10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
GO GO GO TO GOA
"We have just returned from two fabulous weeks at the Radisson White Sands Hotel, Goa. We have travelled extensively but can honestly say this is the first place we want to return to.
The main reason, apart from the location of the hotel and of course the weather, is the staff. They are kind, friendly and courteous. Nothing is too much trouble. James, the Head Waiter at the Blue Lagoon especially stands out in our memory.
With regard to all inclusive -v- B&B. Well, we were all inclusive and two other couples on our flight were half board and B&B so all three options there. I honestly think we got the best deal. Eating out is OK for a while but the B&B couple got fed up. The half board people tried to upgrade to all inclusive almost immediately but could not do so. Beach shack meals are all well and good but I'm not sure the hygiene standards are on a par with the hotel. Also, there is absolutely no confusion about the all inclusive menu. We ate at all of the a la carte restaurants on the complex and the $14 each allocated for each meal more than covered the cost. In other words, we didn't pay a penny to eat outside of the buffet restaurant.
First Choice are fine save for the daft flight times. Also, we arrived at the Radisson at 6am after travelling through the night to be told our rooms weren't ready until 2pm!! However, they were actually ready by 8am.
Taxi rides are cheap and the taxi driver will wait for you as long as you want for a ridiculously small sum.
Bought a couple of sarongs from the beach vendor, Monica. They were good quality but you must haggle. Get to know them, they are Sunita, Monica and Emma. They will leave you alone eventually.
All in all the best holiday we have had so far, beating Barbados, Australia and the like.
We will be returning to the Radisson in the not too distant future.
One last thing, make sure you've got a couple of Â£1 coins for the porters at the airport when you arrive. They think Â£1 is a fortune!!"
- Travel date: Fri 14th of April 2006
Excellent Relaxing Holiday
"We had visited in April 2005 and had such a good time decided to return. We were not disappointed. The hotel is great:
Comfortable large rooms with everything you need
Wonderful staff, kind and considerate & incredibly helpful and willing to please
Food is good and chefs have very high standards and are happy to receive comments/suggestions
Pool is fabulous & never seems crowded (towels & sunbeds provided & there is a pool bar with waiter service)
Do not pay extra for deluxe rooms unless you have children and want to share. These rooms have exactly the same as other rooms but are bigger. To be honest the airconditioning is not quite as effective in the bigger room. The superior pool view or sea view (partial views & only from first floor rooms)are more than adequate.
Do not go all-inclusive unless you have a large appetite and drink large amounts of alcohol. (Go B & B instead) Food in the hotel (buffet as well as a la carte) is cheap (& very good) by UK standards & there is a wide choice of beach shacks & restaurants outside the gates that sell even cheaper food. You must try the fresh fish: Sea Bass, King Prawns, Kingfish & Moonfish.
Nearby towns such as Cavelossim, Colva & Palolem (slightly further away) all have good restaurants & shops. Avoid the large stores and instead frequent the little shack style shops & remember to haggle! Beware the jewellery sellers on the beach just over the bridge from the hotel - most of their stuff is cheap & nasty. If you are tempted to buy -check your purchases very carefully & never pay the asking price.
We travelled this time with Monarch (in the premium cabin) & found this to be much better than Thomson's. The premium cabin is to be recommended if you can afford it - it is well worthwhile the extra money for comfort etc. Beware First choice - apparently they have a reputation for flight delays. We were told that of all the companies flying to Goa, Monarch have the best reputation for flights being on time. Yes, I was very surprised also as I had heard some bad stories about them. However, I found the staff in premium to be very good and helpful, except the purser on the return journey (27th March)who needs a lesson in customer relations.
Re: Taxis. Please note that these are relatively cheap compared to the UK although they are dear by Goan standards. This is not the fault of the hotel but the result of a local 'political' agreement (if you know what I mean)
However, it does mean that you are safer using these & the driver will wait for you & take care of you while you browse & sightsee & then return you to the hotel safely.
We will be returning to the Radisson next year & look forward to seeing the staff again who made us feel so at home. Especially Pooja, the front of house manager."
