11th September 2012
I have stayed in and reviewed so many different types of accommodation over the years it always surprises me how different one property is from another. I think the hardest type of hotel to choose where to stay is definitely a beach resort. Why is this? Well you’ll be staying at least three or more nights, so it has to be good and it’s the end of your holiday - you want to leave with lasting good memories – and have a chance to chill out!
If you make the wrong choice of accommodation, you could be staying in a large group hotel, have a room with a view of a building site, eating re-heated buffet food or even worse lying awake at night as you can’t sleep due to the loud music blasting out from the wedding reception in the garden!
After a busy couple of days exploring north and south Goa to source luxury resorts, boutique style hotels and villas for my potential clients (and my wife as well), I have drawn up a list of my top five favourite properties. Not an easy job I would say, as there are so many (perhaps too many) to pick from. But here they are with some pictures as well to get you day dreaming for your next trip……
1) Alila Diwa Goa;
A real gem of a hotel situated amidst lush rice paddy fields and a short walk to the beach. It’s a luxury hotel in south Goa adjacent to sandy Majorda beach and only a 20 minute drive from Goa International Airport. The rooms are built in contemporary Goan style and include all the modern comforts one could wish for as you can see in the pictures.
2) Vivenda dos Palhacos
A villa in Goa you ask? For something exclusive you can stay at this beautifully restored Portuguese hacienda called ‘Vivenda dos Palhacos’. The villa is located in the quiet Majorda village, south Goa, and only a kilometre from the Majorda beach. All the rooms are designed differently, they have air conditioning and some of the rooms have a four-poster bed and a cast iron bath! This is certainly the place for some downtime and relaxation.
3) Pousada Tauma
I was lucky enough to stumble upon this delightful small boutique hotel in north Goa, near Calangute beach and town. There are only 12 rooms, spread around the swimming pool, concealed by trees and plants, giving it a real jungle vibe! The ‘Sea’ rooms, with their shell windows, coral and aquamarine colours and curvy architecture, evoke lazy days on the seashore. Calangute town is only a short walk away, with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
4) Casa Palacio Siloim House
A wonderful 350 year old timbered heritage home set away from the main road in the village of Siolim, in Northern Goa. Casa Palacio Siloim House provides a good insight into Goan village life. It is a beautifully restored Portuguese home, now a boutique style hotel with only seven rooms and a swimming pool. A tranquil civilised haven with lots of open space, you can also be at the beaches of Mandrem and Aswem within a 15 minute drive. The romantic suites feature four-poster beds, antique furniture and wooden or tiled floors. The rooms are exquisite in every way!
5) The Leela
This has got to be on my list – a luxurious five star hotel in south Goa close to Majorda beach, the Leela is truly modern in style, and a great place to relax and unwind. The resort is spread over 75 acres, so it feels really spacious and there is always a quiet corner to lie on your sun lounger and read a good book. This is the place to stay for a spa and pampering experience.