In the 2000s, ‘Palacio Aguada’, entrepreneur Jimmy Gazdar’s secluded sea-facing property in North Goa was a hot spot for the A-list party scene. Vijay Mallya, for instance, used to arrive in Goa in his private yacht and head to Gazdar’s New Year bash before he finally bought and designed his plush Kingfisher Villa in Candolim.With its lush lawns in full bloom, expansive swimming pools, a cave, three dance floors and tea garden, ‘Palacio Aguada’ was the equivalent of James Bond cool meeting South of France chic. Back then, rumour had it that the late Gazdar, who was a shareholder in rubber-plantation company Cochin Malabars Estates and Industries Ltd, also had pet panthers. The panthers may have gone but the house retains its original aesthetic, one that a source close to new owner Pinky Reddy, wife of Sanjay Reddy of GVK, says will be retained — including the original name of the property.According to the source, the 5-acre property was acquired by Reddy, who saw the property in March and signed the MOU in April, for the sum of 80 crore. The deal, that’s undergoing due diligence, took barely a month to close as Reddy’s mother and Gazdar’s niece, Rita Mehta (who inherited it from Gazdar) are dear friends. Mehta, who currently lives in Dubai, had preferred to sell her uncle’s home to someone she knew.The source adds that Reddy plans on converting the 5-bedroom property into a 10-12 bedroom boutique hotel that focuses on health, with a spa and clean eating on the menu. The aim is to turn the villa into an international and exclusive destination for wellness. The villa’s original architect, Gerard da Cunha, has been roped in to do the renovations and the source reveals he is happy to return to a property that once was his project.Reddy’s first visit was for the 2000 New Year’s party and she thought it looked outstanding. The source adds that on her recent visit to the property two decades later, her opinion remained unchanged.When contacted, Reddy confirmed the purchase and said, “It has always been a dream of mine to get into the health and wellness space with boutique hotels. I look forward to this new venture.”

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