Set among the trees, with a fantastic view of the beach, that’s only steps away, Turtle Hill combines rustic luxury and great service to give you the perfect holiday (bookings for fewer than three nights are available only on request). Breakfasts are truly special at Turtle Hill, with the silence, the crashing of the waves and delicious food to wake up to. Designed by Bernd Slotta, Turtle Hill fits right in with nature, but doesn't leave luxury out of the equation either.
One of Goa’s newest destinations is SinQ Beach Club, which made its presence felt on the circuit hosting 2012’s Afterburn events, the post-parties to Asia’s largest electronic dance music festival Sunburn Goa. With four bars, a pool-side lounge area and a private balcony apart from its restaurant-lounge and dance floor, SinQ isn’t what you’d call ‘small’! Located in Sinquerim, the place also hosts brunches and retro music in its special Irish-pub-meets-Goa ‘Taverne’.
Silent Noise is an amazing night out spot on Palolem Beach. Blips of red, green and blue bob about like excited fireflies amid the rocky tumble of boulders as party animals beat the 10pm noise ban with a pair of headphones. ‘India’s original headphone party’ makes for an electrifying night of electronic and alternative music with high-tension performances involving fire and trapeze artists. It looks strange as DJs mix at the three turn tables and the 600-strong crowd dances along in the surrounding silence – the beads of coloured LEDs on their headphones matching the channel they’re listening to. The experience is definitely a memory to keep revisiting.
Already famous at the Saturday Night Market in Anjuna, the Boutique Bar is now also at the intimate but vivacious hotel in Vagator. The cosy bar features new cocktails and high-energy parties that are complemented by mouth-watering grilled snacks at Salaam, the Living Room’s Indo-Arabic restaurant. Set just off the pool where you can enjoy the crisp sunshine before heading off for an evening of fun and entertainment. The Boutique House Bar also has live music and DJs that spin some interesting tracks through the night.
The spot way off the beach trips gives you an insight into Goan culture and tradition. Ancestral Goa recreates the Goa of old – with life-size figures wearing traditional clothes involved in traditional activities. Open from 9am to 6pm, it’s a great way to spend a morning, or evening, and find out the things that have made Goa tick through the ages. A guided tour is just to get you started. If you’re in Goa for a while, check out the Big Foot Trust activities for a bit of social work and fun activities.
If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, step into what makes Goa really tick. Benaulim village is home to a museum of Goan ethnography located on a traditional organic farm called Goa Chitra with an extraordinary display of 4000 traditional farming implements, ancient tools of trade and other privately-owned artefacts chronicling Goa’s past. Its appeal also lies in its very structure, which is of reutilised and recycled materials like wood work, doors, windows, pillars, railings and other elements from over 3000 demolished colonial houses. Its winning approach to engage with locals and visitors is by focusing on various events ranging from music concerts to cultural weeks and monthly book club meets.
A day at Splat – Oxford’s Paintball Arena is bound to get your adrenaline pumping. Where else can civilians dress for combat in camouflage suits, face masks, gloves and chest guards as pellets slice through the air and the ground explodes (yes, with colourful goo). It’s a thrill hard to resist. Splat is a natural open-air arena with tree trunks, wooden stacks, old tyres, sacks and recent wooden and sand bunkers, which create the perfect network to dodge and dart in a chaotic face off. The arena is opened from November to the onset of the monsoons, and includes an age restriction of 16 and above to participate in the game.