The hotel is about 45 mins drive from the air port, not much scenery on the way apart from a few shacks and small villages along the typically Indian bumpy roads.
Arriving at the hotel is quite a supprise, from scrub land to tropical paradise, only seperated by a set of iron gates guarded by several security men.
I took the all inclusive option, often a risk if the foods no good but good value if it is. The all inclusive option here is confined to buffet meals in the cafe, quality is OK, certainly not as good as the other restuarants around the resort but the cost of eating in these would soon rack up the bill, there not cheap by any means!
The hotel itself is stunning, no other word for it, lush tropical gardens all around where once was only sand and palm trees!
The rooms are designed around lagoons, so each window has a nice view, but not of the sea. They are clean and nicely set out, not huge but fine none the less.
The staff are very polite and even the gardeners / room cleaners smile and say hello.
There was some entertainment laid on as per the daily itinery, but it was pretty highbrow stuff and not really for me.
A walk through the grounds brings you out to the beach, very nice white(ish) sand, the relaxer chairs parked under palm tress are good, though if you order a beer, expect each one to set you back
Travel operator: own booking
There is no doubt that the Leela is a first class hotel, but at a price. We only stayed at The Club as someone else (my company bless them!) was paying, and I would not pay their prices myself! R350 for two small beers by the pool.... R60 at Betty's shack immediately beach left!
That said, the club is very exclusive, 25m Club pool, (never saw more than 4 people round it) private Club beach area (with Betty's shack next door!). Suite with view over golf course, most extras (eg laundry + mini bar) included in the price.
The standard rooms looked quite small and those and the beach / pool / lounger area were very crowded.
We would stay at the Taj Exotica with a plunge pool in preference to and for the same price as a standard at the Leela. The Taj is not quite as scenic as the Leela but the service and staff are just as good.
Would strongly recommend eating at Betty's - straight on out of the main gate, 50 yards on the right. Great food, fantastic atmosphere and really friendly. Also, Betty's boat trip (at R750) is well worth it.
Hotel eating too characterless with too many staff hovering over you all the time. Several other restaurants also outside the gate and usual beach shacks to choose from.
Next year it's the Taj Exotica for us again and a taxi to Betty's for dinner!
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The staff are first class.
As the last writer has already said there are two restaurants outside the gate one Betty's Place, which we do not use anymore because of rats, not the healthiest thing to have running around where this is food. Further up the road is Hills Den. The other is a new place to the right as you go out of main gate, The Fisherman's Wharf which is owned by the Holiday Inn that is first class and very clean. The beach shacks are also a great place too.
The area is not for people who like night life and disco but for some one who wants to have a quiet relaxing holiday.
Drinks and food in the hotel are much the same price as UK but the shacks etc are really cheap.But to eat out for first class food and wine and Hygiene I recommend Fisherman's Wharf.
We have tried many other 5 star hotels in Goa but the Leela Palace is NUMBER ONE. We are going back in April 2007.
Travel operator: Manos
Do not consider if your on a tight budget payed
Travel operator: Thomas cook
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