Travel / A honeymoon without the wedding

When I planned to join my partner Matt on his work trip to Hyderabad – central India – I had a feeling three weeks without seeing sea would make me nervous. I was also determined to squeeze in a little luxury. So I set about finding a weekend getaway.

Meet Ahilya by the Sea - Goas’ most unique boutique hotel


The rooms are dressed with furniture and art hand-picked by the owner from travels around the globe.


The view upwards is as engaging as the view out


The garden delivers lushness and hidden treasures


Service as personal as the setting


The delicious daily bread


Dolphin Bay and her fishermen continue to provide for the locals


Relax back with a book and soak it all in


Lucky for me, the laid back state of Goa in Western India, is a two hour plane ride from Hyderabad – we could fly on Thursday after work and be back for 7am Tuesday morning. I won’t go into how complicated it was to book return flights from Hyderabad to Goa, while sitting at a computer in New Zealand… let’s just say it took some perseverance. But I had a hunch it would be well worth it… and it sure was.

After 24 hours in Hyderabad – Indias major city for technology, the same physical size of Auckland with a population of 7 million – I was gagging to get out. My partner Matt was also ready for a reboot, thanks to his long work days and coffee withdrawal headaches. All he knew was that I was taking him to Goa for the weekend… what he didn’t know was that thanks to my trusty India-wise travel planner - Fiona Caulfield – I had booked us in to Ahilya by the Sea – a new boutique property hot listed by Conde Nast Traveller : )

From the moment we were welcomed by our driver I was in holiday heaven. Ahilya by the Sea is true paradise. Privately tucked under a hill above Dolphin Bay, it was originally built and fitted out as a private residence, then later transformed into aboutique hotel. Every piece of furniture and art is part of the owners personal collection, handpicked on her many travels around the world. The care and detail is ever-present, inside and out. It’s like staying inside a spread of Vogue Living magazine.

For an eclectic, history-loving, interiors fan this place could not get any better. I had walls to photograph, gardens to sketch, a library to read and view to soak in. The service was as personal as the setting. The food as colourful as the fishing boats. And after a weekend of private candlelit dinners, infinity pool swims and gazing from our Juliet balcony Matt and I had so much romance we felt like we’d been on a honeymoon.

See more of this amazeballs place here >

Read more on our India travels here >