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“Clean and quiet”
Review of Dona Sa Maria

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Dona Sa Maria
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in Cavelossim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 March 2012

We've just returned from a 2 week stay in India starting with 8 days in North India driving from Delhi to Agra (a 7 hour drive as we got caught in traffic jams all the way), then Allahabad (definitely not the best place in india to get a decent hotel : we drove round most of the hotels there and eventually spent the night in a noisy, far from clean and rather expensive hotel). We went on to Varanasi with our driver and we spent 4 days there. Then, we flew back to Delhi and then to Goa where we stayed 5 nights at Dona Sa Maria. It was our 5th or 6th time there and once again, we enjoyed it all the way. The rooms are basic but spotless. The swimming pool is very pleasant and makes your stay at DSM relaxed and comfortable. The beach is approximatively 1 km down the road but the walking to get there is very nice. The hotel restaurant is good but there are cheaper places on the road to the beach in the village before the crossroads. the staff are all friendly. Margao is the nearest town and can easily be reached by bus you can board in the village or on the main road .

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank gilles c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 - 152 of 210 reviews

Reviewed 20 February 2012

We actually stayed at Veeniola which is just beside the Dona Sa Maria. For the first night we ate at Dona Sa Maria. The food was very blend. It is OK for a tourist who does not like to real Indian food so much. But if you are into real Indian food just walk down the road (right side of Dona sa Maria) for two minutes and visit Anita's Place. It's a very simple but really nice local Restaurant. you will have to order your food for dinner early in the morning or better one day in adance BUT this means you will get the freshest food ever because the will go to the market on that day and buy whatever you have asked them foor. The Veg. Byriani rice is to diie for and the Crab Maslala is also great. Try Anita's Cocktail if her husband Donald is there. Its' very nice. The whole family will really take care of you so it's a much nicer place than Dona Sa Maria, which was nice to but if you are into some local stuff, definately give Anita a try. It's very clean, nice and authentic indian food (she also has fish and Chips or eggs etc....)

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Masib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2012

We have just returned from a fantastic 28 night holiday in Dona SaMaria.Family run small hotel.These people will do everything to make your holiday a good one. Serafino & Puri are the owners and one of them is always on hand to answer any queries & to ensure you have a great holiday.We have been to this hotel several times.Many are repeat guests and I think that says it all.Planning next year already.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank bossMiddlesbrough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2012

This will be our 6th visit to Dona Sa Maria and we love it - you are made to feel so welcome. We did flight only this time and rang Puri the owner to arrange a room. We flew with Qatar airways manchester to Doha and then onto Goa really nice flight far superior to Monarch and cheaper by £800. We always get a taxi from the airport which is set price of approx £10 -£12. We arrived early in the morning and were greeted by Rodregis with a friendly smile. The rooms are basic but clean and yes the pillows are thin and beds hard but you only have to ask for extra pillows and they will be provided. Could of done with another power point and more wardrobe space but I did take rather alot of clothes. We hired a scooter from Joe just down the lane at 200 rupees a day. The dona sa maria does not have internet access but you can use the internet at the hotel next door at 50 rupees an hour. All the staff at the Dona sa maria are all very friendly and Sarafino and purie treat you like one of the family its all very relaxed and casual - theres not many owners that buy all the guests a drink when it was puries birthday we were all included in the celabrations. The food is very nice and the service excellent nothing is to much trouble and if you want anything not listed they will do their best to get it. Calu runs the little shop my husband had a made to measure suit £60 and excellent quality and if you want jewellery he will find what you want at a good price. Francis does an excellent massage he's a sports physio and comes most days to the hotel. If your lucky the jets fly over doing practice manouvers the piolets even have lunch at the DSM. Jeff and Nora organise quiz nights they are guests that have also been going for years - the money raised goes to local charitys and its good fun I won this year first time in six years : ) .... Taxi drive to cavellosm approx 400 - 500 rupees return we used Ben alot and also lads from DSM. We ate at a bar the coconut palms you cant miss it the outside is painted red - sandra and john the owners make you feel very welcome and the beer battered prawns are devine as are the irish coffees they also have entertainment it seems to be a favourite with the british. The Goan village is another good place to eat and the river cove very busy on entertainment night advisable to book the chips are superb as is the chicken tikia and mojito's. There is also the river view nice for fish my favourite is Betty's Kitchen its on the left side going into cavallosm got tables and chairs outside - inside is really modern the lasagna steaks beer battered fish are divine all the starters and very reasonable priced £5 for fillet steak the chef gave me the recipe for the lasagna yum ....de melo's chemist is always busy with everyone stocking up on pills be careful though as customs target the flight home for people with drugs such as tramadol diazepam and viagra...he also has a good exchange rate as does the DSM mosquito repellent really good and was confusion over malaria tablets if you speak to regulars at DSM they dont take them but its always best to check with your GP the malaria tablets are alot cheaper from De melo's than the UK. Another fab place is the blue whale its an eco resort the food is excellent and very peaceful clean beach the eco rooms are very modern and spacious and staff so friendly. There is no problem getting back to DSM and yes sometimes the gates are locked but Rodregis is always about to welcome you with a smile and there is never any problem with staying up late sarafino just asks that you keep the noise down so as not to disturb the other guests.....They have fish nights and tandori which are always very popular.....and any trips you want organising Puri and sarafino are more than happy to help. If you are looking for a warm and friendly place to stay DSM is ideal if you are looking for perfect grouting and home comforts then its not for you .....if you want a friendly family atmosphere then look no further DSM is just that ...Ive already started looking at dates for next year

