Set in a charming Portuguese villa in Sinquerim with resplendent panoramas, Marbella Guest House is your best bet for that perfect getaway with your loved one.
With the monsoon now in its full glory, there are certain places here in Goa that capture the essence of this dramatic time of year.
Although some vacation spots are on a high throughout the year, they experience a stunning transformation during the rains. At the end of a laid-back lane in Sinquerim village, below Fort Aguada is one such destination.
Marbella Guest House is a magnificently restored 16th century Portuguese colonial mansion, which, by taking a few creative liberties, forms a rare blend of poetic architecture.
Surrounded by coconut palms and bougainvilleas, the Arabian Sea and the Mandovi River, the area is ideally suited for walks and bird watching. Guests could also be tempted to explore Fort Aguada, only a 10-minute stroll up the hill or head to the nearest beach, a short distance away.
On a recent visit to Marbella, I was welcomed by the friendly proprietors Dian and Susan Singh Rarewala,
an English-Indo/German couple, who have created a home-away-from-home experience, a peaceful haven for guests. And true to their word, I immediately settled in.
The Penthouse Suite is undoubtedly the best suite in the house and is designed to instantly feel at home. The suite consists of a large living room, small dining room, large bedroom with en-suite bathroom and shower and a large sunny terrace – ideally suited for sun bathing – with a great view of the lush greenery.
However, as the Penthouse Suite was, unsurprisingly, occupied, I was offered The Garden Room, a beautifully furnished double room on the upper floor with a garden view. The superb Garden Room is fitted with en-suite bathroom and shower, and has a very comfortable sitting area and cable TV. The room looks out onto the splendid garden, open hills and palms trees.
Also on offer are three other categories of rooms and suites. The Rajasthani Suite is a spacious split level room with a definite Indian flair; attached is a royal bathroom with a large size sunken bath – an all encompassing relaxation haven. The Moghul Suite is a spacious split level room with classical flair situated on the ground floor opening out onto the courtyard. Finally, the Bougainvillea Rooms share the same nicely shaded terrace due to the mature Bougainvillea that grows just outside. Both rooms are spacious and outstandingly comfortable.
Unlike many guest houses in Goa, Marbella is open all year round and attracts as many people during the summer as it does in the monsoons. To visit at this time of the year makes for a breathtaking coastal retreat, free from the hustle and bustle the high season brings.
Guests can also spend time with three resident dogs, all living in different quarters of the house. Most enjoy the two dogs Rupert and Ruby who have been known to escort and guide visitors to the lighthouse situated at the top of the hill. In fact, many guests have commented on how the animals have made them feel at home.
With a charm of old world elegance, Marbella is a romantic hideaway and refuge for couples seeking a lover’s paradise or some peace and quiet from the cut ‘n’ thrust of 21st century tourism. It offers an alternative to the typical tourist guest house experience. As one guest puts it, “it is to be appreciated”.