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Nilaya Hermitage/
Photograph: Nilaya Hermitage/

The best hotels in Goa

From beach-side bungalows to lush jungle resorts, find your perfect place to stay in Goa

Written by
Time Out editors

You’ll find Goa on nearly every traveller to India’s to-do list, and for good reason. This beatnik paradise sets itself apart from other areas of the country with a mesmerising combination of pristine beaches, colourful nightlife (there’s a reason Goa’s famous for full moon parties) and Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and Portuguese heritage which has influenced the food and architecture of the region. In short, there’s a lot to see here, which means finding a decent place to rest your head at night is essential. Luckily, Goa delivers: be it beach-side bungalows with undulating sea views, Portuguese villas with gorgeous interiors or lush jungle resorts complete with spas and yoga retreats. Whatever your vibe, consider your stay sorted.

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Best hotels to book now in Goa

Ahilya By The Sea, Nerul
Photograph: Ahilya By The Sea/

1. Ahilya By The Sea, Nerul

Every room is a treasure trove at this former private home- turned-guest house filled with antique furniture and Portuguese and Balinese curios. Each bedroom has its own unique character and exquisite views thanks to the fact the villas are nestled on the edge of  Coco Beach in Nerul, north Goa. When you’re not soaking in the outdoor pools or sipping a gin cocktail (from the nearby distillery) at the alfresco bar, there are also chef-set menus to tuck into in the evening all with a Goan feel. 

The St Regis Goa Resort, Cavelossim
Photograph: The St Regis Goa Resort/

2. The St Regis Goa Resort, Cavelossim

Set in 49 acres of tropical greenery dotted with crystal blue lagoons, you won’t find a more picturesque spot than at this sprawling luxe resort. And you won’t run out of things to do while you’re there. Not only are you in driving distance of local wildlife sanctuaries, on site you’ll find a restaurant, a drawing room where you can indulge in afternoon tea, a cocktail bar, a spa where you can pamper yourself with ayurvedic and a 12-hole golf course looking out across the Arabian Sea. Don’t fancy doing anything at all? There’s a 24-hour butler service to keep you in idyl luxury. 

Amrapali, Goa Velha
Photograph: Amrapali/

3. Amrapali, Goa Velha

Built in 1919, this Portuguese villa has been restored to its former glory with manicured gardens, a shady outdoor pool and rooms with ornate four-poster beds, rustic wood furnishings, roll top baths and colourful tiles. To complete the fairytale look, the jewel-hued pile sits on the banks of the Zuari River where you can tuck into gourmet deserts and artisanal pastries at the waterfront cafe.

The Postcard Hideaway, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
Photograph: The Postcard Hideaway, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary/

4. The Postcard Hideaway, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary

Staying in the depths of the Indian jungle doesn’t mean having to go all Bear Grylls. The Postcard Hideaway is a collection of luxury huts designed especially to blend into the wildlife park surroundings. That means you can nestle down in a plump white duvet and soak in a jacuzzi all while trying to spot black panthers, giant squirrels, and great pied hornbills in the undergrowth. For the full experience, head out on a hike to the secret waterfalls and untouched corners of the park or dine on meals made with ingredients grown in the resort’s organic garden. 

Nilaya Hermitage, Arpora
Photograph: Nilaya Hermitage/

5. Nilaya Hermitage, Arpora

Designed by Indian architect Dean D'Cruz, this showstopper of a hotel is inspired by Moorish design, with dome-shaped rooms painted in midnight blue, gold-tiled ceilings and mosaic floors emblazoned with moons and stars. When you’re not holed up in your colourful surroundings hit up the outdoor swimming pool, pamper yourself with a traditional Indian treatment in the Ayurvedic spa or take a trip to Arpora’s famous Saturday night market nearby.

The Postcard Velha, Velha Goa
Photograph: The Postcard Velha/

6. The Postcard Velha, Velha Goa

Another top-notch spot from the Postcard hotel group, this time tucked away in Old Goa overlooking 300 acres of virgin coconut plantations and the Mandovi River delta. This Portuguese colonial-style pile is full of palatial rooms with shady verandas to hang out on and manicured gardens to explore. The vibe is relaxed with no fixed check-in and check-out time, no set breakfast hours and tea and coffee served in bed. Plus, you’re perfectly situated to enjoy the city’s UNESCO-protected Portuguese neighbourhood. 

Art Resort Goa, Canacona
Photograph: Art Resort Goa/

7. Art Resort Goa, Canacona

One for backpackers or those travelling in large groups, this beachside collection of eclectic huts is basic but full of character with delightfully ramshackle verandas and kooky outdoor bathtubs. Guests are steps away from Colomb Beach and have access to the resort’s hot tub, table tennis table and garden. There are family rooms for those travelling with kids and bungalows that sleep upto six. 

Om Sai Beach Huts, Canacona
Photograph: Om Sai Beach Huts/

8. Om Sai Beach Huts, Canacona

Seaside fanatics can effectively sleep on the beach at this resort of neat wooden beach huts right on the shoreline. Opt for a sea view hut to be able to eat breakfast with the sand between your toes, or retreat to the shady palm tree-lined garden when the midday sun gets too much. Order food to your room from the Sea Breeze restaurant or laze out at the beachside verandah. Larger groups and families will find bigger rooms that sleep up to five and have facilities for kids. 

W Goa, Vagator
Photograph: W Goa/

9. W Goa, Vagator

You can’t miss this flamboyant building perched on the hillside above Vagator Beach, which has white angular walls that glow orange as dusk falls. Glitzy but chic, you’ll find slick pool-side cabana bars here, dazzling dining rooms serving pan-Asian cuisine and a spa centre with a sauna. 

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