Aashyana

Candolim, North Goa, India Book from Book from £61 per night

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)

Tucked away behind the busy village of Candolim, Aashyana Lakhanpal is one of Goa's best-kept secrets. This modern villa, owned by Indian entrepreneur Ajai Lakhanpal and designed by French architects Arvind and Nita d'Souza, brings a slice of contemporary western chic to the coast of India. With its 5 palatial suites, the main house is a super-cool venue for parties of 10-13 and includes its own private pool and beach access. For smaller groups and families, there's a range of casinhas and cottages dotted around the grounds, including a few right on the beach, each sleeping from 2 to 6 people.

Aashyana means 'nest', and once you arrive you won't want to leave. And with 19 staff for the main villa alone, including 2 on-site masseurs, there is little need to. Stroll through the huge tropical gardens to the pool, or slip onto bustling Candolim beach and watch the sun go down. The chef cooks excellent Goan and western dishes with home-grown produce, eaten under the palms or on the wraparound veranda. A meditation room with Hindu votive sculptures and a nightly incense-burning ceremony in the garden give the place a spiritual feeling. Staff are on hand to attend to your every need, and can organise anything from water sports to performances by local musicians.
Covid update: see our Flexible Booking Policy.

Highs

  • The villas, cottages and grounds are full of wonderful open spaces, with lots of verandas, open-air showers and airy bedrooms
  • The slick, large swimming pool is a godsend in the heat
  • Traditional Goan food is eaten under the stars in a fabulous entertaining area - great for a party
  • If you're coming with kids and/or nannies, the casinhas are perfect for little ones
  • Walking down to the beach through the tropical garden, filled with coconut palms and cashew, lime and guava trees, is a fantastic start to the day

Lows

  • If you rent the main villa (for up to 13), you should be prepared for other guests in the casinhas - or pay extra for exclusive use
  • Save for their tropical surroundings, the beach cottages lack the wow-factor of the rest of the property
  • Some people may find so many staff hanging around slightly unnerving
  • There are some mosquitoes at night - bring plenty of repellent
  • This place isn't very toddler-friendly, with lots of angular lines, and children could easily wander off to the pool or beach if unattended

Best time to go

November to March is the main tourist season in Goa and brings the driest weather. The region can get particularly busy over Christmas and New Year. If you want total peace and quiet and don't mind high humidity, sudden (warm) drenchings and occasional waterfalls on the roads and roofs, visit during the June-October monsoon months - you'll be almost alone on the beaches.

Our top tips

Pack beachwear, some sarongs and an iPod for lazing by the pool, and some of your favourite DVDs if travelling out of season. You'll also need plenty of mosquito repellent and long sleeves for the evenings.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Spa
  • Beach Villas
  • 9 houses for 2-10
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service
Room: Villa Aashyana

Rooms

The light and airy Main Villa holds 5 spacious, stylish and modern suites, all nicely spaced so you never feel like you're getting on top of each other. The split-level main suite has a veranda with magnificent views of the garden, leading onto a large private pool. The downstairs suite has a contemporary four-poster bed; the other downstairs double is more compact, but it has an outdoor bathtub to compensate - perfect 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 cinema area with big TV and a selection of films to watch. The house is full of contemporary Indian art collected and commissioned by Mr Lakhanpal. In the garden, sculptures poke out from the undergrowth.

For smaller groups (or a large family), there's 3-bedroomed Villa Venus with a living space, a dining area and a kitchen, plus a private pool surrounded by lush greenery. It's not quite as chic as the main villa, the décor is smart and simple, with plenty of bright cushions and artworks.

For families, the 3 independent, self-catering Casinhas at the front of the property are perfect: cosy, clean and bright. 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 and polished stone floors. And there are two newer 2-bedroom cottages, Virgo or Gemini, with lovely sit-out verandas which overlook the gardens and the beach beyond.

