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    Check-in at a quaint hotel or drop by designer studios a�� herea��s how to spend a summer getaway at the beach state

    Therea��s something about Goa, hot weather or not, that gets you into that perfect holiday frame of mind. Not surprisingly, it still remains #1 on the holidaymakera��s India vacation destination list even during the off-season. Just back from a buzzing Goa weekend, Ia��m happy to report that the party vibe has not been dented by the heat. So what does one do on a summer visit to Goa, when there are no music fests or beach shacks to keep oneself busy? I managed to stay occupied with visits to familiar old haunts and some fun new ones. Here are a few…

    Vivenda dos Palhacos, Majorda village
    If youa��re visiting South Goa, consider a change and stay at the quaint Vivenda dos Palhacos. A Portuguese hacienda converted into a seven-room boutique hotel (feels more like a home than hotel) and run by British brother-sister duo, Charlotte and Simon Hayward, the rooms are filled with antique furniture and mementos from their own long history in India where they were born and raised a�� including old barber chairs, planters loungers, sepia photographs (all original!) and a pool which looks straight out of The Great Gatsby. A talking point for sure, Vivenda is a tiny green space nestled in the bylanes of Majorda village and if youa��re yearning for a slice of Portuguese-accented Goa, look no further.
    Details: vivendagoa.com

    Wendell Rodricks Design Space, Panaji
    Not new, but familiar and delightful for fashion aficionados, a visit to the studio of Goaa��s big name designer Wendell Rodricks is a must. Situated in an old house, you wona��t be bothered in the quiet spacea��meander and leaf through the racks. I love his white room, but his range in glorious pastels is also worth a dekko. Details: wendellrodricks.com

    Koi, Calangute
    Goa is famous for its beach shacks and casual dining, but a few noteworthy fine dining spaces also exist. Koi, tucked away in a refurbished, old Portuguese house off the Calangute main road offers fusion Asian cuisine (including teppanyaki, dimsum and sushi), well-made cocktails from a well-stocked bar. The great news is that it has an air-conditioned space as well as an extensive open air area where you can sip your Martinis and nibble on dim sum all day or late into the night. If youa��re tired of cheap cutlery and crave a little culinary pampering, therea��s now a year-round choice here. Shefali Gandhi, the owner, is insistent that the focus must remain on good food a�� like their hoisin snapper or Singapore chilli crab.
    Details: koigoa.com

    Fashion by Stephany at Republic of Mode, Candolim
    Keen on browsing cool summer wear ala Goa? Stephany Da��Souza, an upcoming Goan designer, is quickly getting popular for her flowing chiffon drapes and funky colour combos. Her clothes, along with other resort-friendly designers like Eka and PA�ro, can be found at a tiny new boutique on the Fort Aguada road, Republic of Mode. Just the place to hunt for outfits with that chilled Goa vibe.
    Details: facebook.com/republicofmode

    – Ruma Singh


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