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“What a mess”
Review of Alila Diwa Goa

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Alila Diwa Goa
Ranked #2 of 39 Hotels in Salcette
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Seriously. A mess. A beautiful property nearly ruined by some truly inexplicable service and business decisions.

Unfortunately, our very first impressions set the tone for what would turn out to be a very strange resort experience.

Upon arrival in Goa, we had arranged to be met by a car and driver from the hotel. We exit the terminal, and survey the sea of drivers holding signs – but no sign with our name, no sign with the Alila Diwa logo. My husband walks around a bit trying to find someone. No luck. He heads back into the terminal to try to find help, where he finds a very nice guy who manages to track down a rep from the hotel. He searches for our name on the list of the day’s expected arrivals. Nothing. He pulls out a cell phone and calls the hotel, and has a long conversation with someone else who had never heard of us either, despite the fact that I had booked this stay months in advance and was holding in my hand a hard copy of our reservation complete with confirmation number. Nope. No idea who we are. At this point my husband and I were both fuming. (As it happens, I had also come down with a sinus infection and was feeling awful, so this was not helping.) He hands the cell phone to my husband, who gets nowhere, but they do finally agree to pay for a cab to take us to the hotel – still no promise of a room, but at least we will be able to negotiate with someone face-to-face.

We arrive at the hotel, and naturally we are loaded for bear – but as soon as we get out of the car a manager comes over saying everything was figured out and they have our room and here's some juice! All is well! OK! Great....except...What is that crazy LOUD music? "Oh! That's a wedding!” he explains. “They're having a pool party so it will be like this for the next few hours...You won't hear it by your room though!"

Ummmm...Not exactly the “peace and quiet” we had been looking for, but if we can't hear it near our room in the Diwa Wing....

We arrive at our room. It is a beautiful suite – large, comfortable, tastefully decorated. It’s in the Diwa Wing, which is about a five minute walk from the main part of the hotel, but we can still hear the music! We are lucky enough to have stayed in many resorts around the world, of many different levels of service and price range. If you travel enough, it is inevitable that occasionally you will stay at a resort that has a wedding or other event taking place. We’re pretty easy going people – really! We are! We can make allowances! But we have never, ever, experienced this level of noise and disruption. We would later learn after talking to several members of the staff that this hotel is a HUGE wedding destination. Which is fine, but NOT at the expense of the
enjoyment of other guests – especially when you market yourself as a “serene resort” where you can enjoy “an intimate couple’s retreat” where “relaxation reigns”. We couldn't even sit and read at the Diwa Wing pool. It was that loud. Not cool, Alila Diwa. (And, it could have been much worse. As it turned out, this was just a party - the actual wedding ceremonies and banquet were taking place somewhere else.)

Now, as to the service… Perhaps the kindest way to describe nearly every interaction with a staff member would be “Well meaning, but awkward”. After we checked in, we were puzzled to find that the room had almost none of the amenities you would expect. No shower gel, no body cream, no hand soap for the sink by the toilet - you know, the standard stuff you find in hotel rooms marketing themselves in the “luxury” category! We asked for some extra soap 3 times before any were delivered. To their credit, they did finally apologize, and from then on the housekeeper made a point of creating some genuinely cute towel animals each night, which was nice.

In the restaurants, the servers all seemed very nervous and unsure of the fundamentals of their jobs. If you asked for coffee when sitting down for breakfast, it wouldn't come until the end of the meal. If you wanted to find a waiter, even though the restaurant was nearly empty, it would feel like a real-life game of “Where’s Waldo?”

Breakfast in the Diwa Wing's Bistro could be OK, but our advice: Stick to eggs. Pancakes were like glue and, when my husband made the mistake of ordering the crepes, they arrived raw – perhaps no one had ever actually ordered them before, and the cook was unaware that they were supposed to be cooked? Who knows, but Yuck! On the other hand, the one night we had dinner in the Bistro, the food was quite nice and the friendly executive chef a joy to chat with.

Dinner in the Spice Studio was also very good and the lovely manager was helpful with giving advice on unusual menu choices and such. We also enjoyed the house made pickles (the garlic!!) and mini lesson on Indian spices!

On the other hand, the resort’s approach to room service was beyond peculiar. We wanted to order some of that tasty Indian food to our room for dinner one night, but there was no menu in the room. So we asked for menus at the front desk – and it was like pulling teeth. After several attempts, miscommunications, and negotiations, we finally figured out that since we were staying in the Diwa Wing part of the hotel, we could only have food from the Bistro menu delivered to our room. Huh? At times, it felt like the Diwa Wing was being operated as a separate property from the rest of the resort.

