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Luxury Villa in Goa

Trip details:

Family trip. Want a luxury villa (unto about Rs 25k per night) on the beach near Candolim or close by. Direct beach access is important

Best Places to eat around Calangute/Candolim:

Here are my top recommendations for places to eat, all located in the Calangute-Candolim stretch:


1. La Plage - Cuisine: French. you already know about this one, but just adding it to the list for completeness.


2. Copper Bowl - Cuisine: Goan. Inside the Pousada Tauma (Calangute). Reservations essential - call 0832-227-9061. Sensational seafood in a wonderful setting. Expensive.


3. After Seven - Cuisine: European. Located near the Sarkar Ice Factory off the Calangute-Candolim road. One of Goa's best dinner venues; run by superchef Soumyen Chakraborty. Reservations essential - call 0832-227-9757 or 9226188288.


4. Ku - Cuisine: Pan-Asian. Open for lunch only. Located in Gaude Vaddo (Ashwem). Hard to find - so call them for directions (9326123570). Specialists in sushi and Vietnamese dishes.


5. Florentines - Cuisine: Goan. Chogm Road, Saligao. Cheap, plastic chairs kind of place with "legend" status among locals. Vegetarians may have limited options.


6. Fiesta - Cuisine: Italian. Located in Tito's Lane, Baga. One of Goa's more romantic restaurants, set in a lovely beachfront garden, with a magical ambience. Don't skip dessert.


7. Bomra's - Cuisine: Burmese. Located opposite Kamal Retreat, Fort Aguada Rd. Basic sort of place with top-notch food. Plenty of options for the vegetarians.


8. Bean Me Up - Cuisine: Organic vegetarian. Located near Vagator Petrol Pump. Excellent wholesome vegetarian food (with faux meat stuff). And a great kid's corner to keep them entertained while the grown ups can have a leisrurely meal.

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Casa de Braganza, Chandor:

A solid 54km from Candolim, but one of the best preserved Portuguese mansions, and the largest residence in Goa is Casa de Braganza in Chandor.


Casa de Braganza


It features 28 balconies fronted by a lush, narrow garden. The large, high-ceilinged rooms (including a 250-year-old library) are filled with original antiques, rosewood four-poster beds, mosaic floors, and Belgian glass chandeliers. You can arrange to have a private tour conducted by Mrs. Braganza (0832-278-4201; Rs 100 per visitor); concentrate on the west wing, which is in the best condition.


PS: 54km sounds like a lot but there are no traffic jams in Goa so it's basically about 90 minutes of mostly pleasurable driving.

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Shopping in eclectic boutiques of North Goa:

North Goa has a great "boutique" scene and its definitely worth browsing in some of these places (even if you're just window shopping):


Casa Goa is a stylish boutique featuring comfortable fashion items by celebrated Goan designers Wendell Rodricks, Rajesh Pratap Singh, and Brigitte Singh as well as local artwork, silk drapes, restored furniture, a variety of antiques, and prints of Mario Miranda's cartoons (Cobra Vaddo, Calangute-Baga Rd.; 0832-228-1048).

Leela Art Palace (0832-228-2874, also in Cobra Vaddo) where proprietor Ravi regularly treks to remotest regions od the country to source tribal art.


Sangolda, located in a 200-year-old Portuguese mansion. You can shop for unusual home accessories and furniture sourced from all over India. (E2-6 Chogm Rd., Sangolda; 0832-240-9310).


If you're a design junkie, you should also make an effort to visit Monsoon Heritage, a studio created by internationally renowned designers who pair huge discarded tropical trees with mirrors and glass to create exclusive design pieces for the (very) rich and famous. (601 Fernand Wado, Porvorim; 0832-651-5298; www.monsoonheritage.com)

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Dolphin watching:

Since you're with kids I highly recommend going on a dolphin viewing boat ride. You'll find plenty of water-sports organizers on the beach who will take you. Bargain hard and choose one who has kid-sized life jackets as well. Go as early as possible in the morning.


These guys - http://www.johnboattours.com/DolphinCruises.html - come recommended though I haven't tried them myself.

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Accommodation By Aashish Gupta
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Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Hey Darius,

One quick question for you: Do you have specific or approximate dates in mind? Rates and availability will depend greatly on this.

