24 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Haathi Mahal is fantastic
"The hotel has been redone and in ship shape condition. We have a time share there and really enjoyed our stay. Rakesh Mehta"
- Travel date: Sat 17th of September 2011
"scruffy" Haathi Mahal
"We arre time-share owners of the Royal Resorts and have visited the Haathia 9 times over the past few years.
This time total chaos when booking-in, staff had no idea what to do.
Apartment was grubby and tired looking, old furniture and grubby curtains, but we were so tired just wanted to sleep. Around the pool area broken paving slabs, pool grouting dirty and plates and glasses left from the previous day littered around the pol. No paper towels in the Reception toilets, everywhere looked tired and grubby.
Appeared to be all new staff who lacked leadership, but they did smile even though they had no idea what they were doing.
Rumour floated around that the CEO was arriving, madness then of scrubbing everywhere, cleaning the pool (whle guests were swimming) New pool towels and sun-lounger covers arrived, unfortunatley he never arrived.
Spoke to new Manager who said he would sort out things, but we have had enough especially when we received our maintenance bill on arriving home, Â£800+ for 2 weeks, originally 5 years ago Â£300, so its going to be sold and if we return to Goa it will be a nie clean hotel for us "
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of January 2009
Updateing Review: Accomadation: The acc...
Accomadation: The accomadation was fantastic and the living in the resort
was Exellant and all the other thing were briliant the Pools were nice it was hard to relax because lying in the sun hurted my eyes.
Traveling: The traveling to Goa/ India. I Flew with a cumpany called Virgin atlantic
We Also flew with ryan air and ir india. we had to go to glasgow prestwick, london heathrow, Mumbai and goa the night we arivd i slept that night
I have so much to say but i cant I will update my coment soon........."
- Travel date: Sun 20th of April 2008
Haathi Mahal is the best hotel in the wh...
"Haathi Mahal is the best hotel in the whole of goa! haathi mahal is such a beautiful hotel ive been there many times and each time i have really enjoyed staying at haathi mahal, everyone also remembers you which is so nice! the staff are so friendly and nyc they will do what ever they can to keep you happy they will go out of there way to put your comfort 1st, i love goa so much i have cried each time ive left , i cant wait to go back this year , its a hotel that makes you feel like your on holiday its just so lovely there, ther staff in the hotel are all trustworthy as my dad had once left his wallet in the hotel room and the cleaners gave is straight to recption and they called us straight away! its just to amazing to describe, but if you were thinking of going on holiday to goa , then its definatly south goa ! and haathi mahal its so beautiful!"
- Travel date: Mon 18th of February 2008
The Haathi Mahal was an fantastic hotel...
"The Haathi Mahal was an fantastic hotel and the accomadation was briliant
the hole resort was exellant,pools,eating,diningand villas was fab
only around 5-10 mins to the beach many of
shops and restraunts are sarounded the resort and lovely ocean views from the roof top gardens"
- Travel date: Thu 14th of February 2008
This was our third time in the Haathi Ma...
"This was our third time in the Haathi Mahal we were staying for three weeks as celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. Booked Monarch premium seats as a treat, not very impressed. Had phoned, faxed and emailed to ask if we could have same pool view room as last year for this special occasion (only got that last year as got to hotel early by using taxi from airport) was informed by reception manageress this was not possible even when I asked if we could be moved at a later date as we were there for three weeks. She was not in the slightest bit interested and fobbed us off saying we had a nice room. Yes, it was by the pool but with not even a balcony or patio area. As it was situated next to the pathway leading from the breakfast area to the pool we had the curtains closed a lot as people could easily look into the room.
We are going back to Goa in January 2008 but have booked with First Choice Premium and are going to return to the Holiday Inn in Mobor which we had used for the three years before deciding to use the Haathi Mahaal as it was so centrally situated in Cavelossim. We won't let our experience spoil the lovely times we have had. Special mention to Sam and his great beach shack (he was so proud of his flushing loo with attached wash basin and fresh water shower), all the boys in the shack, Francis, Thau, Sanjay too many to mention all of whom looked after us so well. Riverview was great as was Bettys Place. We only used Fishermans Wharf once but found it pricey and the only place we were charged tax on the bill. I would recommend Goa to anyone. Can't wait to return."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of December 2007
This was our third time to Goa and to th...
"This was our third time to Goa and to the Haathi. We spent three weeks there and then moved on to a nearby village to a fantastic guesthouse for our fourth week.
