Heritage by the Sea
Luxury Boutique Hotel From USD $172
Tiracol, Goa, India
1 Bedroom, sleeps 2
From USD $172
Offering unparalleled elegance, the intimate accommodation offered in this former Portuguese fort is unsurpassed. Fort Tiracol’s elevated location above the Arabian Sea and Tiracol River estuary lends it an enviable position with breathtaking views in every direction.
Fort Tiracol was once an armed fortress that belonged to the Portuguese. Thanks to the efforts of the talented couple that lease it—it’s a national monument—it now offers some of the most unique accommodation in the state, and that’s saying something given the popularity of Goa to both Indian and foreign travelers.
Fort Tiracol’s elevated location above the Arabian Sea and Tiracol River estuary lends it an enviable position with breathtaking views in every direction. Combined with the elegant furnishings and the palpable sense of history in the fort, it’s a delightful place to stay.
There are just seven rooms at the fort offering paying guests a rare intimacy in Goa – it is open to day visitors but most come on weekends and leave by 6pm. Each room is named for a day of the week and has superb views over the sea below from a private balcony. Guests have reported seeing dolphins from these balconies.
The rooms themselves are large with bright yellow walls and wrought-iron furniture that is in keeping with the heritage and structure of the fort. The original 18th century balustrades on the upper terraces are a particularly delightful feature. However the rooms are homely and comfortable without that traditional austere feeling you get from old fortresses.
Within the fort compound is an old whitewashed 17th century chapel that is still used by local people for mass. Try to time your visit for a weekend service if you can. There is no pool on site but the beach is not far away and there are sun lounges on the terraces.
The fort is leased to the owners of the equally wonderful Nilaya Hermitage who transformed it into the elegant residence it is today in 2002.
Cable television is available in the suites and in standard rooms on request.
Over the Christmas period rates rise for the peak season. Room rates include a continental breakfast and Goan dinner. Off season rates can be negotiated from June-August.
There’s a palpable sense of history at Fort Tiracol and a real charm in staying overnight – particularly once the day trippers have left and guests are treated to real peace and quiet. The elevated position of the fort also heightens the feeling of seclusion, and it helps that there are only seven guest rooms.
Meals are served on the spacious upper terrace beneath large white umbrellas where there are eye-stretching views. The breakfast room and bar are located just off the terrace. The cuisine incorporates local Goan dishes and seafood.
If you want to eat somewhere different there are beach shacks serving more budget cuisine just across the river on Querim beach.
Residents at Tiracol can take the ferry across the river to get food, a drink or to swim and relax on Querim beach. The hotel can also arrange a boat for fishing trips, dolphin spotting or simply a picnic at a surrounding beach. Hotel guests can also sign up for yoga classes and Ayurvedic massage.
"After a 1.5 hr taxi drive from Goa airport, we finally arrived at the small car ferry over the river to Terakhol. 4 minutes drive or 20 minutes walk once off the ferry the fort is a mile or so down the road built on the high hill above the estuary below. We couldnt have asked for more perfect introduction to Goan hospitality. More like a stately home than a hotel Fort Terakhol is a really wonderful place: INCREDIBLE views, wonderful freshly cooked Goan food, lovely service and lovely rooms. We stayed in 'Wednesday' (each of the 7 rooms is named after a day of the week) which had an extraordinary view of the sea below and a great balcony with small table and chairs and sun loungers below. Room was huge, clean and full of 'heritage' furniture.
The beach opposite is called Querim which was pretty much deserted the whole time we were ever there and the views looking back up at the Fort and across the beach at the blue sea and palm trees were stunning. Wish we could have stayed for longer!" MattCooke.
"The location is excellent which is Maharashtra & Goa border. From the fort rooms you get the sea view. Nearby is Kerry beach - which is secluded with calm waters. Almost like a private beach only for yourself. Only keep in mind the ferry timings. The rooms are well made and very well maintained. If looking for a quiet and peaceful time without any disturbance - perfect place." Anand.
"Although the views are outstanding and the food superb, you may find life a little dull (no pool, and the beach is a 3-min. ferry away) and isolated (90 min. from Baga). However, it's hard to beat if you want to really get away from it all, and you can rent a speedboat for dolphin-watching, take a cruise on the wooden dhow, or mingle with members of Tiracol's tiny village community". Frommers.
Guests can expect rates to range between USD $172 and USD $225 per night depending on season and room selection.