Aashish

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

Ah! Our dates are fixed. I thought i had filled that in on the form itslef. We will be arriving on the 10th of Jan and will leave on the 14th of Jan.

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Yeah, sorry something's the matter with that form.

Those are peak season dates, so prices tend to be about 50% higher than off-season (April-May) rates. How flexible is your budget? In any case, will find suitable options and update you by tomorrow.

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

Doesnt peak season ended a couple of days after New Years.. Was hoping that the 10th of Jan would bring me into the shoulder season.

Well anyway, I thought a 25k budget per night should cover.. but if we find something really great then we can go upto 35k per night..

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

That's the super-peak season (Dec 20 - Jan 4). For the villa-rental industry which caters to a different kind of traveller, it's peak season until April.

Anyway, check this one out - http://www.aseascape.com/captains_house.html - comes highly recommended, has direct beach access and fits the budget. It's about a 30-minute drive from Calangute, so the rest of your group won't be too unhappy either. Only thing is their website says a) it will accommodate 6 adults, so you'll need to check with them about allowing a 7th adult and b) they have a one week minimum but may be flexible about it.

Let me know if you like it and if things work out with them. Otherwise will keep looking for more options.

Darius Sunawala wrote:   Nope :( This won't work for us. It would be too cramped. We need at least 4 bedrooms... maybe 5. We can stretch the budget though...

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Hmm, here are few more options:

1265 Crescent Villa (http://1265crescentvillagoa.com) - Rs 40k (plus tax) per night, 6 bedrooms. Does not have *direct* beach access but is walking distance from it.

Here's another option - http://www.luxurygoavillas.com/rent-villas-in-goa-candolim-villa-ref-can48.html - 4 bedrooms, private beach access, Rs. 39.5k (plus tax).

And this one - http://www.luxurygoavillas.com/rent-villas-in-goa-calangute-villa-ref-cal32.html - 5 rooms, No direct access but walking distance to beach, around Rs 29k + taxes.

Hope one of these works out. Let me know if they don't.

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

I've already checked with them... they dont have availability :(

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Oh no. Another option is to book a house plus one tent at http://www.aseascape.com/ (the one I had recommended earlier), or 2 houses. Again, availability may be an issue since they generally only accept weekly bookings. But may be worth checking. You'll need to email them at gaze@aseascape.com with the following information:

Name: 
Address: 
Telephone: 
Email Address: 
Date of Check In: 
Date of Check Out: 
Specify which House 
(Captain's House, Priest's House, Piggery or Bakery)
or the number of Tents required
 (max 3 tents)
Number of adults, number of children and ages of children if any: 

I also checked with Curlies "Hobbit" http://www.curliesgoa.com/ - it's a 3 bedroom villa but they have many smaller facilities from which you could have booked an additional room - but they're full as well. :(

I'll keep looking for more options and keep you posted. Will try and check availability wherever possible myself.

In case nothing materializes, what alternatives are you willing to explore? A regular hotel? A non-luxury villa? Villa away from the beach?

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Meanwhile, I've also emailed these folks - http://goavillasforrent.com - to check for availability as they have a few properties that should suit you.

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Btw, Booking.com shows 1265 Crescent Villa as available for your dates - see http://www.booking.com/hotel/in/crescent-villa.en-gb.html?aid=353527;label=hotel-449219;sid=f2e6f37e8f08d2df98f7d1cac027c16c;dcid=1#availability

 

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

But the price is coming up to 49k per day though :(

Anyway, let me know if any of the others worked out. I'm waiting to hear from goavillasforrent.com

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

We've also mailed (repeatedly) goavillasforrent but havent yet got a reply from them!

Checked again with Crescent Villa and it's unavailable.

LOVED aSEaScape!!! Superb find... have mailed them.. lets see...

Also mailed LazyDays to see if we can book Casa Marsol... will keep you posted..

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Yup, I haven't heard from any of them either. At this point, we should start exploring other options - hotels, villas away from the Baga-Candolim area, homestays, etc. Let me know what you prefer.

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

Latest update : aSeaScape is available and I really loved it, but a couple of the elder folk want some amount of comfort (like AC is apparently a non-negotiable item for them!) so it's out of the running.

