A 200-year-old villa converted into an elegant homestay in Goa

Image: The Caravela Home Stay Facebook Page

Goa is a dream destination among tourists from across the globe due to a plethora of reasons. Excellent road, rail and air connectivity, superlative lodging facilities, exhaustive cuisine and quality service make Goa an attractive proposition for travellers.

Apart from age-old heritage, rich legacy and enviable traditional lifestyle, the state has some innovative, distinct and modern imprints too. One such initiative that caught the imagination of the travellers is the Caravela Homestay. 

Twenty-seven-year-old Carlos Noronha, along with his father, bought a 200-year-old villa and converted it into an elegant homestay. Carlos got the idea to start a homestay when he went to a friend’s house at Coorg in Karnataka after completing his graduation in 2014.

He got inspired by his friend’s initiative to run a homestay and thought of starting a similar facility in his home state Goa. And without further ado, Carlos purchased a 200-year-old villa built by Portuguese to kick start his business venture. 

The homestay was opened when the idea of providing such lodging for tourists began to migrate from the European countries to India in 2014. The facility was given the appellation of ‘Caravela’ after the 15th century-built ship ‘Caravela’ in a bid to uphold the cultural heritage of the country like how the Britishers did.  The floor of the homestay was laid with some of the material used in the ship. 

The homestay is a modern facility and has a TV, Wi-Fi and air conditioner to ensure the comfort of the guests. In order to retain that vintage feel, the rosewood stairway and similar areas of the villa were left untouched along with the walls made of mud. 

Caravel Homestay is in Panaji, which is a favourite hunting ground of budget travellers and backpackers. The venture is quite rewarding for Carlos as even during the off-season the revenue is close to Rs 3lakh per month. During the tourist season between November and January, the income would touch Rs 5lakh per month as both foreign and domestic tourists love to stay at this facility. 

Carlos is also running a coffee shop, which serves sandwich, pizza and other delicacies, adjacent to the homestay. The monthly earning from the café itself is about Rs 20,000. 

Currently, only a few rooms are available for the tourists due to the pandemic and Carlos is hoping that there would be brighter days from December.

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