You may find yourself sitting in a cushy birdcage in the cleverly designed, ambient oasis of the Tamarind Hotel, but I hope you’re ready to eat way more than your average bird. Named for the beautiful passerine bird species found in Central and South America, the innovative eatery and entertainment spot Cotinga is the perfect accompaniment to Tamarind’s comfy rooms and luscious pool – yet, its worthy of its own visit (or many,) just for the delicious grub and inventive décor. I sadly missed it but apparently there’s a pretty stellar line-up of musical entertainment too!
While Tamarind’s hotel staff was down-to-earth and highly attentive, one of my highlights was getting to meet Mom and learn about the whole family operation - how each name, design, entertainer and vibe for both the restaurant and hotel was curated by someone else in the family. From the comfortable couches to the soothing blue/green bird décor and shelves of books and games, I felt cozy and at home while at Cotinga, and that was before I saw the delectable drinks and meals being served.
Ideal for family gatherings, large groups or dates, Cotinga offers a fun array of seating and a loungy billiards room as well. And if you feel overdressed, you can even check out the snazzy Hollywood –style shop in the corner, featuring cutting edge fashion straight out of Delhi, designed by the talented daughter of this family production.
While Cotinga is an ideal spot for enjoying delicious shakes and drinks, reading the food menu itself could be a satisfying experience for a foodie - so come hungry! With as many locally grown ingredients as possible, the chef puts together beautiful platters of simple, mouthwatering meals, each potato seasoned to perfection and each slaw dripping with flavor. And why shouldn’t your food be pretty too? This fresh seafood special was practically smiling for the camera, its juices, flavors and tenderness almost as fun to look at as to eat. But don’t fill up…..desert is a must! Even for gluten-free folks. Not easy to find, especially while traveling around the world, the gluten free deserts on display were as tantalizing as the rest. I was lucky to try the chocolate cake and had a hard time believing there was something missing. The cheesecake sure wasn’t bad either!
Bunking down at the Tamarind Hotel and splashing in the inviting blue pool puts you a quick bikeride away from the beach. With a super-cushy bed, great sheets and comfy pillows, my room was small and cozy, yet it felt incredibly light, open and airy thanks to the clever design of mirrors and lights playing in harmony. Tamarind also scored points for offering bathroom products a step above the chemical-full shampoos and conditioners of most hotels. Natural! Another clear sign of the personal family touches that have gone into all aspects of the hotel and restaurant’s design.
My only regret at Tamarind and Cotinga was flying away too soon. Now to figure out a way back for nestling into the birdcage, lounging by the pool and nibbling my way through the menu.
So let me be the little birdie who told you…..Cotinga and Tamarind are two solid not-to-miss gems in Anjuna, Goa.
A social worker…..working socially, around the globe.