Top 5 Hotels in Goa

Casa dos Colaços: The South Goa city of Margao features by far the most impressive collection of grand Goan homes in the state. This is the stronghold of the Luso-Indian landed gentry, who built ostentatious private palaces to match. This one has been turned into an excellent boutique bed and breakfast, a perfect launching pad to explore the southern part of the state. Doubles from Rs 5,000.

Rockheart: Not so long ago, a beach holiday in Goa often meant staying in a little house tucked away in a coconut grove, behind the sand dunes. No thump-thump of incessant parties. Some of that original essence lingers behind the tall boundary walls of this very private, very lovely 2/3 bedroom luxury villa experience created by the legendary, late adman Frank Simoes and his wife Gita. From about Rs 30,000 a night for 3 bedrooms.

Olaulim Backyards: A true retreat, though only a short drive from the mayhem of the tourist strips of North Goa, where three custom-built cottages nestle under and in between coconut palms, by the side of broad paddy fields and a backwater lake. Doubles from Rs 5,200; +91-9823390233; www.olaulimgoa.com

Wildflower Villas: Spread over eight acres of hillside in North Goa, Amol Navelkar has customised a miniature village of seven independent villas built in the Goan style. Overlooking verdant gardens, the river and fields below, this is one of the best places to stay in North Goa. Villas from Rs 7,000 a night; +91-

Summertime: Impossible to find unless given exact directions, this luxury rental is only minutes away from the main drags of Calangute and Candolim. A Balinese-style bungalow nestled in two acres of landscaped gardens, with a large infinity pool in front, it has three bedrooms and must be rented in its entirety. From Rs 36,000 a night.

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