- Travel date: Sun 9th of April 2006
Super hotel, wonderful place
"Went to the Radisson on 21 March 2006 and loved it. the staff were friendly and attentive, the grounds were immaculate, with staff constasnly sweeping paths and clearing any debri. The rooms were large and clean, we had a pool view which was lovely. The pool itself was superb. This hotel is set on a 5 mile beach and you can walk for miles along the shore and paddle in the warm water. The sea is not good to swim in as it is always quite rough. The restaurants in Goa are very good and cheap the ones we found to be excellent were Fishermans Wharf, just past Cavilossum, Joncons near the Taj hotel and Pierars which was just outside the Radisson. If you would like an idylic boat ride up the river then book a place on a boat from Bettys place great day with lunch included which was very good.
The only negative is that the hotel is isolated and you have to get taxis to go anywhere and the taxi rank outside the hotel seem to have a monopoly.
We are definitely going back next year."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of April 2006
"An excellent hotel with wonderful staff.I cannot speak highly enough about the staff or the local people for that matter. The hotel is a truly relaxing experience located on a superb stretch of beach. the food in the hotel is a little expensive compaired to eating out but it is of a very high quality. the grounds are stunning and very well maintained. the only problem you will find is, it's such an effort to leave the hotel your holiday may pass by and you have not done all the trips you had planned. all the shacks on the beach and out of the front gates serve wonderful food we did'nt find any better than the next the food was great in all of them. i must give a plug for Misha's though as we did eat there more than any where else. beautiful hotel, beautiful people, in a beautiful location."
- Travel date: Fri 24th of March 2006
"We stayed for a week in February. The service was excellent, they couldn't do enough for you. The grounds were fantastic. The hotel was well designed, well maintained and felt spacious and secluded. The pool was great. The food was mostly Indian but we both enjoyed the variety and the local fresh produce.
Our room was large, clean nad the air conditioning worked well and was quiet. The free bottled water was a help. We're planning on returning next year for longer. We booked through Thomson / TUI."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of March 2006
Loved Goa but there are some problems with the Radisson
"We stayed for 2 weeks in the Radisson. The resort is lovely. the pool is huge and embedded into a wonderful garden. The rooms with poolview are grouped around the pool. And that is exactly where the problem starts. Some of the rooms get no sunshine but a lot of humidity from the pool and the watering of the gardens. We changed rooms twice because there was mould and damp in the room. Room 137 was so bad that even the clothes in the wardrobe got damp. The mattress and pillows and covers were damp and smelled horrible. Behind the bed you could see black spots caused by the mould. We didn't sleep well.
apart from that the holiday has been fantastic.Staff at the Radisson are really, really nice and helpful.Sometimes I felt sorry for them as they were struggling with some demanding Russian guests who didn't speak English. As Russian doesn't come naturally to the Indian guys they had some problems.
In the second week there was a bit of a Russian invasion. You could see the results in the morning on the way to the breakfast terrace. Empty whisky bottles in fron of the rooms. These guys do drink a lot. One of the 'finer' examples passed out while he had lunch. His wife just left him sleeping in the chair, very much to our amusement.I hope behaviour like that doesn't become the rule in the hotel.
We booked just B&B and I wouldn't recommend all inklusive. There are two restaurants in the hotel. One is located at the beach and has mainly seafood. You can choose your fish and it is delicious. The other resturant 'Flavors' offers North Indian cuisine and is excellent! We weren't impressed by the Gravity Pool which is a kind of nightclub/entertainment arcade with bowling. Hardly anyone was in there and the choice of music was mainly cheesy 80's stuff. same at the beach bar. They seem to have just one tape that the played all day long. fair enough if you like 'Speedy Gonzales' and 'D.I.S.C.O.'.
Pereira's restaurant just outside the hotel offers excellent curries for almost nothing."
- Travel date: Fri 17th of March 2006
Good, Very Good
"A very good place to stay, the staff were attentive and always wiling to help if there was help required, we booked a sea vie, do not bother, you can not see it from the hotel.
We got a superior pool room which was excellent, fault free and right on the pool near the Lagoon Bar.
The ALL INCLUSIVE was ok....we broke even.The food was above average, the service faultless.
