Where to stay in Goa?

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Have a plan to visit the unusual places in Goa and popular sites in Goa? And wondering where to stay in Goa on your visit? We’ve got a tried and tested list of beach resorts in Goa from my friends and myself. many of them are close to the best places to eat in Goa too! Here’s a summary of the budget-friendly choices and some of the best places to stay in Goa!

1. Cinnamon Agonda on Agonda Beach Road

View of Our huts at the Cinnamon Agonda.
Our huts at the Cinnamon Agonda – Pic by Abby

In South Goa, away from the maddening crowd of South Palolem, is the Agonda beach. The area is quieter compared to Palolem and so are most of the visitors. If you’re looking for peace and quiet instead of noise and parties, this is the place to be. There were quite a few good resorts here, so we had a difficult time choosing. But we ended up spending 2 nights at the Cinnamon Agonda.

Inside of room at Cinnamon Agonda.
Room at Cinnamon Agonda are spacious – Photo by Cinnamon Agonda

Malissha and her staff are super helpful and friendly. (They helped us arrange for pickups from the airport at good rates. Distance from airport – 67 kms.) The rooms were spacious and clean. The beds were bouncy. All of the rooms are carpeted and come with a safety deposit box, a wardrobe, free WiFi. You can choose between air-conditioned and regular rooms.

My mom standing outside our tent at night (Cinnamon Agonda).
Mom outside our tent at night (Cinnamon Agonda) – Pic by Abby

There’s also an outdoor seating area to enjoy the sunset with a beer in the company of your friends, the mosquitos. 😉 Who am I kidding? I had really big spots on my arms and legs from the mosquito bites. But my trusty natural mosquito repellent made it bearable. The last rays of sunlight disappearing through the trees make for a pretty picture.

Shower head and open bathroom frame at Cinnamon Agonda.
The shower head and the open frame at Cinnamon Agonda – Pic by Abby

There is a steel frame pool at the centre of the property facing the bar. If you want a room close to the bar, ask for rooms 101, 102, or 103.

The breakfast terrace at the end of the row of huts.
The breakfast terrace is at the end – Pic by Abby

The in-house restaurant has been closed but room service is still available. Breakfast is included in the price of the room and served at what they call the ‘terrace’ at the back. I would have loved a little more variety with the breakfast, but I liked the cinnamon French toast and dark coffee.

The beach is a short 4-minute walk away, while other restaurants and shops are less than a minute away. Other attractions in the area include the Cola Beach (3 kms), Butterfly Beach (6 kms), Cabo de Rama Fort (9 kms), Palolem Beach (9 kms) and Patnem Beach (10 kms) and more.

Cinnamon Agonda
Agonda Beach Rd, Canacona, Goa 403702, India
Phone: +91 91588 06297
Email: info@cinnamonagonda.com

2. Lazy Frog Resort on Carmona Beach

By Bradley from Dream Big, Travel Far

Outside of Lazy frog hotel in Carmona, Goa.
Lazy Frog near Carmona Beach – Photo Credit Lazy Frog

We initially booked to stay in Lazy Frog Resort for just a couple of days, but ended up staying for more than a week! Simply put, we didn’t want to leave and had such a wonderful time there. As we are budget backpackers, we are always trying to find the highest quality accommodation on a budget, and honestly think Lazy Frog Resort is your best bet in Goa.

It is incredibly modern and clean, and they even have a pool. Which, is actually very hard to find when searching for cheap accommodation in Goa.

The guys who run the place are very friendly and the on-site restaurant is equally as affordable, and serves up wonderful Indian cuisine. So, if you find yourself in Goa and are looking for somewhere to stay for a few nights, I would highly recommend stopping in!


Lazy Frog
Orlim Rd, Carmona, Goa 403717, India
Phone: +91 70661 53390
Email: lazyfroggoa@gmail.com

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3. Yab Yum Resort at Ashwem Beach

By Ellie & Ravi from Soul Travel

Huts at Yab Yum Resort, Ashwem Beach.
Yab Yum Resort, Ashwem Beach – Pic by Ellie & Ravi from Soul Travel

North Goa is not known for its peace and quiet, but we got lucky with our discovery of Ashwem beach and the beautiful Yab Yum Resort. Set just back from the beach, Yab Yum is something of an oasis.

The accommodation is made up of cosy and earthy mud-huts, completed with palm-thatched rooftops – giving the feeling of being completely at one with nature. Inside the rooms are large, with plenty of windows and luxurious beds.

