This was my first trip to Goa and what better way to start it than staying at a 200-year-old heritage house in North Goa.
About Rodrigues Heritage House in Candolim, Goa
The Rodrigues house is described as a Portuguese heritage villa, located in a very happening locality of Candolim and just five minutes' walk from Candolim beach.
There are five suites at this property, three of which are being given out while the other two are undergoing some renovation work. The owner expects to have them ready soon and wishes to rent out the entire property for guests to enjoy family stays.
There are two large living areas in the house, one of them used to be a court for dance performances back in the early days, as described by the property manager, Mr. Sabino.
There's no swimming pool, but guests are allowed to use the pool at the owner's other local property, which is about 1km from Rodrigues house (I didn't take advantage of this).
Booking the property
After shortlisting this property, I kept searching on Airbnb to see if I could find anything better with the same kind of Portuguese setting and similar location. But I didn’t find anything better, so I booked it for a total of INR 13,680 (USD 187) for three nights.
The property had a non-refundable cancellation policy, which made me a little hesitant briefly - mainly because I was first travelling from Mumbai to Delhi (on the Vistara 787 business class), and then from Delhi to Goa.
I ended up extending my stay at this property for another two nights, and I booked directly with the owner for a total of INR 5,000 (USD 68) for two nights.
Checking in at Rodrigues Heritage House
My SpiceJet SpiceMax flight to Goa from Delhi arrived at 5.30pm, and I came out of the airport to find out that there were no cars available in the Uber app. After enquiring, I found out that there are only local cab services available, and I booked it from one of the taxi counters outside the arrivals gate, which cost me INR 1,250 (USD 17) for the ride to Candolim.
Apparently the locals here aren’t very welcoming to the idea of the Uber-like-apps disrupting their monopoly over taxi services in the city.
It took me approximately an hour to reach the property, where Mr. Sabino was waiting outside the gate to welcome me. He directed the driver to take the car inside the compound.
He showed me to the living area where Vitthal, the caretaker at this property, offered me water before taking the luggage to my suite. Mr. Sabino asked for my ID and requested for my signature in the check-in register.
This was a smooth experience, and we had a brief chat about some of the places nearby that I could try for dinner. He also gave me a tour of the house, and told me about another caretaker, Subhash.
He also informed me that Vitthal and Subhash will be at the property till 11pm each day, post which they will be available on call, as they live within 2kms of the house.
Heritage suite w/ kitchen review
The team here had turned the AC on before my arrival so when I entered the room, it was cool and I appreciated this gesture from them. There was a beautifully done queen bed in the centre of the room, with towel art made by the housekeeping team.
There was another single bed, so this room can accommodate a total of three people.
There were also a washbasin and mirror in the room, a closet of a good enough size, a table and a television screen (which I didn't use during my stay).
The bathroom and kitchen were in the extended part of the room, both quite comfortable and spacious.
The bathroom, which was clean and fitted with a water heater (which you need to turn on to get any hot water), was stocked with soap and extra toilet paper.
The kitchen featured a fridge, a microwave, an electric stove, and a kitchen cabinet, which was equipped with cutlery, dishes, toaster and other basic items like salt, pepper, sugar, etc.
Out of the three suites that were operational at the time, this was the only one with kitchen, and a direct exit to the front porch.
One of the doors from my suite led to the living area, while the other one opened to the front, unlike other suites, which required you to pass through the living area to go outside.
This was convenient for me as the caretakers left at 11pm after locking the property, and on days when I wanted to return late from dinner, instead of having to handle two door locks to get in the property, I only had to open one.
I was originally booked at this place for only three nights, but I really enjoyed my stay and got a very homely feel from the place. I therefore decided to stay another two nights.
The atmosphere was peaceful and refreshing, which was further enhanced by the garden in front. I enjoyed having my morning tea on the front porch while gazing at the colourful flowers and butterflies.
Housekeeping service was provided everyday, keeping my convenience in mind. I asked Vitthal to make my room in the evenings when I was away, and he did it without fail.
I enquired about laundry services, which weren’t available at the property at the time, but Mr. Sabino asked me to handover my clothes to Vitthal, who got it done from a local laundry. It cost me around INR 500 (USD 7) to have ten pieces of clothing cleaned.
The only disappointing part of my staff was that the wifi (although included in my rate) didn't reach to my suite, which meant I had to work in the common living room, where the router was placed.
On top of that, and in common with many places in Goa, the cellular network was also poor - meaning this place is great if you really want to switch off!
I met Mr. Wilson Rodrigues, the owner of the property, on the second day, after I returned from nearby Baga beach. He was very warm and we had a nice chat. He mentioned that they operate other properties in Goa as well, but I won't get into details about them in this article (mention in the comments if you would like to know more).
We met multiple times throughout my stay, and on the last day I mentioned to him that I would like to extend the stay, and he was kind enough to offer me a discounted price for the room.
At my request, Mr. Sabino, the manager, arranged for a scooter for me on my second day at a cost of INR 350 (USD 5) per day, which is really cheap, given that the only other way of transport is booking a cab and that gets expensive in Goa.
Dining at Rodrigues Heritage House
In terms of dining, the property only offers breakfast, which comes at an additional cost of INR 180 (USD 2.5). I tried it once and Vitthal brought apple juice, omelette, bhaji and pao (bread).
The breakfast was nothing extraordinary, you'd be better off taking it outside.
Vitthal offered to prepare tea for me every morning and evening, at no additional cost. The host also offered me a complimentary breakfast on the last day, but sadly I couldn’t take his offer up as I wanted to try breakfast at nearby German Bakery, which is on the same street as the property and not more than five minutes' ride away. This cafe is recommended and does great omelettes.
Location of Rodrigues Heritage House
The property is located on the Siolim-Candolim road, which is the main road that stretches throughout Calangute, providing easy access to the famous beaches and spots in North Goa.
Baga beach is a 10 minute ride, while Anjuna beach is a little further - a 20 minutes. Vagator beach is further ahead and although I didn’t visit it, I was told that the same road stretches all the way there.
Candolim beach is a five-minute walk from the house, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance.
There is a large ‘Newton’s’ supermarket also within walking distance, as well as a lot of smaller supermarkets and medical stores nearby. There are also various ATMs right outside the compound, so that was convenient for me as I often find myself running low on cash.
One place that I really liked was the Village Baker cafe, which is just a minute's walk from the property. It was a cozy coffeeshop run by a local and I spent quite a few evenings there working on my laptop. I also had the pleasure of tasting bebinca (a local Goan dessert) for the first time here, which I absolutely loved.
The beauty of this property is that, even though it is surrounded by restaurants, bars and supermarkets, once you come inside, it naturally disconnects you from the bustling of the outside and provides a level of peace and tranquility. I liked it so much that I extended my stay here by two nights.
The suites here were very nicely done and this place gave me a very homely feeling. The host was warm and staff members were attentive and caring. During the day I found members of staff and host in the communal areas.
The location of this place was convenient as it provided easy connectivity to most of the places I wanted to visit in North Goa. I would surely like to stay at this property again, and would even prefer to take the entire house and come here in a large group.
What are your thoughts about this place? Let us know what your ideal accommodation in Goa looks like.