Last time around, we had stayed at Holiday Inn, Goa, and had enjoyed that experience. This time, we went for Dona Sylvia. Our travel agents at Travelplaza got us a fantastic deal and some great hospitality along with it :). We did train journeys to and from Goa this time. We arrived early morning at 6ish ,and the Resort guys checked us in though our check-in time was much later. They allowed us to retain the room till later after our check-out time on the day we were leaving. So, a definite thumbs up for them.Β 
Dona Sylvia Resort is large, beautifully landscaped, and well maintained with lavish spreads for all meals. The private beach is beautiful and clean, and the Pool was large and a lot of fun :). The weather was pleasant, so we enjoyed our time outdoors. For our first lunch, we found the extensive food spread to be bland and largely European. Even the Indian dishes were very mild to suit the palates of almost 90% of the occupants who were foreigners. Disappointed, we decided to have a chat with the Chef. He was a gracious man who promised to have more Indian dishes on the spread, spice up anything we wanted, and actually customized and made some fabulous seafood off the menu for us and sent it to our table for all the meals that we had there. So, our eating experience shot up many notches after this :). But, I was disappointed not to see crab curry or fish curry on the buffet menu even a single time though I would assume them to be Goan specialties whereas beef figured every single time, which most of us steered clear of.
The positives were the cheerful spirit of the staff; anything we complained about or wanted was immediately attended to, which was great hospitality on their part and translated into a pleasant experience for us. My only advice to a guest would be to speak up if something is not fine or to your liking. That generally ensures that your grievance will be attended to. Most people crib but don’t so much as let the staff know about what is bothering them. If you want better service, ask for it :).
The negatives were that the showering space in the bathroom was not adequately separated from the rest of the space and often caused the entire bathroom to flood and difficult to use. There was also a stink from an STP (Sewage Treatment Plant), which persisted for many hours during the day that was definitely putting off. We do appreciate the water conservation measure, but it has to be implemented in a better way. They did not have Sports Channels in the rooms, which was a turn off due to the World Cup time. But, they had put up a big screen in a large Entertainment Room to accommodate cricket-crazy fans. And God Bless DD, which was telecasting the matches live :).
The high points of the trip for us was the lovely sea, time spent frolicking in the pool, the great food, good company in the form of a friend’s family and during the train journeys, cruises on the Mandovi river and the Sal river (though we could not spot the dolphins — the sea being very rough). I particularly enjoyed how the calm waters of Sal river emptied into the Arabian Sea. The contrast of rough waves with sandy beach and calm water with coconut trees was breathtaking. This was a great place to soak in nature and laze around. Goa is beautiful, and the place beckons again and again. The kids had a fun time too. Gautam had company in Ishank, a friend’s son, and so he had a great time too. And, we did feel recharged after spending 4 days of bliss in Goa.
Go Goa :)! I leave with some of our pics…

On the beach in the evening after a day spent on the beach and the pool.
See the pineapple plant in the background. Amazing!

The kids are enjoying making sand castles. We see Gautam, Siddharth and Ishank here.

Foreigners getting tans and massages πŸ™‚ on the beach

Sunrise on the beach

Us on board a boat for a cruise on Mandovi River

Lovely landscaping in the Resort

Cruise on the Sal river to go Dolphin chasing.

The beautiful Sal river

Cranes on the Sal river

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26 Thoughts on “Dona Sylvia, Goa!

  1. Enjoyed this trip with you. We do need such trips to recharge ourselves isn’t it?

  2. I can see a look of total satisfaction on your face, a proof that you did have good trip. It is true we have to make them understand that certain things are not up to the standard expected, and the hotel people want us to come back or recommend them, so they will do their best to rectify things.
    When you wrote about the STP stink, you reminded me of my husband’s job, which is to treat water, and I have seen many plants where the smell is unbearable( believe me they are not my husband’s plants), it is basically done by people who don’t have any idea as to what has to be done, that is why they stink.
    Many a time my husband’s company is contacted when such people leave their job in the middle not knowing how to manage, leaving behind a big mess for our people to come and clear and set things right.
    Believe me, my husband really enjoys the challenges that this industry offers him, he is saving lot of water in Bangalore, by treating such water, recycling them for the use of gardens, car wash and the toilet flushes.
    I am sorry bringing up this issue, but since you mentioned it, I couldn’t resist.
    The pictures have come out great too.

  3. Lovely holiday Rachna – you all look very relaxed!

  4. I keep saying ot myself I got to go , I got to go there

    beautiful pics

    Bikram’s

  5. @bbsearchingself I agree, we need to do this.

    @rama Yes, we did :). Oh wow, interesting to read about the STP. Maybe, they need to hire better consultants to help them do a good job. Thanks for the info and the compliments :).

    @Jane Thanks a lot :).

    @Bikram Oh, you must go when you visit next time.

  6. ya v need such trips to recharge…hey buddy..thanks a tonne for yr kind words ya..sad i could not meet u in india…nywy..next time may be…v wil stay connected..

  7. They dint have sports channels? Anyway, happy to know that u had a great time in Goa…wonderful pics are that u shared..

  8. nanri boss..thats shukriya…danke…cheers

  9. Will surely be opting for this resort whenever I will visit Goa. A good and vivid description makes the readers feel like they actually present in the place.

  10. Viva Goa!! πŸ™‚

    I’m a sucker 4 sands, sun n sea..n Goa roXX on des counts πŸ™‚

    Glad u n family hd a gr8 time in Goa, Rachna!!!

    πŸ™‚

  11. @Ramesh Good to hear from you. Nice that you had a good time in India.

    @Tomz Yeah some tiff with the cable operators I guess. Thank you!

    @Ramesh You’re welcome:).

    @Rachit Thank you for your kind words. The intention was to give the readers a detailed description so that they can make an informed choice. I also rely on blog reviews more than the reviews posted on commercial sites when I plan my trips.

    @R-A-J Thank you. Goa really rocks!

  12. Rachna,

    I have been to Goa and liked temples and churches. I found beaches are over-rated though.

  13. We all have experienced different aspects of Goa.
    Prawns were out of this world

  14. nice travelogue.Nice review of the place of your stay:))nice pictures too.And meanwhile,must compliment you ..you look gorgeous and deceive your age.

  15. @A Actually, I haven’t been to the public beaches at all. Both times, we had a private beach to ourselves, very clean and as good as in any part of the world that I’ve visited. I actually hold an opinion contrary to yours, Goa has the best beaches :). I am not much into churches and temples. There is a famous quote, “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen all.” πŸ™‚

    @BKChowla Indeed prawns were out of the world, and the fish was pretty good too.

    @raji Thank you, thank you, thank you! So glad that you liked so many things in my post. And, you made my day, no woman tires of hearing that she looks good or younger or slimmer than her age :).

  16. Nice photos…
    I wouldnt prefer a packaged trip but then when it comes to family you may not prefer risks

  17. @Jon Thanks! I know you wouldn’t. You said it correctly — when you have kids, you want things to be more planned.

  18. Firstly I am glad that you enjoyed your time in God and that you didn’t have to miss the cricket matches. I would surely go crazy if I missed a match. The pictures are lovely and I hope sometime when I get to India, I can visit Goa. You made me want to do it more.

  19. my fav place.i was there this jan too. was also in bangalore n rembered you. hope u had a good trip.

  20. @Emmy Thank you! I hope that you visit Goa too and have fun there :).

    @nituscorner Hope you are doing good, Nitu. So sweet of you to remember me in Bangalore :).

  21. Hi there, you have got yourself a neat little award.

    Check it out: irfanurs.blogspot.com

  22. Happy holidays… πŸ™‚

  23. @irfan thanks for the award. I am actually on a vacation and so not actively blogging just now.

    @Asma Thanks a lot.

  24. The pics say it all….my son is also Goutam….We stayed at Cida De Goa and that was also nice.

  25. @Alka Thanks! Oh, that’s nice that our sons share the same names :).

  26. Glad to know you enjoyed your stay in ‘Amchem Goem’. But the actual treat to savour is away from a packaged tour – exploring the actual charm of Goa on your own πŸ™‚

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