Goa is the land of white sand beaches, siestas, delicious food and endless beer. It was the first time I’ve visited around New Year’s, despite its popularity at this time. Our group included 14 family members with some senior citizens, children aged 1 to 13, and a maid. This post is a roundup of everything we did, with honest reviews. It’s not a comprehensive guide to South Goa.
Pictures don’t do justice to the gorgeous beaches
Places to Stay- South Goa
Our large party was divided in two. Some stayed at Vivenda de Palhacos in Majorda, a Portuguese villa converted boutique hotel. The second contingent, including my husband, son and I, rented apartments at the Sea Mist apartment complex in Colva, South Goa. The two places were about 10 minutes away by car and we’d meet midway on the beach every day.
Vivenda was a beautiful property. Great for photo ops!
Vivenda was a beautiful property and my family assured me of its comfort and excellent service. The meal we ate there was fabulous. However it was pricey and occupied mostly by foreigners. Ordinarily, that’s not a negative factor; but I felt I really stuck out like a sore thumb when I visited!
The pool at Sea Mist. I haven’t photographed the interiors of the apartment as they were very ordinary
The common area at Sea Mist was quite picturesque
Sea Mist apartments were basic and easy on the pocket. They had attached kitchenettes, washing machines and utensils, along with a mid-sized swimming pool surrounded by lovely greenery in the heart of the complex. We had two apartments- one was well kept, but the other was bare with ugly furnishings and an uncomfortable set-up. A lady was to come and clean every day, but only came 2 out of our 5 days, without giving any reason. If you’re lucky enough to get a nice apartment and are on a budget, you could explore this option.
The lush greenery surrounding Beleza by the Beach
Its gorgeous pathways and ample amenities make Beleza a fantastic property
We visited friends at Beleza by the Beach and I was most impressed with this property. It was aesthetically pleasing, and offered rooms as well as serviced apartments or villas. Even our local cabbie recommended this place for its excellent service and good food. Their price point is mid-range. I’d love to stay here on my next visit.
Goa is an ideal place to visit with the entire family
Things to Do With Family
We spent our 5 days lazing on the beach, eating delicious Goan food at different shacks with loads of Goa King’s beer (a local specialty). Of the semi-permanent beach shacks we visited, I’d recommend Antonio’s, Boomerang and Pinacolada along the Colva beach stretch. Each shack had its own sunbeds, making it convenient to spend hours there. The only large shack restaurant we tried was Mickey’s. Located on the same beach, it served decent food.
There are tons of beach shacks to choose from
Special parties for New Year’s Eve were organized at most places. It was a family affair for us so we stayed home, played games and popped champagne. Fortuitously, we could see the gorgeous fireworks on the beach from our balcony at midnight- a fitting end to a fun, laid back evening.
A typical meal in Goa. Clockwise from bottom left- Prawn curry with rice; spaghetti bolognese for the kids; prawn fried rice; beer; spaghetti carbonara
Apart from overpriced silver jewellery, ratty beach clothes and trinkets; there wasn’t much to please shoppers here. One should be prepared for constant pestering by people selling their wares on the beach. As it was peak season, crowd control was difficult and we were often followed/ photographed by random men and sometimes even women! This behavior is common in India, but it disturbed some of my family members.
The Chawla’s- Goa January’18
I had a fantastic holiday as I relaxed; enjoyed my son discovering the sea; and got much needed quality family time. For a family vacation in South Goa, I’d recommend selecting good accommodation depending on your budget; and dividing your stay between the beach, naps and good food!
Sea Mist Apartment Rating: 2/5
Vacation rating: 4.5/5