Tired Of Goa Hotels? Just Rent A Villa

Rental villas are luring visitors, especially families and large groups with the promise of private retreats in the midst of comfort and luxury

Published On Apr 23, 2024 | Updated On Apr 23, 2024


Digging into delicious, piping hot aloo puri and poha made by the in-house cook at the villa instead of pancakes, waffles and eggs at a breakfast buffet in a hotel was such a delightful change. During my many trips to Goa over several years, I inevitably ended up heading to a hotel. But on my latest visit, I checked into a luxury villa and loved the experience. Samukh by Aranayam, is a lavish, tastefully designed four-bedroom heritage villa in Assago that comes with a private pool. 

The bedroom at Samukh by Aranayam

The bedrooms, done up in local material, have an antique style brass switch board, rafters on the ceiling made from natural wood and a teak wood four-poster bed that is really comfortable. A few local snacks placed on my bedside table lent that homely touch. In the evening, I curled up on a comfortable lounging bed in the theatre room that has a massive screen and watched my favourite movie on Netflix with some beer and popcorn. Could this have been possible in a hotel? I don’t think so. 

I am not the only one choosing to stay in a villa. A lot of people visiting the sunshine state, especially those with families or a group of friends, now opt to stay in villas because the space is bigger and most of them come with a private pool. They vary from three to five bedrooms and the entire place has to be hired for the stay. 

The living room at Samukh

North Goa is flooded with luxury villas that are luring visitors not just with a comfortable stay but also the promise of immersing them in local experiences which a regular hotel does not offer. You can treat it like your own home, jump into the pool any time you want while a cook at your disposal customises your meals in fully equipped kitchens. In the evenings, family or friends can gather in the living room for drinks and some bonding time. And while hotels may be out of bounds for those who like to take their pets along for a holiday, most villas are pet friendly. 

Jaideep Kumar, a professional based in Gururam, stayed with his family at Samukh villa in Assagao when he went for a holiday in December during the Christmas week. “It’s been a practice we’ve been following for a long time, especially when we travel in a big group because it allows us a fair amount of flexibility. I travelled with my parents and relatives so they were very comfortable because they could eat home cooked meals if they wanted to and we had a common space to hang out.” he said. 

The trend of opting for villas instead of hotels catapulted after the COVID-19 pandemic when people escaping lockdowns preferred private spaces and secluded retreats. Now many, from large families, groups of friends to college groups are choosing these over conventional hotels because there is a common place to hang out and no other guests around. The demand shoots up during the peak holiday season, especially in December. 

However, these villas don’t come cheap. The price can vary from INR 10,000 per night to even INR 1 lakh depending on the amenities, the number of rooms and its location. Kumar ended up paying between INR 65,000 to 70,000 a night. But it still makes economic logic if the group is large. “It made sense, because if I go to any five-star hotel, I wouldn’t get a room for less than INR 20,000-25,000 a night and here one can accommodate about 10 people comfortably,” he said. 

La Zamora by The Blue Kite

Besides individuals who have put villas on the market, their growing popularity has prompted many companies to enter the villa rental space like Stay Vista, Saffron Stays, Elivaas and The Blue Kite. That has hugely increased the supply. 

The Blue Kite, which was established in 2017, has about 90 villas, varying from three to four bedrooms, in and around Anjuna and Assagao in North Goa. “I think nobody would go to a hotel if they are a large family or a group of friends because in a villa, you have a place to sit together, you have a person to come and cook for you and renting a villa gives you the flexibility of having your own timings,” said Caroline Mulliez, CEO, The Blue Kite. She points out that people tend to opt for villas when they come for two to four nights, especially when they are celebrating a special occasion like a milestone birthday or an anniversary. 

Villa Cardo

From kayaking tours in the mangroves, trips to the local fish market to electric cycle trips to Divar island - some of these villas offer local experiences so that the holiday becomes a little just heading out to the beach. Varun Maheshwari, the co-founder of Aranayam said that they are trying to promote the local culture as well. “One of the experiences which we do out here is offering an authentic Goan thali, where the local guys will actually talk about the food and explain the cultural context of it. It is a good two- to three-hour session. We have someone doing the same with local fenny. People enjoy such experiences." 

The luxury villas that come with a fancier price tag can vary from heritage homes, Portuguese villas to modern bungalows. They are massive in size and done up very aesthetically blending the indoors with the outdoors. Some even have a designer touch – The Glass Villa for example that has a glass fronted façade, has been done up by fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani and architect Sameep Padora. 

With the numbers of those vacationing in Goa on the rise and the demand for private retreats spiralling, the variety of villas to choose from is also growing.

Photo: Featured Properties