Our thoughtful experts are ready with ideas, inspiration and advice for your next journey.
Sister hotel to the exclusive Ahilya Fort hotel in Maheshwar, Ahilya by the Sea is a charming hideaway in Goa, where the Mandovi and Nerul rivers meet the Arabian sea. The one time private estate of the Trinidades family, Ahilya by the Sea transitioned from family home, through simple guesthouse, finally emerging from its cocoon as a charming boutique hotel in late 2015.
Now whilst the town of Goa often evokes images of sprawling beach hotels, and backpackers lined up with a cool Cobra beer on beachside beanbags, Ahilya by the Sea couldn't be further from the stereotype. With its only neighbours being local fisherman, who cast their hand-woven nets into the Arabian sea daily, Ahilya by the Sea offers a glimpse into the Goa of yesteryear.
The design of Ahilya by the Sea is a blend of Goan and Indonesian style, with hand hewn red rock villas sat within tropical gardens, just steps from the ocean. An emerald infinity pool overlooks the Arabian sea, and is the ideal spot to float away hours watching the local fishermen return with their catch, whilst a second swimming pool is surrounded by swaying coconut palms amid the lush gardens.
This exclusive retreat has been built on the site of old Portuguese custom houses, and boasts three individual villas, one of which is still the family home. The other two villas - Sunrise Villa and Sunset Villa - are available to a few lucky guests, whether that be families booking out a whole villa, or couples looking to hideaway in their own private suite.
There are three en suite bedrooms within the Sunrise Villa, each individually designed with beautiful bay views. The villa is furnished with handpicked antiques and Goan crafts, and also features a private dining room which opens out on to a veranda - the ideal spot for memorable family suppers. The Sunset Villa boasts four en suite bedrooms, all sea facing and with a private dining room as well as a small kitchenette. The owners antique collections spills over into this villa too, giving the place a charming, homely feel.
Spend days relaxing on the coast, finding a nook to curl up in with a good book, or visiting nearby historic attractions - the historic Reis-Magos fort is just a short wander away, whilst the UNESCO World Heritage churches of Old Panjim are with a 30 minute drive.
The resident private chef is a master of fiery Goan curries, which are best enjoyed on the al fresco veranda, as you watch local fisherman haul in their daily catch.
Frances, Original Traveller