After all these years, Goa has become my second home. I love Goa’s stays and BnB’s as much as I love the ocean. A lot of research and scouting goes into choosing my stay every time I go to Goa. Writing today about my top 3 favorite stays. Each one is very special, beautiful beyond words. The hosts follow sustainable and responsible operating procedures and run the place passionately with all their hearts keeping the Goan spirit intact!
1. Elsewhere – Where the ocean dreams come true
For as long as I can remember, I saved the magazine cuttings of Elsewhere. Staying there was a dream come true. The five beach houses and the two tents are set amidst the coconut palms set on the shores of Ashwem beach amidst Elsewhere is straight out of the postcards. It’s Goa’s best-kept secret, quite literally. Even today, the location is still kept a secret. I feel that that’s why it’s special, secluded, and private.
No pictures can do justice to this place, but maybe they do better talking than me describing this wonderland.
Cafes and hangout places
- Prana cafe, ashwem beach, is a sea-facing, boho-vibed cafe with healthy plant-based options. They have a small shack on the top where you can carry your food and settle down to watch the sea and surfers.
- Alternative, Mandrem beach, is a sustainable cafe has the most peaceful vibe. As the name suggests, they serve alternate plant-based food. There is also a permaculture garden around the cafe.
- La Plage on Ashwem Morjim road is a french restaurant on the beach. It’s one of the coolest, most popular OG places to hang out. There is live music on some days. Check before going. It’s a great place to watch the sun go down.
Things to do
- When there is direct beach access to one of the most amazing beaches in Goa, what else is there to do 🙂 I used to spend most of the time there and you should too.
- Elsewhere has the nicest place to practice if you are a yoga enthusiast. They also have trainers. You can check with the manager to check the schedule or book a class.
- Lazy lunch under the banyan tree. One of the most memorable experiences I had while staying at Elsewhere was having lunch under the banyan tree.
- Learn Surfing. The Vayu surf club is very nearby. Ashwem beach is one the best places to learn surfing. Take a class or rent a surfboard from the club if you already know how to surf
- Go to Arambol beach for some live music and lively beach vibes. There was a very energetic drum circle when I visited. Just the energy you need!
Here’s their website: https://www.aseascape.com
2. Olaulim Backyards – A perfect staycation
Once you are here, you won’t have to go anywhere else—one of my favorite places to take a staycation in India. Olalim backyards is an eco-friendly stay run by Savio and Pirkko. The Mandovi river flows adjacent to the property, and you can borrow a kayak and get lost in the Goan backwaters.
They have cabana-style cottages/houses mostly built with natural materials, each cottage named after the local and visiting birds. I stayed there a few monsoons back, and as I write this post, I fondly reminisce village walks with Pirkko, kayaking for the first time, trying the tastiest kokum wine suggested by Savio, and afternoons spent writing while the four-legged friends kept company.
Cafes and hangout places
- Olaulim backyards now has a cute cafe where for lunch and dinner. Backyard cafe run by Nikita.
- Whispering cafe and store, Aldona. It’s about 2.5 km from Olaulim. It’s a charming alfresco cafe in the courtyard of a Portuguese-style home surrounded by green fields. It’s a pretty offbeat cafe if you want to avoid crowded commercial places ]
- Dynasty bakery in Sorrocco sells some tasty baked goods and the best bread around the inland villages.
There is so much to do around Olaulim backyards that I wrote a detailed blog. You can read here: The otherside of Goa
3. Curioso Goa Studio – An Artscape
I stayed here when I got burnt out because of personal and work stress. It was a balm for my anxious heart. I would hike up the hills and cycle in the mornings, work in the afternoons, read and paint my stress out in the evenings by the window while the wild birds and monkeys in the forest kept company.
CurisoGoa is one of the most tastefully decorated BnBs I’ve ever stayed. Calming colors handpicked selection of books, art supplies, working desk, reading corners, and a heavenly swing overlooking the forest. I’m already an indoor person, and all of this makes me want to stay inside even more. It’s a perfect place if you want to take some focused time to write, work or finish a project.
Cafes and hangout places
- Rare republic is just down the road from Curiso. It’s a french bakery and cafe and has the best coffee. It’s a place where you can go, relax, read a book and enjoy the food. Imagine bougainvilleas, warm outdoors, dogs, minimal decor, and soothing light music. I also love this place because it’s vegan-friendly.
- Cest la vie is a place to watch the sun go down. It’s a small bar with a backwaters view. Good vibe, good food, and drinks at affordable prices.
- Silver sands shack on the Morjim beach has access to the beach and has the perfect swimming spot.
- If you are quite a party person, Oh lala and Thalassa are around the corner.
Things to do
- Devika (Host) guided me to some lesser-known hiking trains around Curiso goa. Those were her personal favorites, where she used to hike as a kid. I had a great time taking myself on these hikes. I highly recommend doing it.
- Chapora fort is not very far. You can ride there easily if you have a bike or a cycle. There is a bike rental shop just beside Curiso. The shop owner also doubles as a pilot if you need a ride.
- Vagator hill viewpoint is also nearby. This point is one of my personal favorite places for witnessing the sunset. It has a view of the Vagator beach and hence the name.
Here is the Airbnb link: Abstract, art themed, forest view stay
Kannur – A beach town you never considered visiting but should
Alacati – A hideaway on Turkey’s Aegean cost
Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, to follow more of my work!