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“Poor Start, Strong Finish”
Review of The Mandala

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The Mandala
Ranked #2 of 24 Mandrem B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 13, 2014

My parents, visiting India for the first time, and I, a resident of Mumbai booked the Mandala based on the beautiful website and promise for relaxation. Having been to Goa a dozen times, I was anxious to try a new place in North Goa.

Anj was very helpful, via email, answering all of our questions prior to arrival and arranged airport pick up for us as well. Upon arrival, we were shown to our Nomadic Villa and were immediately put off as it looked nothing like the photographs or description on Booking.com. Run down, damp, prominent spider webs, cracking plaster floors, moldy pillow, bird poop on the mosquito net, dark corners, no mesh on the outer wall window, toilet that didn't flush, shower that didn't work, and rickety stairs to reach the top floor that creaked loudly. My mom and I had an eerie feeling about the place and rearranged the furniture to allow for restful sleep. Staying alone in "the basement" was a bit unsettling as I didn't feel safe. We were already considering bailing 20 minutes into our stay.

We toughed it out for a night, but were not rested and very unhappy with the accommodation. My father was beginning to fall ill and my mother and I weren't willing to stay in the place for the amount of money we were paying. My dad went to complain to Anj and Andrew and explained to them that for the money we were paying this place was dirty, unsafe, and totally unacceptable. At first, they were a little defensive and said that it's peak season and it's not for everyone, but when we pushed a little harder, they somewhat reluctantly to move us to a different room. Third floor of the permanent structure. WOW! What an amazing difference.

Windows on all sides, lock on the outside door, private terrace with lounge and swing overlooking Ganesh statue and lake, proper bed, clean and functioning bathroom, kettle and tea, desk, cool mirror and lights, Moroccan lamps, and a surprise visit from the cutest puppy in Asia, Momo. Our stay was instantly transformed.

As my father's health was quickly declining, the kitchen staff: Amit and Manoj made and delivered fresh soup, ginger tea, and anything else my father needed to be comfortable. Anj and Andrew were very accommodating providing extra pillows, calling taxis, asking what we needed, and organizing the staff to take care of my dad. They even went so far as to arrange a private car to take us to hospital on the Saturday night.

What a turn of fate. With the room switch, and the care and attention they gave us, we are very grateful to have stayed here. The grounds are stunning, the kitchen staff is gifted (seafood noodles made to order, fresh ginger tea, prawn soup, etc. They are diamonds in the rough.), and the house dogs made our stay at the Mandala very pleasant.

We are grateful for the care and attention given to us by Anj, Andrew, Amit, Manoj, Zen, Masala, and Momo. Make certain that you are ok with rustic before you book a Nomadic Villa, it wasn't our thing, but it may be yours. Our ratings are based on the tower room experience and not the Villas experience (terrible on all accounts).

Room Tip: Book the permanent structure.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Andrea J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 - 99 of 138 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

NIGHTMARE - Overrated- Expensive for what it is


The website looks very appealing, and is really well done , but reality is far from it ... I really want to give a objective feedback . First of all the person handling the bookings Anjelika was very proffesional and replied to the emails swiftly , giving us all the information, Upon arrival though she totally ignored us , but we were very well received by Andrew who is very helpful and nice . He showed us our Yantra tent , we were taken aback as it didn't look quite as nice as shown on their website .
A short Impression on the Yantra tent :

The accommodation is beyond basic , I would not mind paying 50€ if it was worth it but this was a total rip off , the bed if you can call it a bed was rock hard and the sheets were flimsy and had a weird smell .... We arrived in the evening and first thing we heard was a couple having loud sex somewhere in a tent closeby ... There is absolutely no privacy , the door does not even close from the inside and you don't really feel safe as it really open and lots of gaps everywhere .
There is NO mosquito net , needless to say the night was a disaster with non stop mosquito attacks , I tried putting the ventilator on to get a break but that was not an option either as it was so cold and the sheets too flimsy .... It was very loud around us plus the dogs were barking NON stop very loudly at some point I even had the impression they were IN the tent .... We barely slept as it was extremely uncomfortable , I can only speak on behalf of the Yantra tent I have my seen any other one , maybe they have proper matrasses ....?

The dinner / Food

The young man working at the restaurant was incredibly sweet , I was exited as I read many reviews praising the good cuisine .

The food was well presented although it took a very long time to get served , them big deception .... Both our plates were really not good ! Mine had no salt at all and my husband was over salted ..
. The price was really expensive for what we got , we could have had 3 great meals at another local restaurant for the same price .

We were supposed to stay one week but we fled after the first night , having had such a horrendous experience ...

A real disappointment , I honestly cannot reccomend this place to anyone , it's really a shame as they could have made it much better if they had more attention to detail , and would not take people for idiots paying such a high price for sow thing underrated ,

Next time always check out the place first with your own eyes before booking and do not Pay anything ahead ( they do pressure you to make the payment before ) because you will be stuck and NOT refunded !!!


The bathrooms showers is another story .... They are communal and outside ... Gaps everywhere , when I took a shower no hot water ..... Dreadful , not really nice if you have to get up in the middle of the night paddling trough the wet muddy grass to get there ....

