Goa and luxury hotels go together like coconut and rum, thanks to the south Indian region’s long, sun-baked beaches, distinctive cuisine and colonial heritage sites. Unwind with a yoga retreat or immerse yourself in the all-night party scene. Passport at the ready? Check. Flip-flops? Check. Now make your way to some of the top luxury hotels in Goa.
Alila Diwa Goa
Alila Diwa Goa has uninterrupted views of paddy fields and coconut palms, best enjoyed from the tiered infinity pool. Majorda Beach is a 15-minute walk or quick free shuttle away. Food lovers will love the masterclass in Goan cuisine led by an Alila chef. Afterwards, let a mixologist mastermind the perfect blend of flavours for you at the old-school courtyard bar (hint: the kaffir lime and cardamom-infused cocktails are a treat).
ITC Grand Goa, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
This Indo-Portuguese village-style resort spans 18 ha (45 acres) of tropical beach near Arossim Beach. The lagoon-style pool is one of India’s largest and is particularly refreshing after a sunrise yoga class. Enjoying Goan cuisine? Ask your concierge to arrange a spice plantation trip – the tours of Sahakari Spice Farm in Ponda are enlightening (though, if you aren’t up for adventure, it’s best to avoid the elephant rides).
Kenilworth Resort & Spa
Just a 30-minute drive south of Goa International Airport, Kenilworth Resort & Spa sits behind the white sands of Utorda Beach. The comfortable rooms feature pitched roofs, rattan furniture and private balconies, some of which overlook the meandering pool and outdoor jacuzzi. Save time for a morning at Margao Market, where you can browse stalls selling mountains of dried chillies and fresh seafood to glittering bangles.
Taj Resort & Convention Centre
Taj Resort & Convention Centre is a modern masterpiece with a cathedral-like lobby and chic sea-facing rooms. There’s a slim rooftop infinity pool with a sunken bar, 40-seater cinema and ayurvedic spa – not bad for a self-proclaimed business hotel. Nearby Vainguinim Beach is pleasant enough – take a quick taxi to Caranzalem Beach for broader golden sands.
Ahilya By The Sea
A small, luxury boutique hotel boasting just 10 unique guest rooms, you can rest assured that you’ll achieve relaxation in no time during a holiday at Ahilya By The Sea. With an infinity pool overlooking a secluded section of Dolphin Bay and some excellent cuisine on option for holidaymakers, it’s a superb base for a luxury holiday in Goa. There’s a secondary ocean-facing pool too which is another glorious place to soak up the sunshine.
The LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort Goa
This resort is found in the south of Goa (Raj Baga, Canacona, to be exact). Boasting its own casino, golf course, helipad and even a yacht, this is one of the largest hotels – certainly in terms of land – within Goa. It has 255 rooms, six dining venues, a kids’ corner, tennis courts, two pools, a holistic spa and a five-star rating. The two-storey LaLiT Golf & Spa Resort is less than two decades old but was remodelled in 2008.
The W brand chose Goa as the location for their first property in India (it’s also the adult-centred brand’s first hotel to have a children’s club). This venue is found on a peaceful hillside above Vagator beach, yet while the setting is deeply relaxing, guests can party it up at the funky chain. Boxy, angular and modern, the building looks like an architectural art installation, or something from a Bond film, while the interior decor takes its cue from the area’s natural beauty and fishing heritage. A Rock Pool (so named as it’s carved out of the hillside) is the place to chill out, and so too is its AWAY spa. But you can party at the Woo Bar, dine in its two restaurants and play tennis on the onsite court.