Let’s get the easy bits out of the way first. As most correspondents agree, this is a lovely hotel. The staff were always helpful and smiling and nothing was too much trouble for them. The rooms were clean and in satisfactory condition, with the linen and towels changed frequently. The grounds were full of shrubs and flowers in bloom, all of which were tended meticulously by an army of ground staff. The restaurant food was of a high quality, with extensive and varied curried meat and vegetable dishes, while at the same time catering for non-spicy palettes. Morning and afternoon snacks round the pool were too much for our stomachs to take. Our room overlooked the pool area from the main building and was basic but adequate for our needs, although the bed had a thin mattress and so was pretty hard. The room had a wonderful air-conditioner and was convenient for all the hotel facilities. Claimed to be the first all-inclusive boutique resort and winner of numerous awards by Thomson and First Choice, The Heritage Village Club Hotel ranked highly in our opinion, although by now there are more luxurious resorts in the South Goa district.
On arrival at about 4.00 am, due to a delayed flight, we had a warm welcome with hand towels and a cool drink. In fact, it was surreal to have sandwiches and chips served at 4.30 am while waiting for our passports to be checked. The next day, we felt awful but a day in the sun helped this to pass. Evening entertainment was provided each night and consisted of live music plus another feature, such as, a dancing exhibition or bingo or a magician etc. This was the first concern we encountered in that we were desperate to get to bed on the first few nights but found the noise from the music was so loud and continued until 11 pm, preventing us from getting to sleep. After a week, we met the GM at his cocktail party and mentioned this in passing. He promptly offered us an up-grade to a top quality room in the garden suites, out of range of any music. This was wonderful (Thank you Mr Velho) and transformed our holiday. If you can afford the supplement for a garden room and want a quiet holiday – pay for it. The rooms overlook a garden area with ample space for sun-beds, no pre-booking with towels and a regular service of tea by waiters. The rooms are of an excellent quality and well-worth the extra cost. Days passed in a relaxing ambience.
The pool area was where the majority of sun-beds were located. The mattresses were really comfortable but sometimes there was a shortage of them and also too few umbrellas. The grassed area round the pool had bare patches around the sun-beds which became soggy in the morning after the gardeners watered the lawns. It was a congested area unless you rose early to reserve your sun-beds. By 4.30 am, about 10 pairs of beds would always have towels on them in the prime positions, in spite of management attempts to stop this happening. In fact, if you didn’t have seats reserved by 8.30 am you were unlikely to get them at all. Since 80-90% of guests were from the UK and 10% from Russia, there was no obvious demographic imbalance in this practice. There were a few children and several couples under 50 but the rest of us appeared to have an average age well above 65. Warm water made swimming in the pool a delightful experience. The nearby beach was worth a visit for a swim, with the water of the Arabian Sea at about blood temperature.
We went on three trips, the first being Sights and Sounds of Goa. We had probably the best guide we have ever known on a holiday, having a wealth of knowledge and a good control over the day. Lunch at The Marriot Hotel in Panjim was first class and, although it was a hotel of luxury status, the pool area and situation did not compare with The Heritage Club in our opinion. Tours of churches, mosques, markets and breath-taking views made this an excellent experience. The second day-trip started at Margau, the commercial centre of Goa. The inevitable market tour was still interesting and the gardens in the centre were a treat. A hair-raising tuk-tuk ride followed by a train journey to a country house for lunch were great fun. Unfortunately, my wife fell ill from the heat and Delhi-belly and had a distressing return to the hotel. The doctor was called and arrived within 30 minutes to administer two injections and 4 courses of pills. By the morning and £40 lighter, the whole affair was a memory.
The last trip was an overnight stay for three couples on a house-boat on the Chapora River, starting at Siolim. Cooler than the hotel, this was a relaxing 24 hours with good food, catering for spicy and non-spicy palettes. Don’t expect hot water, a plug in the wash basin or the shower to work. We had stimulating company from a Danish and a Swedish couple and overall enjoyed the experience.
Nearly all our meals were taken in the hotel restaurant but on two nights a week the dinner was a buffet by the pool, preceded by the most extraordinary logistical exercise of laying out eating and serving tables with a barbecue as well. Much of the food was the same as in the restaurant. We had three meals at the à la carte Mango Restaurant across the road from the hotel. Eating by candlelight under a gazebo was a very pleasant experience. One of the visits was on my wife’s birthday when the staff made it a memorable event.
The only enduring bad memory of the holiday was of the awful hard seats in Thomson’s Boeing 767 plane. We tried sitting on our neck rests to get some relief without success. An 11 hour flight on an uncomfortable seat, especially in Premium Class, was no joke and left my wife with a bad back for a few days.
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- Also Known As:
- Heritage Village Club Goa Hotel Cansaulim
- Heritage Village Goa
- Heritage Village Cansaulim
- Heritage Village Hotel Goa
- Heritage Village Resort & Spa Goa India