Although the resort itself is well taken care of, and the grounds are lovely, we found the decor of the room a bit sterile. The vast white walls screamed out for some art; the illuminated nooks were obviously meant to hold flowers or sculptures or something – but were empty. Both pools are beautiful, but the annoying pop music coming from the bar made it nearly impossible to truly relax or read when using the pool by the main part of the hotel. Why spoil this gorgeous view of rice patties and water buffalo and palm trees by blasting "Man In The Mirror" 3 times in the span of an hour? (And no, that is not a joke: we counted.)

We enjoyed the walk to the beach, past lovely homes, small farms, and friendly stray dogs. (Watch for the cow patties!) The beach is spectacular. The shack on the left once you get past the entrance to the beach has comfy loungers, cold beer, and the owners are very friendly and fun to chat with. The water was calm and warm during our visit. Perfect for swimming.

But, back to the resort and its unrelenting oddness: We arranged for a car to the airport days in advance of our checkout, and reconfirmed it numerous times with numerous people (hey, we were a little paranoid after the arrival debacle!). Upon checkout, while waiting an alarmingly long time for the car to arrive, we were handed a blank piece of paper and asked to "Write about all the things we liked about the resort - and mention names.” The staff wanted us to review them while waiting for our car to the airport, and WHILE THEY WATCHED! We were dumbstruck. We would understand if they encouraged guests to put reviews here on Tripadvisor, or give us a survey to fill out later. But don't put people on the spot like that!!!! It was incredibly uncomfortable and awkward – but in some strange way, perhaps it was the most fitting end to a very peculiar 5 days.

The Alila Diwa really needs to decide if it's a wedding/banquet facility with rooms on premise, or a hotel that markets itself to independent travelers. It doesn't seem able to do both. My husband put it this way: "This hotel is like a Stradivarius violin in the hands of a very untalented 6 year old". Beautifully designed, but played terribly. What a missed opportunity.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank DianeDowntown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikram_A_Singh, General Manager at Alila Diwa Goa, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

Dear Guest,
It was disappointing to read your comments about your recent stay at Alila Diwa Goa. On behalf of the team I apologize for failing to provide you with an enjoyable stay at our resort. I have noted the issues you have highlighted and will ensure that they are addressed as soon as possible. Thanks again for your feedback, it is valuable to us in ensuring we do not overlook the finer details.
Best wishes,
Vikram

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 24, 2013

we stayed at alila diwa for 4 nights.. the purpose of the vacation was relaxing and our stay at alila diwa turned out to be exactly that.. we spent the entire time at the hotel, except going to the nearby beach for an hour on a day, and didn't mind it at all.. the food at the restaurants is very good.. the indoor games facility is also great keeping in mind people who want to spend time at the hotel only.. the area around the pool is quite nice to just hang out in the evening.. and the service is also quite good.. rooms are very spacious and have a balcony.. all in all if we again come to goa with a purpose of just relaxing, we won't mind staying at this secluded property far from the noise..

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank himanshu9us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikram_A_Singh, General Manager at Alila Diwa Goa, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

Dear Guest,
We would like to thank you for taking the time to write about your experience with us. Good to know you had a wonderful stay and also enjoyed our amenities on offer. We hope to have the pleasure of serving you again.
Best regards,
Vikram

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed at the same time last year for two weeks even though we don't tend to stay in the same place twice preferring to be a bit more adventurous, but because we enjoyed it so much last year we decided to return. After a busy year we needed somewhere to just relax and we knew that's exactly what we would get here. As last year, we stayed in the Diwa Wing and again we were not disappointed. If you want a bit more privacy and peace and quiet then its probably worth upgrading. Sitting in the morning sun in The Bistro overlooking the private pool, being served fresh fruit and a delish array of all sorts of food is the height of decadence. Returning to the pool just after sunset, enjoying a swim in the normally empty pool and then sipping a cocktail and listening to the crickets is just amazing. On arrival we were taken directly to the Diwa Wing reception to check in - all very quick and no hassles whatsoever. We had requested a room on the third floor and thats what we got. The staff are so friendly and helpful and a couple of special mentions to the two pool boys and also to Dhaivat who was extremely polite and friendly from the moment we checked into the hotel until we left. If you are looking for a quiet relaxing break this is definately the place to be. We ate in The Spice and also The Bistro, the food in both was fantastic. Outside restaurants, The Taj Pentagon - a 15 min walk or you can get a cab - The Fishka, right outside the hotel and of course Martin's, 5 mins walk, to be honest the food was good, but all quite the same and I don't really get all the hype about Martins (sorry to you fans out there). We ate in the beach shacks a couple of times - The Blue Wave and The Aquarium, both cheap and cheerful, also we had a couple of lunches and a few meals in Zeebop which during the day is further along the beach about 15 mins walk but a bit too far to walk at night, a cab for about 250 rupees, its definately worth a visit, the food is fantasastic and the cleanliness impeccable, they actually brush the sand as soon as someone leaves, and spray and wipe all the tables clean. Table a trip into Colva of an evening, Liddo's is a nice restaurant and has entertainment Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun. Or go a bit further afield into Cavossalim. Hire a couple of bikes and get lost, we never felt unsafe.

