12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Mixed - good value, but my fiance wasnt as keen
"My fiance and I are in disagreement on this one. I liked it, she didn't. Swimming pool was fine, breakfast ok, rooms average. The walk to the beach is about 20minutes, a bit longer than we were led to believe. One member of staff wasn't friendly, the rest were. The beach was great though, not that many people there, peaceful compared to rest of Goas beaches."
- Travel date: 7th January 2010
Just what I Expected!
"I stayed in this hotel about 10 years ago with my boyfriend and decided that this was one of the few hotels that I would come back to as I required a relaxing break before i planned to backpack around india and knew this would be just perfect if it was like how i remembered it. To my amazement not much had changed Serafino and Puri were still there along with some of the staff. The staff were all really friendly and the driver even helped us with booking of our train tickets. If you want a quite get away from all the stress of modern life then this is the place!! Out of all the places in India this was the one place that I truely felt safe and comfortable. It is away from all the hussle bussle and bikes are easy to hire. Guests in the hotel tend to be older and have been to this hotel for many years, at 34 I was probably one of the youngest there however everyone was really friendly I have never stayed in a hotel where everyone has been so friendly on both occassions. This is definately a hotel that I could quite happily go to on my own and feel comfortable. :-)"
- Travel date: 23rd December 2009
"I've been to Dona Sa Maria 4 times since 2006, well it wasn't my first time to Goa been to the north a couple of times and then to Cavelossim once before. But none of that compares to the village where Dona Sa Maria is situated, It's a small family Run, up graded Guest House which has a lot to offer, the lovely food, the friendly staff , what more could you want besides the location it self is a proper village , lots of open spaces, paddy fields , quiet beach, it's got this huge patch of un spoiled land on the way to the coast which soo perfect to get lost in bird watching , besides the people are soo friendly, we got to know the whole village by now, really feel safe and attended by the staff and the family itself, and also each year the price keeps getting very attractive providing great value for money as we managed to book a room in the annex behind the hotel which was soo spacious, We'd definately recommend this place and tell you what it's got better every time we've been there, so Can't wait for the next !!!"
- Travel date: 10th June 2009
Terrible example of Indian budget accomodation.Please don't think this is what it should be like.
"My partner & I have just returned from 2 weeks in the Dona Sa Maria. We do not like big luxurious resorts and have always been of the 'as long as theres a bed....' attitude. I have visited India 3 times over the last 7 years and last visited central Goa 3 years agos. Both previous times I stayed in 'basic accomodation' of the same rating as the Dona Sa Maria so had no concerns of it's 'simple style' description by Thomas Cook'. How wrong could I be! On arrival we were taking around the back of the main hotel block through a farm area to a seperate building with a large hall to find the 3 'housekeeping boys' sleeping on a mattress. Our room was upstairs and can best be described as a prison cell. It consisted of a small room with a bed, cupboard and a large metal table (used in the bar as a table). There were bars on both windows with no curtains and one window went straight on to a communal area. The room was shoddy and beyond basic. The shower room was of the standard of those in all other rooms. When the owners wife arrived we asked to be moved and to fair to her we only spent one night in there and were moved to the main block , altough 2 of our friends had asked the previous day and were told ther was nothing for 5 days(there room was worse than ours and eventually they moved 3 times). Turns out this is the cleaners quarters/wash house.Our best description of the hotel is psychiatric unit. The rooms are thrown together and incredibly basic-basic is fine, shoddy is not.We were in 107 which was ground floor at the front. We were at the end so didn't really get any sun meaning the light had to be on all the time and you couldn't have the door open very often as it was the route from the bar to the kitchen. The rooms are very shoddy-thrown together and in need of some DIY/TLC.Sheets and towels were changed every couple of days which was good although the pillows absolutely stank due to years of sweat (wrap the pillow in your top sheet) and the towels were threadbare and not much better than j cloths when it came to drying yourself.The bathrom was infested with ants so we'd advise burning a mosqiuto coil in the bathroom to keep them at bay.You cna change you money at reception although the rate is quite poor (68 instead of 74) and make sure you get an IOU as several times we were owed a few rupees that never came off our bill. The food is very very poor. We were half board which is breakfast of tea/coffee, juice (which is cordial) and toast. If you have anything else you pay the extra. Half board is 225 rupees of your evening meal. This will be taken off you food bill in the morning if you tell them & and they automatically add 10% to all your bills as a service charge.Check your bar & food bills as several people at