Ahilya by the Sea - Goa
Address – 787, Nerul-Reis Margos Road, Nerul, Goa 403109
Staying at Ahilya is like visiting the home of that wealthy, eccentric and extremely tasteful aunt you always wished you had. Three graceful, Balinese-style villas are stuffed to the gills with the most fabulous treasures, carefully curated from the owner’s lifetime of exotic travels: African masks, Hindu statuettes, Burmese bowls, a gilded altarpiece. Every nook holds something old and beautiful to be admired. The villas - each with 1, 3 or 4 airy rooms - are tucked amidst lush, tropical gardens, but give out onto the wide-open bay, where fishermen work and cetaceans play. (We watched dolphins as we sipped our sundowners.) Two crystal-clear swimming pools provide cool retreat from the strong Goan sun.
The food is inventive and delicious, produced with painstaking attention to each guest’s individual needs and preferences. Service could not be more gracious. If it’s adventure you crave, there are plenty of attractions outside Ahilya’s bougainvillea-covered walls: sturdy, colonial-era forts and churches, flashy new art galleries and museums, glittering night markets. But you'll be relieved to return to Ahilya in the evening - a serene, intimate and elegant retreat for the most discerning guests.
Ahilya By The Sea is perched on a seawall next to Coco Beach in the Bardez district of central Goa, across the bay from Panjim, the capital city. It is a 10-minute walk to the fishing village of Nerul and a 20-minute walk to the 16th-century Reis Margos Fort. The shops of Candolim are a short 15-minute drive away.
Dabolim Airport (33km) is roughly an hour's drive away. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving it. The hotel can arrange taxi transfers, which we would recommend.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to Goa and getting around
Dabolim International Airport 33.0 km DAB
Beach 0.1 km
Shops 2.0 km
Restaurant 2.0 km
Exceptional care is lavished on the food. A fruit salad might have 10 different ingredients, including a little surprise (in this case, blanched almonds). Our breakfast was a feast: fresh-pressed juices, hung curd yoghurt with homemade granola, crepes, and eggs made to order, including Meheshwari-style (scrambled with turmeric) and 'Loulou’s favorite' (oeufs en cocotte with onions and fresh herbs). Prefer Indian? Then try the extraordinary podi dosa with fresh mint chutney. You’ll thank us later.
Lunch is lighter - mainly fresh salads and sandwiches; you’re still working off your breakfast, after all - but it’s dinner where Ahilya really stands out. Our advice: focus on the Goan specialities - shrimp curry, spicy pomfret wrapped in banana leaf, or the mixed Goan thali, which has a bit of everything. The atmosphere couldn’t be more magical. Candles line the seawall and infinity pool, and tables are set up in private nooks throughout the gardens. Service is attentive, never obtrusive.
There's a good Goan restaurant 15 minutes' walk away by the sea, and great options in Candolim (12-20 mins by car) and Panjim (30 mins by car); you'll find a list of recommendations in your room.
Ahilya’s 3 Balinese-style villas (Sunset, Sunrise and Leela) are made of hand-carved laterite stone, festooned with fanciful wooden trim. They are beautiful. Downstairs are the common areas: a dining area in Sunrise; and a dining area, comfy couches and tables in Sunset. Upstairs are the double/twin rooms, which are large but feel intimate, perhaps because of the extraordinary décor that makes Ahilya so utterly unique: twig chairs from Africa mix with hand-painted plates from Istanbul and gilded relics from old Goan churches. It’s an utterly eclectic style and it works.
We stayed in one of Sunset's rooms, which we loved for its sage-coloured plantation shutters offering sweeping views of Dolphin Bay. But every room at Ahilya has a breathtaking view, so you can’t go wrong. The most private is Florentina in Sunset. Annalia and Barcos (Sunrise) have high brick ceilings and interesting antiques. An added bonus in Sunrise: a lovely reading alcove tucked high above the stairs, with an enormous bay window onto the sea.
The Trinidade Suite is the only room in Leela so a good option for a honeymoon. It overlooks the garden and infinity pool, and has a private living area plus 2 sea-view balconies. If the hotel is full, you can stay in Arjun's Treehouse Suite: a small studio in the magical, multi-storied treehouse set in a massive banyan tree at the end of the property. Ideal for a single traveller, too.
- Room Type
- Arjun's Treehouse
- Princesa (Twin)
- Princesa (Double)
- Rainha (Large Double)
- Trinidade Suite
- Sunrise Villa (sleeping 6-8)
- Sunset Villa (sleeping 8-10)
Cancelation Policy : 07 - 15 Days before check in or else cancellation charges applicable.
For Refund thru Credit Card 5% Bank charges Applicable + Cancellation charge applicable as per hotel policy.