Despite being strewn with wonderful beaches and ruined forts, the wild, beautiful Konkan Coast between Mumbai and Goa is rarely explored by foreign travellers due to the absence of commendable places to stay en route. The one exception is this heavenly little boutique property in the far south of Maharashtra.
CocoShambala’s four luxury villas sit on a slope overlooking tranquil Bhogave Beach – on one of the most sparsely populated stretches of the Konkan. The location is magnificent. From your private infinity pool you can gaze for miles along a shoreline devoid of large-scale development. The whole area is wrapped in lush vegetation and teeming with large, colourful butterflies and exotic birdlife. As well as the beach on your doorstep, and there are a couple of even more secluded coves to explore around the headland.
Sympathetically designed using local materials, the villas themselves are as lovely as the landscape, with coconut wood furniture and traditional Mangalore tiled roofs. Inside, the sleek, chic rooms are enlivened with beautiful Indian textiles and antiques, but the essence of the place are the dreamy sea views from the verandahs. If you really want to get away from it all for a few days at the end of a tour, this is hard to top. The one downside is that CocoShambala lies a three-hour drive from Goa airport, though there are plenty of lovely places to break the journey if you’re not pushed for time.