The hotel I believe is in a great location away from the hussle of the main resorts but within easy distance to all the main area for eating if you do not want to eat at the hotel.
The pool is far better the the sister hotel next door and you will find that guests will come to the Village pool rather than ther own, however there is plenty of room. The pool bar is good and the barman Praven is a real gem, look after him and he will certainly look after you.
Whilst we were here this year there was a large indian wedding which took place a t the far end of the site but did not cause us any noise, however if you ere in one the rooms nearest to the function I'm sure that it could have been a problem.
All the hotel facilities are shared with the sister hotel. I found all the restaurants on site to be good but they can be a little expensive.
I suggest you try outside and go to the Stonehgouse which is a five minute walk up the road or if you want ot get away from Indian food for a night a must is the La Reverie in Candolim a 10 minutes taxi ride
All the staff at the hotel are great and very helpful I can't wait to go back to my beloved Taj.
Travel operator: Virgin
We stayed in one of the Garden rooms - these are large rooms with a balcony or patio set in blocks of 4 - with a large super king bed. They have all you'd expect - multi-channel TV, Fridge and hi-fi/dvd etc - Fresh fruit and bottled water was supplied free of charge every day, which was nice. There was a large bathroom with ample supplies of hot water.
Breakfast in the hotel was superb - freshly made dosas, omelettes, pancakes could be ordered from a bank of chefs with all the trimmings - idly, bacon, sausage, bahji etc available buffet style around as were fresh fruits and juices and staff that were willing to do anything for you.
We stayed by the pool one day when I had an upset stomache and was very disappointed with both the pool-side snacks - expensive and poorly presented (chicken burger with no side salad or relish - very bland) as was room service.
We ate in the restaurant one evening as well - the hotel restaurant where breakfast is served and not the Banyan Tree. Again I was disappointed - The chicken tikka was vastly over priced and not as nice as Maggie's or Golden Eye's or just about any I've had in the previous 9 visits to Goa - I can't remember my main, so that sums it up.
The bar was very nice, if expensive, with Jane being determined to try every version of Martini she could. Plumping for the Zen Martini (ginger) being the best of a very good bunch.
There were a couple of things I wasn't too keen on - call me tight, but Rs 150 for a small kingfisher is expensive in anyone's books. I got around the expensiveness (is there such a word?) by deciding to treat the Taj as UK prices and book everything to the room and paid it off using the N/W Flex card on checking out. That way I managed to not feel to bad about it, though I did keep going to reception just to check how my tab was doing.
You feel a long way out of it at the Taj - and although it's not much of a walk into Candolim, I'd rather not - the downside to this is the price of the cabs - The cabs at the resort wanted to charge at least 50% more than ones off it, which meant me asking every night how much to the stonehouse etc ? and replying "you must be joking!" to their reply - we ended up getting a one-eyed, tame cabbie that pretty much drove us around all the time.
About half way through the holiday the room started to smell of wee (for the want of a better word) - we reported it and the room lads plunged the plugs etc which made the worst of it go away, but it never seemed to go away totally - It wasn't bad enough to want to move rooms, but I always felt there was a slight smell. So when my missus bangs on about the streaky towels in the Silla, I reminder of the wee smell at the Taj :)
To sum it up - the Taj is a very nice place to stay and we will be going back next year - Brekkie was brilliant as were the grounds, pools and the room was very comfortable - Did I prefer it to the Osborne - Yes, If it was down to me would I rather stay there or the Osborne - then for me it would be the Osborne every time, but it's not up to me, so "Taj Holiday Village" we will be back !
Travel operator: Somak
The room was huge with the biggest bed I have ever seen a marble couch that would sleep a child easily and comfy mattress. A plasma screen TV and DVD player. The ceiling must have been 25 to 30 foot high with a huge ceiling fan that came hanging down. The decor was all beige and light blue all newly refurbished. The wardrobe was a good size. A desk and chair a unit that contained a mini bar. The bathroom was also a good size with bath and shower. Fresh bed linen and towels everyday. The room boys do a fabulous job, I'm tidy but they would come in and refold our used clothes and put them away separately. Two little flowers would be in front of our pillows with the night lights illuminating them when we returned every night. A small but beautiful gesture.
