Oh wow! I feel like I’ve been invited to an after-show party of Green Day or Kid Rock. This place is incredible, fit for Versace, David Beckham or Lady Gaga, with in your face extravagance and plenty of jaw dropping picture opportunities to make your friends back home super jealous.
A Well Kept Secret
Like all good things in life, it takes a bit of effort to find this place, so here are some simple directions to help you along. Once you arrive in Calangute by the main beach entrance guarded by a bronze statue, you will want to take the left with Sagar restaurant on your right (I am assuming you are looking towards the sea, for the avoidance of doubt). Follow the windy lane, until you come to Elvins (you cannot miss it, as it is bright green.) If you come to the end of the road and the Octopus bar, you have gone too far.
Assuming you are not colour blind, turn right by Elvin’s and a hundred yards down on the right is Orabella Villas. This is an exclusive place with just two chalets and two apartments. Fortunately, we have bagged the best, the penthouse apartment!
Considering we arrive frustrated and tired after driving round in circles, having asked virtually everyone in the neighbourhood for directions, only to be sent back and forth up the same road, I feel like I’m on the set of ‘Groundhog Day.’ All that is soon forgotten in the excitement that awaits, quickly putting my grumpiness to rest.
Welcome to Orabella Villa Sea View Suite
After a welcome drink and check in, we follow the bell boys up a nondescript stairway, with nothing to indicate the opulence which lies within. On entering, so impressed are my husband and I that we cannot fail to collectively ‘wow!’
To be honest, I have to force myself not to do a Julia Roberts re-enactment from Pretty Woman. Remember that scene where she runs squealing around the penthouse hotel room? Oh my god….I so want to do that, but try instead to look like I stay in places like this every day. We follow the guided tour with polite murmurs of delight; ‘ooh lovely,’ ‘oh very nice’ that kind of thing.
No sooner has the door closed though, leaving us alone, I fling my arms round my husband, who knows exactly how hard I have been trying to contain myself, do a happy jig, and let vent. Even he looks excited, and that takes some doing!
So let me give you the quick tour.
The Living Area
The apartment has a large, open-plan living area with super cool air-conditioning. A beige, leather sofa takes up the main seating area, with a flat screen TV adorning the wall, and cool Italian marble tiles decorating the floor (watch those wet feet!). From here, a left turn leads into the dining area with a fabulous jewel encrusted dining table in matching beige, and from there, a right turn into the pristine white kitchen, so new it hasn’t even had the transparent film removed from some of the cabinets.
Imagine our delight to find a washing machine, and dryer in there. It’s amazing how sometimes the simple things in life cause so much joy when you have been living out of cases for a while!! Let’s get all that washing done now so we don’t have to do it when we get home!!
Things get even more exciting in the bedrooms!!
The master bedroom looks like a Gucci or Versace advert with off gold, leather furnishings with jewel encrusted handles and armrests. They probably wouldn’t look at home in my minimalist living home, but here it just works!
The bed is a super king size, made to look even more huge by the seating ledge surrounding it. More padded, off gold leather and the most ornate, fabulous headboard I have EVER seen!
Add to that crisp white cotton linens, ornate lamps, so many switches I have no idea what to do with them, and I am well and truly in Neverland.
There’s a huge window through to the bathroom housing a big tub and a fabulously large walk-in shower with modern tiling, and a great vanity bowl. Dressing gowns are strategically placed to grab our attention, as though to remind us that we will need them later.
We gleefully rush across the hall to investigate the second bedroom. This time, the colour scheme is younger and funkier, less diva and more hip, with colourful matching chairs by the window, bright red cushions and accessories contrasting with the crisp white linen.
The gigantic bed looks slightly curved and has down lights within the headboard. Very funky indeed. The en-suite bathroom is slightly smaller than the master (but I don’t think our friends would complain!) and has another huge walk-in shower and cool modern vanity unit.
The Rooftop Jacuzzi
A spiral staircase winds its way up to a rooftop gym. As you ascend, leaving the frigid air conditioning below, the full force of the heat hits you. A cursory glance at the equipment in the gym (after all, I am injured!) and out on to the roof, overlooking the sea, where we find a walled and windowed Shala with a hidden treat within….a giant rooftop jacuzzi!
This is no usual hot tub. Its wedged into the corner with panoramic views of the ocean (which would be uninterrupted were it not for the super swanky house which is being built in front, but rest assured you get a view alright).
What a perfect place to unwind at the end of the day, with a cool tub (who needs hot when it is boiling outside?) the windows open to the breeze, the sun setting in the distance, and a glass of wine or champagne in hand. It’s a high-tech tub (so much so that we could not get half the features to work!) and obviously we have the water running in no time. There’s enough space in the Shala to also plonk a yoga mat for a few Sun Salutations, or you could create your own makeshift mini bar.
Either way, it is pretty awesome, and is our most luxurious home for the night on this trip. Is it too late to extend our stay?
Orabella Villas is an exclusive collection of properties, so don’t expect a full spa, or tennis courts. There is a small swimming pool, and poolside bar, which if I could tear myself away from this amazing joint, I would be dying to jump into. Instead, we decide that, as there is a chef on-site, we plan to enjoy our home from home as much as possible and order dinner, and breakfast in.
Food is served promptly at the requested time, and is a mixture of rice, curries and nans. It is probably not our favourite meal of the trip, with an over-abundance of salt, however should you wish to head out, the Octopus bar (super cheap at just 55p for a small bottle of beer) is just around the corner. You can also wander along the beach into Calangute and take your pick from a selection of waterholes, and restaurants.
Beware, if you are used to the quiet beaches of Ashvem and Mandrem, as I am, then Calangute may come as something of a shock. Shops selling buckets and spades line the beach entrance, groups of young Indians parade around flashing their muscles egotistically, and parasailing and banana boats dot the bay. The beach looks like a swarm of ants has descended and the streets are pretty chaotic too, with mad traffic, blaring horns, meandering cows, and billows of dust. Shopkeepers try to entice us endlessly into their shops, and I’m happy to dash back to the calm luxury of our apartment.
If you like booming nightlife, with plenty of shopping options, then Calangute is perfect for you, or you can use it as a base to explore more of the Goan coast.
I hope the pictures do this place justice because let me tell you, we both have the best night’s sleep here. The bed (gold one) is true heaven, the air conditioning is virtually silent and the fans effective in cooling. The shower jets pack a punch, and the natural toiletries smell great. I seriously do not want to leave!
This is not a budget venue at around $300 a night, but is well worth a splurge! Make sure you head to the off licence first, pack your basket full of bubbles, grab yourself something to eat, and prepare to indulge in a night of pretending you have won the lottery (ok that might not work if you already live in a place like this!). Or even better, grab some friends, toss a coin to decide who gets the master bedroom, and prepare for a night in with friends.
Safe to say, we loved it!
We stayed courtesy of Orabella Villas, but all views are our own and unedited.