Accommodation in Goa is plentiful with a variety of hotels, resorts and guest houses to suit every budget and every taste. There are simple and bare rooms available for the thriftiest of back-packers and five-star deluxe luxury suites for those that want to indulge their fancies.
Almost all round the year, travellers are usually assured of finding a room - if not in a hotel, then at least in a private house. However, come the peak season of December and January, you are likely to experience problems, unless you book your rooms well in advance.
In a recent poll conducted by Smart Asia Travel.com readers, Goa has been ranked Sixth Best Holiday Destination in Asia for the year 2009.
Just around Christmas until the dawn of the new year, Goa is in festive mood and plays host to hundreds and thousands of visitors from all over India and around the world. So accommodation is at a premium everywhere.
Most accommodation in Goa can be categorised in the following typical types:
This type of accommodation is suitable for the budget-minded traveller and especially the backpacking tourist. This can range from simple, bare rooms in regular guesthouses to cosy well furnished rooms in family-run guesthouses.
This kind of accommodation is costlier in the city and popular coastal belt areas and cheaper if you go off the beaten track in the rural areas. A decent double room with a fan, attached bath and toilet typically costs around Rs. 200/-. The prices usually double in the peak season period.
It is always a good idea to check the state of the bathroom and toilet confirming your reservation with money.
If you want to get a taste of the typical rural Goa, try accommodation in a family house with mud-floored rooms. The water supply is usually the common village well and baths/toilets are in small outhouses.
The next step up is the budget mid-range hotels which are to be found all over Goa and form the major portion of the available accommodation. These have proper reception areas, well appointed rooms, room service and usually a restaurant.
Off season, these hotels are the best bet for your stay. But, most of these hotels are fully booked with hordes of Charter tourists from Europe during the peak season, so finding a room might be a little difficult. However there are still rooms to be found for the walk-in tourist although at a slightly higher tariff.
The tariffs for rooms at such hotels range between Rs 400/- to Rs 800/- for a good-sized room with a fan, en-suite bath/toilet, a balcony and hot and cold running water. There are optionals such as cable TV and air conditioning also available. Most 1-star and uncategorised hotels fall in this category.
These higher budget range hotels in Goa can be classified into two categories: the slick modern 2-star and 3-star hotels which can be found in all the major towns as well as all the popular coastal belt and the high-priced international standard 5-star luxury resorts which cater to the rich and the famous. The luxury resorts are all located in the coastal areas within easy walking distance
of a beach.
Resorts in this category typically have their own restaurants with different cuisines, coffee shops, large swimming pools, sports and gym facilities along with shops selling everything from books to carpets.
The luxury rooms at these type of establishments range typically from Rs 2000/- to Rs 10000/- per night and it is often best to stay at these hotels
on one of their special packages available at a much lesser rate.
A number of travellers, especially foreigners, prefer to spend a fairly longer period of time from a month to as many as six months at the leisurely pace of life in Goa. For such a stay, it is best to rent houses or rooms by the month, or season.
Rents usually vary from area to area and even village to village, but you can expect to get accommodation for around Rs 3500/- to Rs 5000/- a month depending upon the season and the facilities included in the cost.
It is also worth considering sharing such long stay accommodation with two or three people so as to bring down the costs. Most importantly, reserve such long-term accommodation well in advance to get a good bargain as most such houses and rooms are rented by visitors who return to the same house year after year and as such get first preference.
Such rentals are mostly to be found in the small villages around the beach areas and are owned by the local villagers. The more deposit you pay upfront and the longer you intend to stay, the less the accommodation cost.