A curtain of bougainvillea hides Turiya Villa and Spa from the eyes of curious passers-by. Located away from the usual travellers’ path in the village of Chaudi in south Goa, the 100-year-old Portuguese-style bungalow was an unlikely choice for me—but it’s one I’m glad I made.
There are lots of ways to do nothing at this boutique homestay. The morning starts with the chirping of sunbirds, kingfishers, and parakeets perched on the mango, sapodilla, avocado, and frangipani trees in the garden. Taking a few extra minutes in the open-roof shower comes naturally as the tall green trees shade me from the strong Goan sun. I am impressed by my ability to walk slow and breathe easy, and experience a reluctance to explore the closest beach Patnem, only 2.5 kilometres away.
Restored by owner Sandesh Prabhu, Turiya is frequented by travellers looking to escape the bustle of Goa’s beaches. Breakfast is served at the community dining hall, where the buffet is spiced with conversations with the other guests. After tucking in, I make my way to the spa to meet Manasi, a certified Ayurvedic doctor who greets me with a warm smile. After an hour of relaxing massage, my smile is broader than hers. Energised, I step out for a walk around Chaudi Village but the villa’s patio draws me back. I spend many hours there reading a book from the library, taking a nap, or sipping a cup of tea.
Lunch and dinner are authentic Konkani thalis. It looks like a lot when it is placed before me, but I polish off everything, including the fish curry made using the catch of the day. Deep in the night, as I turn off my reading light, I am startled by the surrounding silence. I slip quickly into slumber, happy in the knowledge that tomorrow will be another day in this paradise.
Appeared in the January 2015 issue as “Village Sojourn”.
Accommodation Turiya has four bedrooms with private but non-attached bathrooms. Rohini and Bharani, the bigger rooms, have king-size beds and exquisite bathing areas. Ashvini and Ardra are smaller and have queen-size beds. During high season, the smaller rooms are ₹4,500, while the bigger ones are ₹5,500 (includes breakfast). The villa can be rented for ₹20,000. Rooms cost more during Christmas and New Year, but prices fall to half during the monsoon. There are no air-conditioners but free Wi-Fi is available (0832- 2644172/2643077; www.turiyahotels.com; lunch and dinner to be pre-ordered, vegetarian thali ₹350, non-vegetarian ₹500).
Getting There Chaudi Village is in southern Goa’s Canacona district. It is 70km/2hr south of the capital Panjim. Vasco da Gama airport is 60 km/1.5 hr southeast (taxis ₹1,400 one-way) and Madgaon station is 36km/50min to the south (taxis ₹900 one-way). Palolem and Agonda beaches are 3km and 9km away respectively.
Amrita Das is a freelance writer and travel blogger who quit her corporate job to become a traveller. She shares her off-beat and cultural adventures through her writing. She tweets at @Amrita_Dass.