Our selection of the best hotels, huts and hideaways in Goa

/ Boutique & Heritage / Central Goa

Vivenda dos Palhaços


  • SLEEP / Boutique & Heritage

Vivenda dos Palhaços is a Portuguese-Hindu hacienda in the village of Majorda. Located inland, a few minutes away from the beach, this private retreat is South Goa's first boutique hotel. It is an eight bedroom heritage mansion with contemporary decor elements and an air of exclusivity. It does not feel like a hotel; the atmosphere is more like a vacation with friends. Eat. Sleep. Drink. By appointment.


Vivenda dos Palhaços is a painstakingly refurbished mansion originally built in 1929. Situated in a cul-de-sac in Majorda, South Goa, a few minutes away from the beach, the house has a distinct atmosphere across its premises.

The Portuguese mansion at the front has two bedrooms, a living room and a huge dining area which opens onto the courtyard. Adjoining this is the Hindu part of the house with three bedrooms. A cottage and garage have also been elegantly converted as bedrooms to add to the house.

The backyard gardens have an open dining area alongside sun beds overlooking the expansive swimming pool. Gazebos, hammocks and garden chairs dot the periphery of the pool.


Vivenda dos Palhaços provides eight accommodation options within its premises. The rooms are named after places that the owners have lived and loved between Indian states of Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Comfortably sleeping sixteen at any given point, the entire house can be rented out.

Konnager is the master bedroom with a balcony and a four poster bed. Alipore is decked with antique funiture. It has a window seat overlooking the neighbouring coconut plantation.

Madras is a large double bedroom with an open air shower. It has French doors opening out to the garden. Ballygunge has twin single beds which can be converted to a double bed. With a private entrance from the corridor, Ooty has a built-in double bed, sitting area and a mirrored en-suite bath.

Providing twin beds, Chanpara is a spacious tent amidst coconut gardens by the pool boasting a private entrace and old camping furniture and artifacts. It is reminiscent of the family's hunting lodge in Bengal.

The Chummery is a large cottage with two verandahs. Darjeeling is a refurbished old garage which has a mezzanine floor. It has its own private garden beside the main entrance.

All rooms are sans television or phones; but have en-suite baths, fans, air conditioning and Wi-Fi.


Vivenda dos Palhaços has a heritage soul with a young, playful character. The decor is cheerful; contemporary elements, antique furniture and quirky artifacts punctuate the heritage property - an A-Z guide about things to do and avoid, a bruised dentist chair, an old barber's chair alongside Portuguese styled mirrors, handcarved cupboards, wooden minibar, matrimonial ad plasters et al.

Colonial keepsakes and memorabilia - family photographs post independence in Bengal, their horse stables and polo matches in Calcutta; vintage advertisements of their then brewery adorn the house corridors.


The kitchen serves up delectable fare - Signature dishes include Goan Feast with a suckling pig, Iced Gazpachio topped with Lobster drizzled in Paprika oil and the Full English Breakfast. Organic coffees, teas, and fresh juices are available. The bar also prides in a selective imported wine list.

There is a sense of community at Vivenda with almost everyone converging at the bar and further toward the long communal dining table next to the pool, which can seat up to twenty guests. Dinners are like a family gathering, hosts join guests for the meal.

Other common areas include an extensive library, games and cards and the backyard garden swimming pool.


Vivenda dos Palhaços is owned by siblings Simon Hayward and Charlotte Hayward of the famed Hayward family who used to own the now renamed Hayward Brewery and Distillery. Children of the Late Sir Anthony Hayward, they were born and brought up in India. As fourth generation of their family living and working here, they have received honorary Person of Indian Origin status conferred upon them.

Simon left behind a high profile career in advertising working in Mumbai, New Delhi, Hongkong, Singapore and New Zealand to eventually move to Goa. He long since had a dream to purchase an old house, renovate it to his tastes and convert it into a boutqiue hotel. A budding cook, he occasionally gets behind the kitchen tables.

Charlotte has travelled extensively across India and prefers Goa for its cultural heritage and progressive nature. Having lived and worked in Japan, Hong Kong and London donning hats of a teacher and advertising executive amongst others, she now is responsible for guest relations at Vivenda.

After a series of attempts to purchase heritage properties, this house fell into the hands of Simon whilst his stint in New Zealand.  The mansion was restored to its current condition with significant amount of care. Both brother and sister are now very much part of the local community in Majorda.

John Gracias, a consultant Goan chef, who has been with the duo since the beginning, manages the property, meets guests' needs and supervises duties of the staff.


  • Exclusive & private accommodation
  • Eight bedroom boutique hotel
  • Refurbished heritage mansion
  • Very accommodating owners
  • Pet friendly
  • Fun and frolic atmosphere
  • Typical Goan village neighbourhood




Costa Vaddo
Majorda, Salcette
Goa 403713



Fax +91 832 288 1700

Simon Hayward | Charlotte Hayward
Co- owners (siblings)



- Airport Transfer
- Sightseeing/Shopping tours
- Room service
- Babysitting
- Bicycles
- Laundry
- Hair dryer
- TV/DVD player in the sitting room
- Massuese
- Concierge
- Picnics/Parties/Weddings can be arranged
- Swimming pool
- Backgammon/Liar Dice/Chess/Poker
- In-house fashion/lifestyle boutique

Golf | Watersports | Horse Riding | Fishing | Scuba Diving | Tennis | Squash | Badminton | Billiards | Boules | Bird walks | Rafting | Casino


The siblings' grandfather started Bengal Distilleries in 1905 which produced Haywards beer. Vivenda Dos Palhaços is possibly one of the very few handful of places which stocks the infamous Haywards 5000, supposedly the staple with Indian truck drivers. As a tribute, the bar counter at Vivenda is actually a fold-up back door of one of Tata trucks. Guests may indulge in the heady brew to break the current record of 12 and a half bottles for a man and 6 bottles for a woman at Vivenda.


Toby, Totty & Gigalow are three Basset Hounds who are resident pets at Vivenda.

If you liked Vivenda dos Palhaços, you may also like: