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“Nice luxurious hotel in Goa, quiet location and the food is safe to eat”
Review of The O Hotel

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The O Hotel
Ranked #20 of 64 Hotels in Candolim
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Nice luxurious hotel in Goa, quiet location and the food is safe to eat”
Reviewed 26 February 2012

This was a Thomson package holiday for 2 weeks with a Thomson flight. The flight was comfy for long haul (although the seats are leather). The entertainment is poor compared with other long haul airlines and there are no complementary drinks. Fiver extra to upgrade your entertainment to a wider choice of movies but there was no point as there was no way of knowing what time the movie was starting each time.

Beware of the Porters at the airport, very enthusiastic and want to take your bag for you for a tip. They may take it off the luggage belt and put it on the wrong bus! Or a porter will only be able to take your bag as far as the entrance, so thats one pound tip, then another to take it from there onto the bus, thats another then one to put it on the bus, one to take it off.... I'd tip here and there but not every time as otherwise you end up spending more on tips than on the rest of the spending on holiday.

We opted for half board as it was our first time in India. I regretted this when I found out what Candolim has to offer in the variety of restaurants. The set menus were good and the food was nice but not a great deal of choice if you are vegetarian. Nevertheless there was a degree of flexibility and the staff were happy to make an alternative dish if you can idnetify what you want.
Puddings were a bit same-same with it being pannacotta or ice cream on most days but there was the occasional day where the pudding was absolutely yummy!
Also, the drinks are not included in the half board and they are expensive (compared with the bars and restaurants out there) - also an extra 20-30% is whacked on in taxes/service charges. Having said that, their cocktails are very nice (Pina Colada!) and by far better than anywhere else we went so that was worth the extra R100 :)
The advantages of going half board though are that you can eat salad there with confidence and they are very well staffed. There is good live entertainment, I particularly liked the singer who performs on Saturday nights, I could have listened to him sing all night. Some great songs.

The breakfast was lovely, eggs done however you want by the chef, different flavour pancakes, pastries, muffins, cupcakes, a choice of 2 or 3 cereals, 2 fruit juices, tea/coffee and indian food. It is worth trying this south indian dish (potato curry in flatbread with coconut chutney on the side). It seemed strange to have for breakfast but I wanted to try it!

The hotel has wi-fi but they charge R300 for 7 days or R600 for 14 days (with a limited data allowance too).

There is a mini bar in the room, but you may as well stock up with the drinks from the convenience store next door. Also you do get 2 complementary bottles of water every day. The tap water is safe enough to brush your teeth with but we didn't drink it.

The bathroom was lovely, nice shower and it has a bath. A few complementary toiletries. The towels were quite small though and ladies, if you have long hair pack your own hair towel :)

The balcony was not all that and there was no sea view, but at least the first floor had a balcony for drying clothes on.

The spa was nice, I got my eyebrows threaded on my last day for just R110. They also do hairdressing, manicures and massages.

The pool area was lovely, comfy sun loungers and a reasonable sized infinity pool with the sun shining on it. Also a jacuzzi next to the pool. There is a well maintained lush green lawn with more sun loungers on the way down to the beach which backs onto the hotel. There was a slight issue that the hotel mostly consists of Russian tourists who leave their towels on the sunbeds but are not there all day.

The location is quiet, with a 20 minute walk or a R100 taxi ride to the centre of Candolim. Its also worth a stroll in the opposite direction to the Taj Holiday Village where you can buy sparkling wine by the glass.

At the beach on the back of the hotel there is a basic shack for a cheap snack or there is Calamari, where Bollywood celebs sometimes hang out.

In terms of tours, I would do Dudsaghar Falls (R1800 return taxi) and Anjuna Flea Market (R700-800 return taxi) independently as it works out a lot cheaper. Thomson charges £25 per person for the flea market and £30 per person for the Falls. We didn't go through them but that price does not look very justifiable. We didn't get to do any overnight trips but shop around for rates although you may want to use Thomson for these ones.
It is worth taking your own taxi one hour further north for some nicer and quieter beaches at just R1800 return.
Did the Grand Island Boat Trip but it was definitely not worth it. I see why the company happened to not have a picture of the boat available at the time of booking, the boat was sheltered and couldn't sunbathe on it but it was cheap at £16 and we did see quite a few dolphins, which was the highlight of the trip. Note that a 1 hour dolphin trip from the beach instead would have been just as good. The snorkelling was cloudy and could not see a thing in the water.
I recommend a taxi to Cubana (outdoor nightclud in the mountains). Its ladies night on Wednesday nights. Ladies get in for free and its free drinks all night. Couples pay R600-700 and single males R800-1000 incl drinks.
It was election season when we were there (only happens every 5 years) and as part of the election code of conduct bars have to stop serving and close at 11pm!

When out shopping, here are a few tips:
Check out the going rates in fixed price shops before haggling so you know what you are paying.
Maybe do your shopping at the end of your stay.
I saw magnets in a shop for R50 each (street by the lucky star shack)
Pay no more than R100 for each CD and try to listen to them first.
Kaftan top R200
Flip Flops R250
Sun glasses R250
Sparkly bags R200-R250
Ankle chains R100 (maybe R50)
Souvenirs R100-150
6 pens R200
Clutch Bags R400
Avoid the hawkers on the beach, they try to charge a lot more and its harder to walk away from them (as part of your bargaining power). If they approach you, just tell them you don't want to buy anything (unless of course you want the experience).

When walking on the beach, the Indian locals are very excited about white skin! I felt like I was being papped a lot of the time, although admittedly I would just strike a pose for them.

Beware of the scam where a local says 'There is something in your ear' - do you really want a stranger try to clean your ear then charge you? They normally target the men.

Beware of the under current in the sea, made stronger by the grounded boat in Candolim. I noticed there were some accidents reported in the local papers but I felt that the dangers were not well communicated enough on the beach itself.
Walking up the beach, a few shacks worth visiting are:
Jacksons, 20 minute walk away, great food and entertainment in the evening with DJ Russell
Cafe Del Mar - lovely shack a lot further up the beach with the cleanest toilets.
You can continue walking to Anjuna Beach but its not for the faint hearted, some rocky terrain and steep edges to walk on.

I would love to do Goa again, maybe for longer in more of a budget hotel in the area.

Room Tip: choose the president suite with its own pool :)
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank meljw98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2012

Stayed at the O after leaving a nearby property which was a sub-standard. Staying here was a very pleasant experience and I would recommend it for all traveller types. The hotel is well-designed and the rooms very comfortable. The O has a very calm feel and has lots of greenery. The food is good and most of the staff very friendly. There is a nice pool and a garden for kids to tire themselves out in and the beach is at the end of the garden so very convenient. All in all this place is a little haven from the hustle and bustle of Candolim/Calangute.

In terms of downside, there was a little bit of wear and tear in the room and the shower was not great - the hotel should ditch the baths and install walk-in showers. Nothing else bad to say.

Room Tip: The rooms upstairs with no balcony are bigger.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank mattylad1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
53 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2012

1) The O hotel is teeming with helpful staff. Throughout our 2 week stay, they responded politely and swiftly to our every request. Occasionally something would get lost in translation, but the outcome was often better than our original request had been for! Almost on a daily basis the staff made an effort to enquire if we were enjoying our stay. Like another reviewer said, it costs nothing to smile, and perhaps that reciprocation was what went some way to making our stay so enjoyable. On arrival we had a few teething problems without room where we had to phone reception on four separate occasions. On each occasion, a member of staff arrived promptly and dealt with the issue.

2) The Food. We booked half-board accommodation rather hurriedly four weeks before departure but regretted the decision prior to the holiday once we found out the huge variety of restaurants within a 20 minute walk or a R100 taxi ride from the O hotel. This proved unfounded. The dinners were superb. We could even request additional dishes that weren’t on the menu if we didn’t like those on the days set menu. My only gripe, the weekly menu should be a 2-week menu to provide more variety.

