The Glass Villa: charm of inland Goa with a dash of luxury

By Debolina Biswas
January 20, 2023, Updated on : Wed Jan 25 2023 11:50:28 GMT+0000
The Glass Villa: charm of inland Goa with a dash of luxury
Designed by Tarun Tahiliani, Sameep Padora, and Asahi Glass, The Rug Republic-owned villa, in Goa’s quaint Aldona village, is the perfect mix of vintage and luxury.
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Goa, the state I now call my second home. 


Every time Bangalore’s traffic gets to me, I hop on to the next available flight to escape the city’s madness for a day or two. I have made multiple visits over the last couple of years and yet, there’s always something new to be discovered. It’s almost like every trip to Goa comes with an unsaid agenda– a new Goan dish, an unplanned trek, or a new favourite local bar. The feeling can be equated to one of finding a waterfall in the middle of nowhere while climbing up a mountain.


Unlike all other visits to Goa, my last trip did come with an agenda. Aditya Gupta, founder of The Rug Republic, invited me to experience his company’s entry to the hospitality sector with The Glass Villa. 


As I started my journey from Porvorim towards Aldona, my environs changed dramatically. I drove past flashy stores, the touristy crowd, and local markets, and into wide, green fields, followed by a quaint village. I almost reached the end of the road to spot a big laterite wall with a glass plate that read ‘The Glass Villa’ in white. Aditya had briefed me that the villa’s entrance doesn’t look anything like what’s inside. 


As I step inside the villa and into a huge courtyard, I am almost immediately transported to my grandparent’s old house. Vintage in its design aesthetics, the courtyard has a teak tree standing right in the middle of it, climbing high up, right through the villa’s ceiling, if there is one!

Large pebbles add to earthy feel, and a solid brass Nataraja figurine, sourced from Moradabad, sits in the centre, offering a “visual focus to the whole circulation space in the villa”, Aditya tells YS Life

Opposite to the central courtyard lies the actual USP of the villa – the view.

The Glass Villa

The view from The Glass Villa

Far from the madding crowd of North Goa’s beaches, the Glass Villa is located in Panarim, in Aldona village. A product of a collaboration between fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani, architect Sameep Padora, and Asahi Glass, The Glass Villa is what its name suggests – a villa made of glass!

With no walls, just wood and a glass facade, the villa opens to an infinity pool and a lawn. Past its boundary are huge paddy fields with the River Moira flowing through, and a few village houses in the distance. A respite for city dwellers!

Before taking a tour of the rest of the villa, I took a moment to soak into the sun in an antique wooden lounger placed by the pool. Despite being peak afternoon, I was greeted by a couple of striking blue kingfishers, woodpeckers, and a couple of tiny spiderhunters. The housekeeping staff informed me that if one were to wake up early, they could spot peacocks across the fields. 

The Glass Villa

View from the second floor of The Glass Villa

Acquired by The Rug Republic in summer, 2021, Aditya opened the 25,000 sq ft villa for guests that October. The two-storey villa has four rooms – two on each floor, that can comfortably accommodate eight guests, with the provision for a few extras. All the bedrooms reflect the design aesthetics of the rest of the villa – laterite walls, upcycled iron lamps, wooden mirrors, and cane chairs with wooden frames. Two walls in each room are fully made of glass, overlooking creepers and trees. The master bedroom offers a private study area, offering guests the perfect nook to work. The four rooms sit on four corners, ensuring privacy to all occupants. 


At the Glass Villa, guests will be spoiled with the choices of lounging spaces. The main sunken living room sits at the centre of the villa, and makes a great space to lounge with the family while sipping on some wine and enjoying the jazz playlist, specially curated by Aditya.

The Glass Villa

The sunken living room of The Glass Villa makes a great space to lounge with family

The entertainment room, with a comfortable sofa, large enough to accommodate seven to eight guests, and a large flatscreen with access to all OTT platforms makes for a perfect place to catch up on shows and series. For those looking to reduce their screen time, the entertainment room is also equipped with an impressive range of coffee table books and magazines. 

The Glass Villa

The entertainment room in The Glass Villa features a large wooden box upcycled to function as the centre table

You can spend your evenings reading your favourite book in the lounge chair overlooking the fields, or by taking a dip in the crystal-clear water of the infinity pool. For the adventurous soul, a 12-minute drive will take you to Savio and Pirkko’s Olaulim Backyards, where you can enjoy the sunset while kayaking in the backwaters. However, beware of a donkey and harmless baby crocodiles in the water! 


Post sunset, the Glass Villa changes its avatar. Drenched in lights, modern and antique chandeliers, the Glass Villa sets the perfect backdrop for a laid-back evening, a date night, or even a fun drinks-and-jazz evening with the family. 

The Glass Villa

The Glass Villa at night

The villa seems to come to life with the lights drawing focus to many of the  intricate and hand-picked design elements that adorn the villa. The large earthen pots by the pool, the upcycled windows in the courtyard, and the figurines across the villa add character to the otherwise minimalist space. 


However, what really steals the show are the grand iconic chandelier and the Iranian carpet in the entertainment room. Handpicked by Aditya from a Swiss company in a German trade show, the original Iranian carpet goes well with the rest of the decor, and is “too precious to be put on the floor, so I used it as a wall decor”, Aditya tells me. 

The Glass Villa

The original Iranian carpet in the entertainment room

Dining is an integral affair at the glass villa. While Goa grows to be a major gastronomical hub, to fully enjoy the offerings at the Glass Villa, you must skip the restaurant visits. In-house chef Birender Sah specialises in North-Indian cuisine but has equally mastered Goan dishes over the years. You can request him, or villa manager Sushant, in advance, to get your favourite local fish cooked. We recommend you definitely try Birender’s special chicken curry and the Goan prawn curry! 


You can choose to have your meal at the formal dining room, enjoy your morning coffee or dinner by the pool-side dining area, or move to the lawn dining space for a cocktail night with friends and family. 

The Glass Villa

The formal living room at The Glass Villa

Loved by the who’s who of Bollywood and Indian cricketers, the Glass Villa and its surroundings offer a slice of “pure Goa”, Aditya had already informed me. But the reality surpassed my expectations.

 The Glass Villa makes for a rejuvenating Goan holiday, away from the traffic and bustle of tourists. While the villa promises a luxury stay, irrespective of the season, it would be breathtaking during the monsoons. With no roof over the central courtyard, I can only imagine what it would be like to sip on some ginger tea, crunch into Birender’s onion bajjis, and enjoy the rainfall into the wide paddy fields ahead.


That’s the beauty of the Glass Villa– the line between where the villa ends and the fields begin is blurred– you almost forget the concept of living inside a four-walled house for a little while. 


Cost per night: Rs 60,000

Call at 9528032644 or email [email protected] for bookings


Edited by Teja Lele