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“FABULOUS HOLIDAY”

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Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Cavelossim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 December 2013

Just returned from a two week stay at Dona Sylvia and had the most enjoyable holiday. The staff were amazing, couldn't do enough for you, The grounds were stunning and beautifully kept. The rooms although slightly dated were clean, bed linen and towels changed daily. Joseph the Head Houseleepier was lovely, very hardworking and so friendly.
I particularly enjoyed the peaceful location, ensuring a good night's sleep in a comfy bed.

The food was very good, and there was a good choice of dishes. One of the waitors looked after us at breakfast time ensuring we had our poached eggs and delivered them to our table which was really nice.

We also ate in the a la carte Mama Mia restaurant one evening and had an excellent meal, the fish was excellent.

There was a problem with sunbeds round the pool area, particularly during our first week., not helped by some guests getting up at dawn to put towels on them ! We did actually prefer to walk down to the beach as for the price of a drink and a snack at one of the beach shacks you could have a sunbed all day. For around £2.00 this was very good value. Mike's beach shack was particularly good, and he even arranged for a jeep to drive you back to the hotel at the end of the day !

Couldn't praise Karen the Thomson's rep enough. She really works hard and is a mind of information. She also has a very infectious laugh and makes sure you have a great time.

We did the Jungle Book Trip which was a real experience, if you want to challenge yourself it really is recommended ! If you like elephants it really is a must, elephant rides and even a power shower - great fun !

Went on Mike's boat trip on the River Sal and had a great time, entertainment on board, a three course lunch, unlimited driniks, do;phins, fruit bats, fishing all for £9.00 what a bargain/

We will definitely return to Dona Sylvia . Keep up he good work !

Room Tip: Make sure you request a private balcony, we were alllocated a room which had a shared balcony, but o...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank beverley650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Many thanks for taking the time to share your pleasant experience on TripAdvisor. It was indeed a delight having you stay with us. We are truly humbled to hear such wonderful comments and compliments galore.

Thank you once more, your commendation is our greatest compliment and we look forward to enchant you on your next sojourn.

Warm Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar,
Resort Manager.

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1,072 - 1,078 of 1,773 reviews

Reviewed 4 December 2013

It was our first time in Goa and it was WONDERFUL! The resort was lovely. Clean, tidy and beautiful surroundings. We had a room down by the beach end of the resort which was a little tired looking inside - but clean.We struggled to get a sunbed due to the amount of people putting towels out at 5am - you're on holiday - chill!!! But the staff at the pool always helped us find some shade and a sunbed. The food was delicious. The Dosa for breakfast was tasty and made fresh to order. We ate at both Mama Mia and Kebabs & Kurries and both venues provided excellent meals. We both had suits made from the Tailors at the resort and they were of stunning quality - well worth going to! The staff here are wonderful and friendly - always happy to help. Lastly our Thompson Rep Karen was INCREDIBLE! She always waved and said hi, she was friendly and helpful, we stopped to chat to her most days. I was ill on my 2nd day and after a few hours my husband went to ring her and she got a dr out within 30mins for me. We booked 4 trips with Thompson, Elephant & Spice - which was great fun, Rail, Rickshaw & Relic, which was a fascinating trip, Relaxing Waters - it was our wedding anniversary on this trip and Karen our rep let them know and there was a cake on board the boat and we got the most beautiful room (when we got back to the hotel the next day there was also a lovely romantic towel creation on our bed with flowers!) - the trip on the boat was great fun too. Our last trip was the sights and shops and Jonas the tour guide was so lovely and told us so much. Well worth going!

So between our wonderful rep Karen, the hotel staff, the tour guides and the people of Goa we had a fabulous time and would recommend it to anyone! We'll be back!!!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank The_Wilsons2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Thank you for taking the time to post such a wonderful review of our resort. We are pleased to note that you indeed have treasured your stay with us; above all, appreciated the resort services, and the warm hospitality of our staff.

We do hope to have you stay with us in Dona Sylvia for another enchanting experience.

Warm Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar,
Resort Manager.

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Reviewed 2 December 2013

Just returned from the Dona Sylvia (01/12/13) and had a wonderful relaxing time there. It was clean and tidy and the staff were great. They could not do enough for you, to ensure you enjoyed your stay with them. The food was excellent and the weather was hot.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Nigel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Many thanks for taking the time to review us on TripAdvisor. It’s always a pleasure to get such welcoming feedback from our guests. We genuinely appreciate you taking the time out to recommend our hotel, services rendered, and the warm hospitality of our staff.

