24 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Heaven on Earth
"Arrived home 13th Feb after 2 weeks of heaven. We were recommended by friends to stay at the Dona Sylvia, they said it was good but we didn't know what a fantastic place it was!. We have never met such friendly people, lost count of how many times we shook hands. Navin made our stay, he looked after us nothing was too much trouble, rooms were clean and spacious, the pool was great, food was good. The beach only a short walk away is really beautiful and the sea is just like bath water.!!
Really friendly sellers on the beach, don't ever promise them you'll look another day because they won't forget you.!!!
Can't wait to go back again next year hopefuly for 3 weeks!"
- Travel date: Thu 16th of February 2006
"Dona Sylvia was a paradise! Period.
Its website and other sources do not really project it as a heaven, but it is almost a heaven.
The atmosphere is so relaxing, there are no strict resort rules, its clean and simple, the mediterrenean architecture is amazing, staff is courteous - I can go on and on.... i can still just close my eyes and feel Dona Sylvia in my breath...
Just 1 hiccup - they made a blunder in our itinerary by deciding to pack us off 1 day before the actual departure day - however, they sort of made up for it later on."
- Travel date: Tue 7th of February 2006
"Eight years after our previous visit to Goa, we went to the Dona Sylvia for two weeks at the end of November 2005 and we're going back again in March 2006. Can't wait. Tremendous people, wonderful choice of food, great surroundings and an atmosphere I've never experienced elsewhere in the World. In November some rooms hadn't been upgraded but they are all totally efficient with aircon & fan, TV, fridge etc. etc.
A truly magnificent beach is just a short walk through the hotel gardens where one can choose which beach shack you want to give your custom to. No charge for beds/umbrellas if you buy a drink (all of 65p for a large beer). Eating out? yes, plenty of it and DO try the Riverview. Wonderful food and tremendous value.
The pool area is great but make sure you don't miss this wonderful beach, all 20 miles of it.
It's a pity some people staying at the hotel couldn't read! The brochure does request "Gent's in long trousers for Dinner". Some of our fellow Brits decided that meant changing from England Football kit in daytime to Coventry City kit at night! Or one Brit decided that if wearing pink & yellow swimming trunks (2 sizes too small)wasn't enough during the day (every day)he'd wear skimpy black running shorts / t-shirt at night and no shoes! But, it takes all sorts to make a world.
Roll on March!
- Travel date: Sat 4th of February 2006
The perfect holiday!
"We have just returned from two weeks at the Dona Sylvia and can't wait to go back! You couldn't wish for anything more from a hotel. We had a superior room which was kept very clean with a good shower and efficient air conditioning. The hotel food is excellent, the restaurant runs like clockwork and the staff couldn't do enough for you. Everyone is really friendly and made a point of remembering your name. The pool area is large and immaculately kept, although we tended to spend most of our time on the beautiful beach just a short stroll through the hotel gardens, where there was always a nice breeze. The hotel provides beach towels, you just need to sign for them. We used the Silver Sand beach shack where the sunbeds were free, we just bought a couple of drinks during the day. There are beach sellers, but if you say no they're not pushy and are really friendly if you take the time to chat to them. The entertainment in the hotel is very low key and the bar shuts at 11. The beer is all bottled, either Kingfisher or Fosters, spirits are local. There are no diet drinks. We ate out at Mike's Place, Gaffinos and The Golden Eye and can recommend all of them. However, we only ate out for a change of scenery, there was always plenty of choice in the hotel. The trip to the waterfalls is a brilliant day out, but be prepared for a very bumpy jeep ride!! All in all if you want a totally relaxing holiday, surrounded by genuinely friendly people, look no further than the Dona Sylvia, it's perfect!"
- Travel date: Tue 17th of January 2006
Well what can I say after reading the on...
"Well what can I say after reading the only review on here actually bought back some very wonderful memories.
I have no plans to go into depth but will keep the statements short but TRUE
Our time at the Dona Sylvia and the whole holiday was a dream!!
The staff treated us with the highest respect and if there was anything needed it was there.
Seriously if you want a holiday where you can have all you want without to much agro then book now.
We took our daughter with us. At first we were a little apprehensive as she was only 8 years old at the time, and we weren't sure how she would cope with the heat and food, but she loved it and cried when we had to return home.
