Goa is a kaleidoscopic blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures, sweetened by the sun, sand, sea, seafood, spirituality, and susegad! This pocket-sized paradise, a.k.a. sunshine state is everyone’s favorite getaway, and even more so now. Whether it’s the long and beautiful coastline, hippie markets, Portuguese villages, or green fields, Goa’s charm is boundless. Making it all the better are the best hotels in Goa India, in villages such as Patnem, Candolim, and the likes. Whether you love gargantuan coastal resorts with private white-sand beaches or lush jungle eco-lodges and even serene boutique ones, there’s something for everyone in Goa. From shacks right on the beach to private beaches that look otherworldly, Goa’s best hotels are impressive to the hilt. Flip-flops? Check. Bikinis? Check. Unwind yourself with an excellent hotel and immerse yourself in this amazing beach paradise.
But, there’s a lot of Top Things To Do In Goa, which is one of the original Hippie Destinations Around The World. There are many beaches, such as Vagator, Arambol, Anjuna, and Baga, where you can indulge in a whole lot of beach fun. There are so many majestic forts, such as Chapora Fort and Fort Aguada. And of course, there are so many famous churches, such as the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, the nights are for clubbing and pubbing at some of Goa’s most famous pubs, such as Edge, Tito’s at Anjuna, and more. So, pack your swimming clothes, your best party clothes, and head off to the land of the sun, sand, and the sea. To that end, here are the 11 best hotels in Goa India.
Table of contents
Taj Exotica is one of the best hotels in Goa India. Tucked on the wide sands of Benaulim Beach, the vast, Mediterannean-inspired luxury resort is all about villa rooms. Think huge, comfy beds, freestanding bathtubs, and private gardens; the upgraded ones even have private pools and hot tubs! What’s more, they all offer spectacular views of the manicured gardens and the sea. After a round of hammock swinging and refreshing swims in the swimming pool, head straight to the spa for ayurvedic treatment or a yoga session. Of the four restaurants, the Lobster Village is all about fresh seafood and ocean views. And, of course, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity are everywhere.
Did you think that you had to walk everywhere? There’s a golf cart to take you around, and intrepid ones might even want to rent a cycle. A small cricket ground and a mini-golf course complete the place. Do you want to go exploring beyond the resort? Taj even arranges tours to Portuguese homes, spice plantations, and bird sanctuaries.
Set between the River Sal and the Arabian Sea, The Leela is one of the most luxurious resorts in Goa. 75 acres of lush greenery, plus its own private beach, make the Leela one of the most luxurious bases in the state. The plush rooms and suites with marble bathrooms overlook a massive lotus-filled lagoon, along with views of Mobor Beach and the 12-hole golf course. What’s more, you have the choice of premier and deluxe rooms, club suites, and even villas, which are the best of them all. Go for a package stay and get sweet perks such as complimentary chocolates and wine, butler service, spa treatments, and even free breakfast spreads. Travelers who’re foodies will love the Culinary Sojourn package, which introduces you to Goan food with food and cooking demonstrations, farm-to-table lunches, and visits to spice farms.
The rest of the property is excellent too. Think a unisex salon, a golf course, tennis courts, and a spa that doles out massages and body treatments. What’s more, there’s even a variety of restaurants to dig into all your favorite food all day long. These include a drinking lounge, a poolside bar, seafood, Italian, Indian, and even an all-day dining one. Moreover, the Aqua Entertainment Lounge has a library, chessboard, pool tables, and even turns into a disco in the evening. Technically you never need to leave!
Ahilya by the Sea
One of the best hotels in Goa India lies in Candolim – Ahilya by the Sea. What’s more, it also happens to be one of the Top Gay-Friendly Hotels in Goa! This Indo-Balinese boutique hotel comprises just eight rooms, one of which is perched amidst the branches of a 200-year old banyan tree! An eclectic decor featuring African sculptures, Burmese bowls, and abstract paintings gives the place a home-like feel. Each of the rooms and suites features traditional art, antique furnishings, and no TVs or phones! So, it’s the perfect place to cut off from the world. The bathrooms are particularly indulgent, complete with antique fittings with dressing gowns, a spacious shower area large enough for two, and antique fittings.
But, the amenities don’t stop here. The resort has not just one but two pools! The east-facing infinity pool is perfect for a sunrise swim, while the plunge pool is perfect for canoodling over sunsets. Begin your day with a decadent breakfast, which you can even enjoy in your own balconies. Think parathas (flatbread), juices, homemade muesli, waffles, crepes, sausages, and made-to-order eggs – yum! During the day, spend your time at the library filled with board games, musical instruments, and books. Evening revelries begin with the Happy Hour complimentary drinks and special musical performances. Finally, wrap up the day with a candle-lit dinner under the stars, tucking into the catch of the day.
