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“Taj exotica means service.....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Taj Exotica Goa

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Taj Exotica Goa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calwaddo, Benaulim 403716, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 14 hotels in Benaulim
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Taj exotica means service.....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

I went there with my friend for 3 nights stay for weekend & I must say the staff here will spoil you. Nithin Nambiar met us on the entrance & he behaved as if he was waiting for us. He knew our names. He was so cordial & took 2 mins to hand over our keys. He was well informed about his job & did not fake anything. Then after checking our room(505) which was i would say little old fashioned but very comfortable, we head straight to restaurant. Both of us are very picky with our food, but the guy Rituraj was so very good in telling us about which dish we should have. He didnt showed one bit of line on his head, when we were gruelling him about menu items. He was such a nice man, he brought the food with smile & clean hands. Then just when we were about to leave , Rituraj asked us "Sir would you prefer anything special for your breakfast tomorrow". We were clean bowled by his hospitality. I would say families should come here & stay with their kids. Taj has competition with only hotels like "One & only, Ritz, four seasons". Exotica is a place to get pampered. They dont work like machines but more like humans. I had to rush back to delhi due to my son's sudden medical emergency, & the lady at reception didnt asked a single question, but she arranged Taxi in a minutes time and enquired with airlines while i was in route to airport.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (379)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

The resort is huge . Very quiet as it has lower ratio of rooms and villas in comparison to the area of the resort. Very quiet , everyone had their privacy . May be this is one of the reasons the celebrities choose to stay here . We spotted many celebs during our stay .
Anyways the villas are spacious but old . The resort needs to upgrade n renovate the rooms to modern standards .
The service is a little slack and slow . We felt the slow service in the restaurants as well as Room service . Food is good . The management try's their best to make you feel special . But the serving staff fails to keep up with the managerial staff in their endevour and try to only focus on the celebrity guests around .
They have 2 Spas . We tried the Jiva spa- was small but very efficient .
Check in front desk was also slow as well as check out at front desk .
The resort has many intersting activities , but the activity centre staff is not very interested . The children's area was very well equipped and efficient.
We checked in taj exotica after 3 nights at the park hyatt and could feel the difference between the two resorts . The staff at park hyatt was young and full of energy even the rooms were more modern . Although park hyatt lacked the privacy and quietness of the taj exotica .
The pool at taj exotica was one third the size of the pool at park hyatt. The beach at park hyatt was cleaner and quieter .

A very good experience and will definitely visit again .

Room Tip: Choose for the pool villas .
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Have stayed at the Taj Exotica thrice, in 2005, 2011 and 2012. One always expects a certain kind of service level while staying at any of the Taj properties and usually the expectations are met. However at the Exotica the service level goes up several notches higher. Its a superb property and extremely well maintained - great surroundings/lawns (which is quite an achievement given that its a 53 acre property!), very nice restaurants and hugely spacious/well designed rooms. However its the service, as rendered by the people running it on the ground, that makes the difference. Everyone from the front desk folks, to the duty managers, to the servers/chefs, to the people managing the amenities (kids room, gym, pool, library etc) have a high degree of 'customer first' culture imbibed within them, which makes this place what it is. Lastly, the food here is awesome - thanks to the chefs who run the various restaurants i.e. Arcanjo (Mediterranean cuisine at its best, you can trust chef Ashish to whip up anything of your choice), Li Bai (a supremely delightful Chinese restaurant), Lobster Shack (great seafood place right at the beach side) and Eugenia (the coffee shop/all day restaurant - the breakfast spread is very lavish and caters equally to Indian/non-Indian palates). Suggestions/complaints - need to have better maintained bicycles, really couldn't enjoy doing rounds on the track that meanders through the entire resort. This is just a minor quibble on an otherwise fantastic hotel. The best in Goa amongst all the premium properties!!

Room Tip: Opt for the villas closer to the pool, helps reduce the travel time to the pool/restaurants which ca...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

We enjoyed five nights at the Taj Exotica. Secured an incredible value deal on Expedia (tip, often seems to have crazy bargains on Taj hotels). The main building in the hotel is beautifully designed, and the rooms very spacious and all have terrific views of the enormous grounds, and then the sea. Food was by and large very good. There is a terrific, very hard working, team who serve food and drink at the pool all day and the food in the Goan restaurant is very good too. Strangely in the evenings almost all the restaurants are very empty (perhaps lots of guests eating in villas eat in their rooms) so the restaurants can be a little devoid of atmosphere in the evenings. This encouraged us to walk down the beach to Joncy's which has much more life (and can be incredible value). The only low of our stay was one dinner at the Taj's beachfront shack which was newly reopened and had some major teething problems; but then the manager took that meal off our bill,so very ably handled.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Newcastle/Liverpool, England
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

Marian (my wife) and I visited for a holiday with Alan and Jan (our closest friends) last week. We arrived in the small hours and the entrance via security gates, then a sweeping ramp up to a grand entrance was very impressive. Upon entering the lobby we were shown to some couches whilst our baggage was unloaded from the coach and taken away.
Our greeter produced cool towels to refresh ourselves with whilst a gracious lady took care of our check-in, changed some money for us and got us some cold drinks (on the house). Then we were whisked away on electric golf type buggies to our rooms.
The rooms were fresh and spacious and our driver showed us the facilities and made us feel at home. Their beds are huge..at least 6ft wide and very comfortable.
Next morning we spent a while exploring the extensive and beautifully kept grounds, which included a golf course and a pitch and putt course. Breakfast was taken on a verandah with sailcloth shade..service was excellent.
That evening we went to the Lobster Shack, a seafood restaurant within the grounds and next to the beach. The food was so good and the service so impeccable we revisited a further twice during our weeks stay.
We would like to particularly mention Rohit (Lobster Shack Manager) and Mayson (fantastic waiter and a memorable laugh) for looking after us so well. There's a bar done out in the style of a gentleman's club, run by a great guy called Vellington, who put up with a lot of leg-pulling and joking by us and smiled throughout, never giving anything but superb service.
This hotel is built on a no expenses spared, huge scale, and has the feel of James Bond film. You truly feel special, privileged and cossetted as a guest here.
No hotel is perfect, and there were a couple of small niggles: we had to request buggies several times with ladies who struggled with our regional English accents, and none arrived. There were too many people ringing the bell with notes, deliveries and request to turn the beds down etc. Finally, on several occasions we requested wines from the list which weren't available.
Despite the small niggles though, you really will enjoy your stay here. It's expensive but worth every penny. One of very few hotels worldwide we all agreed we would make a return visit to.

