to prepare a dish using beer. Single mother to a smart 18-year-old boy, you will either find her at home in pyjamas, working on her laptop and spending time with her family or all decked up to check out the new restaurant in town!

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