‘This is one place I would like to stay when successful’ I thought,10 years ago,while looking at this Taj Aguada property. All I can say is the Taj more than lived up to my expectations.
Booking Experience : I booked at the Taj call centre and was comforted right away by a very amiable agent who quickly understood my requirements (anniversary) and suggested a package. No fuss on payment modes and minimum complication helped me freeze the deal rightaway. That when I called them to inform I was checking in the same afternoon.
Airport pickup : Lovely spacious mini vans with good regularity await on arrival at the small Dabolim airport. The concierge at the arrival gate puts you at ease rightaway. They are really polite and well trained and made us feel special. If you are in a real hurry or are on a business trip or are pressed for time for your return flight, I suggest you avoid the van . It moves at a pretty leisurely pace (nearly 1hr 20mins to reach). If you are holidaying however, I strongly recommend the ride to the hotel on their van.
Reception Area/ Welcome: Very warm welcome at the gates along with a complimentary kokum drink. Reception is friendly and puts you quicly at ease. Lavish reception area with comfortable seating space. Architecture/Furniture is dated and has a real roomy and comfortable feel.
Rooms : I stayed in an Premium Indulgence Seaview room. Really lovely room with loads of space and the main window overlooking the Sea.Not to mention a large private terrace with seaview and comfortable deck chairs apart from an additional tea table with chairs. Bathroom was squeaking clean and had toiletry of the Taj group which was definitely good quality. Bathrooms also feature mugs which are handy in absence of a jet in toilets. Surprise factor was their fog free mirror. After a longish and utterly comfortable hot water bath, I expected a misty mirror. One large rectangle in the midddle of the wide bathroom mirror remains frost free which I thought was really cool ! Incidentally i haven’t experience this in most other international 5 star hotels I have been to. Another thing I appreciated was the choice of language requesting guests to reuse bath towels. Not judgemental or moralistic as in messages of most hotels, only a suggestion. The room tea kits are well stocked as is the minibar. Also appreciated the complimentary fruits and water. The placement of the minibar /teakit are logical and helpful for daily use of guests.
Room Service : As can be expected, it was expensive. However the quality of understanding of the room service operator was good and service time reasonable. Clearance was an issue and I felt they could manage this aspect better. Also feel they could consider a complimentary serving of fruit platter rather than stocking the room with fruits ( usually apples). I had the distinct discomfort of thinking the apples would be old. The quality of the apples could also have been better as they had lost their crispness ostensibly owing to storage.
Given the location of the property, I would have expected Wi-Fi services to be complimentary. Wish they could fix this.
Restaurants : My food destination was pretty much Latitude, the all day diner, where I got everything I wanted but there are exclusive restaurants for Italian and Seafood. I also enjoyed SFX, where you can sip in great views of the ocean with a drink of your choice. Perfect place to laze while reading a book. A word on the food in Latitude – ‘Awesome’. They must have grown their chefs themselves for it’s difficult to produce food like that ! Every dish was perfect. A goan dish is added every day for the local flavour which is really terrific ! They are also eager to meet any special demands you may have. I couldn’t find fault with any of the main courses during breakfast,lunch or dinner. If there is one thing I would like to add for perfection, it is in the dessert section. First the consistency of the yoghurt needs to be better, it was generally watery. Flavoured yoghurts were not properly set at times which was a put off for me. Secondly, there is an over emphasis on puddings and cakes which is really monotonous. I really felt the Indian dessert section needed variety as I found only a single indian dessert every day with countless other varieties of cakes/pudddings. Also felt the icecream section needs to be moved to the dessert section and it’s placement in the ‘kids’ section meant that quite a few guests miss that option. There is also a section next to the iceccream section which is in ‘no man’s land’ and is usually ignored. I felt it could in the main serving area. The table service is excellent and staff very attentive. However they need to introduce placement of ‘tea spoons’ or dessert spoons in the area where dessert is served. While the attendants always obliged, I felt it was an unnecessary fuss.
Travel Desk :
Dedicated travel desk is available with options for a guided tour as well as for hiring a vehicle on your won. If you walk down the road, there are bikes for hire as well. Would avoid hiring vehicles from the hotel unless you are visiting India or are pretty insecure. The rates are nearly double of what you could manage on your own from local agencies.
I guess it’s time to help you make up your minds on this one. If you are looking for sheer unhurried luxury this is your place. It’s not your ideal beach location although it is situated on one…so if you are imagining a quiet sandy beach with the waves rolling onto your front yard…you would be better off in south goa. Mind it, North Goa has a lot of action otherwise by way of night life, restaurants galore and rocky beaches so you could choose to mix this with your stay here. My take : I will stay here whenever I want to put up my legs and relax. Which is what I did. Which is what made me so happy. Love you Taj !!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Vivanta by Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa is at its best. Romantic. Charming. Vibrant. It has history woven in its walls. It's where royalty, heads of government and the biggest celebrities are known to frequent. For the luxury Goa experience, which no other place has been able to recreate. Not much has changed. In the renewed rooms, cottages and villas, the nouvelle restaurants, the island bar, and the Jiva spa where you'll go Ah! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vivanta By Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa Hotel Sinquerim
- Fort Aguada Beach Hotel
- Fort Aguada Beach Sinquerim
- Fort Aguada Beach Resort
- Vivanta By Taj - Fort Aguada, Goa Sinquerim