John’s Highland Comfort Guest House in Goa, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: August 5, 2019

Review of John's Highland Comfort Guest House in Goa, India.

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – No-frills budget choice that’s still spacious, serene, comfortable, and not far from the beach.

Despite the name, it’s not near any highlands but is within a short stroll of the beach via a lane flanked by fields of grazing cows. Set along a quiet countryside path, the guesthouse only offers eight rooms in a building next to the family home. Rooms are huge and most feature air-con and cable TV – all at a fraction of the cost charged at nearby resorts. Each room has a porch/balcony and kitchen bench with a fridge (but no cooking facilities). There’s no pool, gym, or spa, but a glorious beach is nearby, and a few shops and cafés are even closer. And the guesthouse is accessible by public bus, which is rare. In short: a fabulous bargain.

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – The Location

  • Address: The official address of ‘House Number 146/9, Adao Vaddo’ will mean nothing to any driver. A very useful landmark is the Alila Diwa Goa resort. The gates of this resort are directly opposite the path to the guesthouse, which is about 100m from the main street. In Majorda village, one of the most northerly beach areas in South Goa.
  • Area: Along a path with virtually no traffic. Within a quiet section of Majorda, away from the main road. About 100m from a street with a few facilities, and 1km to the beach via a lane.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (17km, 30-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama, 21km away (40-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Majorda beach.

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – The Basics

  • Guests: Independent and budget-minded travelers of all ages.
  • Views: All rooms have 2 sets of windows overlooking an empty block and/or nearby homes.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Certainly not expected (or provided) at a guesthouse like this.
  • 
Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests, it’s quick and reliable.
  • Parking: A few secure spots on the property next to the family home.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 98221 50774
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: johnsguesthousegoa.com

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – Amenities

  • Pool, Spa, & Fitness Center: Not expected (or provided).
  • Other Facilities: Taxi service at negotiable rates. Bicycle rentals.

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: No café on-site.
  • Breakfast: Breakfast is a minimal extra cost and delivered to the room from 8 am.
  • Room Service: Not available because there is no café on-site.

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – Rooms

  • Room Types: All rooms are the same. Half at ground level, the rest on the upper floor.
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: All rooms are the same, but the quietest would be on the upper floor and more distant from the reception area and carpark.
  • For Families: All rooms feature sofas that could be used as extra double beds. There’s certainly enough space for a family of 4 in every room.

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: Fabulous area for exploring on foot along lanes meandering into villages and to the beach. Also terrific for cycling, and the guesthouse can arrange bike rentals.
  • Public Transport: Public buses hurtle along the street 100m from the guesthouse about every 15 minutes. (More so in the early morning and late afternoon.) They loop around the local area and start/finish at Margao (Madgaon), the major transport hub for connections across Goa. No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: No auto-rickshaws or metered taxis. App-based rides, Uber and Ola, don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but the local alternative – Goa Miles – is worth trying, though really, the only option for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’. Arrange these through the resort. Rates are overpriced but negotiable.
  • Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. No internationally-recognized agencies are present, so renting at a local shop presents obvious risks. Best to organize this at the resort. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    3 excellent choices are located at the corner of the main street and path to the guesthouse, only 100m away.

  • The Camron +91 99224 83479 – Popular with guests night after night for its friendly service, extended menu, and likable background music. 1-minute walk (100m).
  • Alila Diwa – This fabulous resort directly opposite the path to the guesthouse offers: Vivo (buffets and a la carte 24/7, with healthy options), Spice Studio (elegant setting and Goan cuisine, but dinner only), and The Edge (poolside bar and signature cocktails). 1-minute walk (100m).
  • Fish’ka Bar & Restaurant – Amazingly long menu, including pasta, burgers, and other western delights. Cheap prices, breezy setting, and fascinating photos on the walls. 1-minute walk (130m).

Otherwise, walk to the beach via the shady path.

  • Beach Cafés – The few places on the sand offer little more than drinks made from local fruits and imported spirits. So, the only options for a meal are Greenland Bar & Garden Restaurant, at the end of the path to the beach (1km, 13-minute walk), and The Camron Café, about 200m north along the sand from the Greenland.

Shops

  • A few souvenir shops and a couple of basic grocery stores are located just around the corner of the main street and path to the guesthouse. A better-stocked grocery store is along the path to the beach, about 400m from the guesthouse. 6-minute walk.

