Praya Villas: An Eco-Friendly Beach Resort in Goa That Offers A Slice Of Tropical Paradise
- 12 May '22
- 11:54 am by Sneha Shah
The word ‘Goa’ conjures a multitude of emotions – adventure, joy, and above all a reassuring feeling of quietude; a compelling success story from the Indian tourism landscape. In this paradoxically bustling yet relaxed tourist-filled state, there are a few things as gratifying as finding the perfect stay. For us, Praya Villas is one of Goa’s best-kept secrets; one of those gems you’d be familiar with only if you’re ‘in the know’. Unmatched hospitality, remarkable design, and sustainable luxury; this retreat guarantees a uniquely unforgettable experience amidst the many, many ‘Goa getaways’ that one has in their lifetime. Away from the cacophony of the touristy Goa, the luxurious and characterful Praya Villas on Morjim beach are just the place to embrace the susegad way of life.
Praya is home to 14 idyllic private villas on the beach that offer a pleasant replacement to jarring city sounds, and sit right between the sweet spot of indulgence and homeliness. For Mumbai-based Neesha and Fritz D’Silva, the villas are a passion project that represent their fondness for Goa. “The word ‘Praya’ means the beach in Portuguese,” explains Neesha. “Morjim beach on which the six-acre property is located was the main source of inspiration. The decor and design draw inspiration from nautical elements and the colour palette is inspired by the sea, sand and the sun. An important element of Praya is also to create a lush, tropical environment which leads onto the beach.”
The holiday mood begins as you walk down the cobblestone path, struck by the old-world charm, reminiscent of the native Goan architecture with its flourishes and graceful proportions that draw inspiration from the quaint Portuguese Quarter of Fontainhas in Panjim and the Alfama in Lisbon. When it came to the architecture, Neesha was certain to not replicate any cookie-cutter, concrete developments mutilated in the eyes of many. The layout was planned in a way that the indoors and outdoors are in constant dialogue with each other, with the villas categorised into distinct spatial configurations: sea view villas, garden villas, courtyard villas and the concha. Each villa features four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a grand living and dining room, a private pool, and a beautifully landscaped garden; all of which are reflective of a nuanced design approach. Some of the villas also have a terrace to enjoy the hypnotic sights of the blue sea and vistas of the surrounding greenery.
To say that the Praya Villas boast a truly inimitable style is no understatement. Careful consideration has been taken in designing, curating, and restoring every aspect of their highly customised spaces. “We sourced the old Burma Teak doors, windows, cast iron staircase railings and wooden balconies from antique dealers in Mumbai and Ahmedabad,” Neesha tells us. “We restored and upscaled these elements which became the statement pieces in each villa. Most of the furniture was custom made in Jaipur by companies that mainly deal in exports. The decor pieces were sourced from Thailand and various places in India. In terms of sourcing locally, we used laterite stone for all our construction and also as accent features around the villas,” she adds. Adorned with dainty chandeliers, statement curios, and elegant furniture, the interiors of the villas are a masterclass in composition.
Apart from the eclectic cafes and restaurants around the property, there’s plenty to savour within Praya, too. At their beach restaurant ‘Baracca’, the talented culinary team prides itself in a wide array of local and international cuisines that range from the homely and authentic, to the exotic and innovative. If you’re a vegan, know that Praya will thoughtfully curate a menu that fits your dietary preferences. The vegan pineapple dessert is an absolute winner!
The mindful traveller can take comfort in the fact that the villas were planned with careful consideration of the eco-sensitive zone it is situated in, given its proximity to the turtle nesting site. “We were mindful of not disturbing the natural ecosystem in which we are surrounded. We appointed a landscape architect who also consulted with local forest department officials to take care of the beach vegetation and choose plants that are indigenous to this environment. Construction is a water-intensive process. To preserve the water table, we harvested rainwater during the monsoon and tried to use a minimum amount of groundwater”, explains Neesha. To embrace the wildness of the location, preserving and allowing local tropical flora to grow has been a predominant guiding philosophy for the team in designing Praya.
Paying attention to a sustainable and mindful lifestyle was also the focus here from the very beginning. Local Goan laterite stones were used for construction to reduce the carbon footprint and high-quality UPVC doors and windows, made from recyclable material were used for energy efficiency and to insulate the insides of the villa against dust and pollution. Establishing collaborative efforts with local artisans and craftsmen, Praya also aims to provide a platform to innovative fresh talent, and to bring about community engagement.
What is it that makes a boutique hotel analogous to a buried treasure, to be exhumed only by experiencing it? Truly, a microcosm of Goa exists at Praya Villas, and an unrestrained and understated luxury wafts through spaces.
DP Loves –
– The location. Praya Villas is situated on a quiet beach, but is not too far away from restaurants, bars and other beaches.
– Turtle cove hatching is just 2 minutes away from the property.
– In-villa dining to create culinary masterpieces with exemplary butler service.
– The beachside restaurant and cocktail bar ‘Baracca’ is private for guests only.
– A tranquil home away from home with a fully equipped gymnasium and private pool.