Cancio's House

Goa - India


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Reply Tanay Ghosh
5:19 AM on August 5, 2017 
My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights and while we had certainly hoped to experience a more authentic, charming side of Goa, what went beyond even our most optimistic expectations is how beautiful this experience was made for us by the Amaral family. Roberto and Raquel run the homestay with genuine warmth, complemented by their (wonderfully raised) children Harrison, Antonio and the little, always smiling mischief-monger Rafael. Their unobtrusive pets Donut, Jess and Dusky complete the family. Their historic house has been painstakingly restored over generations and is fortified by Roberto every year while staying true to its heritage and the ancestral legacy. We stayed in a spacious cottage, complete with a sit-out veranda surrounded by verdant greens and never lacked anything during our stay. The cottage was next to the main house, giving us privacy as well as easy access to the main house. Everything inside the house has its own unique history and Roberto proudly explains the finer aspects over meals and cups of coffee if one is interested. But what made our stay truly memorable is not just the place itself, but the people living in it. While Roberto is the effervescent repository of knowledge, armed with a wicked sense of humor and always ready to help out in any way he can, his wife Raquel is absolutely wonderful to hang out with and the one who keeps everything ticking. It's evident that she doesn't open up to a lot of people and felt privileged that she did to us. We opted to stay in and have several meals with them during our stay and the food Raquel churned out for us is the kind that makes you drool when you remember it from afar. Her Pork Sorpotel, Prawn Curry, Beef Xacuti etc., recipes she's perfected over the years, are legendary and she is probably one of the best kept secrets in Goa's food scene. The food is best enjoyed with free flowing conversation with the family (and in our case, even extended family and a neighbor- all lovely, warm-hearted people. Shout out to Wise Man!), who let you into their everyday lives with open arms. They graciously took us along for Sunday mass to the local church and accommodated a couple of our friends at tea time. Priceless, little things which made our experience unique. We went there as guests and left having made friends for life. Wholeheartedly recommended. Until next time Roberto and Raquel!

A few tips:
1. Visit in the monsoons if you can. Goa is much greener, cheaper and less crowded.
2. Rent a car and drive around with complete flexibility. Taxis are very expensive.
3. Mapusa market is 20-25 mins away, mainstream beaches about 30 mins away
4. Aldona is pretty and charming, with its own backwaters and hidden spots.
5. When here, embrace the 'sussegad' way of life. Minimizing activities here will maximize your experience.
Reply Aayushi Yadav
1:43 PM on July 19, 2017 
I visited the beautiful Cancio's House this June, everything about the stay here is so unique and simple. Right from our room which was spacious and comfortable to the hospitality which we received from our Host and his lovely family. For me this was home away from home, and I wish more people could experience it.
Reply Ashwini DSouza
10:47 AM on May 7, 2017 
Goan Paradise!!
Visited the Amarals at the end of April! We were consciously looking for a quiet cottage away from the beaches and we got all this and more! The cottages are lovely and well designed with a small sit-out area. The Gardens are lovely with lots of birding activity. Bird baths have been placed at multiple locations and I understood the concept of a birdbath as I actually saw a bird bathing! Birders will thoroughly enjoy spending time here. The dinner (optional) was really good and the brownie for dessert was to die for! The food involved some local mango based gravy which was lovely. Most importantly the dinner was in the main house and around a large family dining table where the we had dinner along with the hosts. Roberto who runs the place is very passionate about his 500yr old Portuguese home and works really hard on the garden. He is very knowledgeable about the history of the place and just goes out of his way to make you comfortable. Raquel (his wife) is a real good cook and the culinary experience I mentioned earlier is to be attributed to her. Raphael - his youngest kid is super cute and gave my son Vivaan company. Harrison the eldest is a great host too and was entertaining us during dinner. Not to forget Roberto's Mom - a smart beautiful welcoming lady who is super active even at her age. All in all, it's an experience! Sure the beach isn't close by, but there's more to Goa than beaches and that's why I'd highly recommend adding a visit to this beautiful place and be hosted by a beautiful family!
Reply Dipty Nanda
4:17 AM on November 8, 2016 
Even though it was my first visit to Goa, I decided to ditch the beaches and stay at a quieter place. Luckily I came across the Cancio's house in the natgeo blog and in indiauntravelled site and I am so glad I chose to stay here. I went there with 4 friends and we had such a great time. I had never imagined that our hosts Roberto and Raquel will be so warm, welcoming and would make us feel so at home. They have a great taste in places. We went to Soro's as per their suggetion and had such fun! To top it all, Raquel is such a good cook! Given the chance, I would just go back there to eat her dishes!! The house is so beautiful with gardens all around. Anybody who wants to rest and breathe fresh air and have fun at the same time, should head here.
Reply Gaurav Garg
2:11 PM on July 20, 2016 
My wife and I stayed Cancio?s house in the month of July for 5 days. We were so overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on us by Roberto, his wife Raquel and their family, staff and pets that we feel that we have left a piece of our hearts behind with them in Aldona, Goa. There are four ingredients that make Cancio?s possibly the best place for a holiday in Goa.

