Capella Goa, an Oasis
Nestled privately in the soft, rolling hills of North Goa, about 3kms inland from Baga beach, is this wonderful oasis called Capella Goa. It’s a lovely bungalow where Ayesha and Jamshed Madon live with their son and 2 canines (the friendliest ever!). Although the bungalow was built as a private residence, the Madons have now thrown it open for guests as a boutique, luxury home-stay to offer visitors a chance to experience a true Goan (meaning relaxing with great food) holiday! One of the nicest things about Capella is that it has only two double-rooms to offer, which meant that the four of us (two of us plus my brother and his wife) were their only guests during the period of our stay – nothing could have been more private or luxurious!
Capella’s main attraction is the aesthetics
of the gorgeous house. Though built in recent times, it has an old-world charm because of its architectural style, extensive use of dark wood, period furniture and fabulous wall decor. The living room, dining area and kitchen enclose a small courtyard, which reminded us of the traditional homes of South India. The other side of the living room, opens out to a shaded porch, which has wonderful white columns. Agorgeous 4.5ft deep pool sits nestled between the porch and the cliff that overlooks the terrain beyond. Like Jamshed says, the pool is deep enough for swimmers but also not too deep for ‘walkers’ like me who can’t swim. A cabana with deck chairs at one end of the pool and seating on the porch, gave us ample space to lounge around in the evenings. Needless to say, we spent a majority of our time at Capella in this part of the house.
Out of the two guestrooms, one is located on the upper floor of the main house atop the kitchen overlooking the pool, while the other is housed in a quaint cottage built a few steps away from the house amidst a jungle of tropical trees and bamboos. Both rooms are large and air-conditioned with high ceilings (as is the rest of the house!) and plush four-poster beds. Each has been furnished with a lot of attention to detail. The bathrooms are especially luxurious and beautifully designed. Both rooms have ample space for a sitting area and a bar counter. There are no televisions in the rooms, but there’s one in the living area along with a DVD player and a nice collection of DVDs. The large dining table wedged between two seating areas in the living room is where we had our breakfasts and other meals.
Capella’s in-house cook can whip up some excellent Goan dishes, if ordered in advance; spicy fish fillets served to us for dinner one night was to-die-for! The breakfast, which is included in the room rent was generous with tea/coffee, fruits, cornflakes, bread, butter, butter, jam and a warm dish like eggs, poha or pancakes as per order – all very yummy! A lovely bar cabinet in the living room is stocked with everything from wines to scotch. A refrigerator in the porch had soda, beer and soft drinks as well; all available at a reasonable price. Guests can help themselves to whatever they wish, noting down the items consumed in a small notebook kept in the cabinet.
Above all, it’s the people and the dogs that make Capella absolutely special. Ayesha and Jamshed are warm hosts who looked after every aspect of our stay, without intruding upon our private time. They helped us plan our stay in terms of what to do and where to go. Their staff – cook, housemaids, gardener – were all extremely courteous and always at hand to help. And then of course, there were the dogs, Luca and Elsa. They were the most friendly dogs ever and I think we enjoyed our stay most because of them. They followed us around the house diligently, played with us, snoozed with us during the hot afternoons in our air-conditioned rooms and hung around the poolside while we splashed in the water – they were like having additional friends to hang out with.
Capella is about 3kms from Baga Beach, which meant that we had to drive out to get to the beach or to the restaurants around. But with a rental car (bikes were also available on hire), we were able to get around without any trouble. In fact, staying away from the commercial, touristy areas of North Goa, ensured us a peaceful, private stay, which was exactly what we needed!
Rating: 10 out of 10: House, hosts, food, dogs – everything was perfect!
Seating on the porch
Stairs to the upper floor
Seating Area in the cottage