“Kick back in these super-slick villas and cottages, set in 4 acres of tropical garden with direct access to the golden sands of Candolim Beach (villas sleep 6-13; cottages sleep 2-4)”
There's a wonderfully light and airy aesthetic to the main villa, with an easy flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. The back of the ground floor is completely open to the palms, so guests can sink into cream sofas in the colonnaded verandas and spot wildlife in the garden. At the end of the corridor, a slate pool filled with carp and a statue of Ganesh creates a feeling of calm.
Inside, the house is full of contemporary Indian art collected and commissioned by Mr Lakhanpal. Writing desks, objets d'art, lamps, vases and musical instruments are dotted around the house to break up the rectangular lines. This is also the case in the garden, where sculptures poke out from the undergrowth.
The 5 double-bedded suites are spacious, stylish and modern - and nicely spaced so you never feel like you're getting on top of each other. The cream and white main suite is split over 2 levels and has a veranda with magnificent views of the garden. The downstairs suite has a contemporary four-poster bed and imposing modern art on the wall. The other downstairs double is a little more compact but has the advantage of an outdoor bath tub - the perfect place to relax after a long day in the Goan sun. All suites have their own bathroom, excellent storage space and private outside areas. There is also a TV area with a plasma screen and DVD player.
The 3 independent, self-catering casinhas at the front of the property are cosier and a tad less stylish than the main house, but still clean and bright, with a modern aesthetic. They each have one double and one twin bedroom, plus living, dining and kitchen areas. Named after the signs of the Zodiac, they're laid out according to Feng Shui principles, with open-air bathrooms boasting coloured cement pigment and polished stone floors - perfect for feeling at one with your surroundings.
A couple of newer options which we have not visited yet are the 2 beachfront cottages - simpler wooden cabins with double bed and ensuite bathroom - and Villa Venus, a 3-bedroom Portuguese bungalow which you pass en route to the main villa. Surrounded by high walls, palms and lush greenery, Venus also has its own 20m pool - though there's not a huge amount of room to sit around it. Inside is a large (10m x 10m) open-plan, living space with a dining area and kitchen, and 3 ensuite double bedrooms each with their own access to the garden. It's not as chic as the main villa, but white walls, dark wood furniture and terracotta-tiled floors keep the décor smart and simple, with plenty of bright cushions and artworks to bring colour.
If you're staying in the main villa the house chef will prepare your meals, starting with a mighty breakfast feast made up of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and fruit - or a full-on curry if you prefer.
For lunch and dinner, you can discuss dietary requirements with the chef, but make sure you try the Goan dishes: our fish curry was superb. Otherwise, you can expect plenty of chicken and mutton, some excellent vegetarian fare and a small range of western food, such as a simple but tasty spaghetti pomodoro. Many dishes use fresh produce grown in the vegetable garden. There's lots of choice about where to dine - under the palms, on the veranda or at the beachside sit-out.
The casinhas and Villa Venus are let on a self-catering basis, and have fully equipped kitchenettes with a gas hob, a fridge, crockery and cutlery etc. Again, the house chef is available to prepare lunch and dinner on request, and you have a breakfast hamper provided for you, which is replenished every day.
If you prefer to eat out, the beach shacks are inexpensive and serve good Goan fish; you could order food from them and bring it back to eat on your veranda. There are also some good restaurants within a 10-minute drive, including I-95, After Eight, La Reverie and Le French, all serving western food.
Children are welcome, provided their parents make sure they're supervised at all times (there are sharp edges, unprotected drops and no pool attendant). There are plenty of staff, but some families like to bring their own nanny/nannies, who can sleep in the cottages with the kids. The beach is sandy and Goa is generally child-friendly (but not always the most salubrious place). Extra mattresses (but not cots) are available for children and babysitters can be arranged on request.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.