Located in its own 20 acre parkland, the Nilaya Hermitage is really a world away from the rest of Goa and unabashedly elegant. Surrounded by luscious gardens with breathtaking views over palm groves and the Arabian Sea, Nilaya Hermitage is an exclusive and serene experience not to be missed.
There is only one room rate at Nilaya Hermitage - USD $397 per night for two persons.
In terms of the cuisine the Nilaya Hermitage also takes a departure from what other hotels offer and instead of the usual Goan, Chinese or Italian menus (still available on request), the chef has created a unique blend of East and Western flavours using seafood and their own organic vegetables.
They have also dispensed with formalities about dining and meals can be taken either in your room, your own terrace, by the pool or in the dining room.
Along with most conventions they’ve thrown away, Nilaya’s 10 rooms are not numbered but rather named after eastern cosmic elements such as sun, moon, earth, fire, stars and soul. While each is uniquely different with an array of hues and design, they all have plenty of living space.
In fact everything here is large from the beds to the dressing rooms and the indoor or outdoor bathrooms. The owners’ attention to detail in the furnishings is also evident with hand picked Gujurati or Rajasthani bed spreads and colonial furniture from Mumbai.
Rates are for 2 persons and include a continental breakfast, 3-4 course set-menu dinner, airport transfers for stays over 3 nights and access to all wellness and sports facilities. High season rates are applicable over Christmas, while low season rates can be negotiated from May to October.
The array of activities on offer at the Nilaya means there is little reason to ever leave the hotel gates. One of the most attractive services they provide is an Ayurvedic Massage Centre with in-house doctors. Steam baths, oil massage and yoga are the common relaxation therapies.
For those that like to keep active there’s also a gym on site, some jogging trails, a tennis and badminton court and of course the luxury swimming pool. In addition they also have a book and DVD movie library.
Those wishing to explore beyond the borders of Nilaya can utilise the hotel’s privately owned 65 feet long wooden dhow for boat cruises or arrange customized excursions and picnics. Car and bike rental is also available.
Tucked away in the hills of Arpora, Nilaya Hermitage, meaning abode in blue heaven, really is a world unto its own. From the moment you enter the lush 20 acre parkland that houses the hotel—or should we call it private retreat—it’s clear you’ve left the hum of Goa behind.
Reeking of exclusivity and serenity, everything at Nilaya is uber chic and elegant from the laterite stone walls to the blue domed hall and the 33 metre swimming pool that seems almost like a jungle lagoon.
The owners of Nilaya, Claudia and Harry, have created something that is far and beyond five star, without the formality of it, with the help of famed Goan architect Dean D’Cruz. They took three painstaking years to create this hotel and the results can be seen for themselves – 10 elegant rooms, each unique from the other, that somehow combine the Mogul, Mediterranean, Portuguese and Spanish.
And while not located by the Arabian Sea itself, as many places are in Goa, there are views of the sea from over the gardens, and it’s only a 10 minute drive.
"In total spent around 10 days there over Christmas and at start of New Year. Claudia and Harry (the owners and hosts) are incredible - more like a private house party than hotel. The pool and setting are near perfect. Food is excellent, if quite heavily European, rather than Indian. Rooms are each uniquely and cleverly designed. Staff have been there many years and loyal to place and guests. I will be going back." Jonathan Klein.
"It is a calm, spiritual place, but at the same time ultra-chic, trendy and exotic…even a little sexy." Ivan Fallon.
"Overlooking paddy fields and coconut palm groves, the setting is romantic and classy, and although not on the beachfront, Nilaya is Goa's most celebrated getaway, as its extensive celebrity guest list (Kate Moss, Peter Lindbergh, Philippe Starck) indicates." Frommers.