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.
- 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