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W Goa Hotel marks Starwood's W Hotels debut in India

W Hotels, the luxury brand under the Starwood umbrella, has launched its first hotel in India. The beachfront W Goa resort overlooks the India Ocean and comes equipped with a luxury spa, fitness centre kids’ club and business centre. The hotel is the first of three W hotels scheduled to be launched in India in the coming years.

W Goa Hotel marks Starwood's W Hotels debut in India

Starwood’s luxury hotel brand W Hotels has made its debut in India with the W Goa beach resort on Vagator Beach. The beachfront luxury resort is ideally located 27 km from the Dabolim Airport and near to Chapora Fort. Notably, the launch of this new hotel in Goa marks the first of three W hotels planned for India with another two to be launched in Gurgaon in 2018 and Mumbai in 2019.

Spread across 10 hectares of land, the W Goa resort offers its guests a wide selection of room options with a mix of 160 rooms, suites, chalets and villas. After a gruelling workout in the on site fitness centre, guests can enjoy a relaxing visit to the spa or lounge by the outdoor swimming pool. Also featuring a kids’ club, a business centre and a four restaurants and bars including the pan- Asian Spice Traders restaurant and the beachfront Woo Bar and Rock Pool, the W Goa ensures that all its guests’ are catered for.

The launch of the W Goa resort comes at a time of uncertainty for Goa’s tourism industry with conflicting reports on the impact of the Indian government’s unexpected move to demonetise 500 and 1000 rupee notes on the tourism sector. The decision, taken in November, is said to have left travellers scrambling to change their cash into other denominations before ATMs and banks ran out of cash and since November, there have been reports that travellers have been hesitant to book holidays to India.

A recent report indicated that while in previous year’s beach parties ahead of the New Year celebrations have attracted large crowds of holidaymakers, this year the festive season has been more subdued. Ralf D’Souza, a hotelier and the former president of Tours and Travel Association Goa (TTAG) stated:

“the New Year parties used to begin from December 28 would last till January one wee hours. But this year the season is low. At least in North Goa the parties are not happening except for a few places”

Fewer visitors have resulted in a hoteliers being forced to slash tariffs with two star, one star and guest houses bearing the brunt of the negative impact according to D’Souza. Dilip Parulekar, Goa’s Minister of Tourism, has however, ruled out the concerns about the impact of demonetisation on tourism stating that Goa is

heading towards a fruitful tourism season”

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