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 (25 km, 50-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The hotel is 1.5 km from the Panaji KTC bus station, which has connections all over Goa. The Madgaon train station is 35 km (70-minute drive) and the Vasco da Gama station is 30 km (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.
- 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?
Best 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- The streets and narrow alleys are lined with all sorts of interesting shops, but they’re mostly for locals, not tourists.
- 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 10 km east.
Mateus Boutique Hotel – The Hotel
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