Goa has seriously moved on. Forget the happy-clappy scene – now Kate Moss, Peter Lindbergh, Mick Jagger and Daniel Craig are all going. Lady Hamlyn (who famously refurbished chateau de Bagnols and was ticked off by her husband for blowing the budget - what budget?) has bought a fort in Reis Magos. All the kaftan-wearing, champagne-sipping thirty somethings are renting stylish, funky houses that equal the places they love in Ibiza and Morocco.
But it’s not just the hip crowd that’s in on the secret. Christopher Balfour takes over Aashyana Lakhanpal, one of the slickest pads in north Goa, for a month at a time and entertains the likes of the Douros, the Devonshires and Lord and Lady Halifax. In this, the new smart Goa, you will find all the colours of India, along with armies of staff on-site masseurs and gourmet chefs - oh, and the decor is pretty hot, too. The back of Aashyana Lakhanpal opens up, LA-style, onto a lush garden, the kind of green paradise we all want to find in the hippie idyll. The trick to knowing the Goa of today is to follow the inside track