We do look forward to welcoming you back on another memorable stay!

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
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We arrived back from Goa on 24th November after having a brilliant holiday at Dona Sylvia. This is the 2nd time we have travelled to Goa and it definitely will not be our last. The hotel was great. It catered for all our needs. The rooms were comfortable ( the bed was really comfortable ). All the amenities you wanted were in your room hair dryer, kettle, tea/coffee, fridge. The room was clean - there were marks on the furniture but this was from drinks being made on the surface and not on a tray. By our second week glass had been put on the surfaces to protect them which made the furnishings look better. The only downside with the bungalow room was that because you were joined to another bungalow room, when the a/c was turned off you could hear the TV in the next room. This wasn't too much of a problem though as we travelled with another couple and I could tell them to turn it down. The rooms were cleaned every day - clean towels and bedding.
The food was good - quite a good choice. Breakfasts were very enjoyable - having eggs cooked to your requests. The meals were set up outside for a couple of nights each week - which is nice. The a la carte is well worth a visit - even though there were a lot of mosquitoes & flies ( you get used to them)
Staff were very pleasant and always willing to help.
Pool area was clean and the pool was cleaned regularly.
Beach is fabulous. We had a walk down the beach to the river and it was amazing - hardly anyone around and could see the dolphins in the sea.
Don't worry about taking towels as towels available by the pool and if you want a towel for the beach there is a small shack by path to beach were you can collect towels.
If you feel energetic and can tear yourself away from the sun beds - like my husband - there is a well equipped a/c gym.
Keep a watch out for Jack (he comes round the pool daily) who offers boat trips at a really good rate. We went on a boat trip - saw the dolphins, birds, wildlife - included meal and drinks - only cost £10 each - well worth it as drink flowed freely.
Always felt safe no matter where we were.
Outside the gates there is a main road were there are plenty of shops/restaurants/bars etc. Never felt like we were being hassled but really enjoyed the haggling.
We are already planning on returning next year!!!!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Deb N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

We thank you for exclusively reviewing us on TripAdvisor. We are glad that we did manage to exhilarate and uplift your spirit for a truly relaxing and enjoyable holiday with us.

We would be delighted at your return to Dona Sylvia in the near future.

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
Reviewed 29 November 2013

We have always taken the view that a revisit to a resort is a mistake as life is too short and the world is too large. Moreover there is the law of diminishing returns in relation to expectations which always exceed reality. We made an exception in the case of the Dona Sylvia. We were not alone. We met several couples who had been many times. In one case a couple had been coming for 14 years, twice a year on occasion. We arrived in the early hours of Tuesday morning having previously booked a suite with a view of the beach. We were given a suite without a view of the beach but this was corrected the following day. A word of warning. Never make judgements about a holiday on arrival. You will be jet lagged, confused and usually wrong. Leave it for several days.

The room
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The room we eventually got was comfortable, clean and spacious with a separate lounge area as well as a bedroom and a generous bathroom with a hair dryer. The bathroom fittings were a little tired and perhaps ready for a refit. The shower was not powerful and often reduced to a sprinkle or even stopped altogether which was no fun especially when covered in soap. The water soon came back on however. Many people seemed to experience this problem. A suite cost just under £200.00 each week for two people which we considered good value not least in view of the extra wardrobe space. We were in room 203. Additional suites facing the large lawns between the beach and the resorts are 204, 205 and 206. Other ordinary rooms with a similar view include 78-81 and 82A-88. It is always worthwhile emailing the resort to obtain information about the different rooms they offer. Some are bungalows and some have balconies. You do not have to wait until you arrive. A word about your last day. You can usually keep the room but they charge £40.00 which is expensive. They do allow a shower and change of clothes at the Spa.

The grounds
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The grounds are kept scrupulously tidy and are very well maintained with many palm trees, flowering shrubs and supern green grass. The pool is very popular not least with guests from the five star Radisson Blu next door which has the same owner. There was a problem on our first day in that we could not find a sunbed. After complaining to the duty manager the problem was quickly sorted out. The cause was two fold. Too many beds were awaiting repair and to complicate matters I am afraid we discovered that too many guests placed towels on the beds early in the morning and then never used them going to the beach instead. The management need to address this problem. In passing it is worth pointing out that complaints are taken seriously and usually resolved quickly.