On arrival to the hotel we were given a poolside room. Nice, but we prefer the front looking out onto the road, maybe were the only ones. Itâs certainly interesting watching the daily goings on there. Anyway the porter showed us four different rooms in total of which we could choose. I will say we only returned to shower change and sleep so really a guesthouse would have done us the whole four weeks. The timeshare chap was a little annoying but if you stick to your word he gets the message. Who wants to waste time inside when the suns calling?
As I said we moved on to Benaulim for our last week hired a car and found a really great place to stay and so so cheap and spotless. The room was right at the top of a private house in the coconut trees. It had a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The balcony went right the way around the whole apartment. If we ever return to Goa this will definitely be where we would stay again, Benaulim is very friendly, much cheaper than Cavelossum sounds crazy but true, and less hassle from shop people every time you walk past. The beach sellers arenât so persistent either, thereâs more going on in Benaulim too we met some very interesting people.
We have no complaints of our holiday even got free upgrades again on the flight thanks again travel pack!! Just wish we had found Benaulim sooner
- Travel date: Thu 28th of September 2006
My partner and I visited Goa for the fir...
"My partner and I visited Goa for the first time end Feb/early March 2006. We stayed at the Hathi Mahal arriving after a very long journey and the most uncomfortable long haul flight I've ever experienced (Monarch). After surviving the complete chaos at the airport, we finally arrived early in the morning at the hotel. We had been forewarned that a room may not be available that early, but we were told on arrival that if we went and had some breakfast, our room would be ready. This was the case and we were pleasantly surprised to get the room so early. We had requested a double but were given a twin. It was a lovely spacious room and very clean. We did not think it was worth being moved to a double, after all, we were on holiday and felt quite chilled and wanted to remain that way!
The room was also on the front of the hotel overlooking the road and the building site opposite. However, having read some of the reviews below, I think that that people have over-exaggerated. Yes there was a road, and visitors to India will quickly realise that they do like to beep their horns! However, I did not hear the road at all at night and this did not keep either of us from sleeping. Yes, there was a building site opposite.
We used to watch the poor workers struggling to work with no mechanical machinery, the scaffolding was bamboo poles and they were climbing up and down with buckets and no lifting machinery! It was certainly not noisy (and they did not work at night). I even took a photo! These are things that, to us, just added to the charm of the country. At the end of the day, your room is only somewhere for you to wash, change and sleep!
The hotel itself was great. The people and staff were all friendly and lovely. I regularly used the beauty parlour and would recommend it to anyone, especially the synchronized massage. My partner had regular shaves there which included a head massage.
The restaurant was great, the bars and the bar staff were great and the two swimming pools were also lovely and the Jewell in the Crown rep was extremely informative and helpful. I could not fault it at all.
The Timeshare pressurization was slightly annoying but early in our holiday, we just told the agent, politely, that we were not interested in the tour and he left us alone.
I would certainly rate this hotel and thought it was excellent value for money. If people want luxury, then they should be prepared to pay to stay in one of the 5 star luxury hotels. This was one of the best holidays I've ever had and I would definitely go there again."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of August 2006
I have read the previous reviews and am...
"I have read the previous reviews and am surprised by some of the experiences of past visitors to the Haathi.
I found my room extremely clean and spacious with a wonderful view of the pool. The decor was modern and homely. Amazingly, during my 3 week stay I did not encounter any unwanted visitors (ants or cockroaches!)
The staff at the Haathi are first class and really made me feel at home and welcome. I have never been on holiday and experienced such friendly people as I have at the Haathi.
There is a good range of facilities here including a beauty parlour, gym, sauna and badminton hall as well as two swimming pools, large pool table and darts board.
The food was very tasty with a breakfast, dinner and evening meal menu available and also hot snacks available from the pool bar. I would certainly recommend a stay here."
- Travel date: Sat 6th of May 2006
I went my partner and another couple and...
"I went my partner and another couple and it was our first time to Goa. The hotel from the outside and main reception is wonderful and the staff were very helpful. However, our rooms were located just below the air conditioning units.
It took one of our friends to have almost a verbal breakdown at 3am after getting no sleep for many nights, with hotel management in order to get their room changed and we had to press hard with our representative, who was absolutely useless, to get our room changed too (which was incidentally to a room that wasn't vacant previously).
These rooms below the air conditioning units should not be used for guests paying huge amounts of money for a peaceful holiday. We were also offered a free supper (I know, no such thing really exists!) but were hoodwinked into some sort of time share meeting the following morning, which we bunked and didn't attend. However, people should not be pressured into attending these sorts of meetings when all they're looking for is peace and quiet on their holidays.
