Located at the top of busy Baga Road, just 200 yards from the roundabout in Calangute, this hotel has about 27 rooms over floors 1-3 with ground floor taken up with Reception & front and rear bar/restaurant areas. There is no lift so those who may have difficulty with the stairs should seek a lower floor room. Regulars to Goa will understand when I say this is a typical North Goan hotel at the low-mid price range but it is the best run place we've ever found in the area (including hotels nearby that cost much more) & so it will definitely be our hotel of first choice if we return to Goa. First timers should note that it's not the Ritz but if the Ritz is what you want then don't come to India or at least not to North Goa!
We had been concerned about noise from the busy road just 5 yards away so stated a preference at booking for a pool-side room but there are only 6 of these (6 face the road & 15 face the sides) and on arrival we were placed in a side room. With the a/c and fan running, we were never bothered by road noise to any great extent and when we were given the chance to move after a few days, we declined as the side rooms are quite a bit bigger.
All rooms and en suite shower rooms are a good size& balconies are unusually large - enough for a table & several chairs - side rooms are particularly spacious. Views are not wonderful but that's the norm in the area except at top-end hotels but we enjoyed sitting watching the world go by along a side road. As the hotel was renovated only 4/5 years old, the internal decor is good (for India) & very clean. The rooms are well equipped with sturdy matching furniture (no plywood & formica!); single beds pushed together with one large typically firm-hard but not lumpy mattress (often lumpy singles are used); blankets were useful as the a/c was very efficient. Water pressure & tempterature were exceptional 24 hours per day in both shower & sink (bring a universal plug for the sink). Additional room facilities include a/c & fan, TV, minibar (at no premium), kettle, coffee maker (bring your favourite tea if other than Tetley - & ground coffee); low level courtesy light, loads of coat hangers & storage space for suitcases.
The pool area is compact (there are no gardens as such) but adequate & proudly kept very clean even at the end of the day. There are plenty of sun beds & umbrellas with all areas getting some sun & shade during the day. Lunch & evening food was good with a wide range of local & European food options at reasonable prices - beer & spirits for example are about the cheapest in the area but there are dozens of fantastic restaurants within easy walking distance. Breakfast was average & often cold but a reflection of how much the staff are looking to improve the place is that on our last day they bought equipment to keep the buffet breakfast options hot. Complimentary eggs were always cooked to order.
Perhaps the greatest praise we can give is for the efficient running of the hotel & its wonderfful staff who are the friendliest we have come across in a place that's noted for friendliness. From reception staff to waiters to pool boy & room boys, everyone has a smile to lift your spirits and it's clear the staff enjoy working here. Nothing is too much trouble & any faults were resolved within minutes (as when our a/c broke). Rooms are cleaned as often as requested. Safe deposit boxes (50R pd) are reassuringly under dual control & available from 9 til 9. There are loads of money exchanges within 200 yards in either direction - take sterling cash for best rates & no commission but T/Cs also accepted (hotel takes credit cards but many places do not) - there are ATM's in Calangute & a new one 800 yards down Baga Rd. We were able to keep our room until we left for the airport on the last day at very reasonable cost (under £10).
In summary, a wonderful little place that serves mainly Thomas Cook package customers and one or two Russian & Indian tourists. If we could make just one minor suggestion it would be that a no smoking area could be observed as most guests when we were there smoked. First timers should be aware that the road is very busy so take your courage & patience in both hands - they have started to build a pavement along the whole length of Baga Rd and it should be completed up to this top end during the coming close season.
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- Also Known As:
- Lambana Hotel Calangute
- Lambana Resort Goa/Calangute