Most of the larger hotels and resorts seem to have a bunch of taxi drivers sitting around playing cards all day, with the "pay up or we not go" attitude. Club Mahindra at Varca is no different. We were there for 2 days last week.
Encounter 1: Our 13-yo son was coming in from Bangalore and we needed to pick him up from Dabolim airport. In an attempt to escape the extortionist taxis outside, I asked the folks at the front desk and concierge who said that they cannot arrange taxis from any other place. We "must" go through the taxi drivers outside. One of the gentlemen at the concierge desk quietly told me the drivers have "connections".
Not wanting to succumb to the mafia, I even considered the walk - bus - taxi option from Colva 9km away, though I would lose a lot of time, but learnt that public buses do not run between Colva and the Varca area. If you manage to find any taxis and 3-wheelers, they drop you far away at a safe distance on the main road.
I called a taxi driver friend at North Goa for advice, he connected me with a friend in South Goa, who quoted a much lower rate but amazingly enough said that he would pick me up and drop me on the main road, which is over 1km away because they dare not come anywhere near Club Mahindra.
By then I was fed up and not wanting to take a risk, asked for one of the hotel mafia taxis. The driver tried one more stunt, which is to charge an additional Rs 100 "night charge" beyond 8PM. The flight landed at 7:15PM, and by the time we got back it was 8:30PM. I learnt at the airport that the Govt late night charges start at 11PM. I refused to pay him, and he did protest a bit.
This is the first time that I encountered predatory taxi drivers intimidating outside taxi drivers coming anywhere near their "territory".
Encounter 2: Our next stop after Varca was Anjuna. We decided against the exorbitant taxi option to Anjuna, got dropped at Madgaon Bus Stand, and then took the no-stops shuttle bus to Panjim (Rs 30), then to Mapusa (Rs 10) and further to Anjuna (Rs 10). This trip was fun, and rather quick, too. We did not have to wait more than 5 to 10 minutes for the next bus. Clambering into small buses with back packs and strolleys is slightly inconvenient, but the locals don't mind. They are used to baskets with chicken and fish, anyway.