Finally - for couples - the Beach Cottages are so close to the water that you can hear the waves. Each provides simple accommodation including a double bed, writing desk, ensuite shower room and small terrace. A fridge and tea- and coffee-making facilities are there, but it is by no means self-catering. Just behind the cottages, there’s a 25m swimming pool.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbecue
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Satellite TV
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

If you're staying in the Main Villa, the house chef will prepare your meals, starting with a mighty breakfast 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, expect plenty of chicken and mutton, some excellent vegetarian fare and a small range of western food (perhaps a simple but tasty spaghetti pomodoro). Many dishes use fresh produce grown in the vegetable garden. Dine under the palms, on the veranda, at the beachside sit-out...

The Casinhas and Villa Venus are let on a self-catering basis. They have fully equipped kitchens, each with a gas hob, a fridge, crockery and cutlery. Again, the house chef is available to prepare lunch and dinner on request. You have a breakfast hamper provided for you, which is replenished every day. Any groceries you need can be ordered in.

There are no cooking facilities at the Cottages, but you can order breakfast, lunch and dinner to be enjoyed out on your terrace – lovely with the sound of the sea in the background.

If you prefer to eat out, the inexpensive local beach shacks serve good Goan fish; you could even order food from them and bring it back to eat on your veranda. There are also some good restaurants within a 10-minute drive: I-95, After Eight, La Reverie and Le French.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • In house cook
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating: Casinha Leo
Activity: Candolim Beach

Activities

  • Take a dip in the lovely 25m pool, surrounded by sunloungers and palm trees; or just chill out in one of the many screened sitting areas
  • Stroll through the private gate onto bustling Candolim Beach, where you can swim in the shadow of huge tankers, or cruise up and down the golden sands checking out the beach shacks and hawkers
  • Have a go at one of the watersports (jet-skiing, parasailing and banana boat hire) on offer at the beach
  • Ask for a massage from one of the on-site masseuses; there's a dedicated massage room with wicker screens letting a soft breeze waft through as you relax with a soothing treatment
  • A driver can take you to Old Goa to see the remains of St Francis Xavier's body, still preserved in the Basilica of Bom Jesus
  • Spare some time for exploring the backstreets of Fontainhas, the old quarter of the capital Panjim, where the Portuguese influence on Goa remains evident. You can see the colonial villas in their faded glory, visit the 16th-century Adilshahi Palace and enjoy tapas at the local eateries
  • Head to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, set on the island of Chorao along the Mandovi River. Covered in a thick layer of mangrove, it's home to a variety rare and endangered species, including mudskippers and black drongos

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Fishing
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

Kids

Children are welcome, provided their parents make sure they're supervised at all times. The style and layout of the accommodation is certainly family friendly, and children will love running around the tropical grounds, and there's direct beach access, but there is not much in the way of children’s activities. The beach is sandy and Goa is generally child-friendly.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra mattresses (but not cots) are available for children. Some families like to bring their own nanny/nannies, who can sleep in the cottages with the kids.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement

Kids Activities on site:

  • 4 acres of tropical gardens
  • Swimming pools

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beach
  • Watersports
  • Bird sanctuary
  • Goa Science Centre in Panjim has interactive exhibits scattered across a lush park and an auditorium showing 3D films

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
Kid Friendly: Villa Aashyana

Location

Aashyana Lakhanpal is in the coastal town of Candolim, in the Bardez province of Goa.

By Air
Dabolim International (45km / 1-hour drive) is the closest airport. It has a range of domestic, charter and scheduled services.

From the Airport
Transfers from the airport are available. Staff will meet you (with a name board) in the terminal; please give flight details during or after booking.

By Train
If you're already in India, you can reach Goa by train. See Konkan Railway if you're coming from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mysore, Pune or Hyderabad. If you're coming from the south of India or Kerala, visit Indian Rail for timetables and fares.

Getting Around
The villa can arrange cars with drivers for local excursions and day trips.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Goa and getting around

Airports:

  • Goa Dabolim 45.0 km GOI

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Rates for Aashyana

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