If people want to buy they'll look into it in their own time and not whilst on holiday. The Goan people are fantastic and they are very proud of their country and its cuisine, which is just wonderful. Leave us all alone to enjoy what we go there for - PLEASE."
- Travel date: Tue 11th of April 2006
This was our eleventh visit to Goa and w...
"This was our eleventh visit to Goa and we have never previously encountered any problems. However, the so called 4 star Haathi Mahal is by far the worst hotel that we have stayed in. We received nothing but a series of lies and misinformation by the hotel management from beginning to end of our short stay.
On arrival at the hotel we were kept waiting in reception for 3Â½ hours, constantly being informed that our room would be ready in about 15 minutes. Knowing the speed of how things happen in India, this initially did not give any cause for concern. We were offered drinks by reception manageress during our wait, but later requested to pay for these by a waiter. During this period numerous other guests arrived, checked in and shown to their rooms with minimal delay. We had specifically booked a twin bedded room, but eventually shown to a double bedded room, which was located directly under central air conditioning system. The whole room was literally vibrating and the noise absolutely horrendous and we therefore refused to accept the allocated accommodation and returned to reception.
Despite pointing out that our booking was for a twin bedded room, the reception manageress informed us that there is no difference in Goa between a twin bedded and a double bedded room!!! The booking was a room for two people and that they had fulfilled their part of the contract. Informed that this was the only vacant room in the entire hotel and we were advised that no other accommodation would be available until the following day.
Following our demands, the reception manageress eventually, but reluctantly, after a further hour agreed to contact our Travelpack representative to help resolve the situation. Some negotiations eventually took place between Travelpack and the reception manageress and we were told that a twin bedded room was being prepared and would be ready in about half an hour. Eventually after a further wait of 2Â½ hours (7 hours after arrival at the hotel and some 30 hours without sleep) we were shown to this previously non existent room. We received a categorical assurance from the reception manageress, that if we accepted this room for one night, we would be allocated a superior (pool facing) room the following morning.
It soon became obvious the reason for this promise, the room was located on the ground floor, adjacent to reception area and staircase and less than 20 meters from main road through Cavelossim (with associated traffic noise, dust and constant tooting of vehicle horns) and less than 35 metres from the clatter of a huge building site.
The following morning we were offered the keys to (so called superior) new room, which turned out to be another room located immediately in the same position, but two floors higher. When we consequently approached the reception manageress, she denied that we had ever made such a promise to relocate us to a quieter pool facing room. Eventually the resort general manager intervened in the subsequent conversation and although not present when the promise was made, was adamant that no such assurance would ever have been given as no-one was vacating one of these rooms for at least another week. All the resort general manager could say was, there is nothing we can do, so what do you want and immediately walked away completely uninterested.
I must add that the Travelpack representative was extremely helpful and tried his best to resolve the situation, but without success and eventually relocated us to another hotel at our expense.
It is however apparent after reading other reports, that the problems with The Haathi Mahal have been ongoing for sometime when the hotel is anything like fully booked. Tour companies are well aware of the situation, but do not appear to take any action to rectify the problems until someone complains and it would appear that you have to wait at least a week to get a quiet room away from the busy main road if you book during a busy period.
Basically, the hotel is contained in one large block at the front of the complex. All other rooms at the rear of the resort are time-share (or members) accommodation. All even numbered room face the pool and odd numbered rooms face a bend on the main road from Mobar with virtually every third or fourth vehicle tooting their horns on approach to this bend and throwing out a cloud of dust. This makes it virtually impossible to sit on your balcony with any reasonable comfort and you will definitely require ear plugs if you are anything of a light sleeper.
I would not advice staying at this hotel is if want peace and quiet. One other thing worth mentioning is that by 8:00am each morning, all available sun beds had been taken and towels placed on them, apparently by time share guests with their accommodation located around the pools. "
- Travel date: Tue 21st of February 2006
"We stayed at the Haathi Mahal on our honeymoon in December. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The pools were lovely and the food at the restaurant nicer than we expected, if a bit more expensive than restaurants outside. The only negative, was being placed on the side of the building below the generators. This did make the room extremely noisy at night and after prolonged negotiations we were finally moved to the other side of the hotel.
The resort and beach were really nice too. It had the feeling of a small village and everyone went out of their way to be friendly and helpful.
The restaurants served a wide range of food and we would highly recommend the beach parties!
Also to recommend - a river cruise to watch the dolphins and hire a taxi to drive you further down the coast to Palolem.
We would definately go back again."
- Travel date: Tue 7th of February 2006