Vivenda Dos Palhacos — A Heritage Homestay in Goa

Vivienda Dos Palhacos, Homestay in Goa

Vivenda Dos Palhacos. Nestled in the coconut groves of Majorda village in Goa, it took us more than 20 minutes to locate the place that night after our 14-hour drive from Mumbai. After two calls to Simon, the owner of Vivenda, and help from one of their staff, we reached Vivenda only to realise we had driven past it sometime back. That, more or less, gave us the gist about the place. Unassuming, quiet, blends with its surroundings, homely – just what we wanted!

Simon was waiting for us at the porch. Hearty handshakes and the usual round of introductions done, he asked us in for a drink. We wanted to wash up first. And so he directed his staff to show us to our room. We were booked in Vivenda for 3 nights. Of them, for the first night, we had been assigned Darjeeling, the once garage now turned into a ‘duplex’ room. Interesting? Well, Yes. The room’s wall is lined with tin plates, the type people have on their roofs; the bathroom door has iron chains for a curtain; the bed stand is made with steel balls. Very very interesting…unlike anything we had seen before. The room is perfect for a family with 2 children…the two beds on the ‘mezzanine’ floor makes it just so exciting for little kids…

Once in the main house, we were amazed by its beauty. If a book lover, the first thing you will notice are the many book shelves everywhere, in every room, every corner. Almost as if the entire house is made of them. As you explore the house some more, you understand the reason. This is Goa…you are supposed to make time wait when here…and treat yourself to the books you had been long promising to yourself when back in the city. Claim any corner of this sprawling house and sit down with a glass or a cup, as the choice may be, and the book of your choice. They have books of every genre, taste. No way you won’t find one that you’d like to start immediately. If I had known this before, I wouldn’t have carried my book from Mumbai…

Besides the books, Vivenda also has an enviable collection of furniture and photographs. You will find here, an olden day fridge, where one manually kept blocks of ice on one side for the food on the other side; a candle-stand kept right at the entrance that has wax drooping from all sides making it all so vintage; strong iron high-chairs in the outside verandah that once must have been in barber shops; a table in the porch of Darjeeling made of a sewing machine; a table made with a wooden barrel in the verandah on the courtyard — no end to discovering here….

And then there are the two dogs, Jigglers and Kitten, who exemplify Goan lifestyle. They park themselves in your feet and sleep, be it when you are dining or reading a book or lounging at the pool. O yes, the pool. A Grecian pool with an sparkling white arc in the far end, and surrounded by lillies, anthuriums, a mango tree and many coconut trees, it adds to your resolve to stay lazy….and simply lounge around….or take a dip…or sun-bathe…or read…or day-dream….or fall asleep…

Both Simon and Charlottle hail from Kolkata and have lived in Tamil Nadu too, before moving in to Goa. This explains the names of the rooms – Darjeeling, Alipur, Konnagar, Ballygunj, Madras (no, they haven’t changed it to Chennai here!), Ooty etc. When it got vacant the next morning, we moved in to the room called Madras in the afternoon. And fell in love with it immediately. Correction. I fell in love with its bathroom – the bathing area has no roof and looks into a big magnolia tree in full bloom. Flowers from the tree line up the bathroom and fills it with a sweet fragrance. Come to wash your feet under the shower tap in the night, look up at the sky, and you will find the moon between the coconut leaves and the magnolia tree giving you light! Tell me, why wouldn’t I give it my heart?

Food at Vivenda Dos Palhacos is just as good as the house itself. Breakfast used to be a hearty affair with a full-fledged English spread. Although we never had lunch and dinner in the house, the menu, usually a 4-course meal, would entice us nonetheless.

Choose Vivenda Dos Palhacos if you like style, heritage and quiet…

(PS: Vivienda Dos Palhacos is a 5-minute away from the pristine Majorda Beach )

Another homestay, this time near Palolem Beach, is the Oceanic. Though not heritage, the place is certainly quiet and extremely homely. Read about it here — Oceanic near Palolem Beach, Goa


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