• Best Place to Stay in Goa, My Absolute Favorites

What’s the Best Place to Stay in Goa? [My Absolute Favorites]

I lived in Goa for over five years and have explored so many areas in both north and south Goa, and inland to the jungle. It’s easily one of the best places to visit in India, and I highly recommend coming, even if you’re visiting during the monsoon season.

From beach shacks, yoga retreats, and eco-resorts to luxury boutique hotels, Airbnbs, and 5-star hotels, I’ve searched and researched to answer: What’s the best place to stay in Goa?

Goa Journey Tips

I am sorting this list of where to stay in Goa by type of accommodation, not by area. You do need to think about which area to stay at in Goa. You’ll want to choose between North Goa, South Goa, or the middle near the airport in Panjim. I prefer the North with its lively scene, but the South is great for relaxation. Check out my guide to North Goa for more. There is no shortage of places to stay in Goa with hundreds of hotels for every budget!

What’s the Best Place to Stay in Goa?

Best 5-Star Hotels in Goa

best five star hotel in south goa alila diwa

I’ve written a whole article on 5-star hotels in Goa, so please click over to check that out. I don’t have all of them listed, just my favorites. Photographed above is the Alila Diwa.

Boutique Hotels in Goa / Luxury Villas in Goa

Amarya Paros 

luxury tents ashvem goa amarya shamiyana paros

This is “fancy beach shack” style and is smack dab where you want to be in Morjim. Read my review here. The other Amarya property Shamiyana has since been closed and is a luxury boutique place now behind La Plage. 

Sur La Mer

This is a hotel (sort of) but is kind of like a big open house that faces in. It’s in Morjim and is right by all the party places so is really popular. I go here for dinner but haven’t stayed the night here. Lots of people book it as a special occasion type of place. It’s got an amazing pool..

Noi Varo Goa

noi varo siolimI LOVE this place! I stayed here with Ben and his brother, Josh. We had a good time and the food was actually the best Goan food I’ve ever had. I loved the prawn curry rice. Read my review of Noi Varo here. You can rent this out with a group of 5 or 6 people and save a ton of money if you’re here for a week or two. It’ll be cheaper than a hotel and much nicer. You’ll have cleaners and a cook. .

Shanti Morada

Sadly, I haven’t stayed here yet, but I’m dying to! It’s ranked extremely high in Goa and friends tell me it’s amazing. It’s in a peaceful location of Saligao. This place looks insane online, with pools and waterfall style decoration all around the front. It’s heritage style inside (traditional, Portuguese style). .

Pousada Tauma

Another boutique hot spot that I’ve yet to explore, this is one of the most popular luxury spots to stay in Goa. It’s the perfect way to stay in Calangute but not even realize you’re near the choas once you want to relax. It’s got a huge pool that looks like a lagoon. .

Siolim House Goa

siolim house

Siolim House is a huge heritage house that’s pretty well-known. I stayed here with my friend Tia and hung by the pool. Read my review of Siolim House here. It’s a great option if you’re in a group of 2 and want to be out of the busy towns. 

Coco Shambhala

coco shambhala goa luxury villas

This is probably my go-to if I had the extra cash to splurge out. I wish I knew about this place before my parents visited because I would have rented a villa. Other than the amazing pool you get your own jacuzzi, chef, and butler! Amazing. I stayed here with Ben for two nights. Read my review of Coco Shambhala here. If you have a group of 4 you won’t have to break the bank. .

There are a few more luxury and boutique properties that I haven’t stayed at but are very popular and are on my list:

in Arpora, in Siolim, in Nerul, & both near Porvorim.

Best Eco Resorts in Goa / Best Homestays in Goa

Vivenda Dos Polhacos

This is located in South Goa and I’ve had lots of friends stay here and love it. It’s a homestay and you’ll get home-cooked local food. I haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but it’s on my list and is known as the best homestay in South Goa. .

Olaulim Backyards

olaulim backyards the other side of goa

I love this place, and since I wrote a review about Olaulim Backyards, lots of my readers have gone to stay. They have ALL said it was an amazing experience. Hang with nature, go kayaking, eat the best prawns and stay in a great little natural cabin just outside of Mapusa in the jungle. I’m happy to see they are ranked #1 on Tripadvisor for specialty lodging! They are which means you can use and get $25 off your booking if you haven’t signed up before! 