The only thing stopping our return is we have had a little boy since then but we are prepared to wait.
Taxi drivers will take you out for the day wherever you want for around Â£20 for the day.
We did take one and went on a jungle trip which could have been booked with the travel agent for 4 x times the price each, and the driver took us on the scenic route even to the local market to buy bananas to feed the monkeys.
- Travel date: Sat 14th of January 2006
"We went to Dona Sylvia in November 2005 for three weeks. The hotel has been upgraded to a high standard
from our first visit in November 2004. The food, staff in fact everything was just great. No complaints at all. We were there for the opening of the new Haystacks, which was really something. We highly recommend this hotel to anyone and can not wait to return"
- Travel date: Fri 6th of January 2006
Good Location and wonderfull beach
"We have just returned from our fisrt visit to Goa and loved it. We used Dona Sylvia as a base and travelled around and stopped at other places for the odd night here and there.
The hotel was good and a nice atmosphere. Friendly staff although we got fed up with them expecting atip for carrying luggage and room service ect, we had one porter who asked for more when we gave him a 50 ruppee note so we asked at reception what was the right amount to give and they told us this was far to much ! so we didnt ask for any thing again to save embarrasement.
its set out a bit like Centre Parcs with clusters of chalets so it quite. the food was good but I got fed up with jumping up and down to get each course, the selection of inclusive drinks is a bit limited and the snacks through the day are not much to rave about and everything shuts at 11.00. you can get coffee easily all day by the pool and the pool is good. the beach was lovely and the beach shacks food was great and cheap we ate there at Doms Beach Hut alot.
the beach sellers are a pain but if you get a sun bed the beach shack owners dont charge if you get a drink or two from them and chase the sellers away aswell for you.
all in all a good holiday."
- Travel date: Sat 31st of December 2005
Our first visit to Goa
"We enjoyed out stay at the Dona Sylvia but would probably not stay there again. The staff were lovely and always helpful. The rooms were quite basic but always clean. The food was buffet style and towards the end of the fortnight got a little boring, I would not go all inclusive again. We did eat out several times and this was much nicer and loved walking to the beach for a drink as the sun went down.
I felt Cavellosim was a little far away from most places and the taxi drives became a little tiring as we went to Central and North Goa. I would try North Goa if I went again. Best trips were Jack's fishing trips and the water falls. Drinks were not always cold and the local wine and spirits were not that good and all the soft drinks were very sweet (No diet soft drinks). The shopping was much dearer than in North Goa and Panaji and so wait to go on trips to shop."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of December 2005
what a place
"We have just returned from the Dona Sylvia and had a fantastic time. The staff are brilliant and really helpfull. The food was fantastic and caters for even the most picky of eaters!! We did not here anyone complaining about anything. And made some new friends there who hopefully will be there next time we go! We have been home 2 days and have reccommended it to everyone we have spoken to since getting home."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of December 2005
loved Dona Sylvia
"Have just returned from 2 weeks here. Awesome. The staff could not be more helpful and charming. food is excellent even if you don't like curry there is a good selection. Don't go on tour operator tours. Much cheaper to use local taxis. We found a great taxi driver called Hallelujah, he was really helpful and informative. Also go on Jacks tours they are relly good value"
- Travel date: Fri 25th of November 2005
"We have just returned after 2 superb weeks at the Dona Sylvia. The hotel, the staff, the food and the people we met were wonderful. The lobby managers were extremely polite and very helpful and were always smiling. We taught the poolside chef how to make cheesey chips which he found very amusing. Do not bother arranging trips through your tour rep as it is so easy to arrange your own when you are there and is much cheaper. Jack, from Jack's Cruises can arrange any trip you require ( if you get the chance go on his dolphin, fishing and beach trip ). He even managed to arrange a Hindu blessing by a Hindu holy man on the beach at sunset at a fraction of the cost our rep could offer. Be prepared for it to be very hot, especially between 12 and 3, and there is not a lot of shade by the pool. The atmosphere in the bar in the evenings was excellent, as was the service from Agnelo and Rosey, but the bar does close at 11 sharp, so make sure you get your drinks in before it closes. The fireworks display is worth a visit as it is unlikely you will see one quite like it in the UK! Jewellery is very reasonable and the jewellers directly opposite the hotel entrance was by far the best. If you get the chance take a bus ride into Margao to see the market and come back on a tut-tut, it will be trip you will never forget."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of November 2005
Arriving at the Donna Sylvia is a great...
