I stayed with my wife, my mother and my mother-in-law for 3 nights at Taj Exotica (Fri-Sat-Sun). It was supposed to be a summer outing for the 2 old ladies.
We have travelled quite a bit in India and outside and have never stayed in a Taj property, so me and my wife decided to stay at the Taj Exotica as it had won lot of accolades.
The check-in was fantastic and we were given room 222 & 224.
We have stayed in quite a few 5 star hotels / resorts owned by international hotel chains and we think it was a big mistake to have expected to get the same kind of service with Taj.
Lets get on to the issues;
(1) As soon as we entered room 224, we found that it had twin beds, so my wife immediately contacted the front desk and she was told that there was no room with a queen size bed and they can put the two beds together. Within a few minutes a housekeeping guy came to rearrange the beds. Now comes the problems, the bed design is flawed in such a way that if you try and put the two beds together, there is so much gap that you may even fall in between the beds. Next problem, a small bed-side table had to be shifted to rearrange the beds and the extension cord hangs right on top of your bed. Next problem, the power sockets are exactly at the bed level and you might even end up electrocuting yourself.
The aircon policy is quite funy at Taj stating that the temperature will be fixed only at 23 degrees. People who experience Indian Summer would empathise with me when I say that even 18 degrees is not enough after staying out in the hot sun. Further, the aircon in room 224 was half as effective as the one in room 222. On top of that the fan kept on making a TRANG TRANG noise all through the silent nights.
More than that, a corner of the Bath Tub has a hole in it and every morning we were entertained by a parade of ants entering and exiting the hole in the corner of the bath tub.
I do not know if it is Taj policy to NOT change any of the bed linen or pillow case during the entire stay of guests. I noticed a black stain on one of the pillow case and it was never changed during our full stay of 3 nights.
(2) Eugenia Restaurant - Never ever have I seen a restaurant in a 5 star resort being serviced like the way Eugenia was being serviced for breakfast. I do not understand how you can have a breakfast set-up where for every dish you need to stand for replenishment for atleast 10 - 15 minutes. It is quite surprising if the management has even trained the staff on how to run a breakfast restaurant. I agree it was a busy weekend, I agree it was during the Indian summer holidays, I agree that the resort was full; but that does not give the management the excuse to short supply food.
Typical Indian Vegetarian dishes like Idli, Chutney, Vada, Bonda were perpetually in short supply (Surprising that the staff never knew how and when to replenish them if the guests are eating those particular dishes)
Plates and Juice glasses were never available.
Table management was pathertic, you need to wait atleast 15 minutes before you get a table. and even then, you never get a glass of water on time, neither you get a serviette / napkin.
The above issues were not a one day - one off incident, it happened every one of the 3 days that we went for breakfast around 9:45 - 10:30 a.m.
Cant the management put some extra table, replenish food at regular intervals??
(3) Outside Adventure Activities - The resort boasts of a range of outdoor water adventure activities like Jet-Ski, Para-sailing, etc. Me and my wife went on the para-sailing, the experience was exhilarating, but I was not so satisfied with the safety mechanisms. We have done a similar para-sailing in Pattaya - Thailand and we felt it was much safer. Prices were also exorbitant.
(4) Lobster Shack - I had guests who came to visit me at the resort and i took them to Lobster Shack for a few drinks. I specifically asked the staff if it is a smoking restaurant and he pointed us to a corner table and said that it was the smoking zone. After we sat and ordered our drinks, one of the staff comes running and says that the restaurant is non smoking and were told that they cannot entertain us if we smoke. IS THIS HOSPITALITY???? I became a laughing stock in front of my guests who said this is one of the reason not to stay at Taj. (On a side note: They stayed at one of the international branded resorts in Goa and they were quite happy!)
(5) Disappointment for the old ladies during check out - On the day of check-out we did not want to do the check-out formalities and payment, etc at the last minute, so we completed the process in the morning. As we were checking out, we saw a bus load of guests arriving at the resort. It was a sight to be seen, they were welcomed with Garland, Aarthi (Traditional Indian Welcome) and a in-house team of musicians singing Goan songs to welcome them.
I can never ever forget the disappointment on the faces of my mother & mother-in-law when they said that Taj never even bothered to welcome us with a garland or an Aarthi, leave alone musicians singing. I quote their exact words... "Seems we are small timers staying at Taj and Taj will show such hospitality only if a High Profile guest or a big group come to stay"
People can question me if I complained about the above problems.... I did not...because I did not want to be a fussy, finicky guest, as the expected service was not available and that ends it.
I seriously would like to get a feedback from Mr. Saleem Yousuff of Taj Exotica, if he has ever stayed at the Taj Exotica in Room 224, with bad Airconditioner, noisy fan, have breakfast at Eugenia during peak breakfast hour, during the Indian summer holiday season, during Fri-Sun weekend, with the only condition that he stay unannounced and incognito.
Only saving grace were the staff, and I would certainly commend Ms. Merunisa, Mr. Savio and the lady who sits in the travel desk.
WILL I EVER STAY OR RECOMMEND TAJ EXOTICA - NEVER EVER!!!
WILL I EVER STAY IN ANY TAJ PROPERTY ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD - EXTREMELY UNLIKELY!!!
- Also Known As:
- Taj Exotica Goa Benaulim
- Taj Exotica Goa Hotel
- Taj Exotica
- Taj Exotica Hotel Goa
- Taj Exotica Goa Hotel Benaulim
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on the south coast of Goa on the Benaulim beach, a mere 27km from the airport, this 56 acre 140 room resort has a 700 meter beach frontage and lovely views of the sea. With 3 specialty restaurants, a beach front season seafood shack, a 24 hour coffee shop, 2 bars, 2 spas and a seasonal outdoor spa pavilion, this resort is a popular haunt for the international as well as domestic travelers. ... more less
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