The noise that night was unbearable and no A/C and the ceiling fan was hanging on by a few wires. Just went and settled what we owed, ie fridge for a night and a few drinks round the pool and moved out of the place.
Firstly we did not find Peter, the Manager, to be anything but helpful and accomodating, not pushy at all. The room boys and infact all the staff were brilliant; nothing was too much trouble. We could keep our room at the end of our holiday until we left for no extra cost.
The room was basic but spotless; clean sheets and towels daily. Our only complaint was the rooms seemed to have a damp problem maybe due to the monsoon and excessive rain.
The hotel is in a quiet location with the bus stop at the end of the lane and within easy walking distance to restaurants and shops.
As we only had basic breakfast toast,tea and juice I cannot comment on the food as we ate out.
Entertainment consisted of a weekly barbeque. There was an excellent library for reads round the small but adequate pool with towels provided.
All in all, for less than £600 a good value holiday.
Good restaurants nearby are Flambe-e, Shivvers and Foxes Steak House. In the center of Candolim on Beach Rd try Inferno (superb), Sports bar (also known as J29) and Teama.
We tried East meets West in Calangute as we had heard a lot about it. Its a lovely place but the food, though o.k, wasn't the best we had and the service was very poor.
If you fancy something a bit different try the Sunday lunch cruise on the Noa's Arc, a large floating restaurant. It sails from Panjim at around 11am, 4hr cruise down the Mandovi river, they come round with different nibbles then after a couple of hours sailing they stop and you can go on the lower deck and fish or stay on the upper deck, have a drink and enjoy the views. An excellent hot buffet is served and there is entertainment on board. Its a fabulous trip and cost only 600rupees each + drinks. You can book in advance but if you arrive by about 10.30 you shouldn't have a problem.
Across from the Noa's Arc is the Panjim Residency. Inside there are leaflets on all the usual excursions but they are a lot cheaper than booking in the resort so if you don't mind doing the trips from Panjim it's worth checking out
Travel operator: jewel in the crown
Situated in the quiter area, near Sinquerim, it is close to the beach (5 mins) and there are loads of good restuarants near by.
The rooms are cleaned every day with fresh towels and linen provided. The pool and restaurant area are kept clean with pool towels laid out each day.
The hotel usually does 2 BBQ nights a week - Mondays and Fridays and the food is good and reasonably priced.
Saftey deposit boxes, fridges and air con can be paid for on arrival, however, not all rooms have air con so if you want it, you will need to ask when checking in.
The hotel can also arrange boat trips and sight seeing tours but shop around to find the best deal for what you want.
The staff are all friendly and eager to please and are quite happy to have a chat and a laugh with holiday makers. There seems to be quite a few return guests to this hotel, adding to the friendly atmosphere.
Travel operator: Airtours
The staff were very helpful and friendly.
We cannot comment on the food as we ate out each day as there are so many different restaurants and shacks to try.
The hotel is near to the beach, a fabulous holiday.
Travel operator: Jewel In The Crpwn
Travel operator: MyTravel
Hotel staff were very pleasent and very helpful and friendly.
Travel operator: jewel in the crown
Very disapointed with the breakfast, but the staff were pleasant and helpful.
We are back again this year for a month guess what we are staying somwhere else.
Travel operator: Jewel in the Crown
Upon arrival at the hotel, the porter carried are rather large suitcases up the stairs to the room without expecting a tip like they do in some countries. We had requested Air Conditioning and a Fridge which where provided in our very large and spacious room. We had two balconies although we only tended to use the one with the pool view. The rooms had a living room with two sofas and a table, a small shower room and a large bedroom with 2 twin beds. The beds are not as comfortable as you will find in Europe but you expect this. Rooms are quite basic but this is to be expected from a 2 Star accommodation, especially when the holiday was a great price as well!
The small pool area is clean with about 10 sun lounges. There is a pool bar and also a souvenir shop and beauty salon. The hotel receptionist and manager are also very courteous and friendly. Breakfast here is of the Continental variety serving up toast, fruit juice and tea/coffee in a morning however a menu is available should you fancy something extra. The bar does close at 11pm as per the local Police law for hotels so you will find bars and restaurants where drinks will be available until later in the night nearby. There is also a security guard at the hotel of a night time in common with most hotels in Goa although Goa is probably the safest place I have ever been too!
The Airtours representative made almost daily visits and was very knowledgeable, polite and always asked you how your where and said have a nice day!
Just a short walk away, you will find the beautiful beach that is Candolim. I would reccommend Baywatch for your choice of beach shacks as the staff are very friendly and talkative, the food and drink is good and it is very cheap.
Going in to Candolim, you will find the Kingfisher Villa right next door to Lui Beach as well as a few shops for your essentials. A further 10-15 minutes walk will bring you to the centre of Candolim known as 'Beach Road'. I would recommend 'Inferno' restaurant here for superb food, friendly service and good prices - try the Chocolate Naan - its delicious! A few other restaurants to look our for are 'Sweet Chilli', 'Stone House' and 'Bon Appetit'.
We did two excursions. One booked with Airtours and the other with John's Boat Trips:
The Airtours trip was called 'Jungle Book' and was an overnight excursion taking you inland. On day one, we where taken to a stunning Spice Plantation where the superb guide gave us a tour of this amazing place followed by our lunch before heading up to the Shanti (Peace) Nature Reserve near Ponda. Here your nights accommodation is a large mud hut made from elephant dung (to keep insects away). The hut is basic but has a shower, toilet and sink as well a room fan. Insect repellent is a must as you are in the rainforest after all! Upon arrival, you are served soup before the 'Bull-O-Cart' ride and your ride on 1 of 3 elephants. Should you wish to ride a camel, this is at an extra charge. After this, you are left to relax for a few hours before Diner. Shortly after diner, they put on an amazing show where they demonstrate to you how they teach the elephants and allow you to feed them which is an amazing thing to do! This is followed by a tug of war with the male elephant which great fun (its just playtime to the elephant). They then take you by darkness to an amazing 800 year old temple perfectly preserved which is amazing to see by night. The evening is then finished off with songs around the camp fire.
The next morning you can opt for a 5:30am wake up call or a 8:30am wake up. If like us, you choose the 5:30am wake up, you are taken on a guided trek into the forest to see the sun rise over an amazing waterfall and upon your return, at 9:30am, the rest of the group join you to do Yoga around the temple before returning for breakfast and collecting your belongings ready to return to resort via a second elephant habitat. There you are taken via bamboo raft over to an island to wash and bath the elephants which is not to be missed. Following lunch here, you then return to your hotel. This was all complemented by an excellent tour guide.
This trip was superb value and absolutely a once in a life time experience. I would only have arranged this trip through Airtours as you know it is being arranged through a company you know and trust - especially as it is an overnight excursion it is good to have the peace of mind of knowing it has been arranged properly through a reputable company. Big thumbs up to Airtours for providing this fantastic opportunity!
The other trip we did was to the second largest waterfall in India. This was cheap and through a local company called John
Travel operator: Airtours/MyTravel
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