Possibly the first thing to say is that the main building is quite stunning and is a lovingly restored old Portuguese-style villa. The bathrooms are clean and modern but decorated in a style that is in keeping with the style of the house. The rooms are airy and pleasant and the four poster bed that we had in our room was very comfortable. Some might find the solar hot water a bit slow to heat up but I found that I got out of the shower feeling warm and, in this climate, a little bit of cold is not a problem. The water pressure is just fine.
Jan (the host, pronounced "yan") arranged for a taxi from the airport, which made our trip there very easy. Luku (possibly not spelled correctly) organises everything once you arrive and loves to joke and entertain you with amazing card tricks.
We originally intended to stay for 5 nights but stayed for 8 nights in the end. For some of the days, we just sat by the pool, while others, we rented a moped and toured the backroads of southern Goa.
The swimming pool is very pleasant both to swim in and sit beside during the heat of the day.
There are easy walks around the island although it can get quite hot.
A regular free ferry enables you to cross over to the mainland. There are two ferries, one of which goes to old Goa, which has a number of interesting buildings and archaeological sites.
To the south-west, there's Panjim. Be ready for a rather daunting time going around the roundabout on entry to the town, if you visit on a two wheeler.
We took up offers of dinner and lunch at the homestay for much of the time we stayed. The food was really excellent. The chef supports a wide variety of cooking styles but we always asked for Indian dishes and were never disappointed.
The family are very open and by the end of the stay we felt like they were old friends. We noticed that many of the other guests were repeat visitors (and perhaps really have become old friends!).
Thanks so much to Jan and family for a lovely stay.
WE were guest of Jan and Arti Bostock, a very caring couple owner of the place. They along with their team took great care of us attending to even small needs at odd times.
The place itself is a home stay, which means that there is limited food items on the menu; however they are ready to cook virtually anything if you request well ahead in time. There is no room service and guest are welcome to use the verandah all through the day, which actually is the best place to spend time. All rooms are quite nice.
The island is a quaint little oasis in otherwise very crowded Panajim just across the river. One can go for long walks within the island.
We enjoyed one of the most memorable New Years Night at the guest house; with Jan and Arti's local friends and acquaintances joining in for the party.
I booked to stay here for one night and was persuaded by Luku and Nana to stay for a second. It was not a decision I regret making. This beautiful house with its welcoming staff and family (only Nana was around as the rest of the family were on holiday) was the perfect way to spend my last two days in Goa. The rooms are modern with fantastic showers (surprisingly important to me!) and big comfy beds. I swam in the pool every day which was clean and a perfect temperature. Luku was so accommodating and helpful which, as a solo female traveller, is priceless. I was shown the island and the gorgeous church on the hill - get a peek inside, it's breathtaking! I had never stayed in a homestead before and love the concept of it - home cooked food and I really enjoyed meeting the other guests. Would love to come and visit again.
The island retreat offers very comfortable stay! All people here are quite warm, friendly and courteous! The bar guy (sorry, don't recollect his name) has lot of mocktail etc. varieties to serve. One can enjoy a great time at poolside as it is very relaxing. It's a perfect place to stay with family. Only thing is if coming by private vehicle, need to check ferry point and location of the guest house from ferry point. The food served is quite homely and hygienic. Excellent stay!
When visiting Goa, I'd urge anyone to think outside the box. Lots of tourists are seduced by the beach resorts in the noisy north and the sultry and secluded south. If that's your thing then fine, but if you want an introduction to the real, rural Goa, then you could do no better than this wonderful rambling guest house on Divar Island.
The island sits in the Mandovi River opposite Panjim and Old Goa, with ferry connections almost as good as a bridge due to their frequency. As a destination this works really well, because you can relax and enjoy Indian village life as much as you wish, but in 20 minutes or so, find yourself in a World Heritage Site (Old Goa), or in Panjim, a bustling, vibrant town. and if like us you wanted to visit a beach for the day, an affordable taxi will get you there in around 45 minutes.
Divar Island Guest House is a family-run home-stay experience second to none. An exotic, large and comfortable house, redolent of a bye-gone age, and filled with quaint and interesting antiques and curios. We were made warmly welcome by the owner's family and staff and really did feel totally relaxed and at home. It's a great way to understand more about Goan life and also to meet and make friends of the other guests during your stay. Finally a mention for the food, which was lovely and varied throughout our week on Divar.
So if you're looking for a comfortable (fabulous beds!), clean, friendly place in a great location, and with superb food, no point considering anything else......