GETAWAY: Check out Acro Iris, the 120 year old colonial house in Goa

Acro Iris meaning Rainbow in Portuguese, is a 120 year-old-restored-colonial house in Curtorim, a quiet hamlet in South Goa, about seven kilometers from Margao. The house is built on a sprawling, terraced, 1.5 acre property, overlooking Corjim, a seasonal lake. The Zuari flows about a kilometre away from Arco Iris.

Curtorim is dotted with seasonal lakes and paddy fields and has often been referred to as the “Granary of Goa”.

Besides being popular with bird watchers and naturalists owing to its relative proximity to all the wildlife sanctuaries in the state, Curtorim and adjoining villages like Rachol and Chandor house several places of considerable historical interest and archaeological value.

The house itself, measuring about 7,000 sq feet, comprises an “entrada” (foyer), “sala” (living room), dining room, five bedrooms with en suite bathrooms (four on the ground floor and one on the first floor), lounge, library, fully equipped modern kitchen, utility area, two store rooms and accommodation for the support staff.

Three of the bedrooms open into private balconies. There is a “balcao” (balcony) and gallery in front and a courtyard in the rear. A 100-year-old well stands guard on the periphery of the rear courtyard and rounds up the “retro” setting.

The family, headed by Bennita and Ganesh provide boarding and breakfast to guests. Upon prior request guests can enjoy a home-cooked lunch or dinner.

Among the activities one can undertake on this trip are a walk to St Alex Church, about two kms from Arco Iris along tree-lined country roads, cycle to Rachol seminary (one of the oldest in Asia), visit Braganza Mansion, a magnificent country mansion in the village of Chandor where a member of the family will take you around for a guided tour of the mansion.

You could also walk to the Zuari River and go on a boat ride, visit the 400-year-old Palacio De Deao, about 15 kms away from Arco Iris. The garden around the palace is said to be the best in the state. With prior appointment it is possible to have a candlelit dinner. Or spend an evening at the Colva/ Benualim/ Varca beach. Colva is 12 kms from Arco Iris.

Arco Iris is at 1384, Sinai Bagh, Curtorim, Goa 409720. Call 96049-64482, 91-8322786800 or email beni@arcoiris.in , bennitaganesh@yahoo.com