We caught up with Tanya Hildrith who owns and runs Wigwam, a beautiful retreat in Goa, alongside her boyfriend Nic.
Her 5 words to describe it are; Home. Adventure. Sanctuary. Connection. Nurturing.
Tell us a bit about Wigwam
My partner, Nic, and I wanted to create a unique experience in Goa (India), aimed at bringing people together to live in harmony with nature and to enjoy a relaxed, fun vibe : a home away from home. We created WIGWAM – a tipi retreat off-the-beaten-track in a rustic Goan village, surrounded by jungle. We offer a range of accommodation, including one and two-bedroom modern apartments, fully-furnished luxury tipis and our new geometric lodges built with local wood. We run yoga classes, workshops and have healing therapists on site (including me), an organic café and a sweatlodge. Wigwam is a sanctuary, created to give time and space to nourishing and just being our true selves. Being there is soothing for the soul.
How did it all begin?
Nic and I have been living in Goa during high season (British winter) for over a decade. We got to know India well and had long been visualising our future in Goa. In October 2017 we found the property we had been dreaming of in Mandrem. We opened on New Year’s Day, 2018. It was a lot of work and a really crazy time, but we haven’t looked back. Every day is different. Seeing guests getting to know the magic of Goa is so rewarding. There really is something for everyone here. We love the Goan people – their rich culture and laid-back lifestyle and the wild, raw beauty of the nature here. Wigwam is our co-creation, honouring Nic’s and my shared love of life and our deep connection with one another.
What’s your favourite bit?
India mesmerised me from the moment I arrived there 12 years ago. I was excited by the richness of life, the calm within the chaos, and the feeling that “anything is possible”.
The people in Goa are peaceful, friendly and fun-loving. Perhaps it`s the magical mix of endearing Indian culture, laid-back Portuguese charm, and a colourful hippie past that has birthed a unique cultural melting pot that is captivating, welcoming, and bursting with creativity.
If you could have anyone to come and stay (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
One of the greatest Native American chiefs to teach us everything he/she knows!
Do you have any daily rituals you do there?
Riding my motorbike and going to the beach for a swim are my two essential daily rituals. We are 2km from the beach so I can do both of these in one outing. Driving down our village road is just beautiful. The local life around us keeps us connected to the heart of Goa. The spirit of community is so strong here and it`s such a small village, it doesn’t take long until you become a familiar face.
If you had to choose one song to play every time someone arrived what would it be?
Ravi Shankar and Hang Massive are our Wigwam favourites.
What are your top tips for turning a home into a sanctuary?
Candles, colours and cosy corners. When we first started decorating Wigwam, much to Nic’s dismay (!), I painted every inch of wall white, so that we could then start to add colour and texture. India is full of amazing craftsmen and women. Working together with local, skilled people, we designed furniture and soft furnishings and started to piece things together. We balanced the simplicity of the white walls and bamboo furnishings with bright, patterned cushions and throws. We also have a stunning huge mural on the wall of one of the apartments, painted by our talented friend, Mikey Brain.
I love creating with the elements. Natural materials help me to feel grounded and in touch with nature. We have plants everywhere. I just can’t get enough of them!
Be open to new inspiration and ideas. This season we were blessed to have an artist friend of ours, Wendy Wood, donate the contents of her old house to us as she was moving away from Goa. Her incredible artwork and interior furnishings have given our place a new lease of life. Yellow is now my favourite colour. It really lifts everything and makes me happy.
Have pets to love. Mango, Jaz (the dogs), Disco and Chicken (the cats) are bundles of fun and our Wigwam Sanctuary wouldn’t feel the same without them.
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