3) Rooms. Initially I thought the view from the balcony was disappointing. Only 2 of 80 rooms in the hotel have a sea view. This did not prove to be a problem, as there are plenty more, much better places to sit in the hotel grounds. It was hot during our stay (30-33 degrees C, and the room is air-conditioned all the time you are away from it, so is quite chilly when you return, which i felt was excessive a first. As it was so hot, it didn’t take long to become used to this and after a few days, the room became a sanctuary of blissful coolness when we arrived back each time.

Complementary bottled water is provided when the room is cleaned each day. The hotel literature in the room says the water is “potable”, which we took to mean drinkable in French. We didn’t drink the tap water in the hotel, but we did use it to clean our teeth in and didn’t become ill in any way from this.

4) Getting about. In the evening, go out the front of the hotel, turn left and hail a little mini-van taxi or Tuc-Tuc and it’s R100 to Beach Road (or a 20 min walk) to central Candolim. This will take you to all the restaurants and shops. Plenty of choices. In the daytime, go out the beach exit and turn right and the same 20 min walk takes you past numerous beach shacks serving snacks and drinks.

Some approximate taxi fares from the O hotel:

Anjuna beach, a 90 min walk up the beach from the hotel, with a wade through a river at the end of the beach and a challenging climb over the peninsular is rewarding. Alternatively it will cost R800 return in a taxi including a fre hours waiting time.

Apora daytime flea market on Thursday’s - 45 min taxi ride costing about R700 return with a few hours waiting time. It runs Saturday night, too, with entertainments, which will cost a little more but is worthwhile.

Mandrem beach – an hour’s taxi ride, less commercialised and prettier than Candolim, appx R1,300 return.

Dudsagher waterfall & Monkey’s – 1 to 2 hours taxi ride, appx R1,800 return.

Taxi drivers will agree a price for an excursion and wait for you if you want a day trip.

5) The Pool Area is lovely. It’s quiet, clean and the gardens are very well kept. Towels are provided and we never had any difficulties finding a sun lounger, but there were a lot of selfish Russians about who tried to claim them all day - despite being absent for most of the day! I meant to mention this to the hotel staff, but forgot. Still, we just removed the towels from the “claimed” beds and nobody ever returned to reclaim them! There’s plenty of space to move the sun loungers into the garden if you want a different environment or more shade.

6) Hotel Bar. Although Candolim is full of restaurants and bars, I do recommend trying the cocktails at the O. They may be R100 more than the same cocktail bought outside the O, but you get what you pay for and they’re very good. Happy hour is from 7-11pm daily and the 30% discount happily knocks off the additional Food & Drink, Service and Liquor taxes which are added to the bill.

Room Tip: There are only ground floor and first floor rooms. Go for first floor. They have a lttle balcony w...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Bentun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2012

We didn’t get a chance to stay at The O Hotel. But that wasn’t out of choice. We made a last-minute decision to head to Goa for the Republic Day weekend and landed there without any hotel bookings. However, we had spoken with Ravi, from reservations, at The O Hotel. And he promised us the world. We were told that we’d get a deluxe room at the price of their standard courtyard one, for 3 nights. And that he’d hold it for us till we got there. We didn’t have to give our credit card details over the phone and could just get there the next morning and pay at the time of check-in. Turns out, it didn’t just sound too good to be true. It was.

Once we got there, they were kind enough to show us one of the deluxe rooms, which was alright with all the usual comforts thrown in. Nothing spectacular, but we’d take it for the price promised to us. (Plus, we didn’t have much of a choice given everything else was fully booked.) But when we went back to the reception, Ravi seemed to be fumbling and wanted to reconfirm the price he had promised. Then he disappeared for a few minutes and returned to inform us that all the rooms were actually booked. We asked if it was a question of the room rate being hiked and that we’d be willing to pay. But he just shunted us away.

