A virtually uninterrupted string of palm-fringed, golden-sand beaches attracts travellers to Goa, India’s pocket-sized paradise which was formerly a Portuguese colony.
An incredible mosaic of cultural heritage, magnificent monuments, colourful architecture, spiritual retreats, and a charming synthesis of East and West make this Arabian Sea state a top destination for backpackers and holidaymakers alike. Goa is also a treasure trove of music, dance, and other art forms, which can be experienced during its many festivals and celebrations.
In Goa, a kaleidoscopic blend of cultures has catalysed a scintillating hospitality scene, with accommodations ranging from colonial boutiques to luxury five-star resorts. Here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Goa, India (in no particular order)…
1. Amrapali-House of Grace – an upscale, unique and very Instagrammable boutique hotel surrounded by a tropical paradise
Here we have an Old Portuguese style bolthole on the banks of the Shiridao Lake, which has been beautifully converted into a lavish boutique home.
Amrapali is an independent-minded abode which values tradition and culture, inviting you to relish a curated experience brimming with innately tranquil and joyful natural surrounds.
The original structure has been preserved wherever possible, with local artisans dedicated to this mission. The hotel embodies nourishment in the form of energy and vitality, and invites you to enjoy a stunning waterfront location.
The on-site café serves mouth-watering gourmet desserts from a Le Cordon Bleu certified pastry chef, complemented by delicious Amo tea from tea estates in Assam.
- To book, check prices or availability for Amrapali-House of Grace
2. Azaya Beach Resort Goa – a cool, hip and quirky resort perfect for design-loving Millennials and Gen Zs
Azaya is tailor-made for millennials, and incorporates Portuguese and Maldivian elements to curate an Instagrammer’s dream.
The bright pops of colour and the relaxed atmosphere set the tone for a paradisiacal vacation, with soul-stirring sea views and powder-soft sand spreading deep into the resort.
The 114 impeccably designed rooms and suites are styled in a quirky, hip aesthetic, and a floating breakfast can follow a blissful night’s sleep in the morning.
A stay at Azaya Beach Resort is truly a step into a new world, where you can indulge in anything from leisure surfing to a rejuvenating massage, to a boozy sundowner at the beachfront cabanas, to an after-party at the high-octane bar.
- To book, check prices or availability for Azaya Beach Resort Goa
3. MansionHaus – a trendy, Insta-worthy and 5-star hotel where guests can experience a luxurious stay
This atypical all-white mansion is designed to impress. From a tree-lined cobbled porch to the stately columns and baroque style wooden mouldings, a feeling of luxury and sophistication is immediately introduced on arrival.
Steeped in history and design, the careful restoration of this luxury Goa hotel has led to the coalescence of old-world charm and contemporary aesthetics.
The property is devoid of any insignia, emulating the discrete experience of arriving at a stately home. A communal courtyard is supported by gorgeous arches and pillars, creating a rich interplay of light and air to welcome you to the nine surrounding suites.
Each accommodation boasts high-vaulted ceilings, and is surrounded by water bodies to exude calmness and tranquillity. All open onto private pools, and feature bespoke artwork and heirlooms of the past to beautifully contrast the modern décor.
- To book, check prices or availability for MansionHaus
4. W Goa – a vibrant, trendy and chic hotel perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Zs
Dappled in golden glows of sunshine, India’s first W hotel is decorated with a boho aesthetic, and brings chic Ibizan vibes to the shores of northern Goa.
Predominantly white and open-air, many contemporary Indian pieces offer flamboyant splashes of colour, an essence which radiates into the four scintillating dining venues where art and music unfurl in an epic Arabian Sea backdrop.
The 160 rooms and suites are light-filled cocoons with cavernous bathrooms, breezy lounges, and either balconies or garden patios. The in-room experience nods to the area’s rich and colourful history through Portuguese ceramic tiled floors, coloured-glass chandeliers, and bodhi leaf-shaped mirrors.
- To book, check prices or availability for W Goa
5. Casa Anjuna – Anjuna Beach – a charming, stylish boutique hotel perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway
Considered the gem of the hippie trail, Anjuna is an area bearing signs of the past, with a touch of modern eccentricity in the form of many restaurants, beach shacks, and flea markets.
Casa Anjuna puts you in the heart of one of the district’s most lively villages, and is styled on an old Goan heritage home. Here, manicured gardens sweep across your entire vision, and leave a trail of floral discovery, through many dainty alpino flowers on which the hotel’s logo was designed.
Restored furniture exudes a luxury ambiance throughout the property, creating a dreamlike home from home. This boutique hotel emerges down a narrow lane, and offers two intimate dining spaces which open up onto the beautiful outdoors.
- To book, check prices or availability for Casa Anjuna – Anjuna Beach
6. The Park Calangute Goa – a cool, fun, trendy and contemporary hotel within walking distance of the famous Candolim beach
Imbued with Goa’s laid back, life-loving spirit, this bohemian chic beach resort is gleaming with five-star luxury, and is beautifully nestled between two of the region’s most popular beaches.
Throughout the property, the corridors are alive with eccentric photographic imagery depicting a free-spirited nomadic lifestyle, and lead to the 30 dialled-down contemporary luxe accommodations.
The in-room ambiance is kept light and bright with an all-white palette, embellished with soothing purple hues, while quirky artwork and selected retro furnishings add a distinctive flair. Here, you can enjoy award-winning alfresco dining on the beach in a relaxed open-air restaurant which serves delicious cuisine all day long.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Park Calangute Goa
7. Mojigao – an eco-friendly, sociable and rustic chic resort with one of Goa’s most favourite restaurants on site perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs
Tucked away on a quaint leafy street, Mojigao is a 6000 square-metre eco-resort set in the heritage village of Assagao.
This peaceful property consists of six luxury cottages surrounded by forested slopes and graceful gardens, and provides an idyllic getaway for those in pursuit of serenity, well-being, and a connection with a community of artists and natural therapists.
The hotel totally harmonizes stunning architecture with exquisite nature, blending the inside and the outside world in unique ways. As a result, Mojigao is the perfect spot to unwind from a busy life and find relaxation of peace and mind.
You can savour Middle Eastern & Mediterranean specialities at the in-house Artjuna Restaurant, which also offers a hearty Tapas menu, all-day breakfasts, salads, smoothies, and region’s best coffee.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mojigao
8. Hard Rock Hotel Goa – a hip, stylish and fun-themed hotel that hosts a variety of music, entertainment and activities
Bringing the excellence of the Hard Rock brand to North Goa’s beach belt, this stunning Calangute retreat boasts 135 epic rooms and suites topped with an air of glamour through textured walls, customised linen, and a spacious environment.
All are arranged around the pool courtyard, and are adorned with quotes from rock-n-roll icons along the walls, inviting you to feel like a rockstar while reminding you of the legacy of the hotel chain.
Also on display throughout the property are authentic Fender guitars (waiting to be played), and memorabilia of international artists which include unique instruments and outfits.
The ‘Sound of your Stay’ programme gives guests an unforgettable chance to enjoy live performances, partake in jam sessions, and browse through customised playlists.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hard Rock Hotel Goa
9. Red Thread Calangute – one of the best boutique hotels in Goa providing guests with a new, upscale and unique stay
Red Thread Calangute believes the five senses are the gatekeepers of the inner world. An ethereal experience is thus provided to allow you to revel in undiluted silence and experience the wisdom of Gaia (pointing to the interconnection of everything on earth).
A home with a soul, the hotel integrates culture, heritage, and spiritual values, whilst seamlessly blending contemporary amenities with artisanal craftmanship.
The outside wilderness is brought in through floor-to-ceiling windows, with numerous spaces including seat loungers, a cosy library, a pool, and gardens, ready to present the beauty and majesty of clarity, insight, and kindness.
From expressive cuisine to state-of-the-art guestrooms, Red Thread works closely with its guests to tailor design in order to fully serve your intentions and desires.
- To book, check prices or availability for Red Thread Calangute
10. Nilaya Hermitage – an elegant, modern and relaxing retreat featuring an outdoor pool, spa and wellness center
A discreet gateway to complete rejuvenation of mind and body, Nilaya Hermitage invites you to part ways with normal life, and discover real meaning in a refreshing ambiance.
Spread over 20 acres, the rustic themed sleeping havens are surrounded by iridescent tropical birds and wake-up calls by peacocks.
The property is canopied by majestic trees lining both sides of stone pathways which lead to brick-coloured cottages styled on an ‘Arabian Nights’ theme, with Moorish architecture guiding you to another dimension.
Set on a secluded hill promising uniqueness and solitude, each of the 13 unique units offer breathtaking views of the Arabian sea, and the sunsets are nothing short of majestic.
- To book, check prices or availability for Nilaya Hermitage
11. Beleza By The Beach – a bright, contemporary, fun and family-friendly resort located on five acres of scenic land
At Beleza, immaculate stretches of greenery combine with the refreshing scent of the sea and the paradisiacal essence of white sand beneath your feet, to guide guests to surrender to true Goan splendour.
A stay here is a step into the wisdom of sustainable, untainted beauty, as you soak up the majesty of Colva beach in an artistic wonderland.
The resort comprises 94 tastefully designed rooms, suites, and villas, each equipped with plush amenities and tech-forward initiatives.
This blissful utopia also offers a whole host of remarkable experiences which place comfort at front and centre, through stress-busting wellness activities, refreshing drinks, serene pool dips, and scrumptious food, all under one stunning roof.
- To book, check prices or availability for Beleza By The Beach
12. Ahilya By The Sea – a cozy, rustic and quaint colonial-style hotel steps away from the ocean
Perched on Coco Beach in North Goa’s peaceful Nerul district, a classic old-world Goan charm is harmonized with Balinese influences, offering an experience steeped in luxury.
The villas boast rustic laterite walls and intricately patterned wooden brackets adorning the roof, topped with bespoke artwork, an aroma diffuser, and restored antique décor.
On-site facilities include two pools and many relaxing nooks, as well as areas filled with board games and musical instruments, all contributing to the hotel’s relaxing atmosphere.
A sumptuous selection of local and European-style food, as well as all-day snacks and beverages are on offer here, with a well-informed staff presence ready to offer the idyllic family retreat.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ahilya By The Sea
13. Whoopers Boutique Anjuna – a themed, creative and cool resort featuring a fun British pub-style bar
At Whoppers Boutique, a vibrant yellow façade invites you to an experience brimming with authenticity and splendour, nestled in the heart of the jungle.
Many charming open-air hangouts adorn the property, welcoming the grace of nature to set the tone for a unique Goa welcome. A shimmering outdoor pool area is girdled by vegetation, offering a space of seclusion for you to soak up the charming surrounds.
A vibrant bar area with billiards table blends a cosy ‘British Pub’ feel with a temperate outdoors ambiance, and is a memorable hub for discerning travellers to mingle the night away.
Whilst embracing a tranquil location, the hotel is a mere 10-minute stroll from Anjuna Beach, offering a convenient position to explore the paradisiacal South-West Indian charm.
- To book, check prices or availability for Whoopers Boutique Anjuna
14. Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Goa – a pet-friendly, themed and quirky hotel where guests can enjoy an array of culinary delights
Surrounded by white sand beaches and lush green environs, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort is the ideal getaway for couples and families alike.
The young and energetic staff presence endeavours to pamper guests in luxury, offering a bespoke personalized service to let your stresses melt away.
The guestrooms are well equipped with unique design elements, and feature a moody lighting facility to set the mood for a true Arabian Sea welcome. The Pink Room Spa is the ultimate spot to rejuvenate mind, body, and soul, boasting 5 treatment rooms utilizing a whole host of natural elements.
Kickstart your celebrations in the on-site restaurant ‘Planet Dailies’, fuelled by culinary artists who maintain a high standard of presentation and service through a range of Classic Western, Japanese, and South Indian dishes.
- To book, check prices or availability for Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Goa
15. The Postcard Hideaway, Netravali, Goa – a modern, tranquil and beautiful resort ideal for a rejuvenating vacation
Nestled within twenty acres of greenery in a hidden corner of Goa, The Postcard Hideaway offers solitude and relaxation in the purest sense, with unending views of the hills and surrounding Western Ghats.
The 20 guestrooms blend unobtrusively with this effervescent backdrop, and are topped with worldly pleasures and a graceful patio. Your wellness regime begins from the minute you dive into the hotel, as the sounds of water, leaves, and birds offer an instant sense of respite.
The spa area extends this essence, featuring an open-air jacuzzi and yoga sessions atop a stunning pavilion. The on-site restaurant sources ingredients from the resort’s organic garden, and celebrates the rich flavours of local Goan cuisine.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Postcard Hideaway, Netravali, Goa
16. Anahata Retreat – a quiet, cozy and charming rustic-chic retreat with a beachfront location
Named after the heart chakra, associated with balance, calmness, and serenity, Anahata is beautifully tucked away in a beachside coconut grove. Offering daily yoga classes, seasonal menus, and enthralling thatched eco-cottages, this seaside haven combines the essences of laid-back and luxurious.
A castaway feel permeates the property’s manicured grounds, which boast a bamboo yoga deck nestled between tropical gardens, plush several swaying hammocks providing ultimate relaxation.
A standout feature is the elevated sunset pavilion, which provides a graceful setting to kick back and indulge in a signature cocktail in front of a mesmerising Arabian Sea sunset.
The guestrooms are built from recycled-wood and feature private verandas with sea views, with a quintessential rustic charm offered through wind lantern light fittings and bamboo ladder tower rails.
- To book, check prices or availability for Anahata Retreat
17. Cidade De Goa – IHCL SeleQtions – a newly renovated, elegant and bright resort with on-site shopping and a poolside bar
Offering a blend of luxury, warmth, and laidback elegance, Cidade De Goa was designed as a Portuguese hamlet, taking inspiration from Mediterranean influences through vibrant medleys of oranges, yellows, and blues.
The property is adorned with murals, chequered floors, and tiled roofs, transporting visitors on a journey through the historical harmony of Portuguese-Goan culture.
The vibe and location embody the flair of Goa, while the hotel is backdropped by stunning views of the sea and manicured greens.
Every corner tells a story, and every evening is accentuated by live music, with a range of water sports, games, and children’s facilities also on offer. At Cidade, a voyage of discovery is provided in the form of meditation, yoga, and self-healing sessions.
- To book, check prices or availability for Cidade De Goa – IHCL SeleQtions
18. Alila Diwa Goa – A Hyatt Brand – a contemporary, upscale and unique resort well equipped for a great family vacation
Designed with tropical, Bali-esque elements, Alila Diwa features boundless views over green fields. Its commodious guestrooms are ornate with dark wood and boast balconies with outdoor seating areas, while laterite stone, clay tiles, and high ceilings reflect the Goan charm.
The property’s pathways are lined with several water bodies, which lead to a dazzling pool, a lounge, and an exquisite restaurant. An array of spa therapies is on offer at Spa Alila, which provides a unique blend of Asian, Western, and Ayurvedic treatments with oils made of fresh, natural ingredients.
In the evening you can savour an explosion of delicious flavours and cuisines, with thoughtfully crafted dishes and artisanal dining experiences on offer.
- To book, check prices or availability for Alila Diwa Goa – A Hyatt Brand
19. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Goa – a tranquil, Mediterranean-inspired and classic resort overlooking the Arabian ocean
The Mediterranean-style Taj Exotica Resort is peacefully spread across 56 acres of landscaped gardens, sitting along a private beach overlooking the beautiful Arabian Sea.
Taj Exotica is a popular haunt for travellers who flock here from near and far to take advantage or supreme golfing facilities, a full spa and outdoor pool, and 6 exquisite dining options.
The guestrooms are decorated in neutral colours, with classic dark wood furnishings and traditional patterns bolstering the chic, relaxed feel. Each has a private balcony overlooking the garden or sea, while some offer a private pool or hydromassage bathtub.
- To book, check prices or availability for Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Goa
20. Agonda Serenity Resort – a cute and charming beachside resort in close proximity to local popular attractions
Set in the beautiful beach town of Agonda, here we have one of Southern India’s most eclectic hubs, offering 7 Sea Front accommodations, 14 Garden View Huts, and 4 Basic Cottages.
Nestled in lush tropical gardens, Agonda Serenity Resort is an idyllic, secluded spot for sunbathing, relaxing, and swimming, while relatively few tourists visit this district.
The hotel is perfect for those who want to enjoy a quiet morning, yet relish an Instagrammable backdrop in a boutique atmosphere.
Setting out to provide memorable experiences for all types of traveller, the resort achieves excellence through a personalized service, inspired innovation, and adaptation to the changing tourism landscape.
- To book, check prices or availability for Agonda Serenity Resort
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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.