Room Tip: Ground floor where possible
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

My wife and I am world travelers.
Hotels are very subjective to people's experiences and in comparison to the hotels from all over the world, Taj exotica is Okay but it's not excellent deserving highest ratings.
Perhaps in comparison to hotel in India, it's arguable for a 5 star rating but it's grounds/landscaping, the service level and attention to detail isn't up to par with other great hotels of the world.
For example: A good Four Seasons will prepare your lounge chair, clean your sun glasses, spray you with Evian, bring you cold towels, bring you skewers of fruit, ensure you have cold chilled water in a glass all complements of the hotel. They will carry a name chart and after announcing your room number, they will call you "Mr. last_name is there anything we can do for you?"
Did anything like this happen at the Taj? NO
This is just a small example at pool side or beach side.

The grounds/landscaping, service level at Taj Exotica is about the level of a Sandals all inclusive resort at St. Lucia. NOT NEAR the best hotels in the world.

On top of this the hotel over sells pre-arrival packages.
My wife and I booked the Cultural Carnivals package which includes a "Chef's Table - A Special Dinner With Authentic Local Cuisine" This turned out to be nothing more than a meal plan dinner at the Goan restaurant. We checked with the management to make sure there was no misunderstanding and sure enough according to Taj management the "Chef's Table - Special Dinner" is nothing more than meal plan dinner. (The meal plan excludes most of the best food unless you pay an extra fee.) The chef did come out to great us and make recommendations but the most she did was tell us we couldn't order any of the seafood entree.

We tried to find out if we need to pre-book excursions prior to the trip and the reservation desk with Taj could not answer that. It turns out you can book many excursions after arrival. (Booking must be done before Noon on previous day of your excursion.)

The full day excusion with the cultural carnivals included a personal guide and a driver in a newer toyota vehicle. The guide (A third party) was excellent. Full of knowledge, experienced and very well spoken. He tailored the excursion to our needs and desires, made sure we did not consume foods that might harm us, made sure our shoe were not "taken" and ensured our safety.

All the restaurants are very good but the lobster shack is excellent. They will prepare your sea food any way you want it and they cook it expertly. You can get a whole fish grilled on a stick if you like. The ambience with waves and the cool breeze from the ocean while dinning on your lobster (shoe-less if you like on the grass) has no equal... Well I suppose shoe-less on the sand would be a touch better. Only gripe about the lobster shack is that the lobsters were kinda small. The spiny lobsters have to be a certain size for you to pick the meat around the legs.

The diwali dinner and entertainment was very entertaining. Watching Goans playing hanukkah on the fiddle in India was something one would never expect. (It was so weird it's going on youtube soon!)

The private plunge pool is nice novelty if you've never owned a pool but none of the pools are "private" enough. It's more like a personal pool, not a private pool. It's also not heated.

In conclusion, Taj Exotica is a nice place but they over sell their brand. They certainly do not "strive to excel and surpass guest's expectations at ever interaction" and they certainly do not "pride ourselves as being World Class."
It's all up sell like the "Chef's Table" being nothing more than meal plan dinner. (confirmed by Taj's assistant Restaurant manager.)

They make a lot of excuses, give canned responses and it's all for show. No meat in that nut.
Go with this expectation and I'm sure you'll have a good time. But I can't recommend the place to friends nor will I be returning.
Other hotel brands are monetarily more expensive but are better value for the money because the service level is so awe inspiring and ground so immaculate you remember the vacation forever.
Now if you look at it under Indian standard... throw my review out the window.
It's pretty much the best you're going to get in India.

Room Tip: There is construction going on for new hotel south of Taj. Like most of India, construction can go o...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

This a great hotel in a great location and through no fault of the hotel has become a victim of local politics, which I hasten to add is not unusual of Goan Tourism.
It has been brought to my attention that only 5 yes 5 sun beds are allowed on the beach and this also applies to each shack. With at least 100,000 people expected to visit Goa this coming season I am at a loss to understand why this has been passed by local government and POLICE...
The hotel is set in beautiful grounds with amenities great for India.... PLEASE GOAN TOURISM sought this problem before it effects well needed capital being spent at other world wide destinations who will be welcomed with open arms especially during this world wide recession.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taj Exotica Goa

Address: Calwaddo, Benaulim 403716, India
Location: India > Goa > Benaulim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Benaulim
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Benaulim
#1 Romantic Hotel in Benaulim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Taj Exotica Goa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the south coast of Goa on the Benaulim beach, a mere 27km from the airport, this 56 acre 140 room resort has a 700 meter beach frontage and lovely views of the sea. With 3 specialty restaurants, a beach front season seafood shack, a 24 hour coffee shop, 2 bars, 2 spas and a seasonal outdoor spa pavilion, this resort is a popular haunt for the international as well as domestic travelers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Taj Exotica Goa Benaulim
Taj Exotica Hotel Goa
Taj Exotica Goa Hotel Benaulim

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