Bathrooms with windows allow you to shower and enjoy a (non-overlooked!) view out to palm trees at the same time. Don’t miss the early morning yoga and a walk on Ashwem beach all to yourself (if you’re early enough!).

Yab Yum is at Ashwem Beach, Mandrem, Goa 403527, India
Phone: +91 86696 92229

4. Sea Star Resort at Agonda Beach

By Jenny from TraveLynn Family

Inside Agonda Restaurant.
Agonda Restaurant – Pic by Jenny from TraveLynn Family
Kids happy on the balcony of Sea Star Resort.
Sea Star Resort – Pic by Jenny from TraveLynn Family

Situated in South Goa, Agonda Beach is a golden crescent of powder-soft sand, where the pace slows down to the meditative sway of the palm trees, and where cows come to congregate at sunset.

This is a far cry from the concrete jungles and party beaches elsewhere in Goa; although you will still easily find WiFi and Western Food.

We were visiting Goa with kids (aged 2 and 4) and loved the huts at Sea Star Resort. There are a few one-bed sea-facing huts, and a couple built on stilts for an elevated sea view.

However, we were allocated a two-bed hut at the Sea Star, with adjoining bathroom, which sat back behind the beach-front restaurant along a little sandy strip. Huts come with a fan, mosquito net, and reliable hot water. 

A little veranda, with a chair and floor mattress, invites weary travellers to relax with a beer and a good book. But the real treat is falling asleep and waking up to the sound of the ocean. Bliss.

Sea Star Agonda Resort
Agonda Beach North side
Dhawalkhajan, Agonda 403702, Goa, India
Phone: +91 99233 32896
Email: info@seastar-agonda.com

5. Maaria Riose – Melody of the Sea in Dabolim

Mariaa Riose hotel in Dabolim Goa.
Mariaa Riose – Photo Credit Mariaa Riose

On our last night in Goa, we chose to stay at this affordable and comfy boutique hotel close to the airport. Mariaa Riose or ‘Melody of the Sea’ was a 7-minute drive from the airport and a 10-minute drive from Bogmalo beach. It was also about 100 metres from the Indian Naval Aviation Museum.

Monish and all the staff were very helpful and friendly. The management ensures that guests get free drops to the airport and the Bogmalo Beach. (within reasonable hours.)

There is no elevator, so if you have difficulty climbing stairs, ask for rooms on the lower levels. You still might have to do one level of stairs though. My mom took a bit of time to climb, but managed to get up two flights of stairs.

Inside the deluxe room at the Mariaa Riose.
Deluxe room at the Mariaa Riose – Pic by Abby

We chose to stay in the more spacious deluxe rooms that also had two sofa chairs. The rooms also have a small fridge, safety deposit box, AC, TV, and a kettle for coffee. WiFi is only available in the lobby area.

The food at their restaurant and for room service is okay. The bathrooms were clean. The best part though was the bed. The mattress was the comfiest I’ve ever seen, even comfier than in some 5 star hotels. I wish I could have taken the mattress home.

Another plus, if you reach the Maria Riose too early before check in time they allow you to make use of the pool while waiting for your room.

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Maaria Riose
1/6B, Gallint, Opposite 1st Navy gate, Alto Dabolim, Goa 403801, India
Phone: +91 832 253 8666
Email: hotelmariaariose@gmail.com

6. Colonia Santa Maria in Cobravaddo, North Goa

Colonia Santa Maria - Photo Credit CSM
Colonia Santa Maria – Photo Credit CSM

These colonial-style villas are equidistant to both Calangute and Baga beaches. They’re clean and spacious; and also have a big lounging area with sofas, cable TV, minibars and tea and coffee kettles. The staff at the hotel are eager to serve. We liked our stay there some years ago.

The pool at Colonia Santa Maria - Photo Credit CSM
The pool at Colonia Santa Maria – Photo Credit CSM

There is a pool to lounge at, but with the sea just 60 seconds away, do you really need it?

The onsite restaurant called the Balcao serves European, Continental and North Indian cuisine.

Colonia Santa Maria
CSM road, Khobravaddo, Calangute Goa 403516, India
Phone: +91 832 227 6107
Email: reservations@csmgoa.com

7. Fernandes Wooden Cottages in Palolem, South Goa

View from the upper floor shack at Palolem beach in Goa.
View from the upper floor shack at Palolem beach in Goa

We went on another trip to South Goa in April 2016 and stayed at Fernandes Wooden Cottages. They’re eco-friendly cottages, so expect wooden walls that you can hear the neighbours through at night, wooden furniture and simple clean amenities. No TVs naturally. You’re here to relax, enjoy the sea and spend time with nature.

