Located in the southwestern region of India, the state of Goa is bordered by the Arabian Sea to its west, the state of Maharashtra to its north, and the state of Karnataka to its east and south. The area's history dates all the way back to prehistoric times, evidenced by the discovery of rock art engravings and artifacts.
In more recent centuries, a variety of dynasties ruled the area, including the Rashtrakutas, Kadambas, Bahamani Muslims, and most famously, the Portuguese. However, in 1961 the Indian Army liberated Goa from Portuguese colonization and conferred statehood, making it the 25th state of the Indian Republic.
Today, Goa's vibrant history can be seen in its diverse residents, religions, and cultures. The city continually attracts tourists from around the world to its gorgeous beaches, peaceful atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and architectural splendors. No matter what your reason may be for visiting Goa, it's important that you find a hotel that fits your needs so you can enjoy everything this amazing state has to offer.
Best Times to Visit Goa, India
The best time to visit Goa is from mid-November to mid-February, when the cities come alive with parties, festivals, and holiday celebrations. The weather will be comfortable and clear with temperatures ranging from high 70 to low 80, making it perfect for relaxing on one of Goa's beautiful beaches, exploring a Hindu temple, or bird watching on Chorao Island. Just remember: this is peak season for the area, so be sure to book your hotel early.
If you're looking for more affordable hotel rates and fewer crowds, visiting Goa from March to May is a great time. You will have to deal with rising temperatures, humid weather, and a rough sea, and there won't be many festivals taking place, but you'll still have plenty to do. You can hop on an entertainment cruise, go shopping in Anjuna market, or enjoy authentic Goan cuisine in a local restaurant.
Between June and October, temperatures begin cooling back down to high 70 and low 80. But it's now monsoon season: a time when short periods of torrential rain transforms the landscape into a sea of lush green. Although these downpours make swimming impossible, they won't prevent you from fishing, crab hunting, and hiking. You can also experience the festival of Sao-Joao and various parties within the cities. Another plus: hotel rates will be affordable and crowds will be few.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Goa, India:
Goa by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Goa, India. You can use these illustrations to evaluate the least expensive time period to make a reservation in Goa for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Goa, India
4 Star Average Prices: $76.95
If you're a lover of luxury, you'll find a great mix of hotel options in Goa. The Crown Goa is conveniently located in the capital city Panaji, along the Mandovi River. Its ideal location puts you close to beaches, shopping, and other top attractions like Casino Royale Goa and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. You can enjoy one of 43 comfortable rooms offering a mix of beautiful garden, river, and city views; a refrigerator; flat-screen TV with satellite programming; personal minibar; and plush seating area.
The hotel provides a number of luxurious and convenient amenities, such as a swimming pool, kiddie pool, fitness center, spa, children's park, multi-cuisine restaurant, and poolside eatery. Additional amenities include complimentary buffet breakfast and drinking water, as well as a casino, arcade, and bike rental.
For a luxury hotel option to the south in Cansaulim, consider Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa. This award-winning beach resort is situated along Arossim Beach, near historic Old Goa, the industrial belt of Verna, and Dabolim Airport. Its 250 pousada-style guest rooms and suites feature private verandahs with stunning views of the pool, Arabian Sea, lagoon, or lush garden; along with spa-inspired sunken bath tubs, comfortable beds, and spacious work desks.
The hotel also features a fully equipped business center, insightful concierge service, a meandering swimming pool, serene spa, and 24-hour fitness center. There's also an adult-supervised play area for children and toddlers, and a doctor on call for medical emergencies. You can enjoy meals at the hotel's five restaurants, which serve everything from Indian food to Italian fare.
Affordable Hotel Options in Goa, India
3 Star Average Prices: $58.90
There are many affordable hotel options in Goa. The Treehouse Blue is a comfortable hotel located in Majorda, near Gonsua Beach, Arossim Beach, and Sunset Beach. Its 24 spacious rooms feature pillowtop beds for peaceful sleeping, private balconies for scenic viewing, and kitchenettes for convenient food storage and heating. Hotel amenities include 24-hour front desk service, an outdoor pool, beautiful garden, library, restaurant, and spa. For additional convenience the hotel also provides childcare services, bicycle rental, and on-site shopping.
