Most of the 5 star hotels and resorts in Goa are located in south Goa, which is great if you want to get away from it all. However, if you plan on doing some sightseeing, do chose your location wisely otherwise you might feel too isolated. Also keep in mind that generous discounts are offered during the monsoon season (May to September). These resorts offer outstanding service and amenities for a luxurious stay.
1. Taj Exotica
The Mediterranean themed Taj Exotica has an appealing laid back south Goa location, on unspoiled Varca beach. Guests rave about the exemplary personalized service. The hotel also has an excellent range of facilities including golf course, spa, swimming pool, and evening entertainment. If you really want to indulge, book into the Sunset Villa with its own private plunge pool. Otherwise, the standard Garden villas at the far end of the property offer a great deal more privacy than the more expensive Pool villas. Room rates start from around $220 per night for a double, including tax, depending on the time of year. Expect to pay around $330 per night for a room in December.
2. The Leela
The Leela has a similar secluded south Goa location, on Mobor beach, to the Taj Exotica. It's a bigger and more modern property though, complete with 12 hole golf course, 24 hour casino, water sports, and spa and swimming pool. The private beach is particularly picturesque, and there are lagoons all around the property which add to the ambiance. Most rooms have a great view too, especially the ones on the ground level. Except to pay upwards of $200 per night, including tax, for a double room. In December, rates rise to $330 per night and above.
The Taj Vivanta Holiday Village has a number of distinugishing features. First of all, it's located in north Goa (near Candolim beach), which is convenient for those who like to be amongst the action. The hotel is a 20 minute drive from Baga beach, and 30 minutes from Anjuna. Secondly, the hotel's accommodations are all cottages and villas, and they've been renewed since Taj took over the property. The hotel also has quite a focus on family holidays so it's a great place to take the kids. For the adults, the swimming pool has a swim up bar. The beach isn't the best though, compared to the other luxury hotels. Expect to pay $175 onwards per night, including taxes, and around $250 in December.
The Park Hyatt is located on Arossim beach in south Goa, around 20 minutes from the airport. It has one of the top luxury spas in India, making it a great place to pamper yourself and unwind. It's also an appealing hotel for families, with the Camp Hyatt program being a favorite for children. The hotel has a huge swimming pool amidst beautifully landscaped grounds, and an attractive long clean beach. Other activities offered by the hotel are water sports and yoga. It's often possible to pick up a room for less than $200 per night, inlcuding tax, but prices do increase to $250 onwards in December.
The Intercontinental is perfect for a relaxing vacation as it's situated in far south Goa, near Patnem beach. Those who want to be close to where it all happens in north Goa will find the location too remote, but if it's peace and quiet that's being sought, this hotel is the one! (Note that it's almost a 2 hour drive from the airport). The hotel has been built with Portuguese style architecture on an exclusive stretch of beach. It has golf course, casino, spa, pool, and wide range of accommodation options, including 10 private luxury villas. The hotel also offers plenty of leisure activities, and even has its own yatch. Rates start from around $180 per night for a double, including tax, even in December.