"Arriving at the Donna Sylvia is a great experience, a fully uniformed doorman opens the cab door and salutes you, the luggage porters unload your luggage, and you begin to realize you are not expected to raise a finger during your stay. The Reception was great with a welcoming drink and even free safety deposit boxes, with a manager on duty 24 hours.
We chose a superior room which was delightful with a large balcony, TV, A/C, fridge, writing desk etc and fresh flowers were placed in the room every day.
The beautiful gardens and trees are stunning, maintained by a small army of gardeners.
These gardens have a central path with a short stroll down to the beach, where you will be greeted on the right by two lovely ladies selling beach wear and flip flops both have the widest smiles you will ever see, ask them to point you to the Silver Waves Beach Shack which is a short two minute walk along one of the Worlds great beaches with the soft pale gold sands, on the calm Arabian sea with cloudless blue skies.
The Silver Waves Beach Shack has everything you need for paradise, cold drinks, great food, sun beds, surfboards, bikes, for you to use, but more importantly the most helpful, happy and attentive waiters, Chandu, Austin, Pinto and Mark.
Francis (the massage man) will give you a full body massage with your sun cream. The sunsets are stunning, to be enjoyed with one of the Silver Waves special cocktails.
What ever you do donât miss the Silver Waves fantastic beach party, fire dancers, huge firework display, bonfire and dancing (even pole dancing like you have never seen before!) all till the early hours absolutely magic, a memory that will go to my grave with me, just magic.
In the evening there is a great choice of restaurants, our favourites are the Get Down (our favourite restaurant) and the Walkin (our favourite bar), opposite the Dona Sylvia.
We also tried the Riverside Restaurant (very quiet, riverside spot great for lunch rather than dinner at night), Golden Eye (friendly garden restaurant). Bettyâs (not to my liking too busy on the Thursday we went), the Fishermanâs Wharf (great location, tries hard, no atmosphere) and the Hills Dene (a lovely garden restaurant with a wonderful owner).
The Get Down is probably the best restaurant that I have ever eaten in anywhere in the world, with perfect service and entertainment. The tandoori dishes are to die for, with presentation could not be bettered. The music is played at an ideal volume, never getting intrusive, with a perfect dance floor, no where in the world could life be better.
The menu is extensive with outstanding food with enormous choice, a spectacular tandoori oven (three tandoori chefs); the ice is all made from mineral water.
The Get Down is run by Chandu who is the most obliging maitre d' you will ever find, his charm and hospitality are outstanding, he will do anything to make your evening memorable, he always finds time to party.
An example of his care is that on our last night in Goa we went to the Get Down for our final dinner, Chandu had decorate every table with balloons, arranged for a magician (some what surreal, as the only English the Bengali magician knew was "123, Charlie Chaplin" and Austin, the waiter, interpreted from Bengali to English) dancers and fireworks, an evening that will live with us for a long time, we left the Get Down restaurant at four in the morning
When we left the Dona Sylvia Resort at 8am in the morning for the airport, Chandu had got up to say a fond farewell to us.
Another great spot is The Walkin Bar is run by Joseph and Monika and is opposite the Dona Sylvia serving cold drinks and good food, wonderful people with a lovely friendly family bar.
On Monday afternoons, the Dona Sylvia has clay pigeon shooting which you must not miss, Peter, the instructor shows you that clay pigeon shooting is a thrilling experience, teaching you to perfect your aim, a great sport for all, young and old, men and women alike all for less than three pound fifty pence each.
Finally we decided to have a full health check (after over indulging in many of lifeâs great pleasures) at the Victor Apollo Private Hospital, the cost One Hundred and Ten Pounds each, great value for money, organized by the Dona Sylvia Resort reception.
The one concern we have about writing report is that we hope the resort keeps its friendliness, people and the lifestyle and this doesnât encourage too many visitors, enjoy!
- Travel date: Wed 1st of December 2004