For another affordable hotel option, look no further than Baywatch Resort. This two-story hotel is nestled in Colva, minutes away from Sernabatim Beach, Varca Beach, and Maria Hall. Its cozy rooms and family suites are elegantly appointed with comfortable beds, plush chairs, and a perfectly placed work desk. In the larger family suites, you can enjoy the addition of a separate living area with sofa and a refrigerated mini-bar.
The hotel features a state-of-the-art gym with steam, sauna, and Jacuzzi facilities, and a luxurious swimming pool with lounge chairs and umbrellas. You can also enjoy a delicious meal in the multi-cuisine on-site restaurant or be pampered in the relaxing lifestyle spa.
2 Star Average Prices: $55.33
Goa, India Hotels with Discounts
You can find many hotels with good discounts in Goa if you know where to look. Cidade de Goa offers discounted holiday rates and special packages like the Lazy Day Dream, Chill Out Cheer, and Romantic Rendezvous. The hotel is conveniently located minutes away from Panaji, tranquil beaches, and historic churches. Its rooms feature chic designs, scenic views, memory foam beds, and comfortable seating areas. The larger suites offer upgraded designs, splendid views, and private terrace options.
Step outside of your room and enjoy Cidade's array of restaurants, serving haute-cuisine and local favorites. You can also enjoy a relaxing spa, modern fitness center, outdoor pool, hair salon, and business center.
Another hotel with excellent discounts is Alila Diwa Goa. It offers limited time and advanced purchase discounts of 10 to 25 percent off its rooms. This luxury resort is located in Majorda, near Gonsua Beach, Sernabatim Beach, and Dabolim Airport. You can enjoy your choice of five different room and suite types with luxury bedding, private balconies, gorgeous views, and spacious designs. Additional comforts include 40-inch LCD TVs and work desks.
You can also enjoy a range of hotel amenities like a lap pool, open-air Jacuzzi, full-service spa, library, and living boutique. There's also a kid's club and teen zone, private mini-theater, and leisure concierge service.
Best Value Options in Goa, India
There are many great value hotels in Goa. Royal Orchid Beach Resort & Spa is an affordable hotel in Majorda, convenient to Arrosim, Gonsua, Sunset, and Cansaulim Beaches. It offers 73 stately rooms and suites with elegant décor, LCD TVs, minibars, bathrobes, pool/garden views, and cozy bedding with Frette Italian sheets. Upgrade to a suite and enjoy the addition of a private balcony and separate living area.
The hotel includes a full-service spa, outdoor pool, fitness center, arcade, and concierge services. You can enjoy a meal at one of three hotel restaurants or a refreshing drink at the exotic Sunken Bar. Save even more money by taking advantage of free hot breakfast, served daily.
Another excellent best value option is the HQ. Situated in the city of Vasco de Gama, this modern downtown property is located near Bogmallo Beach, Mormugao Port, and commercial areas. It offers a blend of deluxe rooms and executive suites that are smartly designed with comfortable beds, minibars, and LCD TVs. The suites also include attached Jacuzzis in the bathroom, built-in pantries, and separate lounge areas.
The hotel features an outdoor pool, large function hall, three restaurants — one of which is located on the hotel's beautiful rooftop, and a delightful bakery with a coffee shop. Additional amenities include a 24-hour front desk, business center, and convenient limo service.
Top Attractions in Goa, India
No matter which hotel you select, you'll be within close proximity to many of Goa's most popular attractions. Some of which, are the beaches. For 65 miles you can enjoy a stretch of beach area; some of it packed with people and amenities and some of it totally secluded and pristine. If you're not sure where to start, explore the beaches near Panaji or Margao. You'll find many of the most famous ones in these locations.
Throughout Goa, you can see a variety of magnificent churches which reflect the state's Portuguese colonization. Travel to Old Goa, a short distance outside of Panaji, to view the oldest surviving church in the state: Church of Our Lady of Rosary; or, marvel at one of the most modern churches: Church of Nossa Senhora at Saligao.
Whether you prefer a luxury hotel in a beach town or an affordable one in the heart of Goa's capital city, you can find the perfect hotel for your tastes in Goa.
'Goa is different. It's more global than any city in India. I want to keep it that way.'
Manohar Parrikar, the former Chief Minister of Goa and incumbent defence minister of India, uttered his ambition to make Goa more and more open to foreign tourists in these words. Encouraging by all means, these words should be invitation enough for all tourists who wish to explore this gem of a coastal region that's unlike any other part of this vast country called India.
There's something different about Goa, that's for sure. It's not as heavily populated as the rest of the country. People over here love to lead a laid back life, a life of fun, dance, games and of course, the sea. Food around here, especially the sea food, is authentically mesmerizing. And beaches around here are tranquil enough to make you forget all the headaches of the worldly life.
A trip to Goa can be a nice refreshment for tourists who are worn out by life of stress, hard work and responsibility. It is India's very own Ibiza, just as chilled out, if not more.
Staying in Goa can be a revelatory experience if you haven't planned your trip accordingly, though. The place is full of tourists pretty much around the calendar year, and you need to get your rooms booked well in advance to be in luck.
This quick guide to Goa hotels can help you decide what to expect when in Goa.
Cheap Stays in Goa
Many tourists would be very happy to know that cheap hotels can be found in Goa with as easily as sardines can be found in French Riviera or salmon can be found in Yukon streams.
The best part about such cheap hotels in Goa is that they usually do not compromise with the quality of accommodation provided, despite reasonable pricing plans. A comfortable room with all of basic amenities located conveniently nearby all the sights and beaches will, on an average, cost tourists something to the tune of $35 or so. This is a fairly reasonable price, especially considering that Goa is among the most visited places in the world, tourism wise.
Cavala Seaside Resort is a great pick for those who wish to live by the sea in a decent hotel, but can't afford the extravagant prices of luxury resorts. Algeria the Goan Village is another popular tourist choice, especially because of the look and feel of traditional Goan Portuguese culture, decor and food.
Luxury Resorts in Goa
Goa is a cheap city to live in. But if you are really bent on spending a lot while in Goa, then you will have many luxury Goa hotels just waiting to welcome you and treat you to satisfaction.
Pousada Tauma, in this list, is the top rank hotel. Located nearby the railway station and most of the popular beaches, this magnificent Portuguese property of colonial times is an island of calm and quiet in the middle of busy streets of Goa.
Aguada Hermitage is the next entrant in this category. Choosing to be modest, the property calls itself a 'hermitage', but it is anything but a modest hermitage. It's an imposing building with the best of facilities all made available under one roof.
The Leela, a popular brand of luxury resort and hotel establishments in India, also offers an exquisitely regal stay for tourists who do not mean to shy away from paying extravagant sums of money.
Things to See in Goa
When you are in Goa, beaches and water sports are going to take much of your time, irrespective of what your plans are. So, it's a better idea to keep the majority of your time allotted to beaches and all things that go along, and the rest to sightseeing.
The commonest mistake that many tourists seem to commit while visiting Goa is that they do not even try to explore the state of Goa, limiting their journey to the city of Goa. If you could avoid that, you can explore a number of beautiful sights in the Western Ghats of Goa, a UNESCO Bio Heritage Site.
Agonda Beach, Palolem Beach and Cavelossim Beach are three of the most famous and most picturesque beaches in Goa. Swimming here, however, should be indulged in with care, as waters can be tricky and help can be inadequate.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a beautiful structure of colonial Portuguese times that just lights up like a starry night during Christmas season. The old city of Goa is a great place to shop for women, as a number of traditional Goan apparels, accessories and artefacts are sold at throwaway prices.
Hotels Near The Goa Airport
The Goa Int. Airport, also known as Dabolim Airport, is the only airport in the state of Goa. So, if you are planning on visiting Goa, this will most likely be your port of entry into the city, and the state.
The airport is located at a distance of about 18 miles from the city of Margaon and about 23 miles from the city of Panjim, the capital of Goa.
This drive will usually take you around 40 minutes, given that rains haven't descended upon the state, lashing everything in their way to pieces. Tourists needn't even bother trying to look for cheap hotels (or otherwise) near airport, as it is a major military base and not open for commercial operations. Once in Margaon or Panjim, many hotels in Goa will be available for you to pick the most suitable one from.
Goa Weather: Fickle Yet Pleasant
Goa is blessed with typically coastal weather of hotness and humidity. The weather does not really fluctuate around the year and one can hope to be greeted by 30 to 40 degree Celsius temperatures, irrespective of the time of the year.
During Monsoons (June-July-August), however, things take a tumultuous turn as the whole of the West Coast of India (Goa included) faces heavy rains, high tides and potential cyclones. So, your trip to Goa will best be planned excluding these three months.