“Complete serenity in a restored Portuguese heritage mansion in a small Goan village, where life continues as it has for decades”
Each of the 5 rooms is spacious and well-appointed, with antique Indian furniture, a deep-sprung mattress on a large bed and an ensuite bathroom.
Rooms are named after semi-precious stones, which are found in the decorative floor borders. Colour schemes reflect the stone, as do the gorgeous hand-sewn patchwork quilts. Each room opens up to its own terrace area with a table where breakfast or tea may be taken.
The largest and most popular is the Sunshine Room, whose warm yellows provide a calm and inviting atmosphere. This is the only room without air conditioning, as its traditional high ceiling is open to the rafters and allows constant air flow, keeping temperatures comfortable year-round. Often used as a honeymoon suite, the Sunshine Room has its own private garden and a magnificent monsoon rain shower.
The Turquoise Room instills an inner calm with its deep blue-green walls. Turquoise is seen as a healing and protective stone, and the room provides a relaxing respite for guests.
The Carnelian Room glows from within like a sunset, with ambient light reflecting softly off its warm orange walls. The original glass-front teakwood cupboards are a nice touch.
The soft pink light of the romantic and peaceful Rose Room is filtered through a skylight and 2 large recessed windows that open to the pool terrace.
Bathrooms have large shower cubicles with top-of-the-range Jaguar taps and rain showers.
Carole and Norman's own private suite and quarters (the Hosts' Suite), which include an amazing custom-made kingsize teak bed crafted on site, can be let as part of a whole-house rental.
The 4-course dinners at Casa Susegad are not to be missed. The food is a fusion of Goan cuisine and imaginative continental dishes. Carole often starts her day at the local market, and has worked painstakingly with her wonderful staff to prepare traditional local dishes as well as train them in her own recipes. Everything is organic, and meals are prepared in the well-equipped, large kitchen or over a traditional wood fire.
You'll never have the same dish twice; ask Carole about the Goan chicken or the incredible fish wrapped in a banana leaf, or the fresh seafood platter followed by mango crumble with vanilla custard. She will also create a meal just for you if you tell her what you fancy. If you ask, your hosts will happily lead you on a tour of the kitchen and garden, pulling samples of the many fruits they grow right off the trees or offering a bite out of something cooking on the stove for you to try.
Lunch is also available for guests, and is usually homemade soups with fresh salads or sandwiches. Breakfast is served on each room’s terrace, and tea is always offered in the afternoons.
Local neighbours often join the guests and hosts for meals, and after a day or 2 you will feel part of the charming village. Meals are eaten en famille in the sumptuous formal dining room, or if you prefer to be alone, al fresco on the terrace, in the lounge in front of a movie, or in the guest’s own room.
Cocktails are often organised at the sunset spot looking down over the house and grounds - the perfect way to end the day. Carole makes a particularly delicious vodka lime soda with ginger. Other available refreshments, including beer, wine, juice and soft drinks, are available in the communal kitchen on an honour basis - guests simply help themselves at any time, and write down what they had on a tally sheet.
If you want to eat out, we have heard good reports about Archies Bar in the village for dinner.
No children under 12 are permitted during Christmas and New Year, although well-behaved and well-supervised children are welcome at all other times. Casa Susegad has rambling gardens, cats and dogs, and ancient doorway leading to a jungle filled with monkeys and birds. Carole and Norman encourage a warm atmosphere in the house. The only drawback is the short drive to the beach but it is magical to stay somewhere steeped in rural tranquility.
Parents of children of all ages have given it a big thumbs up, however, we think that it would be too quiet for older teens and the grounds are not that well suited to toddlers.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Families are usually encouraged to take the Sunshine Room (sleeping 4 if you add 2 beds) and you can also add a bed or cot to the Carnelian Room. If you book the whole house (5 rooms), you can also book the Host's Suite, which also sleeps 4 with 2 extra beds. All rooms have showers, not baths.
Babysitting is available by prior arrangement.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The food here created by their excellent cook who has a great repertoire of Indian, continental and Goan fare, including lots of curries plus salads, fruit and fish. Communal dining is optional and you can arrange an early tea for kids, eating at their own table, and any dish is available on request such as pasta with home made tomato sauce, home made burgers and crispy chicken dipping strips to a simple light dhal and rice. It's a flexible set up: breakfast, lunch and dinner are served or you can eat out in a cafe nearby.
There are lots of stumbling hazards in the garden including steep steps and a waterfall in the jungle part of the gardens. The pool is unfenced and unsupervised. There may be a lack of hot water at times as the tank is solar heated.