Smoking is restricted to certain areas. One popular area is " The Haystacks". a covered seated area which separates Dona Sylvia from the Radisson Blu. Guests from there have to walk through the Dona Sylvia to get to the beach. In that sense the Dona Sylvia has the better position. On strolling through the Radisson we found the grounds just as well cared for if no better. The sunbeds were more modern than the Dona Sylvia. However good enough is good enough. There seem to be rather too many grey necked crows creating something of a nuisance making loud raucous noises in the early morning. They have learned how to overturn beakers of drinks which for them is a change from pool water.

The beach
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The beach at Cavellosim is delightful with fine silver sands ideal for beach combing. Sea birds including sea eagles circle overhead. Little spider crabs scuttle out of your way and there are many varieties of sea creatures even jelly fish which get caught up in fishing nets and are laid out on the beach. Long walks are possible in either direction especially to the left as it is possible to walk to Mikes beach hut which is next to Bettys. A drink and/or lunch entitles you to a sunbed and an umbrella for the rest of the day. Mike provides a lift home at the end of the day.An alternative is to take a taxi from outside the gated resort at a cost of 150 rupees. The most noticeable change from last year is the huge increase in the number of beach huts in front of the Dona Sylvia. Mikes Hut is much quieter.

Food and Drink
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Food and drink are just as good as we rememember from last year. Breakfast at the Seagull buffet restaurant consists of a wide choice of dishes. There is fresh fruit and fruit juice and of course an egg station serving omelettes and fried eggs. Toast is available but the rest of the bread is not as good as I remember being rather soft. It is important to know that if you want a freshly boiled egg or a poached egg and bacon just ask and it will be brought to your table as will boiled water and tea bags if you want freshly brewed tea.The coffee is less good but certainly drinkable. The Dona Sylvia must be a paradise for vegetarians as there is a large choice of excellently spiced vegetarian food. One criticism we made that the vegetables were often cold but in the second week this seemed to imrove. There is always meat as well including fish, chicken, beef and pork. A western alternative including soup is always available but there is less choice. Lunch and dinner are pretty similar at the Seagull. The linen napkins are welcome At the Mama Mia there is a simple burger or toasted sandwhich available as an alternative

It is possible to eat at two dedicated restaurants the Italian Mama Mia and the Indian Kebabs N Kurries in the evening. This is a real treat. Mama Mia serves lovely fillet steaks and the Indian food at the Kebabs is totally different from that at the Seagull. Four courses are allowed which are among the best I have eaten.
Twice a week the evening buffet is on the lawns either at the beach or at the Radisson. We tended to avoid these as the food was even colder and there are too many biting insects despite the fumigation attempts by the staff.

Beer and wine deserve a special mention. Beer includes Kingfisher, Budweiser and what I thought was Four Star until a bottle of Fosters was served! On arrival we found there were two types of wine available Castillino and Rio. The Rio was too sweet and we tended to stick to Castellino white and red.

A special word about the bar and restaurant staff. They are outstanding. Nothing is too much trouble and they are unfailingly courteous. If you are having difficulties which is unlikely look out for green shirted supervisers who are hands on, leading by example and who will resolve any problem.

The Town
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A particularly valuable feature is that you are not restricted to the Dona Sylvia. There are restaurants and shops within easy walking distance. We found Mikes place and Bettys an excellent and very cheap change. It is possible to change money just next door to the Radisson Bleu but we found that the hotel rate of 95.5 rupees to the pound good enough. Incidentally it is better in my experience to obtain rupees on arrival than to change at home. You may wish to note that laundry is quite inexpensive and a lot cheaper than excess baggage charges. Karen the Thomson rep suggested that Capitol tailoring had excellent seamsters. This may well be true but we found that the range of cloths was limited and tended to reflect Indian tastes. There is also a tailor at the Dona Sylvia with a wider range who made me three comfortable short sleeved button down shirts for £15.00 each. I also ordered three pairs of trousers at £35.00 each. Is it worth having clothes made? If you have difficulty buying off the peg at home quite definately yes as you get a perfect fit. I have to say however that the tailoring is not Saville Row, the creases in the trousers were awry but what do you expect for £35.00?

The entertainment
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The hotel attracts British and Russian guests in particular with the occasional French voice. We found that most guests are friendly, relaxed and seemed to be enjoying themselves. It is easy to make friends and we found ourselves with a great little group most days. Hi guys! I will not name them for all sorts of reasons but they know who they are.
The musical entertainment in the upstairs bar is well worth listening to but perhaps could be given more prominence if lights were turned on them.
Will we come again? Certainly to Goa and as for the Dona Sylvia well never say never.

