After dealing with Mosquitos and lack of a/c at a guesthouse in Panjim, I decided to splurge on a night 'at the beach' in Baga and booked the last room at Cavalas. I was so looking forward to some time by the pool and not being bothered. (Probably stating the obvious, but blonde Americans attract a lot of attention in India)
Getting to Baga was a cinch. The lobby was welcoming, the staff started out that way and then were just not helpful. I was invited to a welcome drink and then would be shown my room. Very nice touch! I made my way to the bar for a line soda. Very refreshing!
When I returned 30 minutes later, the receptionist seemed mad I was there. 'Madam, Check-in is at 1pm'. That was 45 minutes away, and had I known my room was not ready I could have lingered longer over my 'welcome drink' and wifi. Instead I was told to walk to the beach. Or go to the pool.
Wifi was available for 20 rupees an hour, but only at the bar and it was a very spotty connection. After being in India a week and staying at inns and guesthouses on the cheap, paying for wifi was a shocker! Especially as it is only available at the bar, so obviously you are already purchasing a beverage or food or something. Twenty rupees isn't much, it's the policy that is annoying. Especially as a hotel guest.
To note, the beach is about a 5-10 walk away, depending on the flow of traffic. Easy to find, as about a million people were crowded on the sand. I never thought it was a private beach, but I did think it was more secluded and not 'tourist central'.
When I went to the pool, which was quite nice, I was surprised there were no sunbeds, as the website did have show them in pictures. Apparently they were being painted and would be ready in 2 days. The friendly guy at the bar was helpful, and put to dining room chairs together so I could sit and prop my feet up, but again, not really what I was expecting from a place that calls itself a seaside resort.
The rooms were comfortable and nice and had a huge shower and working A/c. All good on that front!
In the restaurant, service was slow and often I felt ignored. There were a few extremely helpful people, that were kind a provided good service: the chef asked twice how I liked my meal, the pool barman that doubled as a restaurant server was excellent, and the young looking server was extremely kind and helpful. The food was good, the setting what you soul hope for at this type of place.
Given the small family feel of Cavalos, I would have thought guest service would be more of a priority. Yet, almost like the final straw, the next morning when I asked if I could print out my visa paperwork for Sri Lanka, I was told to email the service desk. When it was discovered my file was not email able and I had to access the website put in my passport number and hit print, I was then directed to the Internet cafe 500 meters down the street in the boiling sun. Nothing guest-friendly about the whole process.
If it was a large hotel with 100 guests I could see this being a problem, especially when there is only one reservationist, but with a computer that is mostly unmanned and a printer right there, it just felt lazy and unhelpful.
If that were not enough to feel bummed about the excess money I had spent at a 'seaside resort' that was not on the sea, when I left my room with my heavy bag, I walked past 4 employees, none of which offered to help in anyway. Again, just disappointing and not what I would expected.
I realize I am not the audience Cavalos is aiming for, but friendly and helpful service should go for anyone. That's why they are in the hospitality business, is it not?
My travels will probably not lead me back to Goa, and if so there are plenty of other beaches more exciting and relaxing than Baga.
If you do find yourself in Baga, plan to go for drinks or dinner and live music. There are plenty of spots in the area, and a ton under construction. It won't be hard to find a friendlier place to stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Idiosyncratic, ivy-clad Cavala has been charming Baga-bound travellers for over 35 years, and continues to deliver clean, simple, nicely furnished rooms, ranged about a large complex with a central swimming pool. The bar-restaurant cooks up a storm, with live music on most evenings. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Traveltool, S.L.U., Agoda, Odigeo, Priceline and HotelQuickly so you can book your Cavala Seaside Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Cavala Hotel Baga
- Cavala Resort Baga
- Cavala Resort Goa
- Cavala Seaside Resort Goa/Baga