Tucked away along the quiet and internal Siridao to Bambolim road, lies the beach-front Bambolim Beach Resort, which bears testimony to how buildings can share space with nature.
A distinct feature of this place is a very old banyan tree near the resort's swimming pool. This tree was untouched during its construction, unlike the brutal cutting of trees that happens these days to make way for monstrosities.
Vero Nunes, the owner of the resort says, "Cutting the banyan tree was never an option, so we worked around it. The tree is a cultural and historical symbol and cutting it would bring us bad luck."
Vero, who runs the resort along with his brother Savio, adds, "Working around the banyan tree was a difficult task, but we had to do it. That's not all, besides this big tree, there are seven other banyan trees on the property which are smaller."
Today, the main banyan tree in the centre of the property, where a stage has been put up, is a place for cultural and musical events for the entertainment of the resort’s guests. The resort has also hosted several high-profile weddings.
The impact of the banyan trees at the place is such that the address of the resort mentions the word Vodgali. Vod, or Vad, in the local Konkani language means ‘banyan plant’.
IN THE BEGINNING
A glance at the property from the reception area and one can see the number of trees around – Champa, mango and breadfruit are some of them.
Adds Vero, “The property had many coconut trees. We loved trees and didn’t want to cut them, so instead, we dug huge pits and replanted the coconut trees that were removed during construction”.
In 1989, when the Bambolim Beach Resort started operations, it was the only one in the area. “It was around the late 80s when chartered fights began arriving in Goa and foreigners came looking for beachside hotels,” remembers Vero.
Vero recalls that initially the hotel was a single wing with around 57 rooms and, later, in 1995, the main wing was constructed with 69 more, which totals up to 126 at present.
Being the first beach resort on the block, Vero and his brother, Savio, recount some of the hurdles they faced. There was no proper tar road to the hotel, and, also, not enough power supply. The entire surrounding was a jungle which they later converted from ground zero to make Bambolim Beach Resort what it is today – a 3-star rated property.
USP & PLANS
Aishwarya Nunes, Vero's daughter, informs that plans are on to take the resort a notch higher on the rating front, and it will happen very soon. What makes this property interesting, other than its location, is the greenery that complements the sea, she adds.
Other add-ons at the resort are the restaurant and swimming pool. The La Bamba restaurant is an outdoor place with multi-cuisine dining. The restaurant has been in existence since the inception of the resort. Vero says to date the restaurant is patronized by both tourists and locals.
La Bamba has minimalistic deco, yet appealing because of the seafront. One doesn't have to worry about decorations when the sea and its feel are so close by.
Another attraction of the place is the pool overlooking the sea. Vero shares an interesting fact, “The pool was constructed in 18 days, something thought of as unachievable in those days. The engineers and travel operators told Vero it was impossible to construct a pool in less than 24 days, but Vero proved them wrong.
Currently, the operation of the property is looked after by Aishwarya as well as Savio's son, Raj. Both Vero and Savio have decided to take it easy and passed on the baton to their children, who are already creating new experiences at the resort.
In 2011, the opening of a 5-star hotel close by failed to dampen the operation and spirit of the Bambolim Beach Resort and it continues to carve its own niche to date.