A perfectly pared-back Goan hotel
by Laura Quinn
9 March 2011
Baga Beach, Goa Ph.: +91.98.2218.0133 Website
On paper there's little to suggest that Raman would come so highly recommended. For a start it's in Baga, probably the least attractive part of Goa's coast, with masses of scantily dressed foreign tourists and overcrowded beaches. For another the staff are lethargic verging on asleep. And for a third, the food served is almost invariably quite bad.
But this is Goa, and the usual rules don't carry the same weight as they do elsewhere. What Raman does have is an almost coma-inducing level of relaxed beach living. The staff need gentle encouragement to bring fresh towels or sweep the room, but it's done with a smile, eventually. And the food is bad but the drinks are perfect, and in Goa it's hardly difficult to find great food almost anywhere you look. And considering it's smack bang on Baga beach, owner Manoj has taken great care to ensure that it is a true oasis of breezy calm amidst the crowds.
The rooms are spacious, clean, and nicely designed; scattered around the pleasant infinity pool, across the palm-shaded sands and surrounded by the brightest-couloured bougainvilleas. There are a tastefully small number of loungers positioned high on the beach with incredible views of the sunset (and the odd thonged tourist for comic asides), a view shared by the casual bar tables under thatched roof.
In a place where the best advice is to leave your watch at home, Raman has everything you need for a perfect Goan holiday, and nothing you don't.