Jamboree Creek

jamboree creek goa

Jamboree is my little oasis in Ashwem. I head up to the eco-friendly resort owned by the adorable Priyanka for a swim or to just chill out. She has around 12 cabins that are rented at a great price. It’s a good location; you can read my review of Jamboree Creek Goa here. Jamboree is (use and get $25 off your booking if you haven’t signed up before.) This is my favorite place on this list and I tell people to stay here almost every time they email me. She offers yoga as well.

Off the Grid

Sort of on the Karnataka border, this is an eco resort run by an English couple. It’s very hidden and 100% immersed in nature. The owner also runs the white water rafting in Goa. Also listed on , again use  for $25 bucks off if you’re an airbnb newbie.

Wildernest

Another super popular getaway into the jungle near the Chorla Ghats, this place has an infinity pool. This place is a little more expensive for an eco-resort but is one of the top ranked hotels in all of Goa. You can do trekking and it’s a good place to take kids. .

Wildflowers Villa

wildflower villas goa eco resortThis is an eco resort with an infinity pool and is located in Calangute/Candolim side of town so if you want to get away during the day but party at night, this could be for you. Read my review here or .

There are a few more homestay places that I haven’t stayed at but are very popular and are on my list:

in Candolim, in Bardez, in Saligao,

Mid-Range Hotels in Goa / 3-star Hotels in Goa

Tamarind

This place is pretty popular and is the #1 3 star hotel in Goa. It’s located in the middle of Anjuna and is known for having good live music and North Indian food for when people are missing home. It also has delicious cakes. I hang out here sometimes but haven’t stayed, so have no photos of rooms. .

Anahata Retreat

new restaurants in north goaThis is a new spot in Ashwem and I stopped by for lunch. Food is fresh and amazing. I looked inside of the circular huts and was really impressed. You can see the sea and they are decorated very modernly. I’d say this is a “boutique beach hut” if there is such a thing. Awesome spot to stay. .

Bougainvillea Guest House “Grandpas Inn”

Located in Anjuna with a pool, this is as good of a place as any to book. The location is great. I come here for a swim sometimes since it’s the largest pool nearby to do laps. It’s not a hotel but has separate rooms/huts across the lawn. .

Laguna Anjuna

new restaurants in north goa belilissima laguna anjunaThere are a lot of rooms at Laguna Anjuna. This is a place that lots of expats and local people go just to use the pool and have lunch at the Italian restaurant. The food is really good! It’s affordable and a friend of mine stayed here for a month. They have live reggae on Friday nights. The rooms are old Portuguese/Goan style and it’s a cool place to stay. .

Secret Beach Resort

private secret beach in goaOn the secluded and hidden beach, one that not many people know about and very affordable. Rooms are basic clean huts and as you can see the views are spectacular. I won’t name it here, but please check out my article and review for the hidden beach resort or you can skip and just use  and see where this resort is ;)

There are a few more mid-range places that I haven’t stayed at but are very popular and are on my list:

in Assagao,  in Assagao, in Morjim (it’s a club as well so can get loud), , , in Ashwem

Budget Hotels in Goa / Hostels in Goa

Please check this article on the best budget hotels and hostels in Goa. These are the no-frills beach huts, hotels, and little guesthouses that you won’t spend much budget on (some less than 300 Rs. per night) and places that lots of tourists hang out so you can meet people.

What do you think is the best place to stay in Goa?

Share “What’s the Best Place to Stay in Goa?” for later!

2018-07-26T16:45:33+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

23 Comments

  1. Jenifer December 21, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

    @Admin

    There are a great deal of rooms at Laguna Anjuna. This is a spot that loads of expats and nearby individuals go just to utilize the pool and eat at the Italian eatery.

    Jenifer

  2. Gwennan May 5, 2016 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel – I’ve had a look at these hotels and all look great. Would you recommend any specific ones for a solo female traveller? I’ll have seen the main tourist attractions as I’ll be there for 2-3 days at the tail end of a Northern India tour. I’m looking for a place that’s a little different, with some activities and other solo travellers around.
    Really enjoying the blog, some really great tips!
    thanks
    Gwennan

    • Rachel Jones May 5, 2016 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      jamboree is really a cool place, I go there a lot to use the pool – but for meeting people you might want a hostel!

