Take a look at the best beach hotels in India.
The 203-room Holiday Inn Resort Goa is a large upscale property on Mobor Beach's beautiful sands. Rooms have some dated elements, but they're largely contemporary and comfortable, outfitted with coffee- and tea-making facilities, bathrobes, and furnished outdoor spaces. Extensive features include an outdoor pool, a full Ayurvedic spa, kids' club, and a large ballroom that draws frequent wedding parties, which can unfortunately disturb the otherwise peaceful setting. Four dining options include a 24-hour cafe, a Mediterranean eatery, lobby bar with romantic sunset views, and beach spot. There's not a ton aside from the beach in the immediate area, and note that beach loungers aren't provided during monsoon season. For a more luxurious stay, check out the next door Leela Goa, but expect higher rates.
The Leela Goa is a 204-room luxury property located in Cavelossim, right on South Goa's quiet Mobor Beach and about an hour's drive from the airport in Vasco de Gama. The rooms, suites, and villas here are elegant but simple, and all have lovely marble bathrooms; some also have private plunge pools. Amenities are top-notch and aimed at both vacationers and business travelers, including a huge lagoon pool, a couple of tennis courts, a par-3 golf course, a kids' club, a spa with Ayurvedic treatments, extensive events space, and multiple restaurants serving Indian and international fare. Travelers looking for a luxury alternative may also want to consider the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, which is a bit farther north up the coast and thus more convenient to the airport.
The Diwa Club by Alila is a luxury resort within a resort, part of the larger Alila Diwa Goa in the south Goan seaside town of Majorda. This part of the resort offers 35 rooms, all of which mix contemporary decor with Balinese-influenced elements. Guests have access to all the facilities at the main resort along with their own private pool and exclusive restaurant, with all-day a la carte breakfast, cocktails, and a free tea and snacks service every afternoon. It's not on the beach, though the resort does offer a free shuttle service to a private section of nearby Majorda Beach, a five-minute drive away. Those looking for direct beach access may want to consider the Leela Goa instead -- though it's nowhere near as luxurious.
The four-pearl Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa is an expansive, family-geared resort, bordering northern Goa's Sinquerium Beach. Freestanding cottages form its 142 rooms and villas, where greenery or sea views are lovely, and interiors range from traditional to modern. Vast open-air lounges and colorful carvings form attractive, Indo-Portuguese layouts, but maintenance can be rough around the edges. Still, the property's location by the beach and shopping along the main road is excellent, and good features include a pool with sunken bar, tranquil spa, five-hole golf course, and restaurants that include an international buffet and fine-dining Thai, plus plenty for kids. Intimacy-seeking couples should consider the more romantic Vivanda by Taj- Fort Aguada next door, although it's pricier.
In a quiet South Goan neighborhood right by the beach, Heritage Village Club Goa is a three-and-a-half-pearll vacation resort that attracts vacationers looking for a relaxing beach vacation. While the 97 well-maintained, air-conditioned rooms are pleasant enough, it's the facilities that really set this spot apart. There are tons of amenities, from a large pool with a kids' pool to an Ayurvedic spa, from water sports to karaoke nights. There are also four bars and restaurants. Loaner bikes are available for exploring the area -- a boon for those who like getting out and about, given that there's not much within walking distance except for the nearby beach. Travelers looking for something a bit snazzier in the area may want to splurge on the nearby Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa -- but rates are higher.
Surrounded by paddy fields, a short drive south of the airport, Alila Diwa is one of the best luxury getaways in Goa, with gorgeous rooms and facilities and great dining. The 153 rooms all feature elegant and pretty decor, with shaded balconies and huge bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. On-site facilities are equally top-notch: 24-hour dining at VIVO, a gorgeous luxury Ayurvedic spa, and a tiered infinity pool with views out over the green fields beyond. While many of the guests are couples, there's also plenty for families, including a kids' club, a mini-cinema, and a kids' pool. Unfortunately, the property is not directly on Majorda Beach, though there is a shuttle that takes guests there in five minutes. Those looking for direct beach access should check out five-pearl The Leela Goa -- though rates are higher and it's farther from the airport.
The Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa is a 248-room luxury hotel located right on the beach, a 20-minute drive south of the Goa International Airport. The rooms and suites here are classically chic, and all have furnished balconies or patios and marble bathrooms with sunken tubs. The facilities here are extensive, and include a spa with Ayurvedic treatments, a white-sand beach with water sports, extensive event space, and a ton of activities for children. The resort also offers a great selection of restaurants and bars, including a Goan specialty restaurant, and room service is available around the clock. Travelers looking for a luxury alternative may also want to consider The Leela Goa, which is about a 40-minute south of the Park Hyatt.
Popular with families, the Santana Beach Resort is a value property right by the beach in Candolim. The 50 rooms here are nothing fancy, but some do come with kitchenettes and balconies, and upgraded rooms have flat-screen TVs instead of the old tube-style variety. Amenities include two swimming pools (one of which is tiny), a poolside bar and restaurant, and free Wi-Fi, plus a business center for those who've left their computers at home. Travelers will be hard-pressed to find anything better for the price, especially this close to the sand, but those with more room in the budget may prefer the snazzier Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort nearby, which has elegant decor and great restaurants.
