We were there to spend a few days to celebrate our older son's birthday.
We enjoyed the room, the food, the lush green lawns.
Then we visited the beach.
That was a aberration.
I have seen Benaulim in the eighties. White sands, clean , pristine, it was free of five star luxury then.
Today under the care of the Taj resort it is a mess. Stray dogs roam freely, their excreta is often underfoot. The plethora of plastic water bottles the hotel provides the guests also litters the beach. Thermocol, paper, plastic bags. Dirty, sad muddy sand.
"Not our property, madam, it is government property," I am told when I speak of this aberration to the manager.
Yes but you do realize your guests might enjoy using the beach, don't you? When your staff cuts every blade of grass to perfection, could they not perhaps also extend that courtesy of care to a few feet beyond your grounds?
Guilty looks but apathetic minds, I sense.
They try and apologize. I ask them what they plan to do to make difference. Nothing specific is offered, just empty words.
A plaque proclaiming their commitment to the environment hangs by the manager's desk.
I point to it asking them why they bother? Sheepish grins result.
A one time aberration, says the area manager in an email to me. I respond with strong words. No reply. I ask them to tell me what if anything they plan to do. No reply.
Well, I am a small one time tourist but this I can do. I can tell everyone I know.
Don't go to the Taj Exotica on Benaulim beach in Goa. Not if you'd like to spend any time on the beach.