You never know whom you might meet at the Hotel California. we have been continually entertained by the revolving door of Hollywood-meets-Bollywood, fashionistas and Russian gangstas, sports moghuls and Syrian princes, marketing whizzes and Malaysian lawyers drinking gin fizzes…the people we’ve met have been endlessly fascinating. For example, two young men staying here this weekend are Harvard classmates who grew up together in Los Angeles. One of them is in finance, the other is heading up the Mumbai branch of the CAA Talent Agency and he represents Suraj Sharma, the accidental star of Life of Pi among others. A young woman we’ve gotten to know is a Bollywood producer who just returned from attending the Morrocco Film Festival. A German couple were starting up a leather fashion company of her avant guarde designs and filming a social media campaign for his field hockey sports product line. His attendant film crew was from Kenya.
Everyone we’ve encountered at this intimate, casual, magical hotel has been approachable, accessible, open and friendly. This is remarkable only because we have both experienced the opposite from people of similar background in Los Angeles or NYC. One has the feeling that this spot is synchronicity’s playground. Case in point: Scott has already seeded a few auspicious connections between people. The Ideabox is still in rare form, suggesting business ideas, sourcing, and putting the right people together. Many have recognized his networking talent and sought out his sage opinion on their projects. This naturally energizes Scott and I can report that he is very happy, in his element.
Most of the social interaction takes place at the outdoor bar where everyone gathers nightly –whether drinking or not– to rub elbows with the Resort’s owner and chief party goer. Our host, Aneel Verman , played a young freedom fighter in a hit Bollywood film back in 1971. We’ve seen the clip and he was quite good. His son has written and sung some original tunes that are really wonderful; I’ve been promised a copy of the as yet unpublished CD. We hear it played nightly on the stereo at full throttle. Last night there was a piano player and Scott, still in his bathrobe, sang his own made-up-on-the-spot version of a popular ballad and serenaded Aneel to wild applause from those gathered here. Somebody videotaped it and here it is on youtube!
As already reported, the Goan lifestyle is a late night…oh who are we kidding? It’s an all night, every night partygoer’s paradise. Famous for their fresh mint mojitos and whiskey sours, you’ll also find every kind of vodka imagineable in Goa due to the large Russian ( no pun intended) clientele here. Scott and I are not barhoppers and our raving days are long past us. That being said, all the world is a stage and this environment has been better than TV to keep Scott’s mind off the omnipresent bad news. as Aneel is fond of saying, anything is possible(at Sur La Mer).