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
5  Thank Ganesh2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

My friend and I just had the perfect holiday at the Mandala. We spent 11 nights in the Pandomandala room which is truly a gem ! With its 360 degree view over the jungle, one feels free and light !!! To begin with, Anjalika was extremely helpful helping me doing the booking while Andrew truly made us feel welcome upon arrival. To our pleasant surprise, Angus, the owner, prepared us a mouth-watering vegan buffet every night while Matthieu, a French volunteer at the Mandala, prepared us a delectable desert nightly. I'm talking about homemade melon gelato in a baby melon accompanied by a warm tasty strawberry coulis. BLISS !!! We ate there every night, we just couldn't resist ! The Mandala is the perfect haven to unwind with its friendly dogs, beautiful and artsy environment, a quiet beach nearby, not to forget the dome where performers come to share their talents. So much love has been poured in by the owner to create the Mandala that one feels it right upon arrival. Also, the four volunteers that were working there treated us as a queen and a king. They truly delivered a great service and made our stay a blissful one. We spent a memorable NYE with them which we will remember forever ! Thank you Mandala team for your human and ethereal dimension. May 2014 bring shanti shanti world travellers your way *** Thank you for such a magical time, we love you !!! Selena and Jérôme xx

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Selenasalsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

My step-daughter booked to stay at The Mandala. She was traveling alone, so I was a little concerned. I wrote to the hotel about currency to use, etc. Anjalika wrote back and was very helpful and considerate. I felt a lot better about Morgan spending two weeks in India, on her own. I then planned for a welcome pack, so that she'd have something to enjoy, on her arrival. Anjalika was amazing, and really went out of her way to help, including sending me photos of the items to be included. Morgan arrived, got the pack and texted me straight away. She was 'blown away'. So, although I have never been to The Mandala, I know the service is extraordinary.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank AngusMcBain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2013

Stayed here recently in between a trip around Dehli, Agra and Jaipur before heading to a wedding in Hyderabad. The tasty and healthy food as well as the beautifully serene natural setting was the perfect remedy to the stress and sickness often brought about by indulging too heavily while in India's big cities (though the mattresses were interesting).
It was a really nice touch to have the owner Angus prepare our dinner on our first night along with some delicious juices. Andrew was really helpful in making some suggestions for places do go and eat in the area, each one turned out to be fantastic. He even sorted out our transport arrangements with each one. Anjelica led us through an invigorating yoga session right next to the Ganesh statue while the Kingfishers and other birds chirped along.
It was good to get in just before peak season to avoid the crowds but it also meant that some of the facilities were in need of some general maintenance and others were under construction and unavailable, mainly the yoga dome and kayaks. This place has lots on offer so it you want to experience it all, wait til late December or January when the rest of Goa wakes up as well. But for some private space, real serenity and perfect weather, early December was perfect.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LloydThom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We were lucky enough to stay at the Mandala a few weeks ago, and had a great time! It was great getting to know Angus, Andrew, Anjelika, and the rest of the staff! It was early-season so we felt as though we had the place to ourselves, and we were definitely spoiled! We immediately felt so welcomed and the Mandala truly exceed our expectations. We stayed in the Panomandela suite, which was absolutely beautiful.
Our favorite part was enjoying a peaceful breakfast in the garden each morning. We would love to come back when the Mandala is in full swing.

We were also introduced to Tuborg beer at the Mandala!

Thanks to the entire staff, what a unique and special place.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Panomandala suite - excellent.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Christie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2013

Mandala was without doubt the best place i've ever stayed. A combination of the location which seems to be in the middle of vibrant nature, a staff of employees and volunteers who are just simply great and, of course, the stunning visuals. At the mandala, you have a feeling of absolute serenity- and the joy that follows. Thank you so much for a wonderful stay.
-Sebastian

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank Tonsven93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Mandala

Address: Mandrem-Ashvem Road | 100mts From Mandrem Church, Mandrem 403512, India
Location: India > Goa > North Goa District > Mandrem
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 24 B&Bs / Inns in Mandrem
Price Range: $31 - $106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Mandala 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mandala resort is a unique destination created by artists & designers from around the globe, where comfort meets nature in harmony and laid back atmosphere and serenity are a priority.The concept of the Mandala is to provide a serene and peaceful destination in lush Goan nature where inspiration is in abundance. It is a haven for the open minded traveller looking for something out of the ordinary.There are five double-storey "Nomadic mansions" which sleep up to four people and seven beautifully designed tents suitable for one or two, all of which have been created with attention to detail and a sense of originality.The emphasis is on integrating with the natural surroundings, leaving your worries at the gate and generally feeling at peace.The word Mandala means the unity of all things in harmony within a space, so whether one chooses to participate in yoga courses, kayak down the river, relax on the veranda enjoying the view, watch the numerous species of birds circling the lake or sampling our healthy menu in the Mandala Restaurant….As said in Hindi...Sub kuch milega! (everything is possible) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Mandala Mandrem, Goa

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