Writing this takes me back to a wonderful home-stay experience at Arco Iris made unique and memorable thanks to Beni, Gani, their sweet daughters T1 and T2- and the latest, very welcome addition to the family- F1 or Feni (a friendly lab) :)
My wife and I were looking for a small break from the madness and hustle of city life and it was a bit of a gamble going for a (first-time) homestay experience in a village far removed from the usual touristy beach-church-hippie market circuit. And this during the monsoon off-season when the beaches are essentially a no-go (even the shacks are closed!). The gamble really paid off in spades thanks to the Arco Iris family!
The location is beautiful, the hospitality warm and welcoming, the house restoration was evidently a labor of love with an incredible attention to detail and aesthetics. This is the kind of home most folk would aspire to making, in the kind of location they would love to settle down in- beautiful, green, quiet, idyllic but with convenient access to the city.
The rooms are spotless and beautifully furnished, with modern and well equipped attached baths, and lovely antique/local style fourposter (and very comfortable!) beds. The food was excellent and well-balanced between local Goan and continental cuisine, which just added to the comfort factor. Beni, Gani and family really went out of the way to make this the experience so memorable- from arranging and guiding us on local sight-seeing to producing a romantic midnight birthday celebration for my wife, complete with cake, flowers and candlelight out of nowhere on a single request. And I know they cooked for us when the regular cook took a day off!
I'm a bird-watcher and nature lover and I was blown away by the sheer variety of bird-life around the house- starting right from the house garden to its immediate neighborhood where I spotted hornbills, orioles, kingfishers, munias, tickell's blue flycatchers, orange-headed thrushes, rufous woodpeckers, lesser whistling ducks and several varieties of other waterbirds... all this during the monsoons, which is offseason for bird-spotting! I am sure (and I intend to try it out!) the setting is perfect for the winters as well!
Thanks, guys, for making this a wonderful getaway! :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Arco Iris means “Rainbow” in Portuguese, and was built on a sprawling, 1.5 acre terraced property which overlooks a seasonal lake. This supplements the water requirements of the surrounding paddy fields. The proximity to the lake and the Zuari, the abundant greenery in and around the property, ensure a picturesque Goan setting throughout the year. The house itself is styled along colonial Portuguese lines with a high plinth, imposing columns, high ceilings and offers excellent natural ventilation throughout the year. It has been restored, true to its heritage and without compromising the modern day amenities that have come to be associated with the changes in lifestyle since the early 19th century.During the restoration process, all efforts were made to preserve the original materials which had originally gone into the construction of the house by using them, at times, for alternate purposes. The end result is a house which reflects a judicious and tasteful blend of the modern and the traditional. With a built up area of around 7,000 sq feet, the house comprises an “entrada” (foyer), “sala” (living room), dining room, four guest bedrooms with attached bathrooms and a fully equipped modern kitchen. Three of the bedrooms open onto private balconies. It also has a “balcao” (balcony) in front and a courtyard at the rear. The “balcao”, is the most social part of the house where any daily activity, be it catching up with neighbours, reading morning newspapers, eating , or just plain lazing can be enjoyed. The “sala” or the high ceilinged living room is reserved for formally receiving and entertaining visitors. The dining room is dominated by the dining table which can comfortably seat 8. All bedrooms have been suitably modified to accommodate attached bathrooms with modern amenities. The bedroom colours have been chosen keeping in mind the colours of the rainbow.There is plenty of space to read in the lounges, the dining room, or outdoors in the verandah. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Neemrana's Arco Iris Noble Home Goa, India