A week or two spent revelling in the languid luxury of ’s sunny sosegado, or susegad, two Portuguese colonial-era terms roughly translated as ‘laid-backness,’ is one not to be missed on any hectic visit to mammoth, fascinating, often impossibly frenetic . Though five-star resorts such as the Intercontinental, the Hyatt and the Kempinski have long made their mark on this most diminutive of Indian states (all characterised by top-notch service, opulent surroundings and calm, sand-raked beaches) there is nevertheless much charm to be had in forsaking the mammoth swimming pools and generic – if generous – resort bedrooms, and plumping instead for a stay in one of ’s most evocative, charismatic heritage boutique hotels.
Candolim, as well as its flea market at hippyish , offers a whole host of atmospheric delights for those keen to experience a slice of life of an older, more ‘authentic’ Goa. Opt to stay in Siolim, a sleepy, slightly inland village famed for its bevy of palaçios (manor houses) ranged along the banks of the Chapora River. Here you will find Siolim House (www.siolimhouse.com), an impeccably restored centuries-old home with seven high-ceilinged guest rooms all decked out in Goan antiques, four poster beds and terracotta tiles. Dine in the inner courtyard on fresh snapper or pomfret, avail of an ayurvedic massage courtesy of the in-house masseur, or take a quick dip in the sparkling garden-side pool., best known for its package holiday- and partier-friendly resorts of , and