  3. Ashley November 10, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel, would Anahata Retreat be a good place to stay if you are looking for a relaxing/social experience. How long does it take to get there from the popular Anjuna area?

    • Rachel Jones November 11, 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Yeah it’s a great place and the food is known as being really good. It’s about 25 minutes from Anjuna – not the same area.

  4. Maryna Trusova January 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    I will only be in Goa for a few days and really want to interact with elephants (not ride necessarily, bathe and pet, etc.) and also spend a day on a gorgeous relaxed beach. Where would you advise I stay, and in what area, to experience both of these things?

    Thanks!

    • Rachel Jones January 7, 2017 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      The elephants are in Ponda, inland so you won’t want to stay there. It’s a day trip. The place is called Sahakari Spice Farm. If you are only coming for a few days, you might want to stay at a beach near Panjim.

  5. alokala January 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Hi, lovely detailed list
    Please make a list telling more about north and south goa as they are different apparently.
    Will be great help

  6. Raquel January 11, 2017 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Hello. Im afraid to book the prices are to good to be real, is this true? If im booking through you the price is really this one? **

    • Rachel Jones January 12, 2017 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Raquel,

      I’m not understanding the question. If you click through the links to the booking sites linked, it is the real price.

  7. Hannah January 20, 2017 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel
    Could you give me some advice on where to stay in south Goa, I’m going in march with my mum and we would like somewhere to relax on a beach.

    Kind regards Hannah

  8. Cathy May 21, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Very informative, thank you! I’ve been to India many, many times, but this will be my first visit to Goa. I’m going in July and know that its monsoon time. Any recommendations of what to do specifically for that time?

  9. Nikki Mather July 6, 2017 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Love this blog – thank you. My partner and I are visiting Goa for a week in early Dec, its our first trip to Goa! We are wanting to stay in a boutique ‘hippy’ type accommodation, close enough to the beach, restaurants and nightlife, but far enough away that is its not too loud and crowded. We are thinking of staying at the Little Palm Grove Resort – have you been, any advice?

    • Rachel Jones July 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      I haven’t stayed there but I know it and it’s a good spot… my fave is jamboree it’s definitely more hippy but it’s not right on the beach

  10. StoutandAbout September 7, 2017 at 7:40 am - Reply

    I stayed at the Mayfair Hideaway Spa Resort in South Goa and LOVED IT. It was literally paradise. It was perfect for us because we just wanted a relaxing, secluded get-away. They were right on the bay and it seriously looked like the movies- surrounded by jungle and peeking out at the Arabian sea- incredible view. They have a pool, library, bar with delicious Fenny drinks, and a library with books and DVDs. I definitely recommend 10/10 for anyone going to Goa for a chill experience.

  11. Nathalie Kealy October 14, 2017 at 2:01 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel
    I’m looking for somewhere to stay for my partner and I over the Christmas period. Being so busy a lot of places are getting booked up but we are looking for somewhere near to the party side of it but not right in the thick of it. I.e. still relaxing and not too expensive. Any tips?

  12. lonelyfoodie December 11, 2017 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    I will be visiting Goa in Feb first week for 4 nights.It’s my first time …so a bit curious. Which places are safe to go around in Goa for a girl.Which area is safe to stay?How about the transportation in Goa?

  13. Paul Smith July 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel – enjoyed reading your article and have booked the Shanti Morada for this weekend on the back of this. I know it’s Monsoon season but great deals and living in Dubai it’ll be good to see some rain, chill and escape the party scene! Are there any places that are really good during this time? Also, heard a lot about Dental treatment being good there and good value so do you have any recommendations? Many Thanks Paul

    • Rachel Jones July 15, 2018 at 11:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Paul, Goa’s great in the monsoon. I Hope you love it – check out this post which has what’s open in the monsoon. For dental, calangute dental clinic is good as as well as smile factory next to Snips.

  14. Paul Smith July 16, 2018 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Many thanks Rachel. That is much appreciated and those articles are perfect. :)

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