Luxebook October 2023

Goa is now a destination on everyone’s list, no matter what time of the year. Beaches, casinos, a meal of Xit -Kodi (translated to rice curry) with chilled beer at a shack, are old cliches. First time tourists and even repeat travellers are now seeking unique experiences they can connect with, which makes their trip extraordinary. Hotels and individual entrepreneurs are leaving no stone unturned to cater to these demands. Varun Hegde, Co-founder, Soul Travelling, Goa explains, “With the unique experiences that Soul Travelling offers, Goa can now be considered an industry leader in the luxury experiences space as well. These experiences keep the local flavour alive, while ensuring comfort- very rustic and premium, at the same time. These are also diverse in themes - from nature to culture to architecture and food, there is something for everyone.” He adds, “Our tours are meticulously curated, blending cultural immersion, adventure and luxury, ensuring every moment is unforgettable. We also offer private experiences, for which we limit the bookings to a single group to enhance personalization, allowing our guests to truly connect with the destination.” The Storii brand by ITC Hotels brings bespoke experiences at immersive locations through atypical hotels and resorts that are unique by character, design or heritage and strive to co-exist with the environment and the community. Mandira Goswami, General Manager Storii by ITC Hotels (Operations) elaborates, “Storii by ITC Hotels is fast becoming a preferred brand in the experiential segment, welcoming travellers seeking local experiences.” BLive, a Goa-based travel tech platform offers immersive experiential tours powered by smart and savvy electric bikes. The e-bike tours provide an intimate local experience, conducted by the locals, offering a glimpse of the quintessential Goan culture. Adventure If adventure is your calling, BLive offers a trail, away from the chaos of downtown Goa. Witness time slowing down in the quaint river island of Divar, a few miles from Panjim. One can ride through fields, mangroves, churches, temple sites and beautiful houses. The trail doesn’t end here. Hop on to a ferry from Divar and visit the neighbouring island of Vanxim. Explore the backwaters and row your boat between the mangroves, spot migratory birds and sea otters, if you are lucky, backwater crocodiles too. Learn the art of fishing by the locals and get hosted for a mouth-watering home cooked meal. Cost and Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes Island hopping tour - `3999/- Unique experiences for travellers to Goa New-age travellers no longer want a plain vanilla holiday to Goa, but prefer to explore and partake in immersive experiences - cultural trips, culinary trails and adventure activities; even if these come at a price BY MINI RIBEIRO 48|LUXEBOOK|OCTOBER 2023 OCTOBER 2023 |LUXEBOOK|49 GOA CALLING