The beaches of Goa take you on relaxing sojourn where you bask in the warmth of the sun and cool off in the waters of the Arabian Sea. While there are lots of things to do in Goa, at the end of the day, everyone looks for a place to wind down and soak in the calmness of this holiday paradise.
Being a major tourist hotspot in India there is no dearth of hotels in Goa, but for travelers looking for an offbeat experience, the options can be limited. The trick to finding charming boutique stays in Goa is to look a little deeper, at places that skip over the typical tourist areas. For it is here that a whole new facet of this seaside holiday destination truly opens up.
Photo – Olaulim Backyards
Olaulim Backyards, Olaulim (North Goa)
Not far away from the saline waters of the Arabian Sea, lies a quaint village, which is a world away from the crowded coast and packed nightclubs of North Goa. Located amidst a quiet coconut grove along a beautiful lake, this rustic homestay in Goa is snugly tucked in a corner of Olaulim.
With only three cottages, it is small enough to make you feel at home, and each of the rooms comes with unprecedented access to the pool. The cottages are well furnished but devoid of ACs and television sets, encouraging you to engage with the outdoors.
With a host of activities like kayaking or pottery workshops, it has packed in everything to keep you occupied. Olaulim Backyards is also idyllic in terms of its location for you to quickly reach the beaches of North Goa, like Calangute or Baga, if you crave for some sand on your feet.
Photo – Turiya Villa
Turiya Villa, Canacona (South Goa)
A 100-year old restored villa, nestled in the far south of Goa, beckons you to experience the old-world allure of rural life. The homestay is the product of the love for beautiful interiors and thoughtful restoration, delicately presented by its owner Sandesh Parbhu.
The main house has four rooms, which are uniquely decorated. There is a newer section with an equal number of rooms, which follow the same aesthetics. With no ACs and televisions in the rooms, this boutique stay in Goa can be a drawback for those who prefer modern comforts. On the contrary, though, it gives you the space to be one with nature and yourself.
The homestay does not serve meals but offers a sumptuous breakfast. The staff, however, is more than willing to guide you with options, from recommending local eateries that serve finger-licking region food to activities one can undertake, situated around the stay. With the beaches of Patnem and Palolem only about 15 minutes away, you are never too far from the sea either.
Photo – Wildernest
Wildernest, Chorla Ghats (North Goa)
Away from the teeming beaches, high up in the Western Ghats, there lies an iconic boutique stay in Goa that brings nature to your fingertips, quite literally. Wind down in the lap of the countryside with comfortably furnished eco-cottages, Wildernest offers its guests views ranging from forest to the deep valley.
Being one with nature means you are away from the technological luxuries of televisions and ACs. But there are many activities to keep you occupied, such as nature walks accompanied by a naturalist, bird-watching, and short treks around the resort.
For a relaxing evening, Wildernest offers cultural performances on most nights, or you can always dive into the infinity pool for a refreshing dip. The food here is a huge spread of local delicacies. The only drawback is the uneven terrain, which might not be suitable for people with limited mobility.
Photo – The Cape Goa
The Cape Goa, Canacona (South Goa)
The Cape is your private nook perched above a secluded cove with views of the sea that are hard to beat. A luxury resort in Goa with all contemporary amenities, these cliff-side thatched roof cottages bring a slice of Bali to the region.
Built for the romantic in you, many rooms come with a Jacuzzi in the balcony overlooking the cove. Bathrooms are open to the sky with rain showers and exposed rocks, bringing you closer to the beautiful landscape that surrounds this magnificent stay.
The Cape is a place to relax and unwind, away from the stress and the frenzy of mundane life. There are bicycles for hire if you’d like to explore the surrounding area, or you can head to the Cabo de Rama Fort for a breathtaking sunset. The food served here is a mix of continental and Goan delicacies that complements the luxurious setting.
Photo – Ahilya by the Sea
Ahilya by the Sea, Nerul (North Goa)
Situated at the convergence of the Arabian Sea and the Mandovi and Nerul rivers, this beautifully restored heritage mansion in Goa is what understated luxury is all about. It sits in a secluded corner at the water’s edge surrounded by a colorful garden and perfectly manicured lawns with cobbled stone paths languidly meandering through them.
You are spoilt for choices at the Ahilya, with its two pools, sundecks looking out onto the river for gorgeous sunsets, and the Spa where you can watch fishermen come and go.
Apart from great views, warm interiors, and luxurious amenities, this one of a kind boutique stay in Goa also spoils you with mouthwatering food. Indulge in traditional Goan delicacies or the French and Italian fare made with the finest of ingredients sourced locally. A luxurious romantic getaway for celebrating those special moments is what a holiday here is all about.
Photo – La Maison Fontainhas
La Maison Fontainhas, Panjim
Bang in the middle of the capital Panjim, yet neatly positioned in one of its most vibrant neighborhoods of Fontainhas, is this unique boutique stay in Goa. It offers painstakingly restored eight heritage rooms that seamlessly blend with the latest amenities.
The personal concierge makes your break here hassle-free by providing you in-depth knowledge of the locality and helping you book excursions that bring you closer to the heart of the people.
It is a no-frills sojourn with the location being its main attraction. La Maison serves well for travelers looking for a budget stay that gives access to the commercial heart of Goa. The area of Fontainhas is the Latin Quarter of Panjim is a delightful place for an evening stroll that takes you back in time, keeping the colonial legacy alive in its architecture and ambiance.
The next time you are planning a holiday to Goa, head to these small boutique stays that are lovingly restored and run by their owners and dedicated staff. It brings you closer to the real Goa where coconut groves, secluded coves, and traditional homes still rule the roost away from the crowded touristic hotspots.
Title Image – Unsplash