Room Tip: Rooms nearest the beach are better
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank diandaveuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Thank you for the detailed review posted on TripAdvisor. We are glad that we did manage to make your holiday a pleasant one.
Also, we will certainly look into fine tuning our services, as customer satisfaction is our greatest commendation.

We do look forward to welcoming you back on another memorable stay!

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
Reviewed 28 November 2013

Came back on Tues 26th Nov,stayed at the Dona Sylvia for 2 weeks and didn't want to come back home.
All the staff very friendly and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble.
Room dated but clean.
Pool very clean but not enough sunbeds, for 2 days we couldn't get one because we would go after breakfast and all had towels on them so unfortunately we ended up joining the dawn brigade to reserve beds.
Food good.
Entertainment okish!!!
Weather fantastic sunshine every day.
Hotel situated close to beach which was lovely and the grounds beautiful.
Met lots of lovely people staying at the hotel it has a very friendly atmosphere.
Would recommend the jungle & waterfall trip you stay overnight in a very very basic hut, but get plenty of elephant time including sitting on their backs whilst they spray water over you. Would do trip again.
Another couple went on the 'Back to Nature' trip again staying overnight but in a luxury tent on the beach they said it was fantastic.
You will need mosquito spray.
Plenty of shops and places to eat outside hotel, out through the gates turn left.
Would recommend Bettys Kitchen name does not do it justice menu and food was fabulous.
We do intend going back again in the future.

Room Tip: ask for private patio as some are shared.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank chrissycloggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

We thank you for posting such a wonderful review of our resort. We are more than glad that you had a good time indulging in the facilities we had to offer and for praising the warm hospitality of our staff.
Also, We have noted your concern and taken steps to address the issue of sun beds.

We would be delighted to have you stay with us in Dona Sylvia in the near future.

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
Reviewed 27 November 2013

Beautiful setting and grounds kept spotlessly clean. Rooms adequate but bring a plug for the basin! Toilets might not flush & water may stop half way through your shower but be patient - it comes back! Our first room 49 was small with no storage and the toilet didnt flush so we moved to 50 and it was much better although the fridge didnt work in that one! There will be power cuts every night but again only for about 10 seconds. Staff are friendly & polite but a bit clueless. Food is downright AWFUL - cold & poor quality. Our 1st dinner was smothered with midges & our first breakfast had rancid butter. Ended up eating out every day which is a pain having paid for AI - however, there are some great restaurants & locals are brilliant. Exchange money in Jai International, hes a character & will give you best rates. Beach is superb & food in shacks fine, Silver Sands was our favourite Hi Chitan! Girls on beach became our great friends, know all their names and family details, they made our holiday & are not a nuisance at all - be nice to them!! Dont be afraid to use the taxis, we went to Palolem (Bourne Supremacy location) 1hr each way & he waited for 3 hrs there total cost £21 (a must go to place) Finally, Karen the Thomson rep 10/10 knows her stuff and was so helpful/friendly & gave everyone a hug goodbye at the airport - give the girl a rise!! Was very nervous about going to India but ended up loving it so much that cant wait to go back, just go with the flow and have an incredible time and accept all the quirks (except the vile in house food!!)

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ResortDonaSylvia, Manager at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2013

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Dona Sylvia !!

Many thanks for taking time out and posting a review of your experience in Goa. Please accept my sincere apologies as you could not enjoy our buffet meals.We have looked into our processes here and have taken necessary steps to improve the meal experience.

I am sure you will notice the positive changes on your future visits and stays at Dona Sylvia.

Regards,

Atool Mulgaonkar
Resort Manager

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Additional Information about Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort

Address: | Cavelossim Beach, Mobor, next to Radisson Blu, Cavelossim 403731, India (Formerly Dona Sylvia Beach Resort)
Region: India > Goa > South Goa District > Cavelossim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 On the Beach Hotel in Cavelossim
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cavelossim
#2 Spa Hotel in Cavelossim
#3 Family Hotel in Cavelossim
#3 Business Hotel in Cavelossim
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cavelossim
Price Range: £73 - £295 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 181
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking Cavelossim Beach and set in 20 acres of beautifully secluded landscaped gardens, NOVOTEL GOA DONA SYLVIA brings to mind a quaint Portuguese village reminiscent of a bygone era – an architectural style that earned international acclaim for its architect, CHARLES CORREA….a truly wonderful and luxurious location for holidays, small meetings to large conferences. This luxurious 5 star beach resort is situated on the southern coast of Goa, about 45 kms from the airport and 15 kms from the Margao Railway Station. ... 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
Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Cavelossim

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