If this is how the management treats potential guests, I wouldn’t like to imagine their attitude towards those who have already paid and are living there. But to be objective, the property is decent and very well located. Just make sure you book through any reputed travel website, not via the hotel.

Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
5 Thank VagabondOnTheMove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

Rebekah

Having read a review on tripadvisor before we left for Goa and after booking our stay at the O Hotel, my boyfriend & I didn't know what to expect - as far as this particular person was concerned, the hotel was basic, the food was average & the staff were appalling, slow & miserable. WELL - they couldn't have mis-judged it more. My boyfriend & I found the hotel beautiful (maybe a lick of paint would help?) but nothing more than that, the room was clean and quirky and very 'buddha' - the food, especially in the evening at the restaurant in the gardens by the beach, was the best we had all holiday - & we ate at some lovely restaurants) and the staff MADE the holiday, without a doubt. They welcomed us down to breakfast every morning, went out of their way for us every single day, greeted us with a smile and yes ok - a little laid-back compared to what we might be used to on say, a European trip - but absolutely lovely people and couldn't do enough for us. I think what made it that way is that we smiled back at them every day - manners cost nothing as they say. We had an amazing holiday made better by the staff & although we wouldn't return to this part of Goa again (we found it a bit scruffy outside of the hotel) is was an unforgettable experience and we would recommend the O to anyone looking at Candolim. All I would advise is to have PATIENCE - you are on holiday and should let things go over your head and relax, not stress at a dish that's 10-15mins later to the table then you wanted!

I will also add that Republic of Noodles aside from the hotel restaurant, was extremely tasty & definitely worth a visit. It's a 5-10min walk from the O Hotel and worth every rupee!

Room Tip: If you have a little extra to splash out, get the private 'villa' room on the 1st floor. Lov...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rebekah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2012

I reached The O Resort in the afternoon. I was greeted with a garland made of shells. The hotel in in candolim starts from main road and extends all the way to the beach. it starts with the Casino, the a Oriental restaurant then a Open Bar then a small bridge extending into the multi-cuisine restaurant with had an adequate spread for breakfast satisfying both the Indian and western palate. then the Rooms are lined on either side with a flowing water landscape. In mid of the rooms is the Reception. Staff are courteous and helpful. beyond the rooms, is the crescent shaped crystal clear swimming pool. once you cross the pool, there is a big lawn leading to the beach with a grill restaurant placed at a bit higher level, where you can see the see. There is an awesome shack called calamari right at the exit of the hotel into the beach. The rooms were big with walk in bathrooms and glass separating the room and the bathroom. with showers having open to sky feel.
On the first day i came pretty late to the hotel. the restaurant was closed. but to my request the guys at the kitchen made me some delicious goan fish curry. Bikes and car were available right next door at the vic 3 shoppe.
There are water sports right behind the hotel. But you have bargain and ask half the price only. No rooms are sea facing.

Room Tip: courtyard is in the ground floor and deluxe is in the first floor . no rooms are sea facing
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rajinikanth T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2012

I have travelled to goa for the last 13 years always staying in appartments and this year me and my wife decided to treat ourself to some luxury. I am so glad i did not take any notice of some of the reveiws i read on trip adviser about this hotel. I have had the BEST 3 weeks in a hotel that offers everything from clean rooms excellent room service the staff are so polite and helpful NOTHING was a problem PLEASE PLEASE do not listen to the negative feedback this place puts the Taj in a corner and i shall be returning their next year god willing once again a big thankyou to the O hotel A Freidman room 702 01.01.12 to 22.01.12

Room Tip: first floor more peaceful i guess
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mhotty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The O Hotel

Property: The O Hotel
Address: S Dando No 114/1, Candolim, Bardez 403515, India
Region: India > Goa > North Goa District > Bardez > Candolim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Candolim
#10 Spa Hotel in Candolim
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Candolim
#12 Luxury Hotel in Candolim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — The O Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 75
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The o Hotel, Goa Hotel Candolim
The O Hotel Goa/Candolim

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