several times had things on there they didn't have. Prices at the bar and resturant are average (before the 10%) the restaurant is awful though. Don't know where they got A La Carte from. Anything fresh, of which there isn't much-not even fruit, is very expensive, everything else is from a packet/jar and of a poor quality. We ended up going up the road to CASMY which is better, fresher, friendlier and home cooked. For what I consider 'proper' Indian cuisine walk or spend the 200 rupees on a taxi to Cavellosim and go to RIVER VIEW or FISHERMANS WHARF-these are both fabulous and not that much more expensive for the quality you are getting. The staff are generally really nice. NIVEA on reception is very pleasant, RONEX & SAVIO in the bar are both charming and very good and friendly, SHANTER the taxi driver is a nice guy nd the cleaning guys are nice enough as well.SARAFINO is the owner and walks around with an air of arrogance when he;s not sleeping half naked in the hotel entrance through out the day meaning you have to walk around him snoring to get to your room. He appears to be more interested in making money than running a hotel.He does not like you using taxis other than his own and if a taxi thats not his parks outside he goes out and has a go at them to the degree that some locals wil not drive down there.We asked if the taxi driver was available when changing some currency and were told that SHANTER ws 15 minutes away,When we said we would walk to the crossroads to get a cab all of a sudden there was no money in the drawer and had to wait. As if by magic the money appeared at the same time as the hotel taxi. Doesn't take a brain surgeon to work that out.He also doesn't like it if you leave the hotel complex and locks the gates at 10 o'clock. We did have a lovely time though, the beach is gorgeous and empty and the beach shack SEA BREEZE is fab, great food and lovely and fresh.The vilage is typically Indian just like a farm really with all the animals walking around. Nothing really there but a very small shop that has very basic bits and bobs so for a supermarket or chemist the nearest is Cavellosim. Our main gripe with this hotel was the fact that it was not run as a hotel. I believe that regardless of grading/star certain standards should be set. I don't expect to walk over semi naked sleeping staff and the neighbours children running around screaming 24/7. Not all budget accomodation is this bad.It would not take much to get this hotel to what I have experienced previously for a lot cheaper,I have no idea why people keep going back, I can only imagine that they either think that this is the standard of basic accomodation-it's not, or they feel it's a safe bet as they know it and the area. The Dona Sa Maria Epitomises the Greed of certain Hotel owners gaining from tourism.The best description I heard with referance to the owner was @he's either on the make or on the take'. No ne had a good word to say about him but still they continue to go back, I have no idea why."
- Travel date: 9th April 2009
Chilled out and friendly
"This was our second time to Dona Sa Maria and still outstanding. Firstly the hotel is in a rural location and very quiet. Great for birdwatching out the back of the hotel, especially the kingfishers. The owners have got pigs in a sty and free roaming chickens during the day. All very interesting. The rooms are basic but fully functional and spotlessly clean. The rooms are kept cool by the overhead fan. We haven't missed air conditioning and the windows can be left open, as they are covered with mosquito netting. The pool area is outstanding for such a small intimate hotel and is kept pristine and at a perfect temperature. The staff are all lovely and will go out of their way to help you. The food is superb and the restaurant has a very good reputation outside of the hotel. Getting around is either by scooter (which we do), or by taxi mainly. It is a little out of the way, so this should be taken into account, but for us this is a bonus. Trips out can also be booked at reception. We often go AWOL for a few days to travel further south, but it's always a real pleasure to return to Dona Sa Maria. We will definetely go back again, as the atmosphere is really chilled out and the owners and staff are a real credit. Thanks again for a brilliant holiday :-)"
- Travel date: 7th April 2009
very happy to have found this place
"we loved our stay here and are definately returning. its a friendly well run family hotel and although we knew it would be basic that is actually part of its charm. the owners and staff go out of their way to make your stay pleasant, the jeep and driver can be hired, the evening meals are first class gardens are pleasant and there is a lovely quiet beach with shacks on close by. all in all the best two weeks of the year"
- Travel date: 22nd February 2009
"Just returned from the Dona Sa Maria after two wonderful weeks. Hotel is very clean, staff are excellent, pool area excellent. Set away from the main towns, ideal place for quiet rest. Beautiful scenery and bird life, excellent empty beach 15 mins walk away or 2mins on a bike. All our party (4 adults & 2 children age 5 & 8) had a great time. Very laid back area. We found nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff or the owners. Our daughter needed to attend hospital while we were there for cuts to her feet, the owners showed great concern and arranged speedy transport to local hospital. We would be more than happy to go back to The Dona Sa Maria anytime."
