Staying in a hotel on holiday is very different to staying in one on business. Where once the service seemed efficient, on holiday, it feels impersonal. The decor, so functional and non-distracting for a business traveller, becomes bland. And you don’t notice crowds when you’re in a conference room, but when all you want is to put your feet up and unwind, it can be agonising to share your holiday space with a herd of conference-attendees. Little wonder then that holiday villa rentals and home-stays have shot up in popularity, with their warm service, the amazing feeling of having the place to yourself, like having a private, unique boutique hotel – and, above all, the feeling of being a guest in a home rather than a number in a ledger.
Kerala leads the way with its sheer number of home-stays, but Goa, not surprisingly, is making a name for herself with small, tranquil homes that you can settle into for your holiday. Unsurprising because Goa all too often gets taken over by bus loads of tourists looking for cheap accommodation with a ‘party scene’ nearby, and if you’re looking for a peaceful, relaxing holiday, your only other option is an expensive, impersonal hotel. Instead, a peaceful home, with all the comfort of a boutique hotel but a hundred times the privacy, is considerably better.
Summertime Villa in Bardez is the latest villa to be offered for holiday rentals, and is a great example of the breed. Close enough to access the buzz of Calangute but far enough away to be cut off from the noise, this lovely house perches on a hill, taking in the views of paddy fields from her huge windows. The villa is cocooned within a two-acre garden, filled with fruit trees – you share this private garden only with a dozen species of birds. Built by nature lovers, Summertime also offers a large private swimming pool, a lounging pool where you cool off on seats half-submerged in the water, a pond for Koi carp, and a little waterfall. You’re not expected to do very much – select a tree to sit under and read, take a dip, or honour Goan tradition by taking a siesta in one of the huge rooms. That’s another advantage of villa rentals: without the need for numbers, the rooms can be spacious, the bathrooms breathtakingly so. And, of course, you get your own private staff for the duration of your stay – not polished in a hospitality institute, but home staff, who love and know the house. You get your own, private slice of Goa. A holiday where you’re ten minutes from the beach and restaurants, but with the option of cutting away to your own private paradise.
Just like you wanted.
Last updated: Tuesday, Nov 3, 2020