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Marbella: North Goa's Hippest Little Guest House


    In Sinquerim, North Goa, the sea as the backdrop, with Fort Aguada on one side and Candolim on the other, there is a sleepy little dead-end lane; this is where Marbella Guesthouse is located.

    Entering a Different Dimension

    With its tropical gardens and shady courtyard, bordering jungle, discreet location, and wide stairs to the front entrance, we imagined all manner of characters turning up for cocktails, happy to be free amongst inebriated friends in what used to be a sleepy backwater state, an agricultural Goa where farmers and fishermen left a few hippies on the beach to do their thing. Nowadays, of course, Goa has changed beyond recognition, but with its off-the-beaten-track location, Marbella still retains much of its magic; there’s no noisy traffic, no walk-in guests and, in fact, no reason to go there unless you’re staying the night.

    The Rooms

    The Penthouse Suite, as you’d expect, is the biggest and best. Also on the first floor is the Garden Room, which overlooks the courtyard below. The Bougainvillea Rooms open out into the said courtyard, but also have their own shared balcony. Then there’s the Moghul Suite and Rajasthani Suite; both are big, but the latter is the best of the two as it has more privacy. Really, all these rooms are great; it’s difficult to pick one {go for the Penthouse Suite, if your budget allows}.

    The Food

    The local staff here do a great line of Indian and Goan food; it’s all delicious and you can’t really go wrong. Eat in your room, on your balcony or in the communal courtyard. Breakfast is not included, but if you do opt for it, take your pick from French toast, cereal, and fruit; all the western staples are there and all fresh, with ample portions. Out and about there are plenty of places to eat.

    The Location

    Sinquerim beach is at the southern end of Candolim beach; the two are both one stretch of sand really. There’s water sports here, as well as lots of beach shacks, but it’s better to head out and about, to investigate and explore Goa. 15 minutes in a taxi {ask the hotel to call one} will take you up to Anjuna, Vagator and beyond. Be sure to stop off in Assagao to eat at Gunpowder, day or night, and do venture even further up to Siolim, Morjim and Ashwem. Where: Sinquerim, Bardez, North Goa, Goa Contact: 0832 2479551, +91 9822100811, or write to Price: Starting at INR 2,000 per night. Find out more here and book with Tripzuki here.