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“One of the best bets in the north of Goa, but likely better options south” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vivanta by Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa

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Vivanta by Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Dando, Candolim, Sinquerim 403515, India   |  
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Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sinquerim
Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
222 reviews 222 reviews
96 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
235 helpful votes 235 helpful votes
“One of the best bets in the north of Goa, but likely better options south”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2008

In north Goa this is one of the best places to stay, along with the neighboring sister Taj property. Since we had some business to attend to in Panjim and Mapusa this was the best option in northern Goa.

This hotel is billed as a heritage resort, so it should be in that rare strata of world-class destinations. While the rooms, restaurants, atmosphere and location do fall into that category, like many top-class resorts in India (perhaps Oberoi being the only exception) this property has some service shortcomings that would not bother a budget traveler, but for those discerning travelers paying top dollar and expecting 5-star service, there are some kinks needing to be worked out. Among these:


1. Despite making a prior phone request to a hotel operator for a hotel car pickup at the airport, no car was there on our arrival and we were put on a bus where we had to wait for 30 minutes for other passengers. We were given a complimentary ride back to the airport on our departure in a hired car.

Also for sightseeing, the hotel relies on local taxi drivers who are subcontracted. The cars are clean and the drivers polite but in some cases the drivers had scant knowledge of Goa locations and in one case the driver appeared to have trouble with basic comprehension of both Hindi and English. Guests at a five-star plus resort in Goa should not be expected to have to communicate with drivers in Konkani, the local dialect.

2. Spa staff did not allow us a choice of treatments and despite specific treatment ordered by the ayurvedic physician two days previous we were told at the time of the treatment that it would not be available. After some discussion with hotel management this got sorted to our satisfaction but it must be said it's highly unusual to feel like one has been the target of a "bait and switch" routine at a top-class hotel's spa! Since we had planned our day around the spa treatment as we were told that only a specific time was available, this was disappointing to say the least.

3. Music from outdoor Gujarati wedding parties on several nights made it difficult to sleep. The resort obviously makes a tremendous amount of money from these "big fat Indian weddings" and it does not deter from the ambiance of the hotel to see celebrating wedding parties in the midst but consideration should be made for other guests who might have a problem with booming music in the wee hours of the morning.

4. A quite minor quibble but another indication that attention to detail needs some work -- the soft drinks in the mini bar were months beyond their expiration date.

All in all, if you can negotiate a competitive rate here this is a very nice place to stay. However those who come to north Goa for the Baga beach party scene are more likely to have budget accommodations in mind. For those who don't mind any location in Goa and are looking for a world-class luxurious experience, then several top resorts in south Goa may be a better option in this price range.

  • Liked — Food
  • Disliked — Communication problems among hotel staff
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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1,198 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (461)
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English first
Uk/ India
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2007

Stayed at the Fort Aguada with my husband and 3 children. Booked into one of the Hermitage Cottages. Beautiful garden but the rest was terrible. Rs 26,000/night for a damp smelling, paint peeling experience. Bathroom grouting full of mould!. Horrible. Service provided by hotel though was remarkably good. They arranged birthday cake for my son that was even sent to the correct restaurant we were dining in. What a shame the property did not match up to the service. Apparently it is due for renovation and not a day too soon! Would not stay there again. Ate in local restaurants called Sweet Chili and another one called Curry House (or something similar) both excellent.

Stayed September 2007
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2007

First of all, I will say I do not really like India as a whole. Too much extreme poverty. However, I spend a couple weeks at a time there. Goa is very green and a decent place to spend the weekend if you're already in India. The ride from the airport takes about an hour. The hotel provides a bus service for free. Just tell them what flight number you're on. They will give you a cold towel and a bottle of water before departure. At first look at the hotel, we thought we made a mistake. However, I must say that our cottage won us over. It was beautiful. Just redone and without flaw. Note that only room 403 (ours) and the adjoining room are the only cottages with sea view. I think 403 was even better. For some reason the reservationist and the front desk people tried to talk us out of the cottages. They cost about $25 more per night than the sea view rooms. I guess they think it's not worth it. You are farther away from the beach but it's not like you're in Bora Bora.(the beach ain't that pretty) You're about 150 feet above the sea and set among deep tropical foliage. There is a gorgeous veranda with Portuguese tile off the room under a huge tree. We had our coffee here every morning and even had a lovely dinner delivered to it one night. We had Champagne delivered one evening at sunset. The bathroom is seperated from the room by a glass wall. From the tub (big enough for two) you can see out into the room and outside. Roses delivered to the room will help make for a lovely rose petal bath. Book early for a couples massage as we almost didn't get it. It was very good and only $100 for 1 hour. The breakfast was good but the ambience lacking. I prefer a lovely outdoot setting and it was mostly indoor. But the selection and service were good. The workout room was OK. They don't have much in the way of weights (free weights and a universal) This is fine for men, but women tend to like more machines. The pool is nothing to write home about. The one next door at Taj Holiday Village is much better. You can use it too. I have to say I wouldn't have liked the place too much if I hadn't had cottage 403. But because of that, we had a wonderful time and took a lot of pictures of the room and veranda. (always a sign of satisfaction)

Stayed October 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Seattle, USA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2007

This hotel is a poor choice is you are looking for that classic goan getaway and some relaxing times. We were at first disappointed by the fact that they don't have enough pool chairs to service even a minimal number of guests, and it took much prodding to get any service around the pool at all. Second at night they had some sort of corporate karaoke event that went until 3 or 4 AM in the morning, so sleep was not really an option. The dining there is actually pretty good...but i would not stay there again.

Stayed June 2006
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2007

The "sit-outs" (ground floor rooms) are just a small patio with iron table/chairs, separated from the next by low shrubs. Pleasant enough, but hardly private. However, it does mean you have easy access to the lovely shady communal gardens & loungers where we spent all our time. The "sea view" sit-out rooms are in 2 blocks to the right of the central foyer, and "garden view" rooms in 2 blocks to the left. All blocks face large gardens (though the sea view side lawn is a little smaller and less shady). In my opinion the sea-view is not worth the extra cash...Beware the gdn view rooms 136-140 are close to the car park & noisy & overlooked. To avoid.
The gardens are an oasis of peace to snooze all day.
We looked at the THVillage. Most of the rooms are set back in narrow walk-ways through the gardens,4 to a block (2 up, 2 down). It looked a little cramped, and the sit-out areas not that private.
Surprisingly most restaurants at FABR are A/C and indoor. We much preferred the stylish open air bar at the THV a few minutes walk down the beach, though as others remark : there are lovely comfortable beach bar/restaurants at a fraction of the price within 2 minutes walk.
Taj staff are all excellent, attentive, polite & efficient.

  • Liked — peaceful gardens
  • Disliked — limited privacy
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grenoble, France
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2007

We stayed at the Fort Aguada Beach Resort for 4 days at the end of February. This is a great place for couples traveling without kids. It’s even better if you do not intend to go outside the hotel property at night. This place has everything to keep you entertained for a few days. The food is great (5 restaurants), the people are nice and the view is fantastic.

You can either use the service of the hotel travel desk to organize daytrips or rent a scooter (very cheap) to explore the area.

This being said access to the beach is limited due to the water sport vendors clogging the beach in front of the hotel. Also some rooms are a bit too close to a parking where the local vendors parked their vehicles early in the morning.

I would definitely recommend this hotel for a short stay (4/5 days).

  • Liked — Location and restaurants
  • Disliked — Water sports vendor clogging the beach in front of the hotel
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2007

My husband and I stayed in the Hermitage section 17-24 Jan., in villa 502. We had just finished 9 nights of touring starting in Mumbai and than onto Kerala finishing with 1 week in Goa.

The resort was a lovely oasis after moving around so much. The grounds were gorgeous and well kept. The pool has a stunning view of the beach and ocean, the online pictures don't do it justice. We found the snack vendors to be an asset, it was great to walk out of the gate and get a Coke or an ice cream for next to nothing. If you want a larger pool area it's a 2 minute walk on the beach to the Taj Holiday Village, the pool is absolutely gorgeous, it even has a swim up bar. There is plenty of sun and shady areas. If you're really lazy and dont' want to walk you can always get a ride over. We divided our time up between the 2 pools and also spent a lot of time walking the beach.

I can't say I prefer the grounds of either resort, they both have a completely different flavor & feel, both are gorgeous. I chose the Fort Aguada resort because of the Hermitage section. Yes, it's up a very steep hill, but we never had to wait for a ride up, and it was a pleasant walk down. The villa we had was very comfortable and well kept, the bathroom was in need of an update, but I got used to that quickly and it was spotless.

We dined at both resorts and found the food to be excellent, it was so easy to charge everything to your room. We did go out and dine Goa and had great experiences.

The resort places a schedule of activities in your room every evening for the following day. We saw fire dancers, local dancers with a live band, and a magician, they were all entertaining and a nice touch in the evenings.

Overall I was very pleased and would return if I ever make it back to Goa.

Stayed January 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vivanta by Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa

Address: Dando, Candolim, Sinquerim 403515, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Goa > Sinquerim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sinquerim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa 5*
Number of rooms: 145
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vivanta by Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa is at its best. Romantic. Charming. Vibrant. It has history woven in its walls. It's where royalty, heads of government and the biggest celebrities are known to frequent. For the luxury Goa experience, which no other place has been able to recreate. Not much has changed. In the renewed rooms, cottages and villas, the nouvelle restaurants, the island bar, and the Jiva spa where you'll go Ah! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vivanta By Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa Hotel Sinquerim
Fort Aguada Beach Hotel
Fort Aguada Beach Sinquerim
Fort Aguada Beach Resort
Vivanta By Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa India

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