If like us, you are fed up of the crowd and looking for quiet, offbeat places, then we have found the best ones for you. From a heritage fort to a heritage home and from lovely eco huts to a farm stay, Goa has lots of stays where you can have an absolutely blissful vacation minus the touristy madness. Go on, take your pick from these 7 places.
7 Quaint Spots To Stay At On Your Next Goan Holiday
Olaulim Backyards is where you head in search of a simple life. Lovely cottages made with natural elements like mud, hay, etc that overlook the backwaters of Olaulim make for a picture-perfect setting. Delicious homemade food, and the lovely couple Savio & Pirkko along with their kids ensure you feel right at home. Take a kayak out, go fishing, cuddle their dogs or chill with their friendly donkey, Mantra. And there is plenty to do around this place too, just ask the hosts for tips.
Off The Grid Farm
Off The Grid Farm is for those looking for some adventure on their holiday. The farm stay is hidden in the jungles at the base of the famous Dudhsagar falls, ensuring that the waterfall and the stream around the property are full even in the peak summer months (so a dip in the tiny lagoon is definitely recommended). The hosts John and Sylvia grow most of their vegetables at the farm, and have a wood fired pizza oven, wooden log cabins with tiny terraces overlooking the stream and jungle, and can even arrange hikes for you in the forest. And the best part? There's no phone connectivity, no internet and no television at the place, and it runs solely on solar power.
The Figueiredo Mansion
The Figueiredo Mansion in Loutolim will make you feel like the mistress of the manor. Older than even the Taj Mahal, this house is a historical gem. The family has now opened it to guests and even offer a day tour with prior appointments. Check their ballroom or the grand furniture, and eat like royalty while you stay there. The house has tiles imported from Italy, Belgian crystals, fine porcelain from China and so much more, so there’s no way you wont feel like royalty here. In keeping with all the luxury and opulence, the suites of the heritage homestay are tastefully done-up with antique furniture. Don't worry, there's also AC and wi-fi in case the highness wants to be connected to the world etc. The room tariffs start at INR 4,500.
Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel
Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel is set inside an old fort, where one can imagine themselves as the soldiers guarding Goa from the invaders. With a panoramic view of the river meeting the Arabian sea, and rooms done up with every kind of luxury possible, this hotel is heritage and luxury in an unbeatable combination. Walk on the ramparts of the fort walls, and then tuck into some delicious food served to you on their terrace (from where you could catch dolphins frolicking or a glorious sunset). We absolutely dig their tavern where the views are stunning and the wine tastes infinitely better. The rooms/suites are named after each day of the week and get booked out months in advance. The tariffs start at INR 6,000 a night.
Shunya Noi Varo
If mid-way through the list, you're thinking 'well, so quaint pretty much means being exposed to the elements', let Shunya Noi remind you otherwise. This hidden gem of a stay in Siolim creatively combines sparse minimalism with art in a restored heritage villa. The hosts' aesthetic and a detailed guide enlisting everything you can do in the area makes this as much of a boutique homestay as a luxury resort. When here, you can sign up for a cooking class, take a dip in the pool or enjoy gourmet meals on the river deck. If you do feel like being out and about, you can always go cycling, sailing, canoeing or diving. The per night tariffs for these luxury rooms start at INR 5,000.
Mangaal Farm Stay
About 40kms from Margao and huddled close to Netrawali Wildlife Sanctuary, Mangaal is the ideal place for folks looking for some technology-free downtime. Rustic and charming rooms, lovingly-cooked Goan meals (both veg and non-veg), trips to the waterfall or fishing trips nearby, a dip in the pool, never-ending walks into the forest... Sounds like your jam? Well, this farm stay will make you happy. The nice hosts also take care to not disturb the ecology around. The meals are cooked with veggies grown on their organic farm and the pool has the cleanest water that comes straight from the springs. So, we're looking at nature lovers, bird watchers, city-tired souls, modern-day hippies and peeps who love holidays that don't involve hectic itineraries. Give Mangaal a chance to show you how beautiful it is to do, well, nothing. The tariffs here start at INR 3,000.
Saraya Eco Stay
Away from North Goa's tourist belt, Saraya has become a popular hangout for pizza lovers who often spend their evenings devouring the cafe's yummy vegetarian grub. That said, their earth houses and tree houses are blissfully hidden in plain sight. A lovely option for those who don't care much for material comforts but will happily lap up the chance of staying in naturally cooled huts, Saraya has a lot of good vibes and architectural inspiration to offer. Built without getting rid of any trees and using natural methods, we love how these clay-floored huts allow you to feel one with nature. There's hot water, art workshops, a meditation pond and of course, Saraya cafe's salads and homemade gelato. A night here will set you back by about INR 1,500.