In The Lap of Magical Island!

Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat

By Sharmila Chand

I have slurped the drumstick soup greedily as I can’t seem to wait for my jowar chappati, ghee and jaggery. Sitting at Amboi poolside restaurant of Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat in a pristine island Divar of Goa, I am in the midst of my therapeutic journey. Food is the first critical way to hit the healing button here. It is pure vegetarian with less salt and minimal spices. No sugar, only jaggery. No butter, only cow ghee. And no dessert at dinner time. A great way to kick start the holistic well being process. 

An urban tired soul needs healing f r o m time to time, thanks to my friend, Richa Khurana Singh for inviting me to attend Carpe Diem Soul Retreat with Life Coach Chitra Jha at Devaaya. We are a group of six and each one is seeking a recuperation process. “Come experience peaceful vibes on the Island of Divinity,” said Richa. How, I wondered as I had not seen Goa beyond the beaches. Doubts played their game in my mind during my drive f r o m the airport to the Retreat when suddenly our car came to a halt near the ferry. Few cars, even fewer two wheelers and half a dozen locals are waiting patiently. Ah, so we are going by ferry, the excitement begins. Now Richa’s words start falling in place. She had said, “You will be away f r o m the world, you will be nicely tucked on a magical island and all that you will see is the calm Mandovi river around you.” Slight commotion gets me back f r o m my revelry as the driver carefully drives on to the ferry. Within 4 minutes the ferry takes us to the other side and we are soon to enter the gates of Devaaya Retreat where Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Yoga work in sync to soothe your nerves and balance your body. 

The retreat is set in lush green 5 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and offers 57 comfortable AC rooms with modern amenities in Portuguese style along with exclusive 28 therapy rooms, large Yoga Pavilion, Hydrotherapy rooms, Mud bath areas, Swimming Pool, Jogging track and four diet centers serving pure vegetarian diet. “Enjoy a cup of coffee at Manos restaurant, the view of the river and mangroves will bring in a sense of peace and quiet,” says Sanjay Pagi, the GM of the property while welcoming us indicating his favourite corner in the property. 

Since 2006, Devaaya Retreat has been popular as an ideal getaway and a significant Ayurveda and Nature Cure Centre, offering holistic treatments through Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Yoga under one roof. You can choose f r o m various packages – Preventive Healthcare — Healthy Ageing, Detox Programme, Rejuvenation; Pain Management — Arthritis, Back and Neck pain, repeated stress injuries, Post traumatic pains; Stress Management – Diabetes, Depression or Anxiety & Insomnia; Obesity Management and so on. 

The programs are highly-customized with ideal diet and nutrition plan. Organic vegetarian and vegan meals are served with no oil, no sugar or preservatives. The guests’ diet plan is specifically made by the dieticians based on each one’s body constitution or Body Dosha- Vata/Pita/Khapa. The Ayurvedic physician prescribes personalized Ayurvedic Therapy programs, after a detailed consultation. These holistic healing programs performed by expert therapists, constitute specific daily routines, regulated nutritious diet, and wellness activities. 

There’s always an experience to be had at Divar Island. Live a slice of village life with locals celebrating their festivals. Like we did. We got to enjoy ‘The Bonderam Festival’, an old tradition that is exclusive to this island. We danced and sang with a procession of a brass band, children and adults dressed in different costumes, taking part in fancy-dress competitions, a parade of floats and tasting the local fare f r o m the various food stalls. You can also enjoy lazy picnics by the river, fishing with the locals and exploring the village walking.  
No Smoking zone, no non veg and alcohol-free environment at Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat makes it the perfect venue for rejuvenating and healing f r o m the stresses and pressures of modern urban life. If you are looking to achieve a transformational experience by addressing your health concerns at a deeper level, Devaaya is the place to be where there is a sincere belief that it’s never too late to bring about a change in your life!

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