We got a really cheap deal from Teletext Holidays (online) £450 each from flights with Thomas Cook (way, way better than Monarch!! miles more leg room in cheap seats!! - but ask for meals and extra baggage allowance at the time of booking as it's much more expensive later on) and 15 nights B&B. Having been to Goa twice before, it was a change that the baggage handlers are no longer allowed inside the airport, but are gagging to carry your bags (for a small fee - they like £1 coins - alot of money in Goa - and although I say no - they actually have to PAY to work there and earn their money back - so dont begrudge it if you do use them)...
Arrived at about 6am and stayed up for a change (have to say it really helped to get used to the time difference as I usually give in and go to bed). You are about a 5 min walk from Sinquerim Beach (turn left out of Don Hilll and take the footpath just after the Kingfisher). The quieter and less-equiptped shacks are down this end of the beach, lovely walk (if a bit scary due to rocks!) to Fort Aguada and the lighthouse to the left up the hillside and right up to the fort...or turn right towards the ship and Candolim Beach. Due to the Mumbai bombings, there were less tourists this year, and we found a shack where we were mainly alone (joy for us, but felt bad for the Goan shack owners).
To walk to Candolim by road takes about 20 minutes, but expect to be asked if you want a taxi/tuc tuc or have a look in the Kashmiri shops along the way! A tuc tuc should cost about 60 rupees (they HAVE gone up in price) but dont be scared to haggle, or walk away if too much. The bus to Calangute (to the fantastic Tibetan silver and crafts market) is 5 rupees. (And I even got an eye level experience with a passing elephant!).
Turn right out of the hotel to the Tuscany Gardens - really lovely authentic Italian restaurant - quite pricey, but good for a treat!. try Chocolati for a late breakfast/afternoon snack - left out of Don Hill..walk about 10 mins or so...it's on the left...amazing muffins, waffles etc in gorgeous gardens, good music (Zero 7, Massive Attack type stuff) and polite but chilled-out Tibetan staff.
The food at Don Hill is really nice, we got given two 350 rupee food vouchers on arrival and used them. Unfortunately we didnt eat there more as the entertainment wasnt our kind of thing (the usual Goan singer playing old English music), but I felt bad for them as they really did make loads of effort. The staff could be a bit over-friendly at times, if you just wanted to chill out as a couple, but that's alot better than being miserable!! Overall, I thought the staff were good, especially the room cleaners who kept the place spick and span and were extreemely polite and friendly. The manager was a bit annoying as he just talked about himself the only time we got into conversation with him!! We had a leaky sink which took 5 days to get fixed, but not a big deal really. I also heard other people had their cuppa pinched by monkeys in the afternoon - but I didnt see them!! (we are out most of the time anyway!). We hired a fridge and safety deposit box for a small fee.
Breakfast is toast and tea/coffee, and I asked for honey as Indian jam isnt very nice. I was happy with this and timings are 8 - 11 which is great if you like a sleep in!
I would recommend Don Hill as a budget accomodation. Basic, outdated but clean and friendly. Good if you like it quitet (no road traffic noise and away from the busier part of Candolim).
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- Also Known As:
- Don Hill Beach Hotel Candolim
- Don Hill Beach Resort Goa/Candolim