Whether you are visiting Goa as part of the grand Indian tour or simply as a chill-out, one stop destination, why not forsake the five-star resorts with all the trimmings, in favour of one of the enchanting, heritage boutique hotels? You can still languish in luxury whilst experiencing more of the ‘real’ Goa. We’ve scanned the web and chosen the following BBC recommended havens.
In northern Goa, Siolim House (www.siolimhouse.com), one of a number of inland, centuries-old palaçios (manor houses) along the banks of the Chapora River, has been lovingly restored and beautifully furnished with Goan antiques. Sleep in a four poster bed, lunch or dine in the inner courtyard, enjoy an Ayurvedic massage or swim in the garden-side pool.
In contrast, Fort Tiracol (www.forttiracol.com) on the northernmost tip of the state offers contemporary furnishings and breathtaking seaside vistas of the Indian Ocean. This former 17th-century Portuguese fort has seven rooms, each named after a day of the week, and serves meals and drinks on the fort ramparts.
In the centre of this small state, within easy striking distance of Old Goa, filled with the remnants of a city that once rivalled Rome, stay at one-time customs warehouse Casa Britona (www.casaboutiquehotels.com/casabritona/), on the banks of the Mandovi River. The antique-furnished seven rooms come with riverside verandas.
In the less touristy south, home to dreamy white sandy beaches and a slower pace of life, the restored Portuguese-Hindu mansion, Vivenda dos Palhacos (www.vivendagoa.com) offers six beautiful bedrooms and separate cottage, ranged around an inviting small pool and excellent, locally sourced candlelit dinners.