Ex-Parisian fashion stylist Claudia Derain and her Indian husband, Hari Ajwani, started the exclusive hillside resort of Nilaya Hermitage when they fell in love with Goa during a vacation from Europe. Together with Goan architect Dean D'Cruz, they have created something out of Arabian Nights, with 12 cosmic-themed and named guest suites featuring vibrant colors, terrazzo flooring, and minimalist decor. sweeping archways lead off to open-plan bathrooms with views of the tropical garden. Like a chic harem, the split-level, saffron-colored "Music Room" is where guests unwind on sprawling mattresses, or meditate while soothing music plays beneath a high blue-domed ceiling. Overlooking paddy fields and coconut palm groves, the setting is romantic and classy, and despite being 6km (4 miles) from the nearest beach, Nilaya is one of Goa's most perfect getaways, as its extensive celebrity guest list indicates.