Yes the hotel is not on the beach, but that didn't bother us, we never used the hotel bus to the beach, preferring to walk there and back - well after all that lovely food, we need some exercise, its only about 10 mins, when you get onto the beach, turn right thats where the best shacks are and there are plenty of beds to be had no matter what time of day you go.

For the first week of the holiday it was mostly Russians in the hotel with children, so the peace was a bit shattered during the day around the private pool, also they tended to put towels on the sunbeds around the pool early in the morning. That needs to be stopped by the hotel as it kind of takes a bit of the shine off, but the second week it was quiet again, mostly Indian tourists and a few British, no-one felt the need to put a reservation on their bed. I am not sure if you could get a bed at the main pool cause we only ever visited it later in the afternoon. If you come off the beach before sunset, you get a better view of the sunset from the main pool, looking over the paddy fields.


Having said all of that there are a few very small negatives on the hotel:-

The towels were a bit hard and worn, although perfectly cleaned
A couple of inconsistencies, some nights they left cakes with the turn down, some nights they didn't - not a big deal and we never mentioned it, it became a private joke, before we opened the door at night we would guess "cakes or not cakes".

Some days the toiletteries got renewed, some days they didn't but a call to housekeeping resulted in replenishment in a very short time.

Some mornings no newspaper, again, no big deal.

One of the biggest gripes is probably the internet connection - it is pretty awful. We were going to book flights to Delhi, but getting a bit frustrated with the connection we decided not to raise the stress levels and didn't bother, however, last year, we had the same issue when we arranged a trip to Mumbai, but reception booked it all for us, so if we really had wanted to go I am sure they would have helped again.

I didn't hear or see any entertainment in the hotel, but we tended not to be there at night so not sure about that.

All in all we had a fantastic, relaxing stay and if that is what you are after, then I would definately recommend the Alila.

Room Tip: I don't think there are any bad rooms, they all seem to be well positioned. There are rooms abo...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank WeeBurnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikram_A_Singh, General Manager at Alila Diwa Goa, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for returning to Alila Diwa Goa for the second time, I am glad that we were able to meet your expectations and provide you with an enjoyable stay. I have noted your concerns on the inconsistencies in service and amenities and apologize for the inconvenience caused. The restaurants do have entertainment on certain nights of the week, I guess you missed it as you chose to dine out. I also apologize for the poor WiFi connection resulting from technical problems at our service provider's end. The same has now been rectified. I will definitely pass on your appreciative comments to Dhaivat and the rest of the Diwa Club team. Look forward to your next visit to Alila Diwa Goa.
Best wishes,
Vikram

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Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed 4 days in this hotel (18 of us!) with kids during Xmas time and had a wonderful time. The ground is vast, the view over the rice fields unspoilt and access to the beach by a short walk or a shuttle very pleasant. The beach is huge and stretch for kilometers.
The staff is nice and try its best but: stains are in every bathrooms, the check in was a total mess eventhough we had emailed them in advance copies of passports, visas, list of shared bedrooms etc...it seems that the middle management is somewhat missing. Food was good too but the indian restaurant is expensive for what they offer. the Spa is awfully expensive. Over all there are rooms for improvements but it remains a nice address.

