Paros by Amarya

Morjim, Anjuna & North Goa, India Book from IRs5,900

Reviewed by Kate Darnton
Peaceful, chic and super-comfortable tents and a Portuguese-style villa, set among palm trees a stone's throw from north Goa’s striking Turtle (Morjim) Beach
Sophistication meets colourful design and a passion for hosting at this off-the-beaten-track hideaway. Stepping from your private veranda, the sound of the waves filling your ears, your feet collide with golden sand - it’s just a short stroll from here into the Arabian Sea for a pre-breakfast dip. Spend your day exploring Portuguese-influenced India and lazing on the beach, before retreating for a sundowner on the restaurant’s deck, decorated in calming greens and blues, followed by dinner as the stars shine brightly above you.

Paros is ideal for romantic couples, the design-conscious, and families or small groups in search of quiet privacy. The luxurious tents (each with a proper bedroom, bathroom and electricity) and 4-bedroom villa will make you feel like a modern-day Maharajah or Maharani on safari - though with the bonus of a beach on your doorstep. Rooms feature a fun and funky mix of modern and antique Indian decor, hand-woven fabrics and hand-crafted wooden furniture (often recycled from old fishing boats). This beach-side camp is a true Goan gem.

Highs

  • The romance, beauty and spaciousness of the cream canvas tents with their silver-threaded gauze curtains
  • The on-site French owner Mathieu, who makes every guest feel truly welcome; he’s deeply handsome and charming, though sadly for all you single girls, he's taken!
  • The comforts of a hotel: each tent, as well as the villa bedrooms, is blessed with air con
  • The smiling staff, who will do everything in their power to help - even occasionally babysitting!

Lows

  • Note that the small plunge pool is for the sole use of beach villa guests and for all the kids staying at the hotel (you can always wander down to the sea for a dip)
  • Located half a mile off the main road, along a bumpy dirt track
  • While breakfast was delicious, we found our other meals disappointing. Nearby beach shacks aren't recommended, either. For finer food, you'll need a taxi to Morjim
  • By the end of the high season, the chic decor shows some wear and tear

Best time to go

Paros is open from the start of November to mid-April. November is Mathieu’s favourite time as it’s the start of the season, 'not yet too crowded, but with loads of energy'. December to January is the busiest and most popular time, with lots of full-on Goan beach parties further along the coast, particularly over New Year; Paros generally remains tranquil, though. February and March are quieter. April is hot and humid but has cheaper rates everywhere as the season closes.

Our top tips

Pack your own sunscreen; the sun can be fierce and good-quality lotions are not available at the local markets. Also, make sure your tent flaps are properly secured at night to keep out bugs.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Family
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Tents and Villa
  • 10 tents + 1 villa
  • Restaurant + bar (open daily)
  • Children of all ages are welcome
  • Closed: 4 Apr 2016 - 11 Nov 2016
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Yoga
Room: Tented Suite

Rooms

There are 8 Luxury Tents and 2 Tented Suites, as well as a 4-bed Beach Villa for those less keen on 'glamping'. All are set back from the soft sands of Turtle Beach, and you can happily drift off to the sound of the waves lapping the shore.

Tented accommodation is the real draw here - this is the way camping should be! The comfy kingsize beds, set beneath high apexes, have deliciously soft cotton sheets, duvets and plump pillows. Decorative cushions are scattered about and gauzy, silver-threaded curtains waft in the breeze. (Air-con cools things down further.) Spot-lit bathrooms, concealed by colourful partition walls, have showers, fluffy towels and natural bath products. The tent flaps, which open onto verandas with dark wood tables and deck chairs, can be secured with a padlock. At night, the tents are decorated with fairy lights, candles and lanterns, which generate a truly romantic atmosphere.

The Indo-Portuguese style Beach Villa, set in a gorgeous tropical garden, has 3 ensuite double rooms plus a small kids’ twin room. Its large veranda is perfect to sit on with a sundowner.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Ipod dock
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

The Restaurant Lounge is decorated in a cheerful mix of bright blues and greens. It consists of a raised alfresco platform boasting anoramic views of the beach and Arabian Sea - the perfect spot for that sunset fresh mint mojito.

Breakfast is both delicious and plentiful: fruit salad, cereals, eggs any way, sweet and savoury crepes, Indian paratha, tea or coffee and fresh-pressed juices. You'll need to roll away from the table.

Lunch and dinner were a bit disappointing by comparison. There are Western standards (sandwiches, hamburgers, pasta dishes) as well as several Indian options, such as grilled kingfish and Bengali-style mustard fish curry. Our favourite dish was the mixed seafood pasta.

If you're hankering for finer cuisine, Mathieu recommends several outstanding nearby restaurants, including La Plage and Sublime in Morjim, which are both on the beach.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Go for a dip - Turtle (Morjim) Beach is cleaner and much less crowded than most Goan beaches
  • Stroll hand-in-hand down long, (relatively) empty stretches of beach, watching the fishermen unloading their catch
  • Sunbathe on one of the hotel’s funky (and comfortable!) recycled-wood beach loungers
  • Be one of the lucky few to see endangered Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings scurry into the sea (normally November to March)
  • Go exploring by hired motorbike. Goa’s river-mouth capital Panjim is well worth visiting - particularly its old Portuguese Fontainhas quarter
  • Go parasailing - staff can arrange this and other water sports that take your fancy
  • Enjoy yoga with an ocean view; Paros can arrange both group and private beachside classes
  • The hotel can arrange bird-watching or dolphin-spotting boat trips
  • Visit a spice farm in the hills and see Cashew Feni being made

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Dolphin- and turtle-spotting
  • Historical sites
  • Nightlife
  • Parascending
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga

Kids

Children generally love camping and living under canvas, so for most, a stay at Paros is a dream come true. They need to be well-behaved though, and not too rowdy, given the chic furnishings and peace being enjoyed by the other guests.

Family friendly accommodation:

Parents with 1 child may opt for the Luxury Tents, which can fit an extra bed or baby cot; those with 2 can stay in the spacious Tented Suites, which have a daybed that can be made up as an additional bed, as well as space for a rollaway bed or cot. The Beach Villa is ideal for larger families as it has 3 large ensuite double bedrooms, as well as a small kids’ twin room. Larger families loathe to give up the camping experience may also request adjacent Luxury Tents.

Babysitting:

Babysitting and child-minding services are available on request.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

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

Families Should Know:

The Restaurant Lounge is on a raised deck with no real barriers around it, so parents should keep an eye on kids to ensure that they don’t toddle over.

Kid Friendly: Luxury Tent

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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