Mateus Boutique Hotel in Goa, India

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Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of Mateus Boutique Hotel in Goa, India.

Mateus Boutique Hotel – Adorable old-style guesthouse in a prime inner-city location.

Oozing history and old-fashioned grace, the Mateus is painted a vivid yellow that is so typical of the old quarter in the state capital. The handful of rooms are bright and cheerful and feature a twin set of high arched windows and a mishmash of old and new furniture. Adding to the colonial-era appeal of this 140-year-old former Portuguese mansion are the floorboards and four-poster beds, but the sparkling bathrooms are more this century than last. Being so small, the service is very attentive, and there’s even a plunge pool. It’s along a quiet one-way street, with plenty of stylish bars and riverside cafés nearby.

Mateus Boutique Hotel – The Location

  • Address: 432 Rua de 31 de Janeiro (31st January Road) in the suburb of Fontainhas in the old part of Panaji (Panjim), the state capital. The street is a one-way heading north towards the main river. It’s hard to find and not that well signposted. A local landmark is the Caravela Homestay and Café 100m north towards the main river, Mandovi. This river meets another (Ourém) near the guesthouse.
  • Area: Delightful section of the old city with winding lanes and narrow streets of brightly-colored heritage-listed buildings. About 200m from the main river, Mandovi.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (26km, 50-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The hotel is 1.5km from the Panaji KTC bus station (4-minute drive), which has connections all over Goa. The Madgaon train station is 37km (70-minute drive) and the Vasco da Gama station is 29km (50-minute drive) from the hotel.
  • Handy to: Old city of Panaji (Panjim).

Mateus Boutique Hotel – The Basics

  • Guests: Usually foreign couples who enjoy the history and setting and want to escape the beach crowds.
  • Views: Rooms face the street, which is one-way, narrow, and reasonably quiet, or better, the side street. One room overlooks the courtyard.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Certainly not expected (or provided) at this sort of historic guesthouse.

  • Extras: Daily newspaper delivered to each room.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout, but not so quick in the rooms. Better near the reception area on the ground floor.
  • Parking: No parking on-site and only a few spots along the street outside.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 2231 444
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: mateusgoa.com

Mateus Boutique Hotel – Amenities

  • Pool: Tiny plunge pool in the outdoor courtyard. Not that inviting or private, but may be needed on a scorching day.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided.
  • Other Facilities: Book exchange/library. Help yourself tea/coffee. Laundry. Guest lounges.

Mateus Boutique Hotel – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: Cute courtyard (inside and out) where breakfast is served, but no café or bar on-site.
  • Breakfast: A modest breakfast is included in all rates.
  • Room Service: Not available because there is no café on-site.

Mateus Boutique Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Types: Only 1 category of rooms, and each is individually decorated. The main difference is the position: first or second floor, facing the front or side.
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking is allowed anywhere on the premises.
  • Best Room: Rooms on the second floor are further from the reception area (which is quiet). Those facing the side won’t be as affected by traffic (which is minimal anyway).
  • For Families: Not set up for families. Better options elsewhere.

Mateus Boutique Hotel – Local Transport

  • Walking: Fantastic area to wander about, but sidewalks along the narrow streets can be awkward at times.
  • Public Transport: No metro or any local trains of use to tourists. To reach the beaches, take a public bus from the Panaji KTC bus station to the regional hubs of Mapusa for the north or Margao (Madgaon) for the south.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: The few black-and-yellow taxis have meters, but drivers won’t use them. These are best arranged through the reception. App-based rides, Uber and Ola, don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but the local alternative – Goa Miles – is worth trying. A few auto-rickshaws are also available for local trips, but they too refuse to use their meters.
  • 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 through the hotel. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

Mateus Boutique Hotel – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Great choice, including familiar fast-food outlets. The nicest are those facing the rivers and/or in the old part of the city.

  • Venite Bar & Restaurant – Lovely décor, with balconies almost hanging above the sidewalk. Tempting menu and excellent service. Easy to miss in a guesthouse of the same name. 1-minute walk (90m).
  • Caravela Café & Bistro – Arctic air-conditioning and lovely décor. One of the best in town for western food, including all-day breakfast. Just past Venite. 1-minute walk (120m).
  • Ancient Rock Café & Restaurant +91 99217 50221 – On the ground floor of a magnificent bright-yellow building alongside the river. Try the fish thali (set meal in steel plate). Left at the junction. 2-minute walk (170m).
  • Route 66 Goa – American-style diner, just south past the Riverfront Restaurant. A little pricey, but the burgers are humungous. Live music on most nights. 2-minute walk (180m).
  • Tataki – Immersive Asian Dining +91 880071 23435 – On the top floor offering scintillating street views, contemporary cuisine, and attentive service. Just east of Ancient Rock. 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Down the Road & Riverfront Restaurant – Overlooking the old bridge, the views and food at the Riverfront are excellent. Down the Road bar/nightclub is on a lower floor. 4-minute walk (300m).

