Whether you want to relax or race around doing fun things on your Goan holiday, staying at this beautiful property in Morjim will add a lot to your experience.
No one carries an abacus to a hotel. But you might want to pack it for the 19-something Montego Bay Beach Village. Too many things to count there. Not the plentiful joys alone. Nearly 250 coconut trees standing tall in the four-acre property. Eight hammocks. 45 rooms. 400 dishes/drinks on the menu. Two golden reindeer that turn luminescent at night. A fat green toad lazing on the grass. Endless waves thrashing by the hotel’s brown rattan loungers. Numerous butterflies and dragonflies rejoicing on dainty Pseudoeranthemum (they are real; poor things are just saddled with ‘pseudo’ in their name!). Umpteen red Chinese lantern hanging from tall trees.
So many things to count in a tract of land with the Arabian Sea at its doorstep. For decades, the ancestral land of the Fernandes’ family sat barren until Alvin Fernandes cleared the weed, trimmed the grass, and opened Montego Bay Beach Village 19 years ago. Then, the hotel was tiny — barely five rooms with an old Portuguese house at the heart of the plot.
Today, it has 45 rooms, a restaurant, and a bar and wherever your eye can go, all you see is greenery. And more shades of green. Teal curtains in the cabins. Dark green hammocks. Tall green palms. Perhaps it is the greenery that turns Montego into a much sought-after snooze-place. And its expanse, of course. Unlike pigeon-hole hotels, here, you do not collide with other guests. No one overhears your conversation — rooms/suites are at least three arms’ length away from each other. You can roll on grass. Cartwheel, too. Along with your pet (the hotel is pet-friendly).
At Montego, the rooms are not cookie cut. There are seven types — seven Mediterranean-inspired Greek Cottages just a few steps from the beach; five Casa de Mudanças, which share a large balcony; a Beach House, which is an old refurbished Portuguese home; four Beach Side Suites with stunning views of the sea; five Sea View Cabins that open out to the soft sands of Morjim beach; five Garden View Suites nestled in a coconut grove, and a Garden View Cabin set amidst the lush foliage of the well-tended garden.
Let’s pick the abacus again. Since I mentioned it, I actually counted all that’s listed under Cocktails, Mocktails, Beer, Coolers, Smokes! There are 60 items mentioned, including Hot Toddy, Cigars, Hooka, Frozen Margarita, Mai Tai, Gimlet, Bahama Mama (I’ll get high listing all 60, so this is just a peek). There are so many food items that I could not count. Burgers, pastas, pizza, Indian, sandwiches, grills that can satiate even the fussiest foodie. All this was prepared by Chef Dario Fernandes, who had earlier worked with Emirates First Flight kitchen for 15 years. While room service is not available, guests can bring food from the restaurant into their rooms.
Sitting coquettishly by the sea comes with myriad advantages. You can pay a fee and try your hand at surfing (with a trainer) or hop into a boat to watch the dolphins gambol. For the sporty types, there’s a badminton court, pool table, swimming pool, and even archery.
Other than being a sought-after snooze place, Montego Bay Beach Village is also a famed romance hub. A proposal setting, to be precise. Many a man has gone down on his knees on the manicured grass or silken sand asking his lady love’s hand for eternal togetherness. “We do corporate events, weddings, candle-light dinners but it is the proposals that we get most requests for,” says Alvin Fernandes, owner, Montego Bay Beach Village. “We outsource the decor but everything else is done in-house,” he adds.
Fernandes does not plan to add more rooms. He wants the greens to be. Making it not only homey and cosy for the guests but also for the dragonflies to flit around happily and that mischievous crow to drink out of the gurgling black fountain at the entrance.
PS: If you can, ask him to show you the ancient rosewood altar in his office. More than a century-old and handed down by generations of his ancestors, the altar has Jesus Christ on the cross and figurines of St Anthony and St Joseph. Do not miss the silver crowns on the heads of the saints. They are absolutely exquisite.
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Good to know
Breakfast: Included in the room tariff.
Wi-fi: Free throughout the premises.
Activities: You can book surfing lessons and dolphin tours at the front desk.
Spa: 20 per cent discount for in-house guests.
Dress code: None.
Pet friendly: Rs 500 charge per pet for the entire duration of stay.
House rules: Loud music is strictly prohibited. Restaurant/bar close at 11 pm. All-men groups not allowed. No half/full board packages are available.
Transport: Easy access to taxi fleet.
New Year’s Eve party: Rs 4,999 per head.
Only 180 seats available.
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Address: Montego Bay Beach Village, Vithaldas Waddo, Morjim, Pernem, North Goa
Phone: +91 9822150847