A secluded villa-hotel close to the monuments of Old Goa
Atop a hillock in Velha Goa or Old Goa overlooking hundreds of acres of coconut plantations and away from the tourist bustle of the historic part of the town is a pristine white villa set in the beautiful tree-covered Champakali Estate. The Postcard Velha, part of the Postcard Hotels chain, is a tranquail oasis close to all the tourist spots and yet far enough away to ensure guests have a relaxed stay.
The white bungalow, built in 2010, with its pillared verandah and sloping tiled roof is a modern reimagining of a colonial villa. Set in a two-acre estate, the bungalow is completely surrounded by trees with the monuments of Old Goa and the Mandovi River delta visible in the distance. The surrounding greenery makes it seem like the hotel is far removed from the chaotic touristy world of Goa, but the Church of St Francis of Assisi and the Basilica of Bom Jesus are just over a kilometer away!
The villa offers eight rooms under two categories. The Banyan Rooms offers views of the verdant garden and of the 300-year-old banyan tree within it. These rooms come with private verandahs. The Mandovi rooms offer sweeping views of the hillock and the delta formed by Mandovi and Zuari rivers. These rooms have attached balconies. All rooms are spacious and luxuriously furnished.
The food here is Goan and European, with the local preparations standing out. Guests have in the past praised the breakfast of Goan sausage and poee, a local bun, and the Goan thali. The menu also features other such authentic local dishes like fish dangar, pork feijoada and prawn balchao. The scenic dining pavilions overlooking the Zuari river adds to the charm.
As the monuments of Old Goa are close at hand, the hotel offers a curated 2.5 hr walk through this part of Goa. The heritage walk with a local guide ensures guests get a close look at the Portuguese architecture, get access to ancestral homes, meet wonderful people and enjoy such local food experiences like tasting freshly baked poee with artisanal chorizo sausages prepared in a traditional home. They also get to taste the popular Feni. Guests can also go bird watching in the mangrove forests and explore the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Or go surfing in the nearby beaches or explore the towns and villages of Goa on bicycles. The hotel also organises a cooking session with a local. Visit the local market and fish monger and prepare family recipes like pork vindaloo, Goan prawn curry and vegetable xacuti under the able guidance of the the local village cooking expert.
Price: Rs 20,000
The Postcard Hotel is committed to ensuring sustainability and authenticity, right from the construction and restoration of the hotel sites, to the ingredients and toiletries that are used in them. They believe that materials and cuisine are a key part of local heritage and go a long way in ensuring that guests experience the destination in a uniquely transformative and immersive way. Much of the focus of the guest experiences at each hotel is focused on the community and cuisine of the area. The hotels also avoid use of plastic.