In this installment, we look at two of Panjim‘s legendary hotels.
The 19th C Hotel Republica is among the city’s earliest hotels, and is located along Afonso Mexia Road in central Panjim, near the Old Secretariat building. W. Somerset Maugham stayed here in 1938 during his visit to Goa. If I recall correctly, the hotel also had a bit role in World War II history – German spies were caught on its premises. Today, Hotel Republica has devolved into a low budget way station for ill-mannered tourist hordes.
Hotel Mandovi enjoys the same kind of cachet in the Goan mind as that accorded the Taj Mahal Hotel by the denizens of Mumbai. The hotel was erected on the Noronha family land (the family chapel still stands), and is owned by the Quenim family. Built in the Art Deco style, it first opened for business on December 1, 1952. Although some of the old world elegance has now frayed, its restaurant Riorico is known to this day for outstanding Goan cuisine, especially its signature Goan-Portuguese specialties.
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