La Maison Fontainhas is fabulously unconventional in its individuality and style yet suitably refined when it comes to meeting guest expectations.
La Maison Fontainhas is located amidst the oldest, and by far the most atmospheric, Portuguese-flavoured district of Panaji City. Fontainhas makes for attractive wandering with its narrow streets, overhanging balconies and quaint air of Mediterranean yesteryear. This heritage home is inspired by the colonial legacy of Goa, its transition to modern day Goa and its layers of design inheritance.
As a family-run luxury heritage home, La Maison Fontainhas has a unique feel. It's a place that boasts of elegant and sophisticated interiors and an atmosphere that is both cozy and informal. It makes you feel at home instantly whilst affording easy accessibility to the city and beyond.
Allow yourself to unwind at La Maison Fontainhas, where historic surroundings are complemented by the very warmest hospitality.
A walk through Fontainhas, which constitutes the Latin quarter of Panjim, is not just a journey back in time but a hat-doff to a state's zeal to keep its colonial legacy alive.
And as a matter of fact, the whole of Panjim, before the Liberation of Goa in 1961, looked quite like Fontainhas as did most large Goan settlements. If there is so little left of this it is due to post colonial Indian tastes and quality of civil engineering and architecture.
Fontainhas, said to take its name from the Fountain of Phoenix spring, which stands near the Maruti Temple, is the larger of the two districts, comprising pastel-shaded houses that head up Altinho hill. The land here was originally reclaimed in the late 18th century by a returning self-made Goan, known as 'the Mosmikar', so-called for the riches he had amassed during a stay in Mozambique.
Fontainhas is the heritage quarter of the capital city of Panaji, lying along the banks of the ancient Ourem creek. This old district or Latin Quarter has a completely different atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of the main city, with its Mediterranean appearance, narrow streets and overhanging balconies of the ancient Portuguese style houses. The entire area is laid out at the base of a hillside known as Altinho, and the natural springs on the hillside, gave the name Fontainhas to the area.
Towards the southern end of the ward of Fontainhas, lies the old (built in 1880) but excellently maintained Chapel of St Sebastian. There is an old traditional well attached to the Chapel. The Chapel contains a striking lifelike crucifix, which once hung in the Palace of the Inquisition in Old Goa. The image of Christ, on the crucifix has its eyes open. The Chapel also houses a statue of the Virgin Mary (originally from the High Court building), two marquetry chests and three elaborately carved reredos from a church in Diu, which once formed part of the colony of Goa.
Just a couple of blocks from the Chapel, lies the beautifully restored building which is now used as the office of the Fundacão Orienté, an institution involved in restoration of quite a few heritage buildings in Goa. At the very end of Fontainhas, lies a small but attractive natural spring, Fonte Phoenix, whose surroundings have recently been renovated to turn it into a tourist spot.
Overall the quaint alcoves, overhanging balconies, colourful facades, and alleyways in Fontainhas will intrigue one into a quest into history and the bygone days of the Portuguese.