The eco-resort is the new theme that is catching up in Goa for the past one decade or so and there are many eco-resorts that have mushroomed in the state. Every resort has its own USP and facilities clubbed with activities. The resort that we are going to showcase here is Goa’s first luxury eco-resort situated in the midst of mystic nature with a rustic yet luxurious feel. Why are we calling it Goa’s first luxury eco-resort? Read on…
The Rock Valley Resort is a perfect combination of modern amenities in harmony with rustic farm life, it has its own spice plantation called Nandanvan. Situated around 40KM away from the capital city of Goa, Panjim, this place gives you an authentic jungle feel and at the same time, one can enjoy the modern facilities. On our visit to this place, we met the promoters of this property along with the highly professional and yet very humble staff members.
According to Rajasi Dhavalikar, one of the promotors of the resort, the concept of Rock Valley Resort developed with the idea of getting people close to nature. Rajasi comes from a very affluent background and is associated with a business group with diversified interests, and the Rock Valley is one of the projects that are very close to her heart.
“This concept mainly originates with the idea of getting people close to nature, which was born in the mind of Mr Deepak Gaonkar, who is the founder of this Eco-Tourism Venture. We belong to the same family, sharing common business interests,” said Rajasi adding that she, along with her husband Aditya Desai, who is also the partner in this project, loved this idea of setting up of Goa’s First Eco-Luxury Resort. “We loved the entire idea of this and came together to bring the concept into reality.”
Gaonkar’s Nandanvan, which is a Spice Plantation blended with Water Sports and Adventure Activities, marks the first step towards the journey for the origin of Rock Valley Goa… Mr Deepak Gaonkar, who belongs to a family engaged in Traditional Areca Nut Farming (Kulagar) and having further developed a strong foundation in Civil Construction and Real Estate, conceived this idea way back in 1998, with an aim to offer the existing Natural Beauty blended with Spice Plantation and variety of Recreational Activities to Foreign as well as Domestic Tourists visiting Goa.
Though small steps towards that direction begun at the start of this century, the idea was eventually conceptualised and started taking actual shape from the year 2012, under the valuable guidance of Shri Anil Priolkar, the pioneer of Spice Plantations in Goa. “We offer day packages at Nandanvan which comprise of Spice Plantation Tour, Visit Heritage House, Swimming Pools, Rain Dance, Water Slides, ATV Rides and Adventure Activities,” said the better half of Founder Brain who manages the operations as well the Proprietor of Gaonkars’ Nandanvan, Mrs Meghana Gaonkar.
“Since coastal tourism is taking a different turn in the state, there is a growth in the Eco-Tourism sector, which is the future of the tourism industry in Goa. As the people started visiting Nandanvan, it was realised that they liked the ambience, food and hospitality over here. It was with their feedback and encouragement that the second phase of the Project came into reality and we named it “Rock Valley Goa”, a place where people can spend more time in the lap of nature and come so close to it, that one can have the feel of the primitive era”, she added.
Rock Valley Resort is a place in which you’ll feel separated from the buzz of hectic city life but not so far to feel isolated.. The state-of-the-art luxurious rooms give you the feeling that you are living in a five-star hotel with high-speed internet connectivity and satellite television network at your disposal. But when you come out of the room you will have the illusion of entering a completely different world with dense greenery surrounding you: a truly amazing and unforgettable experience.
“We humans are so busy in our lives nowadays; we’ve become so automated and reliant upon technology all the time, especially our phones. Sometimes we should disconnect from all these distractions and return to real life which Rock Valley attempts to offer.” says Rajasi. “There are relaxation and rejuvenation rituals here in the midst of nature; we conduct nature trails here and this place is very rich in oxygen so helps to purify the mind and body at the same time,” she adds.
Rock Valley gives you a full package: adventure and relaxation. “We have adventure activities such as trekking in the morning, ATV rides for the people who love adventure and we have an infinity pool for those who want to relax with the awesome views of the deep valley. What more could one want?” she asked.
Rock Valley not only provides to individual guests but also do corporate get-togethers with themed team-building experiences. “We have already established the setup for the corporates and events. We have our eco-friendly venue with a stage and lawn all ready for any events. There are banquet and buffet facilities as well. We plan to host “destination weddings” here as well in the near future,” said Rajasi.
The Rock Valley Cottages are designed keeping in mind the demand of high-end guests who want to stay close to nature but safe from the menace of insects and pests. “Our idea was to give the people an unobstructed jungle, at the same time their creature-comforts are maintained. Nobody should feel worried because staying in the jungle doesn’t mean one should be worried, fearful or uncomfortable,” said Aditya adding that “security is another aspect that we didn’t overlook while designing the Rock Valley Resort. “You will find CCTV cameras across the cottages, playing area, walking pathway and spice plantation to make sure that you are living safely in an area which is being monitored by our efficient team 24X7,” said Aditya.
“Presently we have two options: first is a day package for the people who only comes to visit the spice plantation, we show them around and give them the experience of the place in the day package which is not inclusive of the stay,” said Aditya adding that those who want to stay and experience the life at plantation have the facility of booking the rooms in their package tour. This is the first, and perhaps only, spice plantation with a bird-watching facility.
“Our place also has bird watching and this is made possible due to the environment and there are natural, sustainable ways of doing it. Goa has 1/5 of India’s birds, and especially in the wintertime which is from November to February, even more, birds migrate to Goa. We have a good scope, for development of bird watching and photography,” he added.
The team has many plans of development of the spice plantation to enhance the experience of the visitors and one of them will be the setting up of bird hides, feeders, and this would attract people to come here. “There are people all across the world coming to Goa who visits wildlife sanctuaries. As a matter of fact, there is a bird festival happening at Valpoi right now. We ourselves will be setting up the bird hides, feeders to attract more birds to the plantation,” said Aditya adding that “This is the form of tourist- experience that we are aiming at, and if you observe places like Africa, Ecuador, Costa Rica, all of them have an aim at a sustainable and responsible form of tourism where nature is protected but can also be enjoyed by humans.”
The Team also aims at offering up an investment opportunity to Non-resident Goans who are nature lovers with a club membership facility soon. After all, is said and done, the beauty of nature is eternal and reliving it at The Rock Valley Goa is a mesmerising experience.