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Acro Iris, Goa

Goa, a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, is one of the most accommodating destinations for holiday-makers. Alien cuisines & cultures have become easily palatable to the locals and somewhere the old world charm of this fantastic state seems to be getting lost in the stereo typical methods of entertainment for tourists. In such a time, it’s crucial for some to take on the onus of reviving and sustaining what is left of the inherited charming architecture & culture.

Having lived in many parts of the country, Bennita and Ganesh went through a 3 year ordeal to restore a 120 year old colonial mansion to make it their home in Goa. Coming back to their roots and seeing a satisfying end result, they recently decided to open up their house to share their wonderful lifestyle with people from all over the world. Avid travellers themselves, they are sensitive to the subtle needs of people who come to their house, giving them an opportunity to explore on their own along with a feeling of being well taken care of.

The bright yellow house stands vividly in the backdrop of one of the lakes of the Curtorim village. The large portico and the wide airy rooms are aesthetically done in the colours of the rainbow, after an innocuous declaration by their daughter – calling the house ‘a rainbow city’. The colour themed rooms blend in perfectly together. The wide courtyard of the house and the hammocks outside, call for lazing in or catching up on a good book.

Three large collages in the living room are what catch the eye when one enters the house. These are made of the photographs of the progress of the house and tell the whole saga of transformation from a wrecked mansion to its new avatar, keeping intact the essence of the architecture with recycling most of the parts of the old structure.

Pets – Well behaved and controllable pets are welcome to holiday with their owners. In-fact  they will find ample place to run around freely in the 1.5 acre area.

Children- With two young daughters in the house, Benny and Ganesh would be delighted to have other children come and experience the life in a village and get up close to the nature.

Activities:

  1. Set in the middle of the village, the 120 years old house has access to a lot of old Churches of the Curtorim area. The St. Alex Church built in 1597, makes a wonderful destination of a languid walk in the village.
  2. The Lake studded Curtorim area also boasts of a prestigious seminary, a mere 8 kilometres cyclable distance. Those who want to get an intellectual stimulation on a holiday can visit the library with an extensive collection of books on Philosophy and Theology.
  3. The nearby Chandor is known for its age old mansions, run by descendants of Portuguese families. One such mansion, the Braganza, is a short distance away. This makes a fine heritage walk to assimilate the history emanating from such structures.
  4.  The Zuari River calls for a sunny picnic and a boat ride – a perfect outing for kids.
  5. Other interesting places like the Big Foot museum, Figueirado and the 400 year old Palacio De Deao, are great to spend some time and experience the Goa, which many miss out.
  6. For the beach buffs, the Colva beach is the closest. Make sure that you enter the beach and go leftwards to discover a quiet corner for yourself. A number of activities like Banana Boat Rides and Parasailing can be done here. Being in the central area of Goa, one can also drive a little south to find some exclusive untouched beaches.
  7. Cotigao, Mahavir, Bondla or Mhadei are some protected wildlife areas which can be arranged to be visited by Benny and Ganesh. Something refreshing in the itinerary which many visitors omit.
  8. A lush green area dotted with about seven lakes is a haven for birdwatchers. Don’t forget to carry those binoculars and go on nature walks.
  9. A group of about 5 to 10 people can ask for a special programme to be organised with a photography expert in advance.

Facilities:

  1. Pick up and drop can be arranged at a spate cost. In-fact it is advisable to take the hosts’ help as the house lies in the interiors of Curtorim Village.
  2. Ganesh, an avid reader has a great collection of books which can be used by guests.
  3. A bar, for those who want to sip a few drinks for a relaxing evening.
  4. Internet service for all guests ( broadband connectivity)
  5. Laundry Service
  6. Doctor on call
  7. Welcome drink along with a fruit basket
  8. A common TV room
  9. There are no ACs in the room, which is a pleasant respite from shut doors and windows.
  10. A daily newspaper to keep you updated.
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