Why Goa’s jungle is a shade better

Away from the hurly-burly of the coastal resorts, a new clutch of inland boutique retreats are keeping Goa’s original bohemian spirit alive. Gemma Bowes in The Guardian:

Casa Colvale

Casa Colvale

It’s not often an A-Z makes for fun reading, but the bedside guide to the Vivenda dos Palhacos (“villa of the clowns”) and its locality is a portfolio of loveliness and wit. A is for “ask for anything”, F for “Frog’s legs. A Goan speciality. Quite illegal,” and O for “oops. We are involved in a long, drawn out war against error. Please let us know instantly about blown bulbs or worse.” By Z (eat at Zeebops beach bar!) I’m sold on this hotel, without having yet explored beyond my gorgeous room.

Simon and Charlotte Hayward, Vivenda’s sibling owners, have infused this Portuguese hacienda 1km inland near Majorda in central Goa with their humour and quirky taste. The bathroom is newspapered with Indian marriage columns, so you can read which upper caste Gemini seeks an educated older husband, dowry offered, while washing the juice of breakfast’s fruit salad from your hands. Beside the courtyard, a brilliant bar, made from the fold-out back of a Tata lorry, is hung from the wall by chains and painted with a multicoloured beach scene, across which pink piranhas and mojitos slide out from the kitchen. Here a challenging strong beer, Haywards 5000, is served, the legacy of the old family brewery business, set up by their ancestors and since sold to a “vast, faceless multinational” they’re sad to say.

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