With organic kitchen gardens, Goa’s luxury holiday homes are raising the bar.
The ease of reaching the destination, the mix of party culture and quietude are some of the reasons why individuals are increasingly investing in Goa.
Pankhuri Harikrishnan, the CEO of Fetch Consulting, a communications and brand consulting firm, desires “a city home, a home in a lazy beach town, and another one in the hills.” While the 40-year-old Delhi resident is still scouting for her home in the hills, she recently found her dream villa in Goa.
Nestled in the verdant surroundings of Salvador do Mundo in north Goa, this is a Spanish-style luxury villa, with large rooms, bespoke furnishings and an open-air, but private, jacuzzi, offering expansive views of the natural surroundings. The retreat, developed by Vianaar, is exclusive in the truest sense, only 12 units have been built. The villas come with a swimming pool, a bar zone, concierge service, chef-on-call as well as a design team for daily supervision and to help the owners with rental management.
Vianaar has been rolling out new projects every three or four months to keep up with the unprecedented demand for vacation homes. Up next are standalone villas priced at Rs 8 crore, says Varun Nagpal, chief executive, Vianaar. Spread over 1,400 square yards, these villas will come with private swimming pools, organic kitchen gardens, handpicked art decor and furniture, designer bathrooms, and much else.
Though vacation homes are becoming popular in the hills of Uttarakhand, Lonavala, Ooty and Gokarna, Goa remains the top destination, says Sachin Taneja, senior vice-president, global real estate advisor, India Sotheby’s International Realty. The ease of reaching the destination, the mix of party culture and quietude, the landscape with beaches, mountains and fields are some of the reasons why high net worth individuals are increasingly investing in this destination.
What also helps is that many of these real estate companies are environmentally conscious, providing green measures with rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, waste management solutions and sewage treatment plants.
Jahan Tahiliani, promoter of Ahilia Homes, says creating exclusive, luxury retreats in Goa has been a winning proposition. Take, for instance, Ahilia’s Villa Acacia. Priced at Rs 10.5 crores, this exclusive double-storey Portuguese-colonial style villa is situated in the idyllic village of Socorro in north Goa.
Spread over 8,396 sq ft and designed by Tarun Tahiliani, it comes with several tall glass windows and doors to allow generous amounts of natural light to stream in. The private indoor pool is designed strategically to offer breathtaking views of the skies as a significant portion of the ceiling can be left open.
Besides Villa Acacia, Tahiliani, along with his business partner, Arjun Soni, has also developed two other luxury properties in the project named Salvador by the Bend: Villa Bergia and Villa Caccia, priced at Rs 7.5 crores each.
The piece de resistance, however, is the glass villa project for which Ahilia Homes has collaborated with Asahi India Glas’x’perts. With the backwaters of Nachinola as the backdrop, this glass-house villa, spread over 15,000 sq ft in a quiet village near Moira, raises the bar in terms of design and architecture.
Priced at Rs 15 crores, it offers magnificent views of a river, palm trees and open fields. The furniture, art decor and even the linen in the rooms have been handpicked from across the world. An infinity pool with rows of deck chairs, a spa-cum-gym area, a state-of-the-art entertainment lounge and a sculpture court area add to the experience.
Like the Tahiliani-Soni team, ALVA Architects, too, is increasingly providing interior design solutions to the aspirational buyer with a refined palette. So, there is furniture handpicked from Bali, artworks purchased from galleries around the world and linen in fine Egyptian cotton. With its involvement going deeper than just offering architectural solutions, ALVA Architects’ luxury vacation homes take two to two-and-a-half years to complete.
Then there’s Scapes India, which recently built a 14-villa complex in Siolim in north Goa. Starting at Rs 4 crore, these villas are surrounded by 25 square metres of the protected Marna forest on three sides. The company arranges for chauffeurs, chefs, and spa and yoga therapists for the owners.
The role of real estate developers specialising in vacation homes goes beyond property sales, explains Scapes India’s Founding Director Sameer Mutreja. The company’s concierge service works hard to cater to the demands of the owners -- from organising wine tasting sessions and cooking classes with local chefs to curating walks of local boutique stores and furniture shops or hosting a cozy dinner on a private yacht.
Mutreja’s company takes the concept of “fully furnished” to another level, providing villa owners with even wine glasses in fine crystal carefully arranged in the bar cabinet by trained staff.
The logic: reach your vacation home with your bags by noon, and party that same evening with friends. No, you don’t have to worry about breakfast or clearing up the next morning. All that, the Scapes staff will manage.
If that’s not luxury, what is?