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“Poor - "Loose commitments and complete non delivery".”
Review of Sterling Karwar

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Sterling Karwar
Ranked #1 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Karwar
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 23, 2013

My stay at Sterling Emarald Bay at Karwar (14th Dec to 20 Dec) underlined that my decision to get the Sterling Holidays membership was completely wrong.

It was my first stay through Sterling and I chose Karwar because it was at drivable distance from Mumbai. That would help me to keep things in my control while travelling with two small kids. Below is the simple, true and non-exaggerated account of the facts related to this vacation. Sorry to keep it detailed, but otherwise it would not convey the message. Believe me, I have discussed only major items.

1. Booking and front desk
I had booked the suite for a 6 day stay, a month in advance. One thing that I had repeatedly noticed in reviews of Emerald bay was the goof-up that Emerald usually do with the booking. So I was extremely careful, stayed in constant touch with them for the month, until one hour before my actual check-in. Everyone gave me the confidence that everything was fine, confirmed and in-order.
I got to the check-in counter and guess what? I was told that the Suite room is not available. For a few moments, I was speechless. There was an artificial apologetic and modest tone while conveying the message, but that soon changed into indifferent and arrogant as I enquired more specifically on what went wrong. Different people started giving different reasons like allotment process was automatic, centralized, they had no control, they do not know, room is under modification etc. They offered me two single rooms in exchange for a day. It was 1 hour of fruitless discussion, there was no Air -Conditioning in the lobby and I was sweating. My wife and two kids were waiting to rest after a long journey. So I accepted whatever they gave. Ironically, on a family trip where we wanted to spend time together, we stayed in separate rooms on first day.
Got my suite on day two. It was not the river facing one that I had always requested. I was told that that one is getting free on 18th Dec and I’ll be moved in there on 18th. I was even told to keep my luggage packed on 18th, so that they can move it while I’m out. Guess what? Comes 18th and nothing moves. When enquired, they told that the room was no more free. By then, I was tired with various experiences and was in no mood to get into any further discussion.

2. Overall quality of resort-
Don’t go on photos and presentations. It is, at max, 2.5 star in terms of appearance, quality, cleanliness and facilities. I can give many examples but just one is sufficient – Their presentation says that it is a WiFi facility. The fact is that WiFi is supposed to work only in Lobby. And “supposed to”, as in my entire stay, it was not working even in the lobby.

3. Food
Food quality is Ok and too overpriced for place like Karwar. The service is good, until the manager, Bhim Singh, is around and extremely confused/sluggish when he is not around. Couple of times, it took two hours until we kept getting small menu that we ordered until we lost our appetite and left in-between. And that was happening with quite a few people around.
I ordered (from their own menu) a Promphret. It was not available.
So I ordered Tigers Prons. That was not available.
So I ordered King Fish. It was not available.
Eventually, I asked them whatever was available and ate it.

4. Billing
I am Sterling Member. So I was supposed to get 20% discount on food. Having two small kids and pathetic restaurant experience, I ordered most of my food in room. Guess what? On the day of final billing, I was told that no discounts are applicable for food if ordered in room. Why? They did not know. But they knew that it was in writing somewhere. Again, I was in no mood to indulge into any conversation. I paid.

5. Travel Desk
Again, don’t go on what they say on their sites and any presentation that they send. The presentation will have a long list of locations and beautiful pictures. Below is the response from travel desk when you actually land there. Written below are their actual responses.
a. Sirsi – “Sir, there is much to see except the jungle.”
b. Jog falls : “Sir, there is no water there. It is only in mansoon. (Remember , I was there in mid Dec. Not May)”
c. Dandeli – “Sir, there aren’t much animals out there. But you can do boating.”
d. Cancona (Which is referred as must see place in their list) – “Sir, its like any other beach, And wildlife has couple of captive animals. You will get bored.”
I actually appreciate their honesty which saved me of some efforts. But that honesty should have been in the presentation or websites before customer commits to the place. That would have saved many more of efforts.
That leaves hardly anything to see other than local Karwar, which is like any other town . Don’t think that Karwar is a tourist place only b’cas Sterling has a resort there. Yes, It does have a beach, but that is it.
The resort has a local tour to an Island in Karwar, where a few mins drive, few mins boating, a beach, hill, temple, a tea and few biscuits cost you Rs 1050 per head.

Summary:
So, a consistent thread is “loose commitments and complete non-delivery”. Being Sterling member does not help. Rather it worsens the situation as you are, in fact a customer who has been already sold, has paid in advance and hence can’t do much except expressing frustration. That is the biggest risk that most of us fail to anticipate when we take such a holiday membership. We trust that the organization would be professional enough. From my interaction so far with Sterling, I’m more or less convinced that I am going to get similar experiences in my rest of Sterling stays (if and When I really dare to have another).

