By Shubhra Krishan
The picture below, with its cool calming colours, sets the tone for what to expect at Ibis Styles:
A delightfully clean hotel. No leaky faucets, no dirty glasses or smelly sheets. Spick and span, as they say. All the rooms at Ibis Styles are decorated in soothing blues, with complimentary coffee and tea facilities and a mini fridge. The bathrooms are spacious, the shower is powerful and they have VLCC toiletries.
The Pool View
It’s always nice when you can enjoy a good view from your balcony, and here at Ibis Styles, all 197 rooms offer you a pool view. It was wonderful sitting on the balcony, sipping coffee and watching the cool blue water while the sky turned pale pink.
The Colour palette
At Ibis Styles, a huge art installation, made entirely out of sea shells by local artists hangs delicately from the ceiling. The carefully strung cloud of sea shells looks elegant as well as quirky.
Next to the reception, a handmade wooden fisherman’s boat hangs vertically on the wall, representing the local culture. This laidback, easy feeling pretty much sums up the style of the hotel—cosy with a colourful palette.
It’s Near a Beach
As the hotel likes to say, you are just 750 steps from Thivim. It’s a smallish beach compared to many others, but pleasant enough. Soon after checking in, we got into the hotel jeep and spent a pleasant hour watching the sun go down in the waters. If you are in the mood, take a seat at one of the shacks and kick back a beer or two.
The hotel is also quite close to Saint Anthony’s Chapel and Spice Garden.
You Can Walk to Baga!
We did that, and it took us all 20 minutes to walk down the quiet, leafy lanes. Of course, the stretch through Baga is quite buzzy and busy, but that’s part of Goa’s charm. Plus you save on taxi and auto fares, which can be quite steep (Rs 300 or so for a 10-minute ride!) since this is a tourist city.
Whoever supervises the food here is obviously a genuine food lover. They serve Indian, Continental and local Goan cuisine. Not only is the breakfast buffet lavish, but every single dish we tasted was fresh, flavourful and fabulous. Surprisingly, the rajma chawal here beats some of the best in North India Hollow!
The Car-for-Hire Guys Right Outside
Step out and you see Sachu Travels, a little car rental and ticketing shop. We rented a car from them—a friendly bunch of guys with whom you can bargain a wee bit! So we booked a self-drive car @ Rs 2500 for two days—spent an additional Rs 1200 on fuel, and drove right up to Arambol, coasted along Dona Paula, explored Aguada, and rounded our long days off with drinks and dinner in Candolim. A great value-for-money way to discover Goa!
The Staff: Last but definitely not least. Everyone, without exception, wears a smile, and that’s always a good sign in our book.
Who Should Stay: Anyone seeking a classy, comfortable stay without breaking the bank. And for all those who love good food—the breakfast buffet outdoes some five-star properties in the taste department.
Ibis Styles is a very family-friendly property. There is a 24/7 fitness and yoga studio, and a separate section for kids, with a playroom and kids pool. Bicycles can be arranged for the guests on request.
Check out our latest blog posts here: