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“2nd visit”
Review of Dona Sa Maria

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Dona Sa Maria
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in Cavelossim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 March 2014

This was our 2nd visit, after staying there last year. Once again we found the staff open welcome and friendly.Rooms clean, water hot and linen changed regularly.most people we met at the hotel were returnees which speaks for itself,If you want to stay in an impersonal 5 star hotel this is not the place for you but if you want to meet friendly goan people in a family run hotel then go to the Dona Sa Maria. Enjoy many thanks Brian and Carolyn Halifax

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank bonzoYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 - 95 of 222 reviews

Reviewed 18 March 2014

After staying 3-4 days in the North, we wanted to experience the Southern atmosphere. We initially contacted several hotels/ BnB in south Goa and the only hotel which has a swimming pool for our budget was Dona Sa Maria. We were intimidated to have read some terrible and poor ratings. Despite all that, we ventured in and to our surprise, we like what we saw (the outside) and decided to check in. We reached the place after 30-40 mins Auto ride from Margao Bus Station. There's Govt rate for Auto @ R300.

We asked for AC room and was told that they are only located away from the Main Building.
We checked out the AC rooms, one at the Annex building (behind the main block) and the other
located across the road. We were so disappointed at the damp smell and stained sheets/ curtains, etc that we thought of leaving and stay somewhere else. Luckily, we checked the Non-AC room in the main building and to our surprise, the room that we saw was so airy, fresh and welcoming. Since it was March and the weather was not that hot, we checked in this non-AC room with pool facing and next to the lobby.

Location and Connectivity:

The hotel is located away from the bus route/ main road (Mobor-Cavelossim-Varca-Colva-Margao Road). You have to take a good 20 - 30 mins walk (if you can - in the Goan heat) to catch a bus. Be aware, there's no plying taxi or auto ... so be ready to manage your own transportation for your daily stay. Nonetheless, if you hire a car or scooty/ bike, this location is not at all a problem.

Scooty/ Bike Rental:
Veniola Holiday Home (next to Dona Sa Maria) runs a bike/ scooty rental. We got it from Joe Bike Rental a 100 feet away (to the left) from Dona Sa Maria. We like his scooty and his attitude so much. Very good and extremely good and helpful guy. I like his Mom too after a few chat with her.

Room Rate:
Well for a price of R1200 per night non-AC Room, we were very happy with the clean Swimming Pool, clean room, sheets and small token breakfast. But be sure to book for a pool facing room.
I heard that the 1st floor rooms are more airy than the ground floor rooms.

Restaurant:
I'd say the food n drinks prices are too much. Its like the hotel is trying to fleece you to make up for the cheaper accommodation. No wonder no one talks good about this restaurant. If you have to depend on the food from the hotel (just like most of the old folks who stay here), then you don't have a choice. Otherwise the food is far better elsewhere. There's a shocking additional 10% Tax (from space without any warning) to everything that you eat or drink.

People:
The owners are good people. Thanks to the owner for giving a free ride in his car/ dropping us to the bus stop after we checked out. And Thumps Up to the Staff who were really helpful and polite. Savio and Anita ... u guys are great !! Most of the holiday makers here were oldies foreign folks. During our stay, we were the only domestic tourists.

Overall:
A wonderful and memorable stay in Dona Samaria. I'd readily recommend this budget hotel to anyone and if I go back during the 'not so hot season' - i'll definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Rooms in the Main Building Block ofcourse .. with pool facing
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Shanlang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

After reading reviews before we arrived was very pleasantly suprised . Lovely family run guest house . Staff nothing to much trouble . Always a nice greeting at breakfast by savio . Anthony and mahesh . Fishing good few catfish caught in pond out back of guest house much to the excitement of local kids . Very nice walk to beach . But pool area very good if want a lazy day . Restaurant very nice . Few places local to eat out . If u want European go to Europe . It's lovely goa lovely place lovely people

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Catherine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

This hotel is of a hostel or backpackers standard, we visited Goa first two weeks March 2014, needed a base to drop off bags, get our bearings then set about exploring South Goa, this hotel was the best option to get a cheap flight and digs included, price did include half board but all we had was breakfast the days we were there (see below for details on food etc). We read many reviews about this place, here's the honest facts of what we found when we were there.
When we arrived we were led away from the main hotel building to our allocated room, we stopped the porter and said there was no way we were going to any room away from the main hotel building (there are 3 sites you could end up in at this hotel,1: main hotel block, 2: annex behind main hotel, 3: building across the road where there are more rooms), we went back to reception and were given another room in the main building, a ground floor room looking out of the rear of the hotel block, very little natural light due to security bars on the window and a mozzy mesh velcro'd to window frame, a pretty oppressive environment would sum up the room, no thru breezy so pretty hot at night, we did not see any of the other rooms at the other locations but speaking to other guests we got the vibe that they were all of the same standard. It was normal practice for guests to play "musical rooms" during their stay, most aspiring to get a room change to the first floor of the main hotel block to gain better natural light and more cooling breeze, best rooms seemed to be over reception, they had double aspect so did benefit with light and ventilation, these rooms did seem to be allocated to "long termers". The rooms are all fitted with ceiling fans but no A/C, there's no mozzy nets (take your own with you), be warned, you will be bitten here, take precautions!
Several reviews have all stated that it's a clean and tidy place, cleanliness is down to interpretation. You do get clean sheets and towels every day, the bathroom is mopped down every day, you could interpret this as a clean place if you so wished, the most accurate description would be that the rooms are not clean when based on western hotel standards, all in all the place is very tired and needs money spent on it, beds are very hard with incredibly thin mattresses, you do get electrically heated water (switch located on bathroom wall is always turned off by staff during cleaning as a safety feature? be aware of this, as you do need to plan ahead for hot water when you return to your room at the end of the day) we would not recommend a long stay here (but many people do come back year after year, these people are mostly "long termers" who stay for months at a time and are looking for a cost effective option), if you're looking for a hotel with comfortable surroundings looking else where, our description of hostel / backpacker destination is an accurate appraisal.
There's a fair amount written about the 10% levy put on food and drink charged at this hotel, it's not mentioned on any menu but always charged, we just ate breakfast (tea, coffee, toast and jam is the basic breakfast we had included in our deal) the simple way to avoid this 10% levy is just don't eat or drink there, most people we spoke to did not rate the food here, there's a good bar in the hotel next door which is much cheaper, food is so cheap out and about you're spoilt for choice there too.
Here's a few places we liked, you might want to check them out. If you want to know where they are just ask at "Rosie's", Rosie's is the hub for gossip, cheap goods of all types and best place to buy Mozzy repellent at Indian prices i.e. 50p not the £8.00 Boots charge for it!
If you want a good reliable cab driver for this area, Sandy's your man, anyone at Rosie's will know of him.
Best beach food we found was at the Sea Gull Inn, Travellers Inn did get a few good reviews whilst we were there but it's got no atmosphere which is a shame, Rubello (Temptations) has a good following but can be a bit of a struggle on a busy night.
Goa's a great destination, book up, go take a look.
On a closing note, when your time is up and you find yourself at the airport, here's a tip, get your cases security checked before queuing up for check in, if you don't, you'll find yourself queuing twice to check in, we sussed this and one queued whilst the other got the bags checked.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Tracee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

We are a family of four who recently stayed at the Dona Sa Maria hotel, we booked through Thomas Cook and the hotel was exactly as it stated in the brochure.
We knew that it was a simple style hotel and that it was a walk through a small hamlet to the beach.
The staff at the hotel were very welcoming and friendly, in fact in my opinion the staff really make a stay at this hotel memorable.
Anita on the desk always friendly with a cheery smile and very helpful, her husband Savio who served in the restaurant was a lovely placid man with a wicked sense of humour, Anthony always had a smile and a greeting for us in the morning, Mahesh a lovely person,
The swimming pool was a welcome break away from the beach and was cleaned 2 to 3 times daily it was spotless!
Our rooms in the main block were simple but cleaned every day , always with fresh bed linen and fresh towels , hot water on demand and a lovely fan and balcony.
The laundry service was excellent and very reasonable.
There are 2 dogs belonging to the family , the most friendly and obedient dogs you could hope for.
The gardens around the hotel are well maintained with beautiful shrubs and flowers.
The restaurant has a huge menu with many delicious foods on offer , I was addicted to the pistachio Kulfi !
Because of knee problems we didn't walk to the beach too often , we took a taxi which equated to 25p per person .
When we did walk through the village it was a joy, we saw peacocks and kingfishers and bee eaters, egrets , cows and lizards, everyone who lives on the little road always speak and say hello, my husband and I took a walk left out of the hotel and did a 4 mile round through Carmona village and back , it was a hot day but a delightful walk and we saw so much.
The beach just 15 mins walk away is superb, wonderful miles of clean soft sand , 3 beach shacks (we loved travellers shack) make sure you come out of the hot sun for a few hours and enjoy the fantastic food and a kingfisher beer here.
Cavelossim town is just 5 mins down the road from the hotel by taxi and there are many shops and restaurants there.
All in all we had a brilliant holiday , Seraphino the owner is always wanting to please and my only thought would be that it would be nice to perhaps dot a few tables around the pool area at night for dining and drinks, it would look so pretty.
Would we return? Most certainly we have no complaints what so ever !

Room Tip: A room upstairs is ideal.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank jilly1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

Where to begin, as my heading explains the complete holiday experience was fully down to the hotel,area, staff and management, (Serafino & Puri ).
In my opinion, having travelled extensively in the world in 4&5 star hotels,for example, Egypt,Tunisia, Turkey, Barbados, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamacia, Brazil and many other European countries, (which excludes me from the stated Costa Del Sol crowd), and should support my reviews credibilty.
Please take note all travellers that have decided to offer adverse reviews on this guest house that this is part of India and therefore part of the experience that you should have signed up for. I have looked at many holiday brochures and have not found one that states that you will be holidaying in the lap of luxury by staying at the Dona Sa Maria.but in a friendly well run establishment with caring owners and staff alike.
The care and attention afforded by Serafino and Puri alike, the attentiveness given by Savio, Anita, Maheesh, Anthony, Rodrigues and all backroom staff (cleaners,kitchen and gardeners) certainly adds to the entire holiday experience and makes one feel special even though all guests are treated the same way. It is just a pity that all do not appreciate what has been given to them. Work on the adage that one should treat others as they expect to be treated themselves.
The guest house is clean in all areas, gardens and pool well kept and the new restaurant is a credit to them. I personally found my entire holiday extremely enjoyable and cannot wait until I return in November this year for a three month stay. Critisim is easy to give but praise has to be earned and this guest house has certainly achieved praise in shedloads.
Good luck to Veno the driver on his forthcoming wedding on March 14th and thanks for his safe driving during our stay.
DONA SA MARIA- WELL DONE.
Black Bob.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank robert m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

Firstly, In answer to negative reviews, did not the people complaining on trip advisor have the opportunity to discuss and resolve problems with owners Puri and Serafino whilst there.Why wait until returning home and giving no chance for owners to put matters right at the time.The rooms are basic but spotlessly clean,pool is clean and very well looked after. Staff are very hard working,attentive,very loyal to the owners to ensure holiday goes well,(please note they are not the moaners personal butlers treat them with respect).This was our 4th visit,got home Friday rebooked our flights on Saturday to return for 3 months. Serafino and puri do so much good work to help the less fortunate,without wanting praise or recognition for doing so.This year Nora and jeff did quizzes and raised money for a good cause.We had a fantastic time at this guest house and we feel very priviledged to be able to stay here. Serafino and Puri and all the staff have become very close to our hearts and wish we had BIG HEARTS like them.We do feel very hurt and offended by narrow minded people who tend to compare Goa with European Countries.We would like to thank Serafino and Puri for a great holiday,part of our hearts are left behind in Dona Sa Maria. Thanks to Anita,Savio,Maheesh,antony,and all backroom staff for looking after us. We went as guests and left as friends for ever.Looking forward to seeing you all in November.Linda and Bob xx

Room Tip: All rooms are good
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank lindamu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dona Sa Maria

Address: Tamborim, Cavelossim 403731, India
Region: India > Goa > South Goa District > Cavelossim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Cavelossim
Price Range: £11 - £179 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dona Sa Maria 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Dona Sa Maria Hotel Cavelossim
Dona Sa Maria Salcette
Dona Sa Maria Hotel Salcette
Dona Sa Maria Goa/Cavelossim

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