Overlooking Fort Aguada and the Arabian Sea, the four-and-a-half-pearl Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa is an elegant option for those looking for a quiet spot near the action in Candolim and Calangute. The 143 rooms and villas vary quite a bit, but all are well equipped and impeccably maintained and a good number of them have views of the sea. However, rooms are a bit spread out, and some guests have found it inconvenient to wait for a buggy to move around the grounds. Amenities include a lovely lagoon pool with ocean and fort views, multiple restaurants serving everything from seafood to a breakfast buffet, an elegant spa, and a well-equipped fitness center with a squash court. Travelers looking for a more central, compact alternative may want to also consider the Hard Rock Hotel Goa in Calangute.
This upscale Marriott is a refined property perched on the edge of the Arabian Sea in Mumbai’s suburbs. While the sea isn’t incredibly clean and major city sites are at least a half-hour away by car, the beachfront location makes for scenic walks on Juhu Beach, plus lovely views from most rooms. The Deluxe Rooms aren’t big, but they’re well-appointed with minibars, iPod docks, and free bottled water. Practically all the amenities are topnotch, from the four upscale restaurants and 24-hour room service, to the two outdoor pools (plus one for kids) and modern gym and spa. Meals -- including the exceptional breakfast buffet -- are expensive, though, and Wi-Fi isn’t always free. Closer to tourist attractions, The Taj Mahal Palace offers similar amenities and a more central location in the Colaba neighborhood.
Chalston Beach Resort is a three-pearl beachfront resort that's popular with Indian and international tourists alike. The 125 rooms and cottages are spread across expansive grassy grounds. There's a lovely open-air restaurant at the base and a sandy beach just beyond it, complete with umbrella-shaded lounge chairs. All rooms are air-conditioned, with balconies in all but the entry-level Standard AC Room category, and most units are big enough to fit extra beds. There isn't a spa or fitness center, but there is a large pool right on the property and hot buffet breakfast is included in rates. Travelers willing to forego easy access to the beach in favor of a gym may want to consider the smaller Citrus Goa, which is a bit further inland but offers a fitness room and spa.
This 314-room luxury hotel is a 15-minute drive from central Panjim, overlooking the stunning waters of Bambolim Bay. Set in sprawling tropical gardens, this is one of the most polished properties in Goa. Facilities include five swimming pools, seven restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, and modern fitness center. There's also a kids' club with daily activities, plus water sports like sailing and aqua zorbing. Rooms are spacious and modern, with elegant decor and luxe amenities including deep-soaking bathtubs and flat-screen TVs. All rooms have furnished balconies with impressive views, while some suites add hot tubs and butler service. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. Travelers with similarly high-end budgets might also like the Leela Goa, a resort that adds lagoon-style pools and a 12-hole golf course.
The Park Calangute Goa is a four-pearl boutique hotel with 30 rooms and suites. It's located right on the beach, and under 10 minutes to the main road in Calangute by foot. The hotel offers lovely amenities, including a small fitness center, a colorful (though compact) pool with daybed seating, and optional meal plans at Love Restaurant -- but no spa. Rooms are modern and sleek, with the same white-and-purple color scheme found elsewhere in the hotel and many have balconies (though these units also allow smoking). Suites with plunge pools are also available. Because it's located in a more happening part of Calangute, The Park may not be ideal for travelers looking for peace and quiet. A quieter option is the nearby Casa Severina, an elegant Portuguese-style property on a quiet back road, a bit away from the beach.
Offering direct access to Utorda Beach, the 103-room Kenilworth Resort & Spa is an upscale property with facilities for both couples and families. Although a bit old-fashioned, rooms are spacious and cheerful, outfitted with kettles, minibars, and furnished terraces. Expansive grounds house a huge pool with a waterslide, a gorgeous spa, kids' club, and sports facilities. Multiple dining options consist of Indian cuisine, wood-fired pizza, and snack fare, plus a swim-up bar and late-night lounge. Note that some eateries are seasonal and the beach lacks sunbeds. For a more modern property consider the Royal Orchard Beach Resort & Spa next door.
Sonesta Inns is a three-and-a-half pearl hotel situated right by Osho Beach, with direct access to the shore via a private pathway. There are 56 rooms and suites, all with plush furnishings, air-conditioning, and balconies, plus with three villas for rent, each of which has three bedrooms spread between two stories. Facilities include a lovely courtyard pool with a kids' area, a beauty salon, and a fitness center with a curiously placed lending library along with the cardio and weight-training equipment. There are also a few bars and restaurants, and breakfast included in room rates. Overall, this is a great value but rates are high for the area. Those shopping around may want to look into the more affordable and lovely Lemon Tree Amarante -- a two-minute walk from the beach.