Goa

Jan 302016
 
 Goa is well known as a holiday destination and is particularly known for its wonderful beaches. What is not so well known is that Goa is much more than a backpackers destination with a beach shack culture.  It is now becoming increasingly appreciated for its boutique hotels set away from the tourist hot spots, either on the beach or inland amongst the paddy fields and spice plantations. It is these hotels, together with the unique cuisine, the history and culture that we are excited to offer you.

  • Beach Shack under construction for the season on Cova beach

    Beach Shack under construction for the season on Cova beach

  • The gilded high alter depicting St Catherine - Se Cathedral

    The gilded high alter depicting St Catherine – Se Cathedral

  • One of the wonderful pools at Alila Diva Hotel

    One of the wonderful pools at Alila Diva Hotel

  • Fishermen bringing in the daily catch

    Fishermen bringing in the daily catch

  • Room at Tiracol Fort Hotel

    Room at Tiracol Fort Hotel

  • Hotel pool at Ahilia by the Sea

    Hotel pool at Ahilia by the Sea

  • Alila Diwa, pool and paddy fields

    Alila Diwa, pool and paddy fields

  • View from Tiracol Fort Hotel

    View from Tiracol Fort Hotel

  • Dredging a river bed for sand near Tiracol Fort

    Dredging a river bed for sand near Tiracol Fort

  • Pool at Coco Shambala hotel

    Pool at Coco Shambala hotel

  • Panjim Inn Hotel

    Panjim Inn Hotel

  • Cassa Susegad, Hotel

    Cassa Susegad, Hotel

  • Muril in a Panjim market

    Muril in a Panjim market

  • Fresh fish for sale!

    Fresh fish for sale!

  • Church of Francis of Assisi, Old Goa

    Church of Francis of Assisi, Old Goa

  • Basilica de Bom Jesus, Old Goa

    Basilica de Bom Jesus, Old Goa

This small, former Portuguese colony  has a rich cultural heritage that sets it apart from the rest of India, in fact it only became part of the Indian Union in 1961 well after India gained its independence from the British in 1947. 

Highlights

P1070839Beaches
Goa has some of the best beaches anywhere in the world making the whole Goan coast a popular tourist destination. There’s a beach to suit everyone from the lively, happening Anjuna Beach in North Goa to the isolated, peaceful Agonda Beach in South Goa. 

P1070994Panjim
Panaji or Panjim became the capital of Goa in 1759 after a series of epidemics hit the original capital of Old Goa.
Panjim has a number of leafy avenues with the original colonial buildings, many with balconies and painted yellow, ochre, green or indigo with a white trim – in keeping with the old Portuguese building code. 

P1070963Old Goa
This is the original capital of the Portuguese colony with a magnificent complex of cathedrals, churches and monasteries in a small area. The central area contains two of Goa’s most important religious monuments: the Basilica de Bom Jesus and the grand Se Cathedral, thought to be the largest church in Asia.

P1080159Cuisine
Goan cuisine is distinctive and delicious. Fresh fish and seafood is widely available and transformed into hot fiery curries with spices grown locally in the inland plantations. Vindaloo originates from Goa and do try  chouris pao (local spiced pork sausages served in Goan bread).  Wash this down with feni, a local spirit made from either cashew or coconut and end with a delicious Bebinca layer cake served with vanilla ice cream. Divine…

Hotels


P1070926Ahilya by the Sea
This gem of a hotel has a unique and glorious setting at the east end of Coco Beach, on Dolphin (Aguada) Bay, with waves from the Arabian Sea/Indian ocean tumbling into the sea wall that separates the hotel from the beach (not a swimming beach). It is tucked away, just a 10 minute stroll from the calm and quiet village of Nerul, at the confluence of the Indian ocean/Arabian Sea and the Mandovi and Nerul rivers.

P1080316Fort Tiracol
Our final discovery in Goa, and what a find. This magnificent Fort has very recently been converted into a luxury Heritage Hotel with stylish rooms that have been finished to a very high quality. But the best part is the location, set majestically on a cliff top with panoramic views over the Goan coastline, you won’t find a better position in all of Goa.

 

P1080198Coco Shambhala
Rarely have we been so impressed by a property. The unassuming entrance leads to a lush tropical paradise with a glorious pool for swimming or lounging by, and just four fabulous luxury villas tucked into the foliage. Coco Shambhala isn’t just a boutique hotel, it is a complete experience.

P1070767Alila Diwa
Set back amongst the paddy fields but still within easy reach of the magnificent Colva beach, Alila Diwa is a fantastic hotel with huge amounts of style, character and luxurious features.  The swimming pool is simply enormous and probably the best pool we have seen anywhere in the world. The views across the paddy fields are serene, best enjoyed from the partially submerged loungers to keep cool.

P1070999Panjim Inn
If you fancy spending some time staying in Panjim, the capital of Goa, our recommendation would be this Heritage hotel, located in the heart of the Fontainhas Latin Quarter, a UNESCO Heritage Zone.  You’ll be transported back in time as you wander past colorful old Portuguese homes, belonging to the last surviving Portuguese families of Goa. Narrow winding streets and lanes, quaint shops, art galleries, bakeries, and restaurants give it undeniable character.

P1080114Casa Susegad
Restored villas are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to staying in large hotels in Goa. We visited a number of them during our trip to Goa and Casa Susegad is our favourite. This restored 19th century colonial mansion is conveniently located 30 minutes from Goa airport, in the pretty inland south Goa village of Loutolim. British-owned (Carol & Norman), and rather like a homestay, it has five guest rooms decorated with antique furniture and art.