1. The people: they are wonderful, caring and treat you like one of their own. At the same time they give you the space you need to enjoy your holiday on your own terms. Their hospitality is overwhelming. They take care of your small needs. They make very interesting and lively conversations. We spent quite a few late nights chatting with Roberto and Raquel, and played with their 3 lovely kids. They have 2 cats and 2 dogs who are all loving and friendly. And who can forget ?Mamai,? Roberto?s mother, the family matriarch, who has experienced life in old Portuguese Goa, seen its assimilation into India and then its transition into a booming tourist destination.

2. Location: Aldona is gorgeous, quiet and calm. It has rolling hills, lush green farms, numerous water bodies, river, a beautiful church and a lively but small market place. If you want to get an in into ?real? Goa, away from the hustle bustle and crushing commercialism of Goa?s beach front, then staying at Cancio?s House in Aldona has to be the best options available. At the same time, it must be stressed that Aldona is only a short and beautiful drive away to Goa?s beaches especially in the north. If you are there on a Friday do make it a point to visit the Friday Market at the Mapusa, the nearest big town to Aldona.

3. The property: Cancio?s house is a living a piece of history. It is at least 200-300 years old, (more I think), in which successive generations of the Cancio/Amaral family have left their imprint. Roberto and Racquel are painstakingly restoring several older aspects of the property while at the same time adding to more modern amenities that make one?s stay very comfortable. Do not expect ACs and too many hotel type amenities. This is a HOMESTAY. But in all probability you will not miss a hotel or an AC. Once in the property, you experience rarities like nature in full bloom, antique furniture, old family photos, wood fired water boilers and cooking surfaces still in use, and natural spring water well!

4. Food: Raquel is an amazing cook and her food offers a journey into the palates and tastes of the goanese people in a way no restaurant can match. She cooks like a dream. She prepares every item personally and the best part is that the entire family at Cancio?s eats the same food as guests do. We used to look forward to family dinners. Though predominantly non-vegetarian, Raquel also skillfully cooks finger -licking food for vegetarians and vegans. Her desserts are a must try.

I would highly recommend Cancio?s house to those who love homestays, and are looking to experience and learn from Goa, its culture, natural beauty and people.
Reply Sudip Pal
2:38 PM on July 19, 2016 
We had an amazing stay in Cancios House on the first week of July. The house is situated in Aldona, which is really a nice, serene village in Goa. We couldn?t have got a better place to stay for our holidays. The hosts Roberto & Raquel are the best hosts you?ll ever met. They made us feel like we are a part of their family. They were very helpful & caring. We reached their place late afternoon. It was really nice of Roberto to drop us to a nearby place for lunch and again picked us up as well. He is a great person to talk to with all his knowledge, advice and obviously humor. Thanks to Raquel we had an amazing authentic homemade Goan food. That was an amazing having dinner with the whole family together. Maria, Roberto?s Mom is very nice, friendly woman who knows both the history and everything happening in modern world and yes she loves football! Roberto & Raquel have 3 beautiful & amazing kids. Also they have 2 dogs and 2 cats who are equally friendly and playful. Their house is really old and big and beautiful, with all the history.
The rooms where we stayed were clean, comfortable and peaceful. The place and the people around the village are very nice, it?s highly recommended to walk around the village whenever you go there, its safe, beautiful, calm, green and we loved it. If it rains its more beautiful. Overall we had an amazing 2days stay in their house and surely we will visit them again.

P.S. Roberto & Raquel also took us to well jumping nearby which is some kind of tradition among them, if you are visiting them and get this opportunity please DO IT! I don?t know how to swim still I did it and its an amazing experience.
Reply Siddhartha Shivam
2:05 PM on July 15, 2016 
I can easily call it my most memorable holiday in India ever. I am so glad that my wife found out this gem of a place in the middle of a laid back north Goa town, graced with beautiful backwaters and lush greenery. But what made it the most memorable was the warmth and hospitality of its hosts. Roberto and Raquel are just plain awesome. The made us feel at home right from the moment we landed there. The next morning we were greeted with a birthday cake (yes, the idea was to celebrate my birthday there with my wife). They have three lovely sons and within no time I was friends with their youngest one, as charming as it can get. They were kind enough to decorate the dinner table for the birthday and baked a cake especially for this occasion. Ohhh I must mention that Raquel is a wonderful cook. And they love to talk and share interesting stories, something that my wife and I absolutely enjoyed. We didn't feel like guests, we felt we were a part of their family and we came back with the same feeling. We can't wait to go back to relive this experience.
Reply Abhijit A A
10:16 AM on May 22, 2016 
Abhijit (Photographer) & Priyanka (IT Professional) -- 26 to 29 March 2016 (finally got time to sit & write the most important review!!)

