Looking for a cute place to stay in Goa? Our local Goa expert, Jules, recently stayed at the very sweet Casa Jaali in South Goa, Patnem. Here’s what to expect if you want to stay!
And in case you missed it, don’t forget to read about the first staycation at the very unique and cool Wigwam in Mandrem, North Goa.
Jules has started this Staycation Series to bring some love to businesses around the state. She’ll be taking some staycations in both North and South Goa to highlight the cool, quirky, and sometimes slightly secret options Goa is lucky to have.
Don’t forget to check out our Insider’s Guide to Goa
I am attempting to keep the beauty and excitement of travel alive whilst still realising the danger of it during the Covid-19 Pandemic. There are different rules all over the world to do with travel restrictions and all countries and places should be checked before you decide to travel, if you do. India has banned all International flights since March 2020 which is a big (and unfortunately necessary) blow for a lot of businesses who depend on foreign tourism.
Here in Goa life is slowly carrying on as businesses and people try to make the most of what’s left of the tourist season (November – April) and reach out to the main crowd of domestic tourists. I want to help people realise the importance of supporting your local communities, businesses, restaurants, hotels, guesthouses and boutiques during this difficult time. This doesn’t mean you need to travel far and wide to find them, they could be on your doorstep, down the road or a little drive away.
** Please note that all staycations should be taken responsibly. Wear your mask, sanitise your hands, and don’t go if you are feeling unwell.
Checking into Casa Jaali: A Dream by the Sea
This is my second staycation in Goa and this beautiful gem of a place definitely did not disappoint. I made the 2 and a half hour journey from my home in Arpora with my lovely friend Saffron along the cutest village roads to the very blissful and tranquil Patnem Beach in the South of Goa. Casa Jaali is not directly on the main Patnem Beach but is set on a piece of land that juts out adjacent to Patnem Beach and essentially creates the divide between Patnem and the neighboring Colomb Beach.
Casa Jaali only very recently opened their lovely doors to guests in the middle of January 2021, yep even during this pandemic, and I am so glad they did. It is run by two lovely women – Kate from South Africa and LJ from England – friends who have lived in India for over 10 years. This is the sequel to their already flourishing Jaali Cafe which is set on the road behind Patnem Beach. Jaali Cafe has been open since 2015 and after my discovery of it only in 2019, is now my favourite place to eat in the South. This left me with nothing but great expectations for Casa Jaali and I was not disappointed.
The rooms at Casa Jaali are some of the cutest and cosiest rooms I have stayed in and this doesn’t mean they are small this means they are homely and inviting with the kind of duvets on the very comfortable beds that make you want to curl up into a ball and miss breakfast (definitely don’t miss breakfast, it’s great!). All the room interiors have been specially designed with all the curtains, bedding, quilts, towels picked out and created to match their colour scheme of pink and green. They have 4 Non-AC rooms which were very comfortable and cool for my stay mid February, 3 AC rooms and a very cute Cottage with 2 bedrooms and a sofa bed sleeping up to 6 people. All rooms are en-suite (except in the cottage) and they are working towards adding AC into every room by the end of March 2021.
Parking is a little bit tough as it is down a small beach road. If you are arriving in a car do contact them beforehand so they can let you know where their designated parking spots are. The staff will be happy to help with your luggage on the short walk to your room. On arrival you will need to walk across a cute wooden walkway which leads to the unbelievably beautiful spot that is Casa Jaali. First is the Cafe which serves a delicious breakfast that is included in your stay. Their options include Chai or an Americano, Granola or Eggs and a delicious cup of freshly squeezed Orange Juice. The rooms all face towards the sea and give a great view of Patnem Beach from a distance. They have also placed a few very cute bamboo benches along the front giving you the perfect spot to write your diary, have that (un)necessary business call or just stare out into the sea and get lost.
The Cafe at Casa Jaali has a special Early menu for breakfast and a taco menu for dinner (for both guests and non-guests) with some delicious cocktails on offer – The Passionfruit Margarita and Prawn Tacos come highly recommended. They also have a smaller menu you can pre-order from for dinner which needs to be done before 6pm. And if you feel like taking a short walk (which I can’t recommend enough) to Jaali Cafe then you can order from their very extensive lunch and dinner menu. Guests of Casa Jaali get 10% off their bill but make sure you let the waiter know before ordering. Also note Jaali Cafe is closed on Wednesdays and on Thursdays they have their weekly party night with a DJ and a dance floor! My favourite dishes include the Tahini Cauliflower, the Squid and whatever amazing brownie they have on offer – Chilli Jam stole the show for me!
If you want to try a few different places to eat they have lots of beach shacks a few minutes walk from Casa Jaali that have tables on the beach with candlelit dinners and the option of fresh fish. Zest, Cow Corner, Home, Ourem88 and The Mill are also all good spots to try out, some are walking distance and a few a rickshaw ride away.
The cherry on top for me was the possibility of being able to see the sunrise a few footsteps away from your room. I always feel a sunrise is worth a little bit more than a sunset because you usually have to go to a little bit more effort to watch one. This usually means getting yourself up and out of bed literally before the crack of dawn. However, in February the sunrise was at 6:56am so waking up at 6:45 and watching a sunrise in my pyjamas from the cute bamboo bench felt magical. I then crawled back into my comfortable quilt and snoozed for a little longer. Definitely, the easiest yet equally beautiful sunrise I have ever seen.
Kayaks can be rented from Patnem Beach to take out to sea on a little adventure. I think the best time to go would be morning or pre-sunset to try and beat the heat of the day. The waves are usually pretty calm but be ready to capsize whilst on your way out of the sea and back to shore – I have seen this (and laughed) many times but it is definitely worth it for the views and experience.
The best sunset viewing spot is from Patnem Beach so take a seat at one the beach shacks, get yourself a cocktail and watch the great big ball of fire work its magic.
Patnem Beach is pretty small on the whole so a beach walk wouldn’t last too long but if the tide is out you can go around the rocks on the Southern end of the beach and walk to Rajbaga Beach which is completely empty of shacks with nice white, silky sand.
How to Book
Casa Jaali is open from September until mid May so get your booking in while you can. You can book here or also on their website and definitely check out their instagram @casa.jaali for more pictures and information. If you do make this trip, make sure you mention you heard about them from Jules!
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