While wild, all-night beach parties are part of Goaâ€™s DNA, the stretch of sand that the new W Goa calls home is laid-back and, now, quite luxurious. Surrounded by coconut palms on Vagator Beach, the 160-room property merges traditional India with Goaâ€™s hippy past in design: towering white walls nod to the countryâ€™s intricately carved jali screens, lightshades resemble fishing nets, and throw pillows and rugs come in a rainbow of colors. Perhaps the biggest allure is the hotelâ€™s location, in the shadow of the 500-year-old Chapora Fort, perched on black cliffs and a crumbling reminder of the stateâ€™s Portuguese past. There are plenty of waterside hangouts within walking distance, but as the sun disappears over the Arabian Sea, itâ€™s hard to beat a poolside perch at Woo Barâ€“chai spiced martini in hand, of course.
This article originally appeared in theÂ October/NovemberÂ print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Goan Places”).