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.
Goa Journey Tips
- Check this guide for the latest hotel and shop openings in Goa.
- For all the tips, you need my e-book, . It’s 170 pages filled with the most up to date, comprehensive information about Goa it has all my secret places to go that I’ve found after living here almost five years. This book has 50x more information about Goa than my blog and is organized to make things easy for you to find. .
- PLEASE don’t forget that you need a visa before traveling to India, and unlike some countries, you can’t just get it on arrival or at the airport. You will be turned away (and waste a ton of money) if you come without one. . It’s super straightforward and easy to use.
- For flights to Goa, . It simplifies budget air travel, so you can still save and not have to spend a ton of time in India’s overnight trains and buses (unless that’s your thing).
- Also if you’re worried about SIM cards and such, . It will deliver right to your accommodation and be one less thing to worry about.
- Don’t forget to get travel insurance for India! I use World Nomads, and here’s a post on why.
- For general Goa travel guides, check out these posts:
- If you’re traveling solo, I have two posts on safety for female travelers in Goa and in India, in general, and how to meet other travelers in the area.
- If you’re traveling with a family, check these posts on tips for traveling Goa with kids and fun activities for kids in the area.
- For itinerary ideas, I have itinerary guides for3 days and one week.
- For tips on what to wear in Goa, I answer your bikini questions here, some of my exact outfits worn around Goa here, and a general guide on how to dress in India here.
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
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
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
I 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. .
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). .
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 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.
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. .
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 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.
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. .
This 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
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. .
This 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. .
There 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
On 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?
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