City life can get very grueling and time consuming. And you know things are out of hands when you have very little time with your loved ones. Work had been really hectic for my husband and me. And the children were drowning in piles of homework and school assignments. I decided that it was time to unwind and spend some quality family time.
The weather was perfect for a road trip; I insisted that we take a couple of days off and club it up with the upcoming long weekend. I logged on to the AccorHotels website and began to explore my options. Novotel Hotels, Suites and Resorts, have always were my go to hotels, thanks to the multi-service offer for, both, my business travels and family trips. The spacious rooms, 24/7 room services, meeting rooms, great staff, kid areas and fitness centers, make them great hotels for business and leisure. And, currently, they are present in 12 cities, making travelling across more India more fun.
I looked up the Novotel Goa Resort and Spa and immediately fell in love with the lush green fields and hills surrounding it. I booked us one room since the kids could stay in our room, thanks to Novotel’s unique feature. I have, particularly, loved this feature where children under the age of 16 can stay free in their parents’ room and get breakfast for free. This always works as a blessing since the kids are still young. The next step was to just get the family there and I had a brilliant plan for that to: we were going to drive to Goa with a quick stop at Imagica.
The kids have wanted to go to Imagica for a while now but we never managed to make a plan. But, this time, I was adamant. I booked us a hotel package that included tickets to the park. I was pumped and was pretty sure the kids would be too.
I had already mapped out our route, post Imagica; we were going to use the NH4, that would take us through Pune, Satar, Kolhapur, Belgaum and, finally, Goa. The total drive, from Imagica, was said to be 10 hours, but, I was pretty sure that we would take longer since I had some fun stops planned on the way.
We left at the crack of dawn. The children were buckled up in the back seat, cuddled into their blankets. I decided to drive till Imagica, it wasn’t a long one. We checked into the Khopoli Novotel at around 9am, the staff was very nice to accommodate an early check in. Once we were in our rooms, we changed into our vacation gear. Those two days passed by so quickly, we didn’t even have the time to breathe. On the first day, we went to the amusement park and the second at the water park. Novotel took such good care of us; it was a delight to return to the fluffy beds on both evenings.
After our two day escapade at the Khopoli Novotel, I was all set for the second part of our trip. We were to check out early next morning; our next stop was Goa, with several little stops and adventures on the way.
Our first mini stop was in Pune, we stopped for a quick breakfast. My husband took to the wheel as we left Pune, with happy tummies. The playlist was changed to some peppy numbers and my elder one took away my phone to take pictures of our journey. The younger one came on to the front seat to chat with her father and enjoy the views.
From Pune, our next stop was going to be straight Goa. We did want to stop at the Panhala Fort, which was right about on the way but we decided against that and the children were disappointed. We did stop for a quick lunch at the famous Kamat Upachar. After a delicious meal of flaky dosas, fluffy idlis and delicious coffee, we made our way the Novotel Resort and Spa, Goa.
We finally check in to the hotel, close to 10pm, and everybody was exhausted. We got the kids their own room this time, and, thanks to Novotel’s unique policy, we got the second room at a 50% off. A good night’s sleep and we were ready to take over the city. The next morning, after a wonderful breakfast, the children were left to be taken care of by the supervised kids club while we signed up for a massage at the hotel’s Balinese-style spa. The massage was followed by a Hammam bath. We spent the evening just lazing around the property.
We spent the next day exploring Goa with the children. A walk on Candolim beach, a trip to Fort Aguada and to the centuries-old Church of St. Lawrence was enough to keep us busy through the day. Lunch and dinner, both, were a Goan affair of prawn curry, rice, shrimp balchao, sanna and pork sorpotel.
Our two days at Imagica, followed by the lovely drive to Goa and the two days in the city was a much needed break for the family; we were able to spend time, laugh and explore a whole new way of travelling together by road. That night, as we packed up, we vowed to come back for a short break every few months.
Over the next couple of months, we made it a point to get on the road more often. We explored more parts of India and the kids have never been happier. We take mini road trips and longer vacations, whenever time permits. And, my family has never felt more close-knit and together. Clearly, the quality family time along with good Novotel hotels and exciting cities make for great ways to make memories and unwind.
To book your stay, visit www.novotel.com.