But things were going to be veritably different this time. With a toddler in tow, the change came in right from the time we started thinking about a vacation.
From planning the logistics to choosing the destination required meticulous planning. Learning to our friends’ experiences of travelling with their young ones, we were pragmatic enough to know that all plans of sightseeing and food exploration will have to be according to the baby’s schedule. So, keeping sightseeing out of the plan, we chose Goa for the beach time we knew our water-crazy baby would love.
But deciding the destination is only one part of the deal. Things can go terribly wrong if the hotel or resort you choose is not baby friendly. We could have chosen any other resort by the beach but there were several reasons why we chose Alila Diwa Goa. And we’re so glad we made that choice.
Activities Galore for Kids
If you are going to spend most of your time inside the resort, it is pertinent to choose one that has plenty of activities to engage your little ones. Two dedicated rooms at Alila Diwa Goa made our task of keeping our kid busy quite easy. There’s a kids room replete with soft toys, books, and games to please toddlers and older kids. There is a trained staff to take care of the children (older than 3 years) if the parents want some time off.
There’s also a room where older kids can play table tennis, carom, etc. Though our baby was too young to enjoy it, we really loved the mini cinema hall where they play a kids’ movie at 3 pm and a movie for grownups at 9 pm every day. We tried watching Ice Age 5 but our little one found the ‘exit’ light more amusing! Though she was too little to enjoy a movie, she had a great time at the games room.
The more exposure a baby gets to new things, the better it is for his/her development. I will never forget my baby’s reaction to the farm-to-table picnic experience at the resort. The team had set a table in a mini farm where you can walk around to take a look and even pick some fresh vegetables. You can opt for lunch or a high tea experience. We went for the latter. The chef prepared some salads, healthy drinks, and sandwiches right there. The menu was a health enthusiast’s delight. Starting from immune boosters to soothers, it had raw salads and sandwiches. The bread is the freshest you’ve very had!
Such an experience, although little expensive (Rs 6000 per couple), is astounding for a child growing up in an urban landscape. The experience is particularly lovely in a good weather.
Separate Kid’s Pool
The main pool is one of the best infinity pools in Goa. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Usually the kid’s pool is attached to the main pool making it convenient for parents. However, we discovered the joys of a separate pool here. The kid’s pool is just 2 meters deep and has less amount of chlorine as compared to the bigger pool. It was the first pool experience for our ten-month-old so we loved the fact that we had it all to ourselves.
The importance of a friendly staff at a hotel is underrated. While good service is what everyone expects, pleasant personalities just add to the experience. Being our baby’s first long trip, it was wonderful having a staff that showed it cared for our baby. Whether it was bringing in the high chair at the garden in a jiffy or entertaining her while we finished our meal – it made a lot of difference to our experience. Thank you team Alila Diwa Goa for all the efforts you take!
Our baby is still on milk and semi-solid diet so we couldn’t take advantage of the special kid’s menu at the restaurant. Also, you can opt for a junior Master Chef class for your little ones where they can learn to cook specialty dishes in a safe environment.
Although it required tremendous planning and extravagance, our first vacation with our baby was a memorable one. The comfortable spaces, luxurious rooms, good food, and the very warm and friendly staff — all made our experience truly enjoyable.
And final word of advice for travelling with a baby: do not make an itinerary or a list of places to visit. Just be in the moment!
Alila Diwa Goa boasts 153 rooms and suites. There’s also a Diwa Club – with a concept of a resort within a resort at Alila.