Whether it's a relaxing or adventurous holiday that you want, homestays in Goa offer a great alternative to the usual beach hotels. It's at a homestay that you can really get away from the crowds and enjoy the calmness of the villages. These glorious Goa homestays will give you a warm welcome and memorable experience of the true Goan way of life.
Capella is a classic Goan homestay, serenely located on a forested hill in a sleepy Arpora village. The hosts designed and built the premises themselves, and it oozes earthy character and charm.
Special Features: The hosts are avid nature and wildlife enthusiasts, and they have a vast collection of books on the subject.
Rate: From 3,500 rupees ($75) per night, for a double including breakfast.
Turiya is a 100 year old Goan villa that's been invitingly restored and transformed. It has five rooms, and a fabulous south Goa location that's less than five minutes from Patnem beach and 10 minutes from Palolem beach. You won't want to tear yourself away from the gorgeous patio, which beckons you to relax.
Special Features: There's an Ayurvedic spa on the premises. Turiya would be a fabulous place for an intimate garden wedding. The owner is a talented architect and interior decorator.
Rate: From 2,500 rupees per night, for a double. The suite is 5,500 rupees per night.
Olaulim Backyards is a haven of a homestay, with three delightful cottages, where you can really get back to nature. The homestay is located on the banks of the Mandovi River in Olaulim village, around 11 kilometers from Panaji, the capital of Goa.
Special Features: Perfect for those who like an active vacation. Kids will love the dedicated childrens play area, complete with cubby house accessed by a rope ladder. There's a swimming pool too. Special scuba diving and monsoon white water rafting packages are also available for adults who like a thrill!
Rate: Ranges from 3,000 ($65) to 7,000 ($152) rupees a night for a double, depending on the time of year. It includes breakfast and all in-house activities.
Located on a hillock in Aldona village in north Goa, The Only Olive has picturesque views of the surrounding area. The homestay is a century old three bedroom Portuguese villa, that's been lovingly decorated by the hosts. Its sprawling garden, with a lone olive tree, is a serene place to relax.
Special Features: Great for large groups who can have the whole villa to themselves. There's also an Artist in Residence program. The Only Olive acts as a medium for artists to get in touch and exchange ideas with other artists and craftsmen. It's a wonderful creative space!
Rate: 7,500 rupees ($162) per night for the villa (3 bedrooms). Individual bedrooms range from 3,000 to 3,500 rupees ($65-75) per night. Continental breakfast is included.
5. Arco Iris
Arco Iris is the perfect place for anyone who's ever been charmed by Goa's old colonial mansions. This one took three painstaking years to restore to its previous grandeur, but the result is stunning. Located in south Goa, the homestay is around 7 kilometers from Margao in the quiet village of Curtorim. It fronts onto a seasonal lake, which makes the setting even more captivating.
Special Features: The architecture, and gorgeous mosaics. Each of the five guest rooms have been decorated a different color of the rainbow.
Rate: 3,500 rupees ($75) per night, for a double including breakfast.
The delightful Stained Glass Cottage is located in south Goa, not far from Betalbatim and Colva beaches. It's an old Goa Portuguese style cottage that's been renovated with old world ambiance. The garden is a sanctuary of swaying coconut trees and bountiful tropical fruit trees. Guests can choose from four different color themed rooms and one suite.
Special Features: All rooms have access to a balcony or terrace offering garden views.
Rate: From 4,000 rupees ($75) per night, for a double including breakfast. Weekly and monthly discounts are available.