Home Food The Astor Goa Review: Escape To This Charming All-Suite Hotel In Candolim With Scrumptious Food

The Astor Goa Review: Escape To This Charming All-Suite Hotel In Candolim With Scrumptious Food

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As you move closer to the shoreline from the highway, the bustle in the neighbourhoods of Candolim increases. Sleepy lanes dotted with villas give way to busy streets filled with people thronging to restaurants, bars, local shops, and eventually, the beach. Both locales have their own charm, but that doesn't mean you have to choose only one. Are you wondering if you can strike a balance between the two? Find a location that doesn't overwhelm you with noise and crowds, but doesn't keep you too far from the action? We recently discovered one such option: The Astor Goa. Staying at this hotel in Candolim allowed us to get the best of both worlds, while also feasting on some delicious food.

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Photo Credit: The Astor Goa

The Astor Goa is an all-suite property located around 2 kilometres away from the beach, in a relatively quiet lane surrounded by quaint houses and trees. As with most hotels in this part of the town, it is not possible to have expansive lawns or large open spaces. But the layout at this Hotel seems planned to ensure you don’t feel weighed down by the compactness. The design accents are understated, but the warm tones and pops of colour add to that vacation vibe most of us are looking for.

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Photo Credit: The Astor Goa

Step inside the lobby and you are enveloped in the warm hospitality as you cool down from the humidity. As we checked in, we caught shimmering, inviting glimpses of the open pool that forms the centre of the property. We already couldn't wait to dive in and splash away the worries of our hectic city lives. For my companion and I, our interpretation of Goan susegad has always been associated with pools, poie and playing in the sand and sun. In this regard, The Astor Goa hit the nail on the head, and then some.

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Photo Credit: The Astor Goa

We fuelled ourselves for the day's activities at the breakfast buffet, laid out at the Hotel's all-day dining restaurant and bar, Deck 88. The lavishness of the spread was understated and satisfied our cravings without making us hark after the dishes we missed. We were impressed with the thoughtful curation of the spread ranging from regional Indian delicacies to classic Continental choices. South Indian breakfast staples were provided, but the chefs went one step further by including niche options like Uttarakhand-style kala channa and Bengali-style aloo bhaji – both made using hometown recipes by different chefs on the team. We also enjoyed the quintessential Goan Ros Omelette with Poie and aromatic Bedmi Poori with Goan Patal Bhaji.

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Photo Credit: The Astor Goa

We loaded our plates with these delights, alongside some delicious herbed sausages, wholesome Bircher muesli and freshly made waffles. There's much more – and we needed a second plate for it! Those not staying at the hotel can drop by for this yummy breakfast buffet too. If you do, remember to sample the bounty of the bakery, with breads, croissants, muffins, Berliners and other treats. This section is not an afterthought at the hotel, as all the offerings are from the in-house Astor Baking Company. We especially loved the carrot muffins and the banana cake. You can also order them online via popular food delivery platforms.

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Photo Credit: The Astor Goa

For lunch, we split our indulgences between the poolside tables and the blessedly air-conditioned comforts of our Astor Suite. We had ample space to enjoy our room service feast, paired with drinks from the (free) minibar. All four kinds of suites at the hotel provide aesthetically furnished living quarters, with stylish interior designs and upscale amenities. We are told that the hotel plans to launch Penthouse suites with jacuzzis soon. The room’s kitchenette is well equipped with basic cutlery as well as a microwave. We were thankful for these as we could simply reheat our food in between swim sessions. No need to wait on anyone else to curb our hunger pangs. After lunch, we took a quick siesta on the swing on our room’s balcony. After all, why not embrace the Goan way of life?

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Photo Credit: The Astor Goa

For those who want a non-aqua workout, head to the hotel's gym to get those endorphins going. You can also take your relaxation to the next level at the spa. It offers a range of massages and scrubs that will leave you feeling rejuvenated. Our 1-hour long deep tissue massage sent us off to a blissful sleep later. If you're travelling with children, the hotel has special activities planned for them on specific days. This is a family-friendly property and the staff ensures the little ones are not ignored in the curation of experiences. Kids and adults can also take advantage of a gaming console set up in their own rooms.

Want to get out of the hotel but not venture too far? The Astor offers a free buggy ride to and from the beach. The vehicle drops you off near a relatively safe and clean stretch of Candolim Beach. We got to see a gorgeously picturesque sunset and brave a few waves. As we did not have our own vehicle, the buggy service allowed us to visit the seaside without worrying about hiring external transport – which is not always easy and affordable in Goa.

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Photo Credit: The Astor Goa

For dinner, the open-air section adjoining the main restaurant offers an intimate setting. But we wouldn't recommend it in the height of summer. The menu features a mix of dishes with Indian, Italian and Asian flavours. We highly recommend the Mushroom Croquettes, Chakori Chicken Kebab and Goan Xacuti with Poie. Among the desserts, you cannot go wrong with the Classic Tiramisu, White Noise and Decadent Chocolate Delight.

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Photo Credit: The Astor Goa

The Astor has a well-stocked bar and a cocktail menu perfect for vacation sips. We tasted some libations with interesting local ingredients. The Goan Red Rice Negroni was a fascinating twist on the classic cocktail and made use of Goan Red Rice-infused Cinzano Rosso. You should also not miss tasting feni, the famous local spirit traditionally made using cashews. The Zen cocktail blended this local drink with the flavours of hibiscus and chamomile to create a potent, sophisticated concoction that we were tempted to order more of.

Goan Red Rice Negroni

Goan Red Rice Negroni. Photo Credit: Toshita Sahni

The Astor also offers the opportunity to have a unique Chef's Table experience. Our 7-course meal was based on our answers to Chef Divyanshi Patel's wide range of questions. “We wanted to do something different than the standard style of tasting menus. Doing such a Chef's Table allows us to personalise meals for guests to an extent they wouldn't usually get,” Chef Divyanshi told us. “After we get the responses, the kitchen team spends hours brainstorming ideas and curating a menu together. It is a creative process that we enjoy too.”

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Yoghurt Pani Puri Bomb & Thalassery Biryani. Photo Credit: Toshita Sahni

There's an element of mystery here we don't want to give away. But suffice it to say that this exclusive experience rooted our meal in beautiful memories of the past, and later became another addition to that treasure trove. For instance, we had mentioned a love for chaat, which translated to the presence of a flavorful Yoghurt Pani Puri Bomb as the first course. A delectably cheesy Handrolled Spaghetti brought back memories of a family member's favourite homemade Aglio e Oilo (which had also come up during the Q&A). Our cherished trips to South India made an appearance through the inclusion of an amazing Thalassery Biryani and spicy Mushroom Sukka.

Those looking for a niche culinary experience can take advantage of another type of Chef's Table. This one features delicacies from the Baghelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, from where Chef Divyanshi hails. It promises a feast spotlighting dishes such as Kaleyba, Gulgule with Rabri, Dopahri Dal Bhari Puri with Aamchur Chashni, Baghelkhandi Chicken and many more.

The Astor Goa provides a charming escape from city blues despite its location in the heart of Candolim. Its scrumptious food menu, thoughtful service and stylish ambience made it the perfect destination for our weekend getaway. Consider it for your next family trip to North Goa!

Location: The Astor Goa, 22/7, Bammon Vaddo, Candolim, Bardez, Goa 403515.

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