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“still great value for money”

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Dona Sylvia Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Cavelossim
Certificate of Excellence
swindon
Level Contributor
170 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“still great value for money”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

This was our 6th stay at the DS, and it continues to satisfy almost all of our requirements for a great winter sunshine holiday. The choice and quality of food continues to be excellent (even better than last year in our opinion) but the real stars of this resort are the staff. Each year we arrive to find most of our friendly staff from the previous year have moved on, many on to the cruise ships. However it soon becomes clear that they have been replaced with people just as eager to please, and always with a smile. It does of course help if you are actually polite and friendly to them, and the majority of the British guests do just that. Our particular favourites this year were Cynola and Majal(?) at the pool bar, Clayvon, Vishell, Joseph and Harish in the restaurant, and the main barman in the Amalia Bar upstairs (I apologise to him for not remembering his name, as he was superb under pressure, especially approaching 11pm!). Once again the gardeners do a fantastic job, and the pool is always kept clean.
We ate at Mama Mia's twice, and although the first visit was good the second time much of our food was overcooked and dry - maybe just a bad day at the office!
Three things stopped me from awarding it an excellent rating. The rooms are now overdue refurbishment, and our party of 8 were unfortunately allocated 3 of the much smaller semi-detached bungalows (despite e-mailing a request some time before Christmas) and these also have a shared patio area. This was a problem for our friends who had to share this with a couple who were often on the patio smoking, and were quite noisy. The hotel did eventually change their room, but only after 6 days. I believe the DS should consider a differential cost for these rooms (whether that means charging more for the larger rooms with balconies, or a discount for the bungalows) but it would at least give people the choice.
Secondly, the entertainment has continued to deteriorate. I applaud the DS for providing entertainment when many other Goan hotels do not, but surely there could be some Indian based music/dancing, rather than the lift music/karaoke options provided. When we first visited DS there was a good mix of Indian/European music, but that has been phased out over the years, sadly. Surely a little Indian/Goan culture would be appreciated by the guests, we have in the main flown over 10 hours to stay on the continent after all!
My third area of concern is the Radisson resort next door. Over the last few years we have watched it taking shape, and have been concerned. We were assured on our visit last year that it would not impact on the DS at all, but clearly this is not true. The Radisson attracts many weddings and large celebrations, and these invariably take over the area we know as Haystacks (they appear to have priority over this area, as one of our "Haystacks" evenings actually took place on the tennis court!) There were a number of occasions when the music was loud enough to drive us back to our rooms, and there was also a steady flow of Radisson guests passing through the DS, or using the pool and games facilities. The two hotels are, I understand, owned by the same company, and the higher profile Radisson is therefore always likely to be given priority. This conflict will certainly affect our decision as to whether we return to the DS, which is a shame, as the hotel otherwise offers a peaceful, friendly venue for a winter sunshine holiday.
I should make mention of the Thomson rep, Karen, who yet again was wonderful. Thomson are very lucky to have someone who is so knowledgeable about the area, helpful and approachable, and always available. She is a star.
Eric

Room Tip: Avoid semi-detached bungalow rooms unless you are travelling as two couples.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank foresthouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2013
Dear Sir,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Many thanks for taking out time for such helpful feedback. It was a pleasure meeting you during during stay with us and we shall definitely try to take corrective steps on the points mentioned.

Warm Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar
Resort Manager
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merseyside
Level Contributor
38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Just returned from our second visit and couldn't fault anything. Arrived in the early hours of the morning, but there was still a cold towel waiting. Sandwiches and tea and coffee were also available,but we preferred to order and pay for cold beer.
I had requested a specific room by e-mail, but unfortunately on our arrival it was not available, but we were given a similar room in a different block, so it wasn't a problem.Room was cleaned everyday and we were always left with a towel decoration on the bed.The bed we did find very comfy, especially the soft pillows. We did notice that quite a few people did change rooms for different reasons, but this was always done with the minimal amount of fuss.
The grounds were really beautiful and really well cared for by friendly staff who always acknowledged you.
Buffet food really good, nothing to much trouble (requested cheese and crackers, the next thing they were on the table!). Did the 2 a la carte restaurants, preferring the Kebab and Curry, but the service was quite slow and so took most of the night up. There are so many places to eat out and cheaply that this year we did just that and really enjoyed so delicious meals.
Pool was cleaned everyday also, but you had to be up early to get a sunbed and umbrella. My husband was out early one morning at approx 5.45 and there were already towels on the beds.
Pool staff always ready to assist in moving beds and shades if needed. Bar opened at 11 am and staff always very polite and will make whatever you want.
Do not normally return to the same hotel but will be returning for our third visit next year, I think that says it all.

Room Tip: Rooms on first floor with large balcony are lovely if you like to sit outside and have a sundowner!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MerseysideSunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Ma'am,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Thank you so very much for such an encouraging feedback in your review. I am sorry about the slow service you experienced in Kebabs 'n' Kurries and shall take corrective steps.

Looking forward to your continued and valued patronage.

Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar
Resort Manager
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Market Rasen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
177 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013 via mobile

This was our 2nd stay and 2nd Christmas and New Year. From start to finish, we had an amazing holiday and truly amazing time and have booked to return this Festive Season-so can't wait.
Nothing really had changed, however lots of new staff faces, with many old ones flying the nest. However, the hotel remains the same and a true delight.
Food is as ever, so excellent which caters for all types of eaters and diets. Food is tasty, hot and well presented. The la carte restaurants are excellent and so worth going.
Sadly, due to government and stupid laws, the beach shacks are only allowed 5 sun beds per shack, but do hope that's now been changed. Obviously, the shacks are suffering financially because of the rule. However, you still can get your messages and ears cleaned!
Entertainment is very low key with Indian artists, so don't expect top bands and groups. Sadly and it's a criticism, it's a pity artists are not allowed to sing Indian songs/music, even though were in India! I'd like to hear music and sings from India! The bar closes at 11pm when the all inclusive stops, again another criticism it should stay open much later to give people time to have extra drinks.
The rooms are clean and tidy, but quite dated, but have everything you require. They are well equipped and tastefully decorated.
So all in all, a fabulous holiday and so can't wait to return. Our rep, Karen is a true star and people's champion and worth her wait in gold. She's lovely and incredible. Wow, she's a great kisser....
Thank you to all the staff - you are fantastic and see you agin this Festive Season.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank TheOuchPoucher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Dear Sir,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Thank you for your review and helpful feedback !! Fortunately, the law about the number of beach beds by the shacks has now been amended to 20 beds from 5. Also we shall strive here at the Resort to have more Indian entertainment for your pleasure in the times to come.

See you in Goa again in the coming season.......

Warm Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar
Resort Manager.
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scunthorpe
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

7 feb 2013. just returned home from our stay with all our friends at dona sylvia. i believe anyone would be hard pushed to find a resort where you recieve so much warmth from all the staff . everyone should look to visit this stunning place.

Room Tip: speak to gayle or geta.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank ean_noble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Thank you so very much for such a wonderful review. We look forward to seeing you again in Dona Sylvia in the coming season.

Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore
Level Contributor
82 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

The most striking difference is the quality of architecture. Most beach front hotels from Brazil to Thailand have a typical hallway with boring rooms on either sides...Dona Sylvia makes a difference. Rooms are individual cottages spread out in a lush coconut grove & organized as clusters...feels homely & Goan!

Buffet choices are awesome. However, if you stay for a long term you do get tired of the similar menu when you have B/L/D at the same place. There are no shacks on the beach during off-season. Hence you need to venture out for a different meal.

Location is very quiet compared to any other North Goa beaches. Almost feels like a private beach.

There is nothing new to write about room services/infrastructure since it has been highly praised in other reviews. Lot of games/activities for kids too. I reckon they could improve on the live band/music scenario, since it did not sound energetic & didnt get much audience. Would be awesome if they set up a gazebo with bar/food service close to the beach, since the beach seems to be lost in connection with the resort.

Room Tip: There are NO beach facing rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kumaresh_sekaran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Dear Sir,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Thank You for your valued feedback !! We look forward to having you stay with us again. I am sure you would find some positive changes from your previous visit.

Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Just returned from 2nd visit to Dona Sylvia and it was better than ever. The staff are all so helpful especially Tara in the restaurant who delighted in cooking all sorts of special dishes for us. Rahul in the bar worked extremely hard under great duress at times, as did Cynole at the pool bar. Anything you needed could be sorted out by Benny or Ramswallop. A shame that Dr Alfredo does not do massage on site now but can be visited at his home. The entertainment was very good especally Edmundo the magician. The local taxi drivers are very competent and will take you wherever you want to go and even wait while you are there.Looking foreward to next year.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Mr. Alan,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

It was really nice to read such a wonderful feedback about our Resort and am truly thankful to you !! Such reviews encourages us to set the bar even higher to meet up to the expectations of our guests.

I look forward to meeting you at Dona Sylvia in the coming season.

Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
girton
Level Contributor
88 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2013 via mobile

I was very impressed by the friendly staff,who did anything they could to make our. Stay as good as possible.the cooks produced a wide variety of food on the menu,but would also cook anything you wanted,if it was not on the menu. Tatar was especially good .the head waiters were good ,particularly Benny and rams wallop.The pool was well maintained and there were plenty of sun beds,though sun umbrellas were in need of replacement in some cases.generally there was plenty of natural shade and the gardens were very colourful.The rooms were clean and the air conditioning was good.Any problem however small was soon sorted by Gregorio and his staff.On previous visits we have been very impressed by Dr Alfredo who does still does the water aerobics,but for some strange reason is no longer available on sight to do his amazing pressure point massage. A real loss.The beach is of course excellent and the hotel has direct access.Entertanment is better this year though the highlight is the amazing close up magician Edmundo.i should also like to commend rahul,on the bar who remains calm and attentive at all times.We found trips out were best done in a local taxi and the English speaking drivers are very obliging with of course good local knowledge and the rates are very good with only a small charge for waiting. 50 rupees per hour.Finally,if you enjoy bird watching,contact Rahul Alvares on his website birds in goa.you will have a great trip if you do.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank domainegirton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Thank you for your review and shall definitely pass on the compliments to the team members whom you have commended. Looking forward to have you stay with us in future, too.

Warm Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar
Resort Manager
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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 Dona Sylvia Beach Resort

Property: Dona Sylvia Beach Resort
Address: | Cavelossim Beach, Mobor, Next to Radisson Blu, Cavelossim 403731, India
Location: India > Goa > South Goa District > Cavelossim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Cavelossim
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cavelossim
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cavelossim
#3 Business Hotel in Cavelossim
#3 Family Hotel in Cavelossim
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cavelossim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Dona Sylvia Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 181
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dona Sylvia Beach Resort is spread over 20 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on the southern coast of Goa, it nestles by the soft white sands of Cavelossim beach. The Resort offers comfortable air-conditioned rooms with all modern amenities in Mediterranean style villas with balconies and open sit-outs. The Resort has excellent conference facilities, extensive options for outdoor events / theme parties and entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dona Sylvia Beach Hotel Cavelossim
Dona Sylvia Beach Cavelossim
Dona Sylvia Hotel Goa
Dona Sylvia Beach Resort Goa/Cavelossim

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