Entertainment was ok, the gravity poool room has a bowling alley (2) lanes , pool table and a couple of arcade machines.
We enjoyed our stay and in fainess it was faultless
A recommended play to stay.
Manchester Visitor, via First Choice"
- Travel date: Wed 15th of March 2006
Excellent Hotel, fantastic beach
"I stayed at the Radisson White Sands for 2 wks in Feb 2006 and had a great time. Loved the location, Varca Beach is amazing & so peaceful. The beach is very wide and stretches as far as the eye can see in both directions. The sea is lovely warm and fantastic waves. An excellent place to take walk in the late afternoon sun and stop off at a beach shack for a cold beer!!. Glorio's is an excellent beach shack (3rd one along) as you come onto the beach from the hotel. Excellent food and cheap as peanuts. They also have fireworks and dinner is served out on the beach under the star on Weds nights - had a fab night and meal. The hotel itself is well decorated and stylish. Had a deluxe seaview room, excellent view of the hotel grounds and could watch the sun setting each night. Seaview is slightly masked by a bank that rises around the edge of the grounds which obscures the beach but you can see the sea and the sun setting in the evenings. The grounds are fantastic, very spacious and well maintained. The staff are very friendly and helpful but as with most places in Goa, they run on Goan time which is very relaxed and no rush. Went all inclusive which was good value for money, as the hotel prices for drinks & food is around the same as the UK but are dear incomparision to outside the hotel so if you do eat & drink in the hotel it totals up. We still went out & ate when we fancied it and at the end of stay we had next to nothing on our room bill so it worked well for me & my friend. Be careful when all inclusive to ask for the all inclusive menus when eating at any of the restaurants as there are different menus. You can drink at any bar in the hotel, it needs to be made clearer as some people weren't aware of this and it caused confusion & problems but personally speaking didn't find it a problem. The buffet breakfast was excellent, lots of choice, lunch & dinners were fine. The theme nights in the hotel are excellent entertainment if you can't be bothered to go anywhere and they are well presented and they vary the location and style of the night so it's different everytime. Had 5 theme nights in my 2 wk stay. Also various entertainments throughtout the day and ever night, so perfect for those who like to stay put in the hotel. Just outside the hotel at Michaels Corner (first right) there are three restaurants - would reccommend the Sun & Moon, very popular, great food, great prices. Recommend the Jungle Trip with overnight stay in mud hut in the jungle, not for those who don't like creepy crawlies but it's an experience worth doing especially washing elephants in the river and getting a power shower from them whilst sitting on their backs - so much fun!! Loved Goa, would recommend the Radisson White Sands & Varca Beach."
- Travel date: Wed 15th of March 2006
"Spending a week here in February, escaping the UK weather is like being transported to paradise. A fantastic hotel with great rooms, great service and a phenomenal setting. The grounds are extensive and there is always a sense of space, peace and serenity. Eating and drinking in the hotel costs about the same as UK; walk 100 metres outside, past Michael Corner and you hit the local 'restaurant row'. Our particular favourite was the Sun and Moon with the most friendly, interested waiters and sea food to die for - at a quarter of UK prices. Ice cold beer and even a decent bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (Sula)! More food options and some shopping action after 10 min taxi ride to Cavellosim. We hired a taxi for the day (Â£18) and visited Cabo de Rama (black faced monkeys and amazing views), Agonda Beach - the best kept secret in Goa and Palolem - beautiful but a bit over developed under the palm trees!
A great resort in a fascinating country."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of February 2006
Back in Goa
"We stayed at the Radisson White Sands for 2 weeks from 29 Jan. The hotel has a excellent pool area with plenty of room in the surrounding garden areas.However we were disapointed with the room.We had booked a deluxe ocean view room. In reality we got a partial horizon view room. In fact none of the rooms have an ocean view in the true sense of the statement as the hotel is about 250m back from a 5m high sand bank that runs the width of the sea frontage of the property the huge beach is over a path beyond that .There are 3/4 beach shacks nearby and several resturants out of the main gate of the hotel.The best ones are about 100m down the road turn right at Michael Corner and along the track there is the Sun and Moon ,Mishas and Loddys all v popular and good value ."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of February 2006