Art Escape is lovely, right on the beach, has great food, also live music, and it's pretty cheap. The people here are very nice too. I would definitely stay here again if I had the chance! Goa is definitely a great place to visit while in India too because it has beautiful beaches and everything is super cheap.
We stayed at Art Escape with our friends in March 2013. We came here after spending a few days in Calangute/Baga. After the crazy hustle/bustle of North Goa Art Escape was truly the simple, rustic yet soulfully creative paradise we were looking for! We stayed in the Bamboo Huts, which were comfortable and cool, as they are surrounded by lush greenery. The beach is a quick 2-3 minute walk from the property, it was not crowded when we went and was very clean, peaceful and refreshing! Whilst we stayed at Art Escape, there was a tabla and sitar performance, which was a nice way to spend an evening. We loved our stay here, enjoyed the warm hospitality of the staff, and the fine food and drink! If you require anything from spare toiletries to renting a car/taxi, just ask the staff and they are very helpful to organize things for the comfort of their guests. The few days we spent at Art Escape helped us to relax and came back truly rejuvenated. Art Escape is highly recommended for folks who enjoy art and culture, yet want to stay away from the hustle/bustle of commercial Goa, in a tasteful, natural, rustic surrounding with a personality of its own.
I stumbled onto Art Escape on tripadvisor and honestly - was apprehensive booking it. I was wondering: "great reviews; the people sound professional on phone; location sounds perfect; website looks fine...but why are the prices so low?!! What kind of an experience would we get in about 3000 rupees a night..?" Anyhow, I decided to trust the reviews and booked it and they told me that I was getting a 20% discount because they had a promotion going on!
I was more worried but decided to deal with it 3-4 months later when the vacation actually happened.
And minutes after I reached the place, I was proven wrong - one can't always correlate experience with price.
We were celebrating a very special occasion - three of us - friends from college and work, then single and worry-free had had a blast of a vacation in Goa 20 years back. We wanted to get together again, this time with families. And Art Escape made this perfect for us.
The cozy environment, proximity to the beach, friendly people and superb food meant whatever we needed was right there. We got plenty of time to catch up and the kids and spouses got to know each other and make friends. No wonder, we tried getting out to drive about and see other places but gave up after a couple of times.
On a couple of nights of our 5-6 night stay, there were live bands and parties which were great.
Rooms (cottages) were basic but with clean and crisp linen (changed once in 2-3 days). Baths didn't have running hot water but available on demand (this service was a bit tardy) and I hope the management installs running hot water.
Stray dogs at times venture into the complex - they don't bother anyone and the staff is generally fine with them. It would be nice if a solution was found to keep them away. They are not really a pretty sight and can potentially be a risk with little kids around.
Apart from these two things, everything else at Art Escape was perfect.
Benaulim beach that is 2min walk from Art Escape is great. It is quiet and the sand is nice and soft. It is safe for swimming and young kids. It has a water sports operator also if that's your thing. There are some nice beach shacks as well. Taj Exotica is on the same beach some 10-12min walk from Art Escape so if you want a classy meal or spa you can get it there. However, if you are staying at Art Escape the chef rakes up stuff that's as good as a five-star if not better - most dishes have his own signature twist - be it the pancakes, aloo parathas or even the humble egg at breakfast or the entrees at dinner. The food is pretty reasonable for the quality and taste.
However, Taj's beachside seafood barbeque is fantastic. Another recommended place is Joecons beach shack right next to the Taj. I have been to Goa 4-5 times in the last 10 years and no visit is complete without a trip to Joecons. In fact at times I have stayed at the Taj so that I could visit Joecons. Try their prawn cafreal and coconut fish curry - mindblowing.
All in all, staying at Art Escape was a wonderful experience. It was all that Goa stands for: fun, friends, food and relaxation.
We booked Art Escape as I'd read reviews saying it was in a quiet part
of Benaulim. Its about 15 minutes walk down the beach from where most
of the beachside restaurants are, and about half an hours walk along
the road to town, which is itself about half a mile from the beach.
There are a number of beach shack bars/ restaurants within 5 minutes
walk of Art Escape though so you probably don't need to walk down the
The hotel is actually about as near the beach as you can get in
Benaulim (no hotels are right on the beach). Its about a hundred yards
back down a small road, behind some dunes,so you can' t see or hear
the sea from the location. You do however get the occasional aroma of
the sea on the breeze. There are local fishermens shacks close to Art
Escape and they dry the fish on the road by the hotel which can be a
I described Art Escape above as a hotel but thats probably not an
accurate way to describe it. They describe themselves as an art
commune and the place has the feel of a bohemian campsite. Rooms are
wood and bamboo huts which I'd describe as quite basic. Fan but no
A/C, cold water shower, and no hanging space for clothes so you'll be
disappointed if you expect hotel facilities.The huts are partially
open too so expect to meet the local wildlife-we had a lively frog in
the room one night. The bed had a mosquito net and we weren't troubled
by insects, though the roof did leak a little during a prolonged and
torrential rain storm.
Art Escape has a friendly garden restaurant where guests can chill out
and use the free wifi and listen to the eclectic range of music. They
also sell a wide range of tasty food. The owners are friendly and
helpful. Our overnight train was delayed by 5 hours and they made us
aware of this and kept us updated on the situation by constantly
calling Indian Railways. That saved us a long uncomfortable wait at
Art Escape cost around 2000 rupees per night which I felt was a fair price.
In summary-Pro's- its a friendly budget option near a quieter Benaulim beach.
Cons- if you need to go into town you probably need your own transport
but there are a number of scooter and bike rentals in town.
We liked this place very much, the huts are comfortable and have character, with closets, mirrors and big beds. Our hut didnt have a bathroom attached but the common bathrooms were very clean and they are separate for women and men.
It isnt really a budget place, and the food in their restaurant is also not the cheapest but its a very very nice place to stay.
Try the iced lemongrass tea and pasta with pesto, very yummy! :)