I'm writing this review after a week because I hadn't got time. My review is based on my first hand experience and comparison with other 5 star hotels I have stayed at in the past. I thought you should know little about me as well so you know that I am a frequent traveler. I have travelled across India to Ladakh, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, North and South you name it and countless other places, slept in shacks, huts and in suffocating tents. To stay in Kenilworth was a surprise gift to my wife of 7 years.
I had been planning to drive down to Goa for a very long time. Travelling across the country and I wondered why have I not gone to Goa yet. Of course I am from Kerala who lived across the sea shore for a decade before moving into the city. So Goa was just another state with a sea shore. However this was not the case with my wife. So I decided to treat her for the weekend in a grand fashion.
I researched on many hotels in goa, My world! there are millions of hotels to choose from and I needed a quite place to stay over the weekend away from the hustle and bustle of North Goa. So reading TripAdvisor blogs helped me decide. I initially was about to book Ramada Carvela Beach resort at Varca. However just before I was about to book that hotel, the rooms got filled. Kenilworth was my second option. Before deciding to book a room at Kenilworth I called up Ramada. The response I got from the reception was very poor. They "Cold Transferred" my call. (It means, they transferred my call without telling me which means basically they bounced me which was rude). I thanked god I didn't get a reservation at Ramada because if I'm paying premium I expect impeccable service right from the service desk.
After the call with Ramada, I called Kenilworth. I was impressed really. The lady at the reception told me that I would be transferred to reservations and requested me to be on hold. Now that is what I mean by service. Sorry folks, after working a decade in the service industry, I know and expect first class service.
Kenilworth reservations confirmed that rooms were available. I immediately booked a room for 2 nights from Kenilworth website directly. I ensured that I do not touch, cleartrip, makemytrip and all other sites who attract customers with multiple discounts clubbed with loads of terms and conditions which we will never read. Reserving through Kenilworth ensured that if I had a problem with my reservations I would deal with Kenilworth directly.
As soon as booking was confirmed I called up Kenilworth again and confirmed my reservations. Kenilworth was able to view my booking instantly and I was happy that my plan was on track.
Next was to surprise my wife. I told her on Friday that she needed to pack a few pair of clothes and just forget about everything else for 2 days. So I started my car and drove down to Goa which took me some 16 hours. The experience driving down was breath taking. Travelling through Karnataka and Goa makes you wonder what roads! Fantastic. First class. You take any road in Goa and you will be blown away with the quality of the road.
I reached Kenilworth at 1PM considering 3PM was the check-in time. The first thing I noticed was, No shade in the car park area. Not even a makeshift. So rest ensured your car is baked like a cake in the Goa heat, pooped on by all the bird species and in the night if it rains your car gets even dirtier. This is just an observation. Now reaching Kenilworth. Lets say you don't have a GPS at all. Then I guarantee you a super hard time finding this resort because its deep inside Utorda roads. The Resort is situated just beside Orchids Resorts. I had GPS, so my phone took me straight to the entrance of the resort. Now If you are not driving down? Then none of which I just said now will matter to you.
Before check-in I requested the reception to allow us to have lunch because we were very hungry. They took our Identity proofs in order to do the check-in formalities while we had our lunch at Portofino restaurant. I must tell you that the professionals who manage Portofino are fantastic. The chef, waiters, and supervisors are world class. I mean it. My wife was hell bent on having Chilli Crab. I told her they don't even have Crab in the menu. But when I asked them about crab, they never say NO. The waiter went to the Chef and came back with a smile. "We will cook crab for you and serve with Rice". WOW! What more can I ask for. This treat of mine has just turned out to become superb!.
While we had crab, there was this family group who hijacked the entire Portofino restaurant. Although initially it was very irritating and annoying we just went with the flow. The staff also apologized for any inconvenience (which is not their fault). I wonder what level of manners a group of holiday makers have considering the fact the resort is shared by multiple guests.
After lunch we hit the Shower. Check-in process was smooth. After couple of hours we took off to the beach. The property is situated among a garden of Coconut trees and they have maintained the resort very well. I was not interested in the pool at all. Who cares for a pool when you have the endless sea just a few hundred feet away?
The lobby and open areas can get real humid during the day. But if you take a walk in the garden and slip down to the beach you can forget the heat because the sea water is absolute clear. Although not as neat as the Bahamas or Caribbean, Uttorda beach is much better and isolated than many other dirty beaches I have seen.
I have to warn you to get your own shorts and swim gear because due to the remote location of the resort there is no place nearby to purchase goods. No shacks on the beach. Careful of different sales men on the beach trying to sell you anything from A to Z. The resort itself is safe. I felt safe. I saw many families there. They have a separate Security guard who monitors who comes in and out of the beach. Life guards are available bang on at the exit of Kenilworth. This means, you don't cross the red flag towards the sea.
Let me talk about food. The breakfast menu have a variety of dishes which includes, Indian, Continental, French and English. Of all the food we I loved the breakfast. I was not impressed with the variety with the lunch menu however I wasn't disappointed either. Vegetarians would love the menu. Non-vegetarians would crave for more dishes in the Buffet menu. Buffet cost you 750 Rs plus taxes. When I compare the cost of buffet with 5 Start hotels in Hyderabad who would charge you 5 to 600 plus taxes with more varieties, I personally felt that lunch menu was a let down for me considering this was off-peak season.
They have a large Gym with all the latest equipment. The Spa is fantastic. I have to compliment that the staff at the spa are professionals.
Now that I realized I have typed around 7000 characters, I will conclude this review by saying, that for a short stay to enjoy the beauty, and quietness of South Goa, Kenilworth is a fantastic place to stay. If you are looking for a longer stay and not burn your pockets, then you may want to try other cheaper places.
Was it worth the time, definitely!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Kenilworth Beach Resort & Spa is the perfect place for a tranquil retreat surrounded by the pristine beaches and exotic tropical beauty that Goa - the land of sun, sea and sand - is known for. The rooms of this 5-star property are beautifully designed to reflect the by-gone Portuguese era. Tradition seamlessly blends in with all the comforts of modern day luxury to make for a highly relaxing and comfortable stay. Step out on to a private balcony over-looking the Arabian Sea and the beautifully landscaped swimming pool. With impeccable service standards, water sport activities and luxurious spa treatments, The Kenilworth Beach Resort & Spa is a delight for business and leisure travelers alike. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Kenilworth Resort & Spa, Goa Hotel Utorda
- Kenilworth Resort And Spa, Goa
- Kenilworth Beach Hotel
- Kenilworth Beach Salcette
- Kenilworth Beach Resort Goa
- Kenilworth Resort & Spa Goa/Utorda