For all measures, October belongs to Goa. The sun, sand and sea combination is best enjoyed in the winter months, especially if you're tired of the dry summers and winters of the north. And with Diwali long weekend in sight, we've collated a list of idyllic hotels in the state where you can ring in the festival.
Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel
Once an armed fortress that belonged to the Portuguese, travellers to Fort Tiracol can now spend their leisure days enjoying the kaleidoscopic view of the Arabian Sea from atop a cliff. At the same time, the property nestles close to the estuary of the Tiracol River. The heritage property offers a mix of history and luxury to discerning travellers. The seven newly renovated rooms and suites, tastefully designed with unique Portuguese and contemporary interiors, are named after the seven days of the week Enjoy splendid Portuguese modern architecture and a 17th-century church in the middle of a beautiful courtyard.
Situated in Goa's most effervescent neighbourhood, Anjuna, MansionHaus is a heritage property turned boutique hotel that regales guests with its timeless architecture, curated gastronomic journeys and luxury stay. Wood repurposed from a 100-year-old dismantled ship, organic local produce and re-use of grey water for landscape irrigation - Kezya de Braganca's ancestral family home is now a sustainable property where guests can opt for the unique experiences that MansionHaus offers - sound meditation, pilates, private Chef's table with food and wine pairings, to name a few.
Ahilya By The Sea
The same ethos of making travellers feel like they are staying in a family home wafts from Ahilya By The Sea, much like its sister property Ahilya Fort Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh. This Relais Chateaux property is tucked away in a quiet corner of Dolphin Bay and is an hour away from the quaint beaches of Morjim, Mandrem and Ashvem in North Goa. The Sunrise infinity pool on the premise is perfect for a morning dip under the soft Goan sun, and the Sunset plunge pool allows travellers to melt their cares in the shade of coconut palms, surrounded by pink and white frangipani.
Very few examples of the aristocratic 'casa do sobrado' style of Goa-Portuguese architecture from the late 16th century remain in North Goa. The manor-turned-heritage hotel was once a governor's house and is an understated property in the quiet coastal village of Siolim. With nine guestrooms and including five suites, there is something for every traveller's need. The boutique hotel also offers Ayurvedic treatments for a more rejuvenating vacation if you so desire.
Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa
Built on a 16-century Fort Aguada in Goa, this exotic luxury property wears the crown of being the first of its kind in the state. The hotel allows you to dip your feet in history as you explore the horizon beyond the pristine blue of the Arabian Sea. Spend time at the Sinquerim beach or feast at one of the many in-house restaurants, including SFX, a lounge and bar with views of the fort, Morisco that serves delicious seafood and the multicuisine space Kokum.
Amrapali - House Of Grace
This loving family home was built a century ago by Casimiro Honorato de Siqueira Nazare for his wife Maria Gracias and their five children. Originally known as Morgado, meaning &ldquodear&rdquo, Amrapali - House of Grace today stands as a boutique hotel that charms with its unique traditional flavour. The best feature is their Moroccon-style pool house that sits beautifully inside the property&rsquos quaint space by the river. Spend some time in their tropical gardens or the waterfront verandah to rejuvenate yourself.