Cabo Serai

South Goa & Gokarna, India Book from Book from £108 per night

Amazing value eco-luxe resort hidden among palm trees on one of southern Goa's best beaches, offering yoga, healthy food and seven sea-view suites
There are few journeys more thrilling than the vertiginous electric golf cart ride to Cabo Serai, down through lush greenery towards a stretch of all-but-private beach. As we approached, we spotted a beaming staff member lurking in the foliage, ready (with machete and coconut in hand!) to guide us through the trees to his eco retreat.

Set back from the ocean, with the roar of the sea audible throughout, each of Cabo Serai's seven rooms is perched 100 feet above ground, enveloped by 14 acres of untouched jungle. Tucked away in sleepy South Goa, it's a far cry from the crowds of the Northern beaches. Embodying the Goan spirit of languorous living, the vibe is so laid back it's almost horizontal. Choose from a long list of outdoor and wildlife activities on-site, wake up with a private yoga class or unwind with an Ayurvedic massage. Fancy lunch down on the beach? No problem. Sundowners that turn into dinner? Naturally.

A real effort has been made in conserving the surrounding vegetation, with as little as possible moved during the construction process. Plus there's a zero-tolerance policy on single-use plastics. An energy-guzzling resort this is not. But it's paradise alright.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Be prepared to gasp as you make your way along a freshwater creek, opening onto Cabo de Rama beach
  • Always smiling, always happy to help, the staff are a huge part of what makes Cabo Serai so superb
  • Those sea views and wrap-around balconies
  • The in-room details and extras: a copper water pot, eco-conscious toiletries, plus a selection of loose leaf teas and local coffee
  • Stargazing on an evening was unlike anything else in India

Lows

  • Bring a decent pair of walking shoes for getting around or be prepared to take a buggy
  • Environmentally conscious minibars mean there's no fridge, so you'll have to make do with powdered milk - or you can call for fresh
  • You are in the jungle: there are bugs!
  • No pool, but there's one coming soon

Best time to go

Weather-wise, the best time to visit Goa is from November to February. If you like the heat, October and March are pleasant too. Christmas and New Year would be an excellent time to escape to Cabo Serai, as Goa's Northern beaches become clogged with domestic and international tourists.

Our top tips

It's worth noting that on Sundays the otherwise empty beach of Cabo de Rama is alive with local families enjoying their day off. This can involve games of football and playing music. It's an iconic 'India-scape', but guests who don't value people-watching as much as they do their own peace and quiet might wish to book an activity or venture elsewhere on this day.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 4 cottages + 3 tents
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry service
Room:

Rooms

There are three cottages and two tents dotted across the resort. They sit sympathetically against a backdrop of lush foliage, making them all but invisible from the beach. The tents are wonderfully spacious but more simple in design - though a stay in these is still very much a glamping experience. The cottages are a notch up in style. They are made of coconut wood, with dome-shaped roofs letting in lots of light and giving the effect of staying on a kettuvallam houseboat, exponentially enhanced by the sound of the ocean. See the sea from your bed, shower or gorgeous alfresco living area.

Antique curios like globes, magnifying glasses and books on wildlife, as well as freshly cut flowers and local artwork, prevent the spaces from being sparse. And every effort has been made to make the rooms as eco as possible. AC is available, but the high ceilings and powerful fans (not to mention large French windows) mean there's little reason to use it.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

There's no set menu as dining is tailored to guest preferences, with some excellent chef recommendations. And fortunately - as there are few restaurants nearby - it's superb. With an unmistakable wellness slant on dining, it's by no means restrictive. Much of the menu is designed around what is available in their organic vegetable garden, what can be sourced locally, and what is in season.

Breakfast, served in a breezy, thatched dining pergola, is an ever-changing choice of baker's basket (including locally baked poee, or Goan bread) accompanied by homemade kaju (cashew) butter, for which the state is famous. Freshly squeezed juices, eggs to order and mini-American style pancakes are delicious, whilst a cheese platter and homebaked granola bars complete the feast. Long lunches of fresh prawns, zesty salads and courgette spaghetti can be taken in the main restaurant or served down on the beach. For dinner, dine by candlelight under the stars on local staple masala crab to complete the Goa experience.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Go on nature walks through the surrounding forest with the onsite horticulturist - there are over 85 species of bird to be spotted!
  • Join a guided group excursion with local environmental activists and outdoor pursuit enthusiasts from Terra Conscious (part of Goa's Responsible Tourism initiative) - activities include dolphin watching, kayaking, cycling and diving.
  • Have a private yoga class or Ayurvedic massage to feel relaxed and restored.
  • Make time for lounging on Cabo de Rama beach: one of the most pristine stretches of Arabian coastline. If you're lucky, you might spot Indian Humpback dolphins.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Scuba diving
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga

Kids

Cabo Serai is more of a couples' retreat, though there are plenty of activities on-site and outdoors that children will enjoy: swimming, cycling, nature walks, diving, kayaking, dolphin spotting. Owing to the layout of the cottages, it's not very well-suited to younger children.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All tents and cottages can fit one extra bed.

Baby equipment:

High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Distances:

  • Airport: 90 minutes
  • Hospital: 30 minutes
  • Supermarket: 20 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Cabo Serai sits on a secluded hill above Cabo de Rama beach in southern Goa. It's 30 minutes from Agonda, an hour and a half from Goa airport, and miles from the crowds.

By Air:
Dabolim International (50km away) is Goa's main airport, with flights from other Indian cities, Europe and beyond.

From the Airport
Arrange a transfer, or you could pick up a car at the airport and self-drive. Note that the approach to the resort is a little bumpy (but don't worry, you're on the right track!). See our car rental recommendations.

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

Airports:

  • Goa 50.0 km GOI

Other:

  • Beach 0.2 km
  • Shops 9.5 km
  • Restaurant 0.8 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
8/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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Rates for Cabo Serai

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