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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11  Thank S S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 - 142 of 223 reviews

Reviewed December 21, 2013

I got this booked from Bangalore office just in five minutes .The sterling is beautifully located just on the border of Goa. Gokarn is also near by.. The staff concerned are very friendly and made us homely .The hospitality provided to us was of excellent nature. The holiday activities provided by Shri Sharanappa and his team was superb. Kitchen staff took extra care to make us happy and lively. I am tempted to visit again to Emerald. Thank you ,Dedicated staff.
Joshi Manohar
Principal (Retd),
WWF Member

Room Tip: The rooms on last floor gave us scenic beauty
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank 223Joshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2013

Recently visited Emerald Bay the Sterling property at Karwar. The location is fabulous overlooking the sea and has been maintained very well. It seems to be a new acquisition and some areas are still being done up. Its a live in property hence a kitchenette etc is not provided and utility costs are collected upfront. The market, beach and most ss places are about 5 km away. food quality was particularly good although a tad on the higher side. All in all a good place to chill and refreshen yourself.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank DRPRPANDIT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2013

I found this property to be extremely well located. It is right on the main highway justbefore entering karwar town if you are coming from Goa. The rooms are extremely good and spacious. We stayed in a suite room with attached balcony facing the Arabian Sea. It is on the union of Kali river and arabian sea and the view is extremely good.The resort welcomes you with a glass of Cocam Juice which is etremely refressing. Thetravel desk arranges tours for you and your family. The staff is friendly and take care of all your needs. We stayed during April 2013 and the split AC was not cooing on day-1. On our complaint, the service engineer came at 11pm to refill the gas as ice was forming on the coil due to gas leak and cooling was improper.
I would definately stay again in this resort on my nexttrip to Karwar.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms facing the Sea for a beautiful view, preferabley on 4th or 5th floor.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank a1616061
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2013

This review comes in very very late. It was our most cherished and memorable holiday early November 2013.

Yes its not on the beach but the resort's location is very peaceful, although its on the main road once you cross the Goa border, its easy to find and from the first approach of the security guards and their smiles.. the rest just follows smoothly.

The front staff, you have GRE Yogitha who manages your booking and also makes sure your stay is a memorable one. The F&B manager Mr Bhim Singh, would come table to table and make sure that we were being fed well and happy with what we would order (same applies to all the guests staying there) We also have the Spa staff who are extremely good in their field. Santoshi, Sunita and Satish.. kudos to them

Kudos to the Kitchen staff who made sure they did their best to serve us the best of continental , chinese, indian.. the Mushroom fricassa, chicken fricassa, and rawa halwa.. too too good.. could smell the shudh ghee in the rawa halwa. Thanks to Mr Bhim Singh for making sure our meals were well taken care of, though we did mention that the buffet breakfast takes the cake.. it was really a good spread and well enough to give you a great start to your day!

Many complain about the rooms being small tc.. its a fact they have 3 types of rooms,
1. Superior room
2. Deluxe Superior room and
3. Suite room
The Suite room has a seperate living room area which has a sofa cum bed and is very comfortable and the suite is good for 4 adults or 2 adults with 2 or 3 children depending on your comfort. The superior and deluxe superior just a bit bigger than the other. Its best to call the hotel directly and speak with either Yogitha, Manish, Sushma and get the best rates and they are the best to advise the rooms that would be good for your stay.

Thanks once again to Mr Bhim Singh, Yogitha, Sushma, the activity team Anand and Tushar, Sunita , Santoshi and Satish (SPA) and the smiling and helpful bell boys, security guards and room service staff, Rakesh Housekeeping team head.. for his unique towel designs which my son loved as each of the 4 days that we stayed we had a different design, puppy, swans, hearts.. thank you so much.

We would definitely go back to Emerald Bay, for a nice rejuvenating, energizing, peaceful and calm holiday!!!

Room Tip: Opt for the corner rooms whether you opt for the suite, deluxe superior or superior rooms. 5th and 6...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank jilleethan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

We stayed in this hotel as part of the timeshare service from Sterling holidays. Rooms were above average. Rest of the hotel was good. Though the view of the sea is exaggerated in most reviews. From the windows on one side of the hotel one can just catch the faint blue outline of the sea. Its not as close as you would expect. Otherwise it is located well, close to the town. Karwar is a great place to visit and this hotel compliments the stay well.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank Joy_Ghose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2013

The service by resort staff is mind blowing and excellent. The resort staff take care of their tourists who stay in their resort properly,excellently and make sure that all the need of tourists are catered too and the hospitality of all the resort staff was mind-blowing and excellent

Room Tip: All the rooms in the resort are excellent
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank mhaskargaurav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sterling Karwar

Address: National Highway 17, Sadashivgad Toll Naka, Karwar 581 301, India (Formerly Karwar - Emerald Bay, A Sterling Holidays Resort)
Location: India > Karnataka > Uttar Kannada District > Karwar
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Karwar
Price Range: $54 - $182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sterling Karwar 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located next to the estuary where the Kali river meets the Arabian Sea, and with the Sahyadri mountains forming a backdrop, Emerald Bay is a full-service Sterling Holidays resort that offers some beautiful glimpses of an unspoilt, unexplored region of India. The backwaters of the Kali River add to the beauty of this place. Karwar is a great holiday destination due its close proximity to Goa. A combined holiday in our resorts - Villagio in Goa and Emerald Bay in Karwar, will work as a great way to spending long vacations with loved ones. ... more   less 
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