- Travel date: 19th December 2008
Not the best!!
"The Dona Sa Maria is a very basic hotel, but is clean and rooms are cleaned and linen changed on a daily basis. Please note if you are going half board this is not strictly true. You are given an allowance for evening meal of 225 rupees which to be honest isn't enough to cover your meal and so every so often you are billed the difference. The breakfast is a coffee, juice and 2 slices of toast each. If you want anything like eggs etc you have to pay a charge. The hotel is 10-15 mins walk from the local beach and there is nothing close by. If your looking for a quiet place to relax then the Dona Sa Maria will suit you just fine. One more thing to mention is to look out for falling coconuts the bar is proteced by a net but not humans it would seem! To sum up I loved Goa but wouldn't stay at the Dona Sa maria again,"
- Travel date: 18th November 2008
"We have reached goa for football matches for our u-15 team. We have searched the hotels in goa on net and other sources. Finally we found out this hotel. The moment this hotel came across, we all felt we should for this one only. The hotel is a family owned one. The staff is very co-operative and helpfull. The owner Mr. Serafino is a excellent man. He helped us in all possible way and some times even out of the way. The place is very calm and quite amidst natural beauties. The hotel is basic. But the hospitality given makes up for all the drawbacks. The food served in the restaurant is excellent. The hotel is about 10 mins walking distance from the nearby beach and 15 mins ride for Colva beach and madgaon station. All our boys thoroughly enjoyed the stay at the hotel. We are looking forward for our next visit to the hotel."
- Travel date: 12th November 2008
Basic but very friendly
"The Dona Sa Maria is a very basic hotel. The rooms are very basic with just fans in the room. There is a small restaurant, where the food is okay, but a little more expensive than other local places. The staff are very friendly and helpful. There is a small shop, the staff can arrange trips out in a jeep at reasonable prices. The hotel is set in a very quiet area and is about 20 minutes walk from the nearest beach, which is a beautiful quiet spot. I am planning to go back in the near future and would recommend it."
- Travel date: 24th April 2008
Great budget hotel
"Had a great two weeks at the Dona Sa Maria. Be warned the rooms are very, very basic but clean. The rest of the hotel - fantastic staff, pool, gardens, evening meal, taxi service, bar, laundry, massage, are all good. The beach was 20 mins walk away with shacks and free sun beds. A bit out of the way from Cavelossim - walk in 50 mins, taxi or scooter in 5 - we preferred it as Cavelossim was a bit touristy for us. Nevertheless there were very good restaurants there and lots of shops for retail therapy. As long as you are OK with a no-frills hotel, away from the main town, you will like it. Most people staying there had been many times before and I expect we will be back."
- Travel date: 21st February 2008
Ezcellent value for money - our heaven on earth
"Located in a typical Goan hamlet, this good value, family run, simple accommodation is away from crowds and unlikely to attract the rowdy traveller. If this is what you seek then Dona Sa Maria is for you. Whilst the accommodation is basic, all rooms are en suite with a balcony or terrace and are spotlessly clean with linen changed daily. The pool is inviting and the food served in La Afra restaurant is excellent with a Tandoor menu available most evenings. The staff could not be more friendly and helpful, whilst Serafino and Purie - the owners - go out of their way to meet all needs. Their transport and driver is available for hire, making excursions so much more personal and pleasurable - being herded like cattle on organised tours is not for us! Many guests return year on year (including ourselves) finding the location peaceful yet within walking distance of a fantastic beach, a typical Goan village and an intriguing, if somewhat touristy, local town. We shall return - several times - its our little piece of heaven on earth!"
- Travel date: 10th January 2008
Dona Sa Maria is also called
- dona sa maria salcette
- dona sa maria hotel salcette