Beach

  • Majorda Beach is a magnificent stretch of sand that seems endless in both directions. It is astoundingly undeveloped, with just a few makeshift shacks renting sunbeds and selling mostly drinks. Waves can get a little rough for the inexperienced, so swim between the flags. (Lifeguards are on duty from about 10 am to sunset.) Some basic water-sports are also available from a kiosk on the beach. Note that facilities such as toilets are basic. To reach the beach (1km, 14-minute walk), turn right at the corner of the path to the hotel and main street, and take the first left at the turn-off. The path to the beach is lovely, mostly flanked by fields of grazing cows, but take heed of the signs which say that the beach is strictly closed after 7 pm.

John’s Highland Comfort Guest House – The Hotel

The rooms are located next to the family home of the owners.

The handful of rooms at this delightful guesthouse are next to the home where the owners live.

The reception area is very laidback.

The reception area is indicative of the laidback nature of the guesthouse.

Ground floor rooms have private porches.

Half the rooms are at ground level and feature private porches.

Upper floor rooms have private balconies.

The other half of the rooms are on the upper floor and have private balconies.

The porches/balconies are small but functional.

The porch/balcony attached to each room is small but serviceable, and adds even more space to the rooms.

The rooms are very spacious.

Rooms are pleasingly spacious and as large as anything offered at nearby resorts.

Rooms are well-equipped with mod-cons.

Rooms are basic but they all feature Wi-Fi, hot water, and cable TV, and most have air-con. (Those without air-con feature an overhead fan.)

All rooms have a double sofa-cum-bed.

The bed in each room is comfortable, and the sofa folds out to make another double bed.

Rooms have kitchenettes but no cooking facilities.

Every room has a fridge and kitchen bench with a sink, but no cooking facilities.

The guesthouse is located in a quiet neighborhood.

The guesthouse is along a very quiet path, with virtually no traffic.

The guesthouse is located about 100m from the main road.

John’s is about 100m from the main street at this corner.

The Camron is 1 of 2 great restaurants close by.

At the corner of the path to the guesthouse are 2 terrific restaurants, including The Camron.

Fish'ka offers an extensive western menu.

Opposite The Camron, and also only 100m from the guesthouse, Fish’ka offers an extensive menu with western meals rarely found elsewhere.

The decor and prints at Fish'ka are very appealing.

The seating and décor, especially the prints along the walls, at Fish’ka are instantly likable.

Spice Studio's Goan menu at Alila Diwa resort nearby is very popular.

The Alila Diwa resort is opposite where the path to the guesthouse meets the main street. It offers numerous bistro/bars including Spice Studio, which specializes in Goan cuisine.

The Edge bar at Alila Diwa offers poolside seating.

Also at the nearby Alila Diwa resort, the aptly-named bar called The Edge is alongside the pool.

Greenland near the beach is a great restaurant.

Another great place for a meal or drink is Greenland, at the end of the lane to the beach, about 1km from the guesthouse.

2 shops are at the turn-off for the path to the guesthouse.

These 2 shops serve as useful landmarks because they are opposite the turn-off for the path to the guesthouse.

The guesthouse is opposite the Alila Diwa resort.

Tell any taxi-driver that the guesthouse is just up a path opposite the gates to the Alila Diwa resort.

A few shops are located nearby.

There are a few shops just south from the corner of the path to the guesthouse.

There are coconut plantations and villages around the guesthouse.

From the main street, about 100m from the guesthouse, other lanes and paths meander through coconut plantations and villages.

The beach is about 1km from the guesthouse.

This turn-off just north of the corner from the guesthouse leads to the beach, about 1km away.

A Portuguese-style church is located near the beach/

Along the lane to the beach is a Portuguese-style church featuring a style synonymous with Goa.

A supermarket is also located near the beach.

Also along the lane to the beach is a well-stocked grocery store.

The lane to the beach is quiet and shady.

The lane to the beach is often shady, and traffic is virtually non-existent.

The Majorda beach is wide and long.

The beach at Majorda, only 1km from the guesthouse, is wide and long.

Flags identify areas with lifeguards that are safe to swim in.

Always swim between the flags, because waves can be rough. Lifeguards operate from about 10 am to sunset.

The uncrowded beach features sunbeds on rent.

The beach is pleasingly uncrowded. A few sunbeds are available for rent.

Beach shacks offers drinks and some, meals.

Some shacks at the beach sell drinks, but few offer meals.

The Camron Café is the only dining option on the beach.

The only place to eat on the beach is The Camron Café, about 200m north of where the lane meets the beach.

There is a limited choice of water-sports at the beach.

Some water-sports are available, but the choice is limited.

The beach offers the bare minimum facilities.

Remember that facilities at the beach are very basic.

A lane stretches between the guesthouse and the beach.

This is where the lane between the beach and guesthouse starts/finishes.

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