While there’s an abundance of beach-side hotels in Goa, choosing one of them would’ve been a hackneyed cliché. So we headed to The Villa Goa, a 200-year-old Airbnb home in north Goa with a charming, bucolic vibe. Quaint nooks and gardens filled with birdsong, the house became a second home for our November cover girl, Dia Mirza. By Rashima Nagpal
Goa’s charms goes beyond its beaches, and extends to Goan hamlets like Assagao. Sandwiched between the popular regions of Anjuna, Arpora, and Mapusa, Assagao is tinier than a village. It has miraculously stayed off the tourism circuit despite being at the heart of it, and that’s what makes it special. Also known as the land of flowers, it boasts a handful of churches and is dotted with old mansions with distinct Portuguese heritage—most of which have evolved into art cafes or homestays.
The Villa Goa, a charming Airbnb home in Assagao, was our base for as we explored the luxuries of a homestay with our cover girl Dia Mirza. As you walk through the gates of the spacious property, you’re instantly taken in by its charm—a 200-year-old Indo-Portuguese mansion sits proudly surrounded by chequered lawns, with a traditional Goan porch, large wooden windows, and clay-tiled roof. The second structure on the property, at the back, is a more contemporary accommodation, Villa Jardim.
“Look at this place, it’s so gorgeous,” smiled Dia as she arrived amidst a slight drizzle that draped everything in a veil of fantasy.
The next morning, the day of the shoot, was blessed with ample sunshine. We began our shoot near the ancient well in the gardens, moved on to the breezy terrace verandahs of Villa Jardim, then under the shaded pergola behind the main mansion, and ultimately in the thick of the private forest in the backyard. “I can live here,” declared Dia, as we made our way back from our private stretch of the woods.
The Villa Goa may be cosy, but it does not go easy on luxury. It features five elegant bedrooms—three traditional ones, flaunting Jaisalmer marble, in the single-storey mansion, and two on the upper floor of Villa Jardim. Ideal for up to 10 guests, the property is best enjoyed when rented as a whole, but the two villas can be booked separately as well on Airbnb. From basking in the sun in the central courtyard to enjoying a sundowner in the azure pool, there are ample spaces here to relax and cherish the Goan way of life.
“The comfort and privacy that a homestay gives you, I don’t think any hotel room ever can,” said Mirza as we spoke about her travels around the world. “This villa is so intimate and cosy. I love waking up to birdsong. The old-school Portuguese architecture is beautiful, and the vibe of this place is so warm. I can do anything I want without worrying about being seen. It’s a rare thing to find—this laid-back vibe, especially in North Goa.”
Not far from the beaches, yet ensconced in tranquillity, The Villa Goa is the stuff tropical dreams are made of. Its luxurious amenities, combined with the quintessential Goan vibe, makes it a safe haven for families seeking quality time together.
From Rs 60,000 per night; Airbnb
PRODUCED BY AINDRILA MITRA
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROHAN SHRESTHA
STYLED BY DIVYAK D’SOUZA
ASSISTANT STYLIST KHUSHI BHATIA
MAKEUP & HAIR DESIGN BIANCA LOUZADO
LOCATION THE VILLA GOA, AN AIRBNB HOME IN GOA