It is one of the best places to stay if one really wants some peace, some 'me' time & yet enjoy a holiday. A perfect place if one wants to enjoy and soak into a house stay with *Portuguese-Goan Effects* !! Roberto & Raquel are one of the best hosts and one really feels at home away from home. The whole family is warm, friendly & loving. smile emoticon
Situated in the middle of a sleepy yet vibrant village Aldona, their ancestral house gives a typical Portuguese-Goan feel. It made us lose ourselves in their calm, peaceful surroundings laden with beautiful different flowers and trees.

How can I describe the rooms... very neatly kept, a queen size bed- perfect for honeymooners- be it first time or second time like us! (haha) The women who used to come to clean the room are very friendly, have a smiling face which lightens your day up- the moment you see them. Most importantly all people in their house- the workers are super trustworthy.
An instance has to be mentioned, Priyanka forgot her newly bought MOTO X Play mobile phone in their kitchen and she came to know after like 15 minutes. When we got in the kitchen- the mobile was lying there on the table as it is. We think this is Cancio's House, esp. Roberto & Raquel's strongest point.

I & Priyanka are super afraid of dogs but theirs' are super friendly. Within a night of our stay our fear was like wooosh... gone with the wind. Technically the dog lovers will have a gala time & those who fear; will see their fear is gone with a woof. *wink*

Roberto has tonnes and thousands of stories to tell- about the house, the history and he can start a conversation and turn it into an interesting story within seconds. *haha* Raquel is amazing too and has a lot of important health related tips - which might seem too small but are very important in daily life. She is an amazing cook, I, even though being a vegetarian tried her non vegetarian dishes and have loved them.

When we left and sought another room in Calangute for the rest of our stay in Goa we actually were thinking to go back to their place- but we dropped the idea since all the rooms at Cancio's were full. We really missed the place the moment we checked in at Calangute...

Even though all there are good vibrations and best reviews about Cancio?s House; the most important point is that they have not made it commercial. It is very easy for them to make it commercial; but they haven't made it. That, we thought is the key to their success & makes what Cancio a ' Warm Cancio's House'. Hope they keep it the same way.

A definite recommend for love, warmth & peace; go with an open mind to explore and one will not be disappointed for sure.

1) We never really needed Wifi connection- although they had it.
2) Kids (if trained to be in tune with nature) will love playing in the garden talking to trees, leaves, flowers; explore the house, play with their dogs, cats, interact with the family members- no special activities required.
Reply Sravan
3:18 AM on December 30, 2014 
This was my second visit to Goa and this time I wanted to stay in a quiet place, away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, especially since I was visiting during the Christmas. A little research on the net helped me make a decision to stay at the Cancio's house (also called as Amaral's house) and what a good decision it turned out to be.

Roberto and Raquel Amaral, the owners of the 500 year old, pre-portugese era home, welcome us warmly not only into the homestay but also into their family and lives. It was a pleasure to meet them, their three lovely children (Harrison, Antonio, Rafael), Roberto's mom (Maria) and their other family members and experience a traditional goan lifestyle. Visiting them during Christmas was all the more special for us as we could savour some of the best home made desserts that I had ever tasted like the Dodol. Roberto took us on a boat trip on the back waters and to watch some dolphins in the sea, also gave good advises on the other less famous but good places to visit like the Arvalem caves and waterfalls.

The house has a beautiful garden and has a variety of plants and makes you want to spend some time just enjoying the nature. Being located in a calm village but not far away from any of the major towns or cities in north goa, it was an ideal place to stay.

Thanks Roberto and Raquel for making our stay a pleasant one, for making us feel a part of your family and experience Goa the way it should be. I will surely visit you again!
Reply Sumedha Joshi
7:37 AM on September 5, 2014 
I was travelling solo for the 1st time and had left for Goa with alot of excitement and some apprehensions as well. And no other family and home stay experience would have been better than Amaral's Cancio's house to make me feel comfortable and make me fall in love with the real Goa.
Roberto and Raquel are the best hosts I have ever come across. They have a beautiful ancestral 500-year-old Goan-Portuguese home. Its located in the sleepy village of Alonda far from the crowded and touristy beaches. I felt at home the moment I entered their home. Roberto took me around showing me the true culture and essence of Goa. From visiting an old bakery to kayaking in the backwater creek amongst the mangroves to jumping in fresh water well to enjoying a motor boat ride in the backwaters everything was so mesmerizing.

Raquel's cooked delicious Goan food and the mouthwatering desserts are to die for. And you cannot miss the yummy homemade wine prepared by Roberto. Roberto and Raquel have a wonderful sweet family with their 3 handsome and adorable sons, their lovely mother and 2 cute dogs. You will be welcomed by all very warmly.

Thank you Roberto and Raquel to make my stay the most comfortable and memorable one.
I went there solo but returned with heartwarming memories and some amazing friendships.
I will visit you soon again :)

Certificate of Excellence


Contact us:

             Roberto  &  Raquel

Cell:       +91 - 9822385885

             +91 - 9657254175

Tel:        0091 - 832 - 2293480


e-mail:    [email protected]



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