Shops

  • The streets and narrow alleys are lined with all sorts of interesting shops, but they’re mostly for locals, not tourists.

Attractions

  • The fascinating old city has some of the finest examples of colonial-era buildings anywhere in India. Beautifully renovated or delightfully crumbling, and often painted bright blue or yellow, these are dotted all over the streets near the hotel. But note: this is not Old Goa, which is about 10km east.

Mateus Boutique Hotel – The Hotel

The guesthouse is brightly painted.

This guesthouse is brightly painted, like so many other buildings in this part of the old city.

The guesthouse entrance is down an alley off the street.

The entrance is along an alley off the street.

The charming guesthouse has an interesting decor.

The guesthouse is charming and the décor, very interesting.

There is a tiny courtyard outside the reception area.

A tiny outdoor courtyard is just outside the reception area.

The courtyard features some carefully cared-for plants and flowers.

Despite the limited space, some flowers and plants are lovingly maintained.

The guesthouse has a plunge pool but it's not very appealing.

Around the corner from the outdoor courtyard is a plunge pool, but it doesn’t look that inviting.

The internal courtyard has a small dining area for breakfast.

The courtyard inside offers a few tables where breakfast is served.

The second floor has another guest lounge.

On the second floor is another guest lounge. All the rooms on that floor lead from there.

All rooms feature 4-poster beds.

Rooms differ slightly in layout, size, and décor, but all feature 4-poster beds.

Rooms feature a mix of old and new furniture.

The furniture is a lovely mix of old and new.

Most of the spacious rooms have 2 sets of windows.

Rooms are spacious and most feature 2 sets of windows.

Rooms offer views of the quiet street, buildings, or courtyard.

Windows face the quiet street, neighboring buildings, or ground-level courtyard.

Bathrooms are very modern.

While rooms are old-fashioned, the bathrooms are not.

The guesthouse is located in a quiet and colorful street.

The guesthouse is along a quiet street lined with colorful buildings.

There are several pleasant cafés just down the street.

Just down the street (i.e. away from the main river) are several delightful cafés.

Caravela, with its air-conditioning and lovely decor, is one of the town's best cafés.

With arctic air-conditioning and lovely décor, Caravela is one of the best cafes in town. Just over 100m north of the guesthouse.

The Ancient Rock café is located close to the guesthouse.

The Ancient Rock café is on the ground floor of this magnificent building alongside the river about 200m from the guesthouse.

The superb Riverfront Restaurant serves great meals and drinks.

Overlooking the old bridge is the excellent Riverfront Restaurant, only 3 minutes’ walk from the Mateus.

The chic Tataki bistro offers excellent street views.

On the top floor and offering terrific street views is the chic Tataki bistro, 300m from the Mateus.

The historic Venite Bar & Restaurant nearby is charming and spacious.

The truly historic and interesting Venite Bar & Restaurant is just down the street towards the river.

Route 66 nearby serves massive burgers.

A little pricey, but the burgers are massive at Route 66, about 200m from the guesthouse.

The area around Mateus has several great bars and cafés.

The streets and alleys around the Mateus are lined with tempting bars and cafés.

There are several interesting shops and boat cruise agencies nearby.

The road facing the main river, not far from the guesthouse, is crammed with worthwhile shops as well as agencies selling boat cruises.

The neighborhood has beautifully-renovated and colorful houses.

Many houses around the old city are beautifully-renovated and brightly-painted.

The grand colonial-era Post Office building is close by.

One of the grandest colonial-era buildings in this part of the city is the Post Office. It faces the main river and is 250m from the guesthouse.

The guesthouse is located near 2 rivers.

The guesthouse is in the old part of the city bordered by 2 rivers.

Auto-rickshaws are common in this part of Goa.

Unlike the beach regions in South and North Goa, auto-rickshaws are fairly common here.

The magnificent Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is within walking distance.

The magnificent Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is 500m away.

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