Where to stay: Guesthouse, Shack or Resort?

I used to think that a vacation meant a stay in a five star hotel or in a luxury villa with an infinity pool and your very own chauffeur – when I was very young and did not know of the importance of this thing called money of which everyone spoke.

I know now that there are some holidays for which you must splurge on great accommodation, say your honeymoon or when you’re vacationing with your sweetheart after a long time spent apart. This is because you want those rose petals on your bed, the chocolate placed on the carefully turned down duvet corner, the heavenly smelling miniature potion bottles of toiletries and of course, that outdoor shower *wink wink*. But it isn’t the case for every vacation and for every vacation spot. Some places you visit may have a lot to be explored so you won’t be spending all that much time in your hotel. Or you might spend all day at the beach and only return to the hotel to sleep. Or sometimes you just don’t have the budget that stretches. Or maybe you just don’t care that much about fuss nowadays.

One thing I have learned from reading about other travellers’ experiences is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to explore our wonderful world. There are holidays for every budget. So many travellers prefer to save money on accommodation by staying in hostels and spend their money on the more important things, the once in a lifetime experiences like whitewater rafting or deep-sea diving. I believe every place (especially every vacation spot) has options for all levels of travellers. The fact that you do not have enough money to splurge on a beautiful villa for the extent of your stay should never stop you from travelling or holidaying.

For my previous holiday in Goa, I was there for 7 nights, 5 of which I spent at a guesthouse and 2 at an I-don’t-know-what-to-call-it place.

1) Deodita’s Guesthouse, Near Café Del Mar, Off Tito’s Lane, Baga

The place is comfortable and clean, I have stayed here before and had no complaints. The owners are friendly and it is literally a two minutes’ (or less) walk from the beach. That last point will always see me choosing this option. As long as I plan to spend all my time outdoors, eating, shopping, frolicking in the waves, I will return to this place.

You can order breakfast in your room too, and that’s a great thing when you’re on holiday. There isn’t anything extraordinary on the menu, eggs many ways, toast many ways, cereal, and hot and cold beverages. They also have a small shop which serves as the reception where you can get pretty much every necessity you forgot to pack. Think hand sanitizer, shampoo, toilet roll, biscuits, cold drinks etc.

Do not go here expecting luxury, because that you will not get. What you will get is a safe, clean, roomy accommodation at a very fair price. Double occupancy rooms come with a double bed (or twin beds pushed together), a kitchenette with a fridge, sink and countertop, a clean bathroom and a balcony. They have rooms for couples and small to large groups as well.

2) Thalassa, Little Vagator

I booked this place online, as in, saw the pictures and booked. Let me start off by saying that I did not think this place lived up to its promise, neither was it worth the price. They offer two types of rooms, with deck and without.  Click here and you will see the pictures they have on their site. Now to me, visually (as in the pictures) and through common sense, a room with a deck would overlook the view, in this case, the Arabian Sea because Thalassa is situated at the top of a cliff with Ozran beach below. This was not the case, we got a room with no view, nothing, uh uh, nada, zilch.

Let me break it down for you, the rooms are placed on either side of the pathway that leads to their restaurant, the ones without deck on the right and the ones with deck on the left. The room itself is tiny, the bathroom tinier. The shower was a dismal pissing, half-hearted waterfall waterfail. The “deck” was the upstairs of the room through a (very) heavy trapdoor (!?) and closed off with not only white billowing curtains as pictured on their site but white sheets of plastic. Now, even without these obstructions all you can see is a tiny sliver of sea. I checked. I stood on the “deck bed” and peeked out through a corner while standing on tiptoe. Sheesh, the things I do for this blog!

I had read and heard rave reviews about the food at Thalassa so the plan was to stay there and eat to our heart’s content without having to drive back a ways before passing out in a state of satisfied torpor. I will agree, the food was really good. We had Kalamata olives served with bread and a dip of bell peppers in olive oil, watermelon and feta cheese salad, lamb gyros and chicken souvlaki. We also had an extremely overpriced breakfast here. The food prices are still alright but the drinks are priced like they are made from the nectar of the gods, literally. I didn’t want to spend that much on a cocktail so I did my drinking elsewhere.

My verdict: The place is pretty and reminiscent of Greece (duh! As if the name didn’t give it away). Go here for the great food, have a relaxed meal, look out at the expansive view and let the wind blow on your face non-stop but don’t stay here. Also, don’t be fooled by the sunset bookings, it is so not all that it’s made out to be.

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That wraps it up then! Happy and safe travels, all!

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