We had a garden full of beautiful flowers palm trees a patio that led to 2 sunbeds with fresh towels left every time you used them a table and chairs you could use room service to eat in the garden. There were sea view cottages and pool view cottages but although a great location the rooms were alot smaller than ours. Not all cottages had a hammock but they were dotted around the grounds so you could use them.
There were 3 good restaurants on site and 3or 4 in the sister hotel next door which were all 5* but you paid for 5* but well worth it. Room service came from these restaurants and was very good also 24/7.
The pool was big and water just warm enough to keep you cool but not freezing. The sunbeds were not plastic cheap ones so they must be new. The pool bar man is called Pravin and will go to great lengths to keep his guests happy a great guy. That is true of all the staff I couldn't rate them high enough.
Entertainment is on in form of bands in restaurants a fire eater, magician, martial arts. We usually missed these although through the day they have cooking classes, henna tattooing, yoga, scuba diving in the pool. Kids activities were also good adventure trails and great people to look after them in the activity centre. Life guards by the pool and on the beach with free towels.
I loved the location its busy but not as mad as further north. Its a good base. Great restaurants around.
Some of the villas were not refurbished yet and I'm glad we didn't get one of those they house up to 6 or 4 rooms i think I would have felt short changed if thats were we had to stop. So do check if you are booking whether its a villa or a cottage.
I would definitely stop there again infact if we go again only the Taj will do. My daughter is 10 and was never bored.
Travel operator: Somak
We were under the impression that this was a luxury 5 star hotel however it appeared to be more a family resort of 3-4 star rating.
The pool was over crowded and had cheap sun lounges and the restaurants has little style and ambiance. Admittedly, during our stay the hotel was having major renovations and thus, there was much construction going on.
On a more positive note, the garden cottages were beautifully renovated and the staff were extremely helpful in facilitating our transfer to the Taj Exotica Hotel.
This hotel did live up to our expectations!
Travel operator: independent
Upon arrival at the hotel we were greeted with a whole coconut with a straw in the top, which we thought was a very nice touch. It was nice after the long trip to sit in reception and relax with our coconut drink whilst our room was sorted.
Our room, although quite basis for the hotel, was of good standard and included air con and ceiling fan, fridge, TV with multi channels including movie channel and films to order. The en-suite bath room was a good size with a large shower and constant hot water.
Throughout our stay we had a constant supply of bottled water in our room and never had to ask for anything. The room was kept very clean by Robert. Plenty of fresh good sized towels changed every day or I'm sure if requested more often also a good supply of toiletries refreshed as used. Our sheets could have been changed every day but we opted for every other to be environmentally friendly. We were in a ground floor room and had a lovely view of the gardens from our terrace.
The hotel gardens and restaurants are kept spotless at all times.
The hotel staff are kind courteous and nothing is too much trouble for any of them.
The food at the hotel is wonderful there is about 6 restaurants in all serving a multitude of different cuisine, breakfast is served in the Caravela over looking the sea and serves a wide variety of tastes from fruit to curries, eggs any way you want, toast, juice cereals etc.
The Banyan tree serves Thai. An excellent room service menu is available 24 hours a day and on the occasions that we used it we did not have to wait long.
The swimming pool is a good size and well equipped with plenty of sunbeds and towels which the pool attendant will organize for you we never had to find our own sunbed.
The beach is very nice and we found very clean here again the life guard will find you a sunbed parasol and towels everything is done for you at this hotel.
Entertainment wise I can not comment as we ate out every night.
The only complaint I have about this hotel is that our room was in a block of six and the rooms were adjoined, as there was a lot of conventions at the hotel we seemed to have a lot of different neighbours who only stayed the night or a few days and due to this were packing and leaving the rooms to go home at silly o'clock in the morning. So when booking this hotel again I would opt for a cottage, but on saying this it wasn't that bad and if needs be would except a standard room in the future if I had no option.
I would recommend this hotel all day long and can
Travel operator: Hayes & Jarvis
Accommodation was good; grounds excellent and very clean; and staff always very helpful and friendly.
The location was a good base to explore the area.
Travel operator: Somak
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