But Casa Marsol (http://www.lazydays.in/villa-in-goa/candolim/casa-marsol.html) is available and we're going ahead with a booking!

Thanks for the help with the booking!

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

Any tips about where to eat / new things to do?

Also, is there a service to have a self-drive car pick us up at the airport, which we can then drive around for the duration of our stay and then return at the airport itself?

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Oh well - I was really hoping you'd go for aseascape. If it helps convincing the elders, tell them January is quite cool in Goa, and this place has been host to Brad and Angelina (who must obviously have the highest standards for comfort :P)

Anyway, about cars, http://www.goacabs.com is very reliable, has reasonable rates, and offers self driven cars. Not sure if they do airport pickups and drops for the self-driven option though. Do check with them.

I'll update you with recommendations for places to eat and things to do. Is there a particular cuisine your group would love? Any diet restrictions (like any vegetarians)?

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

Brangelina was there!!! <squeals and claps hands>

heheheheh.... okay we do have 2 veggies with us but they're not picky, as long as they've got some options.

Also, most of the gang want to just chill and hang by the beach so we are planning very few 'out-bounds'. Currently on our list of things to do is :

  • flea market at Anjuna
  • fish thali at Sai Bar
  • romantic dinner at La Plage, Ashven
  • Curly's / Tito's / Infanteria

Anything to add to this...? Keep in mind that my Dad loves antiques / old world stuff / coins / etc..

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Cool, I'll add some places to eat and some activities you can try out under the Itinerary tab by tomorrow.

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Sorry there was a minor emergency at home so I didn't get around to this today. Will post my updates over the weekend.

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

absolutely no hurry!! You can take your time about this....

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

I've updated some activities and places to eat in the "Itinerary" tab. Do have a look and let me know if you need anything else.


How was your trip? By Aashish Gupta
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Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Hi Darius,

Hope you had an amazing time on that trip. Let me know how it went and if there were any of my recommendations that you particularly liked/disiked.

And please do leave a review in the "Review" tab of this trip.

Cheers,

Aashish

Darius Sunawala wrote:  

Hi Aashish,

Unfortunately, the kids and grand-parents wanted to just sit and laze by th beach so we hardly did any of the things on the itinerary.

But thank you so much for the tips and advice -- they were quite detailed

Also, i think you need a dedicated "usability expert" for the site. It takes longer than necessary to figure out where things are...

 

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Thanks Darius.

The usability is sort of a work-in-progress (actually everything on the site is right now). Is there anything in particular you found hard to figure out?


Car rental:

http://www.goacabs.com is very reliable, has reasonable rates, and offers self driven cars. Not sure if they do airport pickups and drops for the self-driven option though. Do check with them.

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Stay options:

Check this one out - http://www.aseascape.com/captains_house.html - comes highly recommended, has direct beach access and fits the budget. It's about a 30-minute drive from Calangute, so the rest of your group won't be too unhappy either. Only thing is their website says a) it will accommodate 6 adults, so you'll need to check with them about allowing a 7th adult and b) they have a one week minimum but may be flexible about it.


Aseascape Captain's House


---------------------------


Here are few more options:


1265 Crescent Villa - Rs 40k (plus tax) per night, 6 bedrooms. Does not have *direct* beach access but is walking distance from it.


Here's another option - http://www.luxurygoavillas.com/rent-villas-in-goa-candolim-villa-ref-can48.html - 4 bedrooms, private beach access, Rs. 39.5k (plus tax).


And this one - http://www.luxurygoavillas.com/rent-villas-in-goa-calangute-villa-ref-cal32.html - 5 rooms, No direct access but walking distance to beach, around Rs 29k + taxes.


I also checked with Curlies "Hobbit" http://www.curliesgoa.com/ - it's a 3 bedroom villa but they have many smaller facilities from which you could have booked an additional room - but they're full as well. :(


I'll keep looking for more options and keep you posted. Will try and check availability wherever possible myself.

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Insightful travel tips

My Travel Ninja helped me discover some great acco options but what really impressed me was the detailed and insightful tips on things to do / eat / shop in Goa!

Totally worth it!