Room Tip: We prefer the rooms at the back of hotel in the seperate house
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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6  Thank brooksbjcheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2012

It is the tourist fault for feeding the dogs pedigree chum all the times the british tourist should stop the feeding of animals any where near the hotel. They should let the goa'ns do it their way and cull the dogs and make it a safer place for everyone. The next visit will be my 15th so its not all that bad just shoot the dogs.
jonnie 1 leg

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jongee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2012

Just returned from Dona Sa Maria, Tamborim 11-25 Jan 2012. Party of 4 adults.
As we were the only party travelling South, Thomas Cook sent a taxi for the transfer, so this only took 45 minutes.

Rooms:
We had requested 2nd floor rooms close together and weren’t disappointed, rooms next to each other and overlooking the back of the main hotel, which was nice and quiet. The rooms are very basic, the beds are hard(as they all are in India) but especially bad were the pillows, which felt like they were stuffed with about 1cm of hay, they were that hard and thin!
Plenty of hanging space in the wardrobe, lots of hangars and plenty of plug sockets in the rooms, but not much drawer space. Bathroom basic but clean. Shower always hot (you just need to remember to turn on the water heater for about 20 minutes before you want a shower). There’s no A.C., but a ceiling fan which you can leave on when you leave the room but you may find it a little noisy to keep on during the night. However the noise of the fan does help to drown out any other night-time noises (dogs barking, pigs squealing and other guests returning noisily to their rooms!!)
Rooms were cleaned daily, with sheets and towels changed daily.
There are reports of the hotel being a bit like colditz and locking up and not letting you back in late at night. That’s rubbish. A number of times we turned up at the hotel after 11pm and found the gates locked (for security) but Roderick was always there at the gate with a smile to let you in.
The hotel grounds are clean and well kept. Pool clean and spacious enough to do a few lengths.

Food:
Ok the foods not 5 star, but what we ate in the restaurant was ok. Breakfast is sparse, just a couple of slices of toast and jam, watered down juice and stewed tea/coffee. You can however order additional breakfast made to order.
Thomas Cook advertise this holiday as half board. That’s a very loose term. You actually get 235rs allowance against your evening meal (food only). However be careful as the hotel will add a 10% service charge to everything you order, which effectively reduces your allowance to 210rs. You can’t pay for anything you order during the day, drinks from the bar (these will all be 10% more expensive than shown on the price list) or lunch. This is all added to your room bill which you can only settle on the following morning. So be careful you check what’s being charged to your room. Also if your bill is say 2520rs another 10% will be added to make it 2772rs. The hotel will then round this up again to at least 2780rs I know it doesn’t sound a lot but can seriously add up over the holiday, especially when the service charge is not advertised anywhere.

Safety deposit:
This cost 70rs a day but as it’s added to your room bill again another 10% added. You get the sole key.

Surrounding area:
There’s not much in Tamborim. A couple of bars in walking distance. Try Anita’s Place. It doesn’t look much from the outside, but Anita is incredibly kind and welcoming, and her measures are more like triples for the price of a single. About 50rs for brandy, 80rs for 660ml Kingfisher.
You can walk in to Cavalosiem, it’ll take about 45 minutes, but I wouldn’t advise it at night as the roads aren’t very well lit. You can get a taxi in and back for about 500/600rs for 4 people.(about £7 return). We used a driver called Felix for most of the holiday, who was just a phonecall away, and you don’t pay him til the end of your return journey. If you want a reliable and careful driver with a six seat, clean and safe car then contact me and I will pass on his number.
A word of caution. Please do not use a taxi driver called Sam who runs Sams tours (on the road to the beach). He tried to rip us off a couple of times, and we had asked him to arrange a trip to Khola beach for 6 of us. We gave him a weeks notice and asked him to book tents on the beach and transport. He took us there, raised the price of the taxi fare when we got there and then told us he hadn’t booked the tents. When we refused to pay the inflated fare he threatened one of our party with a rock!
Luckily we managed to get tents on the beach at the Blue Lagoon (you can book before you go at www.bluelagoongoa.com). Fabulous night, bonfire on the beