Hotels, Hostels or Home-stays: Where to stay in Goa?

Be it the gang of college friends, the love-struck honeymooners or the happy family of four on their annual holiday – Goa is in the list of all Indian travellers. Add the firangs in the equation, and we arrive at an over-whelming number of tourists at this tiny yet delightful state, nestled in the west coast of the country.

Last year itself Goa hosted more than 75 lakhs tourists, as per the reports of the Department of tourism of the State. It’s no wonder that a basic search in any popular hotel booking website gives more than 3,000 listed stay options in Goa. Apart from the regular hotels, the fancy home-stays and the oh-so-hip hostels, there are a fair number of serviced apartments and, shacks on the beaches too, where one can stay.

So of these thousands of options, which one to zero down to? Well, the below classification can be of some help:
#HOTELS:

Pros:

  • Room Service….aaaah! The joys of just having to press a bell to get your floor mopped clean or the water refilled is what a vacation is about for a lot of people.
  • Ample options for every budget – shoe-string, extravagant and everything in between.
  • If you are at peace with the tried and tested, and don’t want to experiment, then hotels are your place.

Cons:

  • Boring. Yes, hotels are plain boring. Come on, that’s where you stay on almost all your vacations!

#HOSTELS:

Pros:

  • Extremely pocket-friendly.
  • You get to meet and interact with new people, and you always have company.
  • Ideal for college students who don’t mind sharing rooms to cut expenses.
  • Colourful, instagrammy common spaces to chill at.

Cons:

  • Zero privacy
  • Fit only for a particular age group (not considering octogenarians with a pot in one hand, and a bottle in another)
  • Certainly not suitable for families travelling with kids
  • Cleanliness is often compromised on
  • Shared toilets can be painful

I tired to stay at the much-famed Wonderland Hostel at Anjuna in October last year. Even their most expensive private room, charging more than many hotels, had fungus all over the ceiling (full-grown mushrooms in the washroom too!), to mention nothing of the dysfunctional AC and the broken chair with a broken, spiky tree branch on it. Oh, and the floors were muddy and the common room had people sitting on mattresses with their shoes on.

#HOME-STAYS:

Pros:

  • As comfortable as your home, only someone else fetches your things and serves you breakfast.
  • Most home-stays in Goa are old, Portuguese bungalows with beautiful architecture and antique adornments (Air BnB can be such a sweet-heart).

Cons:

  • Can be more expensive, than most star-rated hotels.
  • Room-service, if available, can be a tad slow.
  • Don’t have full-fledged restaurants.

I stayed at a place called ‘Casa Anjuna’ last year, and would recommend it to anyone who cares to listen.

#SERVICED APARTMENTS:

Pros:

  • Let out on a monthly or weekly basis, for travellers who will stay for longer periods.
  • Like a sleek, modern home, with a kitchenette (almost always stocked with basics).

Cons:

  • It takes away the holiday feel to some extent (it’s a regular apartment after all, like the ones most of us live in)
  • You have to cook, clean, wash, scrub on your own.

I stayed at one named Riviera Hermitage some time in 2015, and it was a wonderful experience. The poolside was drool-worthy.

#SHACKS:

Pros:

  • Dirt cheap.
  • On the beach itself.

Cons:

  • The tiny loos are used by everyone on the beach throughout the day, so by night it is hardly usable.
  • Sandy beds to sleep on.
  • Power-cuts are very frequent.

So where will you stay on your next trip to Goa?

To read about my take on What to eat in Goa, check this out. 😎

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