Raj Resorts, Bogmalo Beach, Goa

“Here the welcome is warmer than the weather”…well, it indeed is! This is the tagline engraved at the entrance of Raj Resorts. For us it was a home away from home, a countryside place we city-rats crave for.
Gate

Situated at a distance of only 15 minutes walk from the crowd-spared Bogmalo beach, 10 minutes drive from Dabolim Airport and around 20 minutes drive from Panjim, Goa’s capital city, Raj Resorts offers you the perfect peace and tranquility amidst nature.
Exterior
Reception: You are guaranteed a warmest welcome here. Its this place where you leave all your worries and queries behind…thanks to Mr. Vivek Gupta, the owner and the manager of this property.

Reception
Accommodation: Room categories include the Superior, Premium, Terrace and the Studio Apartments.
We’d booked the Premium Room for 2 nights. The room is basic but quiet spacious, ample of natural light and comes with a balcony facing the road. Elaborately furnished and has facilities like AC, Telephone, Tea/Coffee maker, Refrigerator, Wi Fi, Wardrobe and an Electronic Safe.

Room 1
The pint-sized old-age TV sitting atop the fridge cabinet specially caught my attention…reminiscent of my childhood Bush TV days 🙂
Room2
Toilet: Spacious but dimly lit. Hot/cold water is available throughout the day.

Toilet2All the bath products like shampoo, soap, etc. are provided.
Toilet1
View From The Room:

Room view
Dining: the resort has a multi-cuisine restaurant cum bar overlooking the swimming pool. We had most of our meals outside except a light dinner of Veg Hakka Noodles and Potato Cutlets, which were delectable.
Restaurant

Breakfast menu is limited. We had a choice of ordering the breakfast in our room, so we did. We specially loved the local made guava jam.

Amenities: Swimming pool, steam and sauna, restaurant with bar, room service, laundry, indoor games, 24 hours hot/cold water, generator backup, doctor on call, Wi-Fi availability, money changing, car/scooter arrangement and sight-seeing arrangement.

Swimming Pool: Its a small, clean, cutesy pool that looks up to the Mango tree standing close by.
Pool
Commuting: The resort can arrange for scooter/car, even sight-seeing and fishing trips…and at a reasonable cost. One day rent of a scooter is Rs. 350/-. Cost of petrol is to be borne by you. Rent of a car with driver- Rs. 1500/-. Self-driven car – Rs. 1200/-.

Our purpose for this visit was to attend the Goa River Marathon which was to start at 6.30 am from Baina beach in Vasco. We were pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Vivek (2 days before our check-in) stating that the resort had arranged a bus for the marathoners till the venue which would leave at 5.15 am… so well before time.

Service: Raj Resorts pampers you with a personal touch…and a professional too. Ring a 9 and you are attended to within no time. Mr. Mahesh Goyal, the care-taker is immensely helpful and on his toes all day.
I liked the way the resort guidelines/rules were mentioned on the last page of the in-room menu. Makes life so much easier for everyone 🙂

Special thanks to Mr. Vivek Gupta:
After hectic 15 hours in the bus and being completely exhausted, it was Vivek who bailed us out. He ensured that we were ensconced to our room first, leaving the check-in formalities for later. Although it was quiet past the lunch time, he arranged to feed our famished guts.
The man is immensely resourceful, a thorough professional with an experience of over 27 years behind him. This baby called “Raj Resorts” is his heart and soul. Festooned with lighting bulbs and lanterns, he has made the resort stand out and pour life into the otherwise hushed surroundings.
Lighting
How To Get There:
By Air –  
Dabolim Airport is less than 10 minutes drive from the resort. The resort provides complementary airport pickup and drop.
By Train –
Madgaon Railway Station is around 25 kms from the resort. Hail a cab and reach within 30 minutes.
By Bus – Get down at Panjim and hail a cab.Its a 25 minutes drive to the resort. Frequent public transport is also available.

My Say: Rooms, Amenities, Entertainment, Service…all fabulous. But its the hospitality here that’s laudable. No wonder its has its loyalists in India and abroad coming back for the past 15 years…or even more.

It was a pleasure staying here and being pampered. Absolute tranquility is just a weekend away.

Thank you Vivek, for all the pleasant memories we brought back home 🙂

 

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Persian Darbar, Andheri East

Nothing entices my taste buds as does Moghlai food. Cooked in aromatic spices and fresh herbs, the flavours linger in your mouth even after you are done eating. Persian Darbar is a perfect deal for Moghlai, North Indian, Tandoori and Chinese cuisine.
We’d been a number of times to their branch on the Linking Road, Bandra West to devour their ever-famous Dum Biryani. And each time I passed by the one in Saki Naka, Andheri (E), I always remembered just that. Finally, we couldn’t hold back our craving and made our way to the grand looking restaurant.
PD1
Ambience is mesmerising and you are treated with a royal Persian feel. The chandeliers, the seating, the lighting…doesn’t impugn the fact of it being a Persian restaurant to the core.
PD6
So does the reception…  Craving for some privacy, they also have a private AC section upstairs.
PD5
They have a never-ending menu comprising of not only the Moghlai and Punjabi dishes like tandoori, grilled, raans,  biryanis and sea-food but also an array of Chinese dishes.
A good wholesome meal for two can cost you Rs. 1000 – Rs. 1300/-. That makes Persian Darbar cost-effective also.

For starters we ordered the Chicken Special Mix Kebab – a platter of Murgh Hyderabadi, Murgh Jalandhari and Murgh Dahi Lasuni Kebabs. All of which were melt-in-your mouth and strikingly delicious. I wished I could grab a more of them, but the platter was to be shared between the two of us 😦
PD4
Mutton Biryani served as main course was incredible. It was way better than the one served in their Bandra outlet and the best among all the Biryanis I’ve had anywhere else in Mumbai. Silky soft rice with yummy masala, perfectly cooked and tenderized mutton pieces are bound to vow you. This should undoubtedly make Persian Darbar the “King of Biryanis”.
PD2
We ordered for a Coke but much to our dismay, the waiter said Persian Darbar is a Muslim Restaurant and Coke and other aerated beverages were banned in there. All these beverages are banned in all the other Muslim restaurants too. When quizzed about the reason, the guy couldn’t give an answer that would satisfy us or anyone else for that matter. Bizarre is the word!

They had their own local product instead, the Big Cola, which he said was sweeter than the others. Not chancing it, we settled for a Fresh Lime Soda.

Last but not the least was the Caramel Custard with its sweetness to perfection. Keeping the calorie-obsessed mind aside, we went for seconds 🙂
PD8
Service, I give a 11/10. If you ever happen to visit Persian Darbar, and if you are in luck, a person somewhere in his 50s might serve you. I respect his attitude and salute his service. Don’t hesitate to loosen your purse strings while tipping.

Persian Darbar hits all my check-boxes – ambience, service, food…
Except for the Coke disaster which seemed a bit racist, rest everything here is perfect.
A must visit for every Moghlai food and Biryani lover.