When In Goa, Stay At This Enchanting Portuguese Mansion That's Over 400 Years Old
What Is It?
An Indo-Portuguese mansion almost as old as time, in the lilting town of Loutolim in Goa, invites you to come, stay and spend a while at their newly converted heritage inn. This beautiful mansion belonging to the Figuerido family in Goa, is a museum and now an inn as well. The house was maintained for 50 years by the first woman judge of India, Maria de Lourdes Figueiredo de Albuquerque and only two years ago, did her sister Maria de Fátima Figueiredo de Albuquerque take it up as a project to convert a few rooms into a heritage home.
How Do I Get There?
The Figueiredo Heritage Inn is located in South Goa, and if you are travelling by flight, should not take you more than 25-30 minutes to reach. If you come by bus or by train, get off at Margao. From there, the inn is about 25-30 minutes by road.
Why We Love It
It’s absolutely vintage and has five rooms for us to stay in. It is a typical Indo-Portuguese structure with a big verandah surrounding it and courtyards in the middle of the house.
The house is still as it was back in the day, full of family artefacts and interiors curated from different parts of the world. The furniture has been made using teak wood by Goan artisans and carvers, the porcelain in the dining hall is intricately designed and the tiles used are from Italy. The rooms have, thus, been restored, pillows fluffed, windows let open and now open to the public for stay. The rooms are each named after the ladies of the house, and Maria’s favourite one is Amalia, after her grandmother.
That doesn’t mean it is completely living in the early 17th century, however. Maria de Fatima tells us that she gets miffed when international hotels act stingy about WiFi, and that although it was difficult, there is WiFi access in most rooms as a complimentary service. So be rest assured not to be fully cut off from the world, unless you wish so.
More Details, Please
Lunch and dinner can be served if asked – delicious dishes from Indian, Continental, or Goan-Portuguese cuisines. The Goan curry, Portuguese dishes and sweet treats are delicious, Maria tells us as her voice lights up speaking of the food.
If you are a large group starting from 10-12 people, and notify in advance, dinner can be served in the dining room which is part of the museum. There is authentic Goan music by Sonia Shirsat in the background, and it will be one of the most grand meals you’ve experienced.
Maria de Fatima tells us that there’s new restaurants have been popping up left, right and centre to the mansion so you could always do a lot around it. ‘Do visit Ignia, a Goan food restaurant named Nostalgia and Aura, which has a pool, a garden and very nice Pan-asian and Goan food,’ she tell us.
The rates start at INR 4,500 a night and go up to INR 9,000 for a family suite.