Room Tip: on Xmas eve the hotel had organised a party with a jazz band, if u don t care about these kind of ac...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Eric P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikram_A_Singh, General Manager at Alila Diwa Goa, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your review. I apologize for the inconvenience you faced during your check-in; I am also looking into your comment on the stains. We follow a strict repair and maintenance schedule so will definitely address any issues that arise from our findings. In regards to pricing at Spice Studio and Spa Alila, please let me assure you that we are competitively priced with other starred hotels in the area. Our endeavour has always been to offer luxury at value for money rates. Apart from the above, I am happy that you enjoyed the ambiance and facilities offered by the resort and hope you will consider returning on your next trip to Goa.
Best wishes,
Vikram

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Reviewed January 20, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights at this hotel in January 2013 arriving from 4 weeks travelling round India. We chose this hotel for its small size and promises of peace and quiet which it certainly did not disappoint. The rooms were contemporary and provided everything you needed for your stay, the bed was huge with big soft pillows and we had a lovely terrace looking out to the gardens. We should have stayed for 7 nights but there was a large Indian wedding taking place so they upgraded our stay and moved us to the Park Hyatt a little further up the coast. Although we felt disappointed when we heard the news I can appreciate their concern and the daily gifts of flowers, chocolates, wine cake and complimentary evening meal and spa were a real surprise. They also provided us with a driver if we wanted to go to another restaurant for evening meal and we were welcome back at the hotel any time. We had a lovely time at the Hyatt even if it was a little on the big side for us and the change really did not spoil our stay in Goa. We hope to visit again for a proper holiday in the future.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nicola S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikram_A_Singh, General Manager at Alila Diwa Goa, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your positive feedback. I am glad we were able to provide you with a memorable holiday in Goa. Also glad that you appreciated the little touches and amenities while you were not with us. Look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to Goa.
Best wishes,
Vikram

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Reviewed January 20, 2013

Bored of South Goa ? Not really when you'll step into Alila Diwa Goa. The overall landscape is "Go Green" feel effect, as we experience plantation through lobbies leading to rooms & poolside. It also adds water bodies in various pockets to create zen effect. The evening can be enjoyed with a cocktail & sheesha on poolside overlooking paddy fields. The restaurants served one of the best pan-Asian & continental cuisine. The staff is efficient & room interiors is modern with spacious bathrooms. The drawback of the resort is it doesn't have private beach, however Majorda beach is barely 2 mins walk away. The famous St.Martins authentic Goan restaurant is also accessible from resort in 2mins. I suggest 3 nights its perfect for stay in Alila Diwa....Overall we had a great time !

Room Tip: To get the best view select a room facing the poolside on 2n floor >>
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ujjvalAhmedabad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikram_A_Singh, General Manager at Alila Diwa Goa, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your positive review - we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay at Alila Diwa Goa. Look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to Goa.
Best wishes,
Vikram

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Reviewed January 19, 2013

Alila is one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever stayed in. The ambiance is serene and gorgeous. The pool-view is breath-taking.
The staff was very pleasant and service was excellent.
I would love to visit again. A pristine delight.
The bar was our favorite hang-out.

Room Tip: They are all really good. I had the one facing the spa.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Khuboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikram_A_Singh, General Manager at Alila Diwa Goa, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your feedback. Good to note that you enjoyed the back to nature feel that the resort provides as also the other amenities on offer. Also delighted that you enjoyed the ambiance of the Edge Bar - we're planning a host of exciting promotions including national and international DJ's to perform there. Please stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information on the same.
Best wishes,
Vikram

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alila Diwa Goa

Address: 48/10 Adao Wado | Majorda, 403713, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Goa > South Goa District > Salcette
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Salcette
#2 Romantic Hotel in Salcette
#2 Spa Hotel in Salcette
#2 Luxury Hotel in Salcette
#3 Family Hotel in Salcette
Price Range: $176 - $768 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Alila Diwa Goa 5*
Number of rooms: 153
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Alila Diwa Goa is situated in South Goa along the coast of the beautiful Majorda Beach with panoramic views of vast verdant paddy fields leading out to the Arabian Sea. The resort is also perfectly located just 20 minutes from Goa’s Dabolim International Airport. Alila Diwa Goa blends contemporary Goan architecture with the magic of Goa’s cultural richness to create a stylish and relaxing environment that remains true to the destination. At the heart of the resort is an endless infinity pool that extends out into the paddy terraces. Its 153 rooms and suites are designed for quiet indulgence with an amazing bath experience, luxury bedding and a private terrace to take in the picturesque setting. The resort is complemented by a family entertainment zone that includes a theatre and children’s activity centre, and a comprehensive event centre that can accommodate your need for a versatile and ‘surprisingly different’ venue equipped with a ballroom, meeting rooms and a large outdoor lawn that can accommodate up to 300 persons. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alila Diwa Goa Hotel Salcette
Alila Diwa Goa India

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