We last stayed at the whispering palms seven years ago. Since then, it has undergone and indeed is still undergoing a refurbishment. This has resulted in certain facilities that are still being advertised being removed. There is no Jacuzzi, coffee shop, beauty salon, cycle hire, beach activities, the list goes on. Whilst we were there, there was no pool bar, Al la Carte Indian Restaurant or Spa. All were still under construction. Apart from one day, there was no day time activities. On that one day we were offered the opportunity of “ hunting the marble” in the pool. We were so overcome with excitement until we were told that the “management had lost the marble”. You could not make that up.
The rooms have been upgraded to a reasonable standard with built in flat screen TV's, electronic safe and plenty of power outlets (2 pin). We stayed at this hotel from 9th November. As it turned out, this was a BIG MISTAKE. Unknown to us, we had chosen to stay at the same time as the local people celebrated Diwali. This resulted in the hotel being absolutely full of local families. Why does this matter you may ask? There are 106 rooms at this hotel with around 110 seats in the restaurant. There were we were told, some 192 guests in the hotel, do the maths yourself. The management did nothing to plan for this sort of occupancy. No extra tables, even though space is available, no extra staff, resulting in filthy tables being left unclean. Supervisory staff instead of doing some work, simply stood around looking less than ornamental, directing overworked waiters to carry out non important tasks which resulted in more chaos. The pool had during our first week, just 39 sun loungers around it so they were at a premium. During our second week, more brand new sun loungers arrived. However, the hotel manager is so inept, he instructed his staff to remove the old loungers and scatter them around the grassy areas outside the accommodation blocks. This resulted in not 39 loungers around the pool but only 37. There were only 7 parasols to go around. Not a problem if you don't mind baking in the sun, but a big one if you don't. Should you wish to use the loungers outside the blocks, you do not have waiter services for drinks etc. Again, this manger seems incapable of realising that he needs more than one waiter if he is to provide the service that guests expect. In the evening there were only 2 waiters providing outside bar service. They worked extremely hard but were unable to keep up with demand. Again, supervisors just stood and watched. Room service was also over stretched. On one occasion, our room was not cleaned nor the bed made at all. On most days, the room was not cleaned until very late in the afternoon which meant if you wanted to return to your room before 5.00pm you could expect to be disturbed by the cleaner. Again, not enough staff.
The food was very repetitive with hardly any European options. If you do not enjoy spicy food, you will eat out regularly as did many guests. I would recommend the Mermaid restaurant 30 yards from the hotel gate and the Horizon grill at the top of the street. Both offer good food at cheap prices. Expect to pay around £8 to £10 per person for a three course meal including drinks. One final point, if you are travelling as a threesome, avoid this hotel like the plague. Tour operators advertise this hotel as having rooms with beds for three. Two sets of fellow travellers (threesomes) found that the third bed was in fact either a sofa as in one case or a camp bed as in the other case. As usual, there was absolutely no assistance for them from the hotel management. The Cosmos rep was as much use as a chocolate teapot in solving their problems. In fact he was so useless, he did not even realise that there was not even a Cosmos notice board until we pointed this out to him.
In short, when the hotel is finished its upgrade it might be passable providing the owners employ a much more hands on manager who does not spend all day in his underground bunker, sorry, administration centre and instead talks to his guests. If you wish to travel to this hotel in November, check on the date of Diwali and avoid that week.
Verdict, Rooms comfortable for couples, staff, brilliant, management, abysmal.
Will we be returning to the Whispering Palms, NO WAY!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Whispering Palms’ unique feature is its location. It is just a minute’s walk or 175 meters from the well-known Sinquerim Beach situated in a very peaceful and serene surrounding. This often-described “Island onto itself” all-inclusive resort comprises of 106 well-appointed, air-conditioned accommodation units with en suite facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Whispering Palms Beach Hotel Candolim
- Whispering Palms Beach Candolim
- Whispering Palms Goa
- Whispering Palms Beach Resort Candolim
- Whispering Palms Beach Resort Goa/Candolim