What kind of Goa stay should you choose + Goa offers different versions to rest your mind & soul
Different Goa stays for every Goan mood
I always head to Goa whenever I felt weary , when I felt like I need to shut off the laptop, stop staring in to the screen and instead stare at the horizon and the ocean. In my 20s Goa was different in my eyes from the Goa of my 30s. There are so many different versions, it’s about how you want to feel & the state of mind you are in. None of the places I recommend will satiate the need to be a partying beach bum though, then again it might, you decide. I wanted to find out how was it to live like a Goan, to soak in nature & luxury with my husband V & form our own little oasis, to be in the middle of North Goa & still find a quiet private place to call my own, to see where artists hobnobbed and meet wanderers from all over the world.
I went to Goa again in the Monsoons of 2018 (August) & did a bit of everything. Soak in Goa of the monsoons, get wet in the rain by the beach, found private nooks to write and think, stayed away from the maddening crowds, walked on beaches with no one in sight, lived with a Goan family in their 500 year old house in the quietest village , found out that recycled materials can make a beautiful place to stay and lived in a backpacker's hostel.
If you are always left wondering, where to stay in Goa , North or South then read on.
A luxurious resort designed perfect for couples for a quiet restful spot
The Leela, Cavelossim, Goa: The Leela Goa is a quite luxurious private resort in Cavelossim, South Goa. The resort is secluded & rather a perfect oasia for a couple. The views from rooms are picture perfect. A private beach, a choice of restaurants with delicious food & the nature filled vibe along with the greatest service makes for a restful stay. Yes, its luxurious, yes its a 5 star but not a cookie cutter version of resorts, it has been designed carefully to give a very relaxing & rejuvenating vibe. It’s a gift that you give to yourself from time to time & isn’t that worth it? It’s perfect if you have 2-3 days that you want to use for an actual vacation & not to travel around Goa. You can read more about my experience staying at the Leela, Goa here.
A friendly , ‘good ‘vibes Travellers Hostel , great for solo travellers
2. The Old Quarter Hostel, Panjim, North Goa: This is amazing for a solo traveler. I stayed here when I was on my own in Goa. I had never stayed at a backpacker’s hostel prior to this & I wanted to know how it feels to stay in a place with wanderers from all over the world. The Old Quarter is a perfect place to rub shoulders with travelers from every possible country, the conversations are never lacking & you can meet fellow traveling companions. There are dormitories as well as twin sharing & solo rooms. The Hostel is divided into two buildings , both old Portuguese houses and the vibe is downright funky. The individual room where I stayed in was small but clean with a nice sit out right outside my room. The coffee shop ‘Bombay Roasters’ attached to the Hostel is nice place to get your cup of coffee & rest when you tired of walking around Panjim on your day out
Old Portuguese Homestay & living like a Goan
3. Cancio’s House, Aldona, North Goa: Time stops at Aldona (link to full Goa wander Guide), a quiet village in north Goa away from the coast. If you ever wondered what it is to live like a local in Goa then all you need is to tay with the Amarals at their 500 year old house, tucked away in the sleepy village of Aldona in a quiet street , filled with history and antiques. The hospitality of the Amarals is unlike anything you would have ever experienced and you will leave feeling part of their family. You will have your privacy in a cottage of your own but share all meals with the family. You will have amazing conversations & actually know why Goans detest the tourist circuit of the crowded places along the coast. Discover, a new avatar of Goa , perfect if you are a slow & curious traveler. Read a detailed account of my experience staying at the Amaral’s home. It’s a great place if you are wondering where to stay in Goa with family.
An eco friendly stay with accommodation build with recycled materials, mud & bamboo
4. Saraya Eco stay, Sangolda, Goa: There are many versions of Goa (link to main Goa wander guide) & you will keep finding new ones if you care to look. If you believe in sustainable travel then this Goa stay checks the boxes. In the middle of Sangolda, Saraya’s peace loving vibe, is a artist’s retreat where at any given point in time there are at least a few people exploring artistic projects , the residential art gallery showcases painters, sculptors, musicians, writers etc.
The accommodation options are mud huts , bamboo tree houses and a dormitory. We stayed in the Mud huts, made of mud, white, with a tree right in the middle of the room, our mud hut was build around it with a roof made of recycled materials. Each piece of furniture is refurbished out of natural discards like the chairs is & the desk made with tree barks with a beautiful antique bed. Again it’s a different experience staying here. The stay allows volunteers to work in the café that Saraya runs in its premises and also You can also volunteer in the organise garden or help in building , sprucing up the accommodation. Volunteers get free stay, to confirm contact Saraya.