We stayed in the Garden cottages for the first night, but it was really hot, so we moved to one of the sea-facing air-conditioned rooms atop the Fernandes Restaurant for the next 3 nights.

What did scare us a bit was the way the shack swayed every time the guy in the neighboring room went up and down the stairs, but the cottages are still standing, so all’s well.

The upper floor rooms also had beach chairs on the balcony, so that was great. I’m not sure of the prices right now, but at that time the garden cottages were INR 1200 and the air-conditioned rooms cost INR 1600 a night.

Sash Fernandes and his staff are very helpful and can arrange vehicles for trips to other parts of Goa. You can ping him for more info at info@fernandeswoodencottages.com or Whatsapp him at +91-7875232056

Fernandes Wooden Cottages
Palolem Beach, Canacona Goa 403702, India
Phone: +91-7875232056
Email: info@fernandeswoodencottages.com

8. Talpona Paradise Beach House

A little green-colored house on a quiet beach, the perfect place to relax away from the noise and busyness of Northern Goa beaches. That’s where we spend dad’s 68th birthday weekend; in an old Goan home on Talpona Beach, South Goa that’s been converted into a rental.

We took a cab down from Candolim, and once we got here we got our keys from Bhandari who works at the nearby Deepiksha Restaurant, and walked about 50 m to our villa. A little later Deepak, the Assistant Manager came by to make sure everything was fine.

And an hour later, Guy, the rental Manager came by to welcome us with two bags of fresh fruits, tell us about the places nearby and check if we needed anything else. He was followed by Prasanna, the maintenance and cleaning staff.

Green colored house on Talpona beach in Goa.
The green colored house on Talpona Beach

The 55 sqm green villa has 2 rooms, a living room, bathroom, and a small kitchen that’s equipped with a fridge, gas stove, cooking utensils, plates, cutlery, and more. So if you want to eat in, you can cook here too.

But if you want to try some truly local cuisine, the restaurant next door called Deepiksha serves Goan cuisine cooked very different from the food we’ve tasted in other parts of Goa.

It tasted like they use much more kokam in the curries or something like that. It’s very very very local and may be different for some people to palate. But if you’re open to tasting hyper-local cuisine, give it a go.

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Deepak manages the restaurant and even does home deliveries to the rental villas. He’s quite a friendly fellow and will chat with you for a while. There are a few more restaurants on the beach that you can try. Another option is heading over to the nearby beaches of Galgibaga, Patnem, or Palolem for a meal.

View of Talpona beach from the yard of the green house.
View of Talpona beach from the yard of the greenhouse

But getting back to the rental, it has interiors that belie the weather-worn or salt-eroded exteriors; it’s clean, has tiled flooring, and some amazingly soft mattresses covered with white sheets.

You might also get woken up by the bathroom door creaking when someone else goes at night. Me, I was also woken up at 4 am by a white moth that careened into my neck and then just wouldn’t get out of bed; but a few bugs are expected if you stay in these secluded offbeat locales. But listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shores is the loveliest sound to lull anyone back to sleep.

On our second day, the internet and electricity went off for a few times for about 15 to 30 mins; but that’s normal in Goa too.

If you’re a bigger group or if you need more modern housing, the Talpona Beach House people also rent a white house about 100 m away that has 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms. Guy also has 2 new rooms nearby that can house 2 guests each. What you’ll love most about any of these rentals is the solitude and lack of crowds.

My family swimming at Talpona Beach before sunset
My family swimming at Talpona Beach before sunset

We had a pristine beach just outside and didn’t even need to carry beach towels or anything else. Just put your swimming clothes on and walk into the clear green waters. Avoid the rocks on the Northern side of the beach and enjoy the waves and warm waters on the Southern end of Talpona.

Guy, Deepak and Prasanna are always available if you need anything. If you book directly it’s cheaper than Booking.com or other sites. To connect with Guy for a booking, the details are below.

Talpona Paradise Beach House
Talpona Beach House #190, Canacona, Goa 403702, India
Phone: Guy Weisman +91-7066129588
Deepak +91-9923562203
Email: Guy_weisman@hotmail.com

Where do you love to stay in Goa that’s unique? Do you love places that are offbeat or places that are close to the popular Goan attractions? Comment and let us know. 

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