Arco Iris Homestay
Don’t let the word ‘homestay’ put you off; the Arco Iris Homestay by Neemrana is one of the most luxurious digs in the state. Tucked on the banks of the Zuari River, the heritage hotel sits in a restored 200-year-old bungalow with just five rooms and suites for an intimate stay. Aside from being pet-friendly, the place has a lush garden and is surrounded by paddy fields with a stunning bird population. Rooms and suites, of which only two are air-conditioned, all feature huge windows and high ceilings. Explore the peaceful side of Goa here by relaxing and soaking up the quietude on the long verandah.
During sun-kissed afternoons, find the well-stocked library and settle down with a nice book, with the resident labrador Feni drooling by your side. An included breakfast is a great start to the day. Are you interested in exploring the neighborhood? The host will even take you on walks to introduce to you the avian populace, Loutolim village and the church, and the backwaters of the Zuari River.
Are you single and ready to mingle in Goa? Then the W Goa is one of the swankiest and sexiest hotels in Goa India. Perched on a hillside above Vagator Beach, the hotel has just 122 rooms, which include suites, chalets, and villas for a luxurious stay. What’s more, they’re all spread out, which means walking to and fro to your room is a lovely prospect, with the additional option of a comfy buggy ride too. Moreover, the spacious seaside accommodations boast plush beds, swish mod-cons, and huge bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs right next to huge bay windows.
The rest of the hotel is impressive too, especially the beachside Woobar, which has beach beds perfect for a swim and a lounge. Enjoy sundowners at the cliffside restaurant RockPool with sunset views and the stunning Chapora Fort in the background. A bespoke and yet outrageous experience simultaneously, the W is one for the single memories.
Bali comes to Goa at the Alila Diwa, a five-star hotel set amidst lush green paddy fields along Gonsua Beach in Majorda. Offering unobstructed views of the coconut palms and paddy fields, Alila Diwa is Goan chic at its very best. Firstly, the luxurious rooms and suites boast balconies with views of the tiered infinity pool or the paddy fields. Sliding doors lead to the hedonistic bathrooms, which feature deep-soaking bathtubs for long and amorous soaks with your partner. However, it’s the mood lighting that takes the cake, as do the balconies with alfresco seating and complimentary fruit, biscuits, and an assortment of teas.
The crown jewel is, undoubtedly, the infinity pool, which is one of the World’s Best Hotel Pools and overlooks the lush green fields. Laze out and relax on the sunbeds and order drinks from the poolside Edge Bar, where a mastermind mixologist dishes out excellent cardamom and kaffir lime-infused cocktails. When it’s time to unwind, choose the ‘Detox Detour’ spa package, read in the library, or watch movies at the theater. If all that wasn’t enough, breakfast is one grand affair with Indian delicacies (read: dosas and chutney!) as well as continental delights such as homemade jams, salads, made-to-order eggs, and fruit juices!
One of the newest hotels in Goa India, Lazy Frog, is one for the backpacking public. Located in the sleepy village of Carmona in South Goa, this small property boasts simple but spacious and immaculate rooms with plush double beds, modern bathrooms, and even kitchenettes. What’s more, it even has a bevy of amenities, including cable TV, mini-fridge and bar, microwave, and even a daily housekeeping service. Besides that, you’ll find a badminton court and a divine pool set in lush gardens. It’s the perfect place to unwind on the property. Breakfast and snacks are decadent, with the chef preparing them, with lunches and dinners being ordered from outside. Carmona Beach is a short walk, and the owners even help organize taxis, cars, and bikes for exploring the region.
The Postcard Cuelim
Discerning travelers who love a chic boutique stay will love The Postcard Cuelim, which is a bucolic getaway set in a 350-year-old family home. Choose from ground-floor and upper-level rooms at this South Goa getaway, which welcomes you with a kokum drink or a feni cocktail, which is an alcoholic spirit made from Goan cashew fruits. What’s more, all rooms and suites feature private outdoor areas or patios, darkwood furnishings, burgundy throws, and plush king beds. Even the bathrooms are decadent, with huge showers for two areas, complimentary flip-flops, floral robes, and eco-friendly bath products.
Begin your days with a refreshing cup of complimentary coffee or tea that’s delivered right to your room in the mornings. Later on, move to the dining room, which serves a hearty à la carte breakfast featuring Indian dishes such as ‘aloo matar’ (potato and pea curry), fresh fruit, and juices. Additionally, they serve made-to-order lunches and dinners right on your patio – sigh. Furthermore, the Postcard has a host of amenities, including an inviting raised pool, private guided excursions, a badminton court, and even a free shuttle to the beach.
Siolim House is one of the most historic hotels in Goa India. Set in a captivating 350-year old mansion, this heritage hotel was where the Macau governor once used to reside. Today, it makes for an intimate and exclusive living experience with just eight suites. Most of them lie in the main house, but the best of them all, the independent Garden Suite, sits in a lush and discrete enclave. It even has a courtyard, a living room, and a ground-floor bathroom with a deep-soaking bathtub that overlooks the lush greenery. Notwithstanding which suite you choose, they’re all decked out with period furniture, rugs, and bespoke artwork. Begin the day with a complimentary yoga session before diving into the tranquil pool. Dig into intimate made-to-order meals at the dining area, the best of which is breakfast with continental and Indian food. Wrapping up the amenities is the lovely library.
Country House Amrapali, House of Grace Collection
There’s nothing that you won’t love about Amrapali, a boutique hotel from the House of Grace Collection. Set in a restored 100-year-old Portuguese home, the hotel has just five rooms. All of them are tastefully done with contemporary art and antiques, so travelers who appreciate beauty will love it. Begin your day with breakfast and tea by the pool before enjoying a refreshing swim and a languorous lounge on the sunbeds. During the day, the hotel even packs a picnic lunch for you to enjoy at Siridao Beach close by. Wrap up the day with dinner overlooking the Zuari River. In fact, the cafe/restaurant even hosts culinary events, so foodies and epicureans are bound to love it. Furthermore, the hotel offers a host of curated experiences, right from walks with the artist and gallery owner to e-bike and sailing tours.
The Park Baga River Goa
Goa is all about beaches, which is why it’s a pleasant surprise that the topmost best hotels in Goa India is right by the river! Welcome to The Park Baga River, a charming hotel overlooking the serene waters of the Baga River. What’s more, it’s Goa’s first (and to date, the only) adults-only hotel. Choose from a bevy of luxuriously spacious suites in tones of whites, greys, beiges, and lilac. Huge picture windows allow the sunlight to pour in, while amenities include minibars, coffee and tea-making facilities, plush beds, and winged chairs. However, it’s the huge bathrooms that are a treat, complete with bespoke bath products and deep-soaking tubs for romantic baths with your beau.
There are tons to do for couples here, which is why this place is such a popular honeymooner’s getaway. Intrepid couples, for instance, can take part in photography and cookery workshops, art and sailing classes, and river cruises. Relish meals at the vibrant 24-hour restaurant, starting your day with an indulgent breakfast with Indian and continental fare. During the day, enjoy long and refreshing swims in the pool before retiring to the sunbeds and sipping on cocktails from the poolside bar.
Where to Stay in Goa
There’s something for everyone in Goa, backpacker hangouts, family vacation homes, hippy enclaves, and yoga galore. Famed for psychedelic all-night parties since the 1960s, backpackers and hippies have been making their way to Goa for years. Since Goa is so spread out, it also means that deciding where to stay can be overwhelming. That’s mostly because getting around Goa is difficult since many of the towns are quite spread out.
Tucked right in the north is Pernem, which is full of historical and cultural sights, wellness and yoga centers, quaint and charming villages, and a generally relaxed way of life. When you head south of that, you’ll come upon Bardez. This is where you’ll find all the stunning beaches and all-night parties. Do you want to dance until the wee hours of dawn? Bardez is where you should be. Lying even more south of Bardez is Tiswaldi, which is home to Goa’s famous Latin Quarter and the amazing village of Old Goa. It’s also where you’ll find the state capital, Panaji or Panjim. Next, there are Canacona and Salcete, which have interesting architectural sights and pristine beaches.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Goa
- Joseph Bar Panjim: Tucked in the heart of Panaji’s picturesque Latin Quarter of Fontainhas, this bar transformed from an old 70s one-room bar to a modern yet traditional Goan tavern. Its legendary bartender, Gundu, dishes out delicious cocktails and drinks, especially the leisurely feni cocktail. The evening starts with popular fados by legendary Goan singer Sonia Shirsat, before switching to smooth jazz.
- Olive Goa: This blue-and-white-themed Mediterannean restaurant sits right by the Arabian Sea and is one of the best places to dig into in Goa. Sunbathe and watch the views during the day and end the day by stargazing incredible rooftop seater. Stuff your faces with incredible dishes such as Falafel and Tahini Poi Boy, Crab & Avocado, and the likes.
Recommended Activities in Goa
- 2-Hour Mandovi River Cruise with Dinner: The scenic waters of the Mandovi River is perfect for an evening boat cruise. Admire the evening sights of Panjim from the water, enjoy games and fun on board, and end it with a delicious buffet dinner and equally delectable desserts.
- 3-Hour Scuba Diving in Grand Island from Baina Beach: Off the coast of Goa, the waters are filled with rich marine life. This 3-hour scuba diving tour off the waters of Grand Island is perfect for those who love exploring under the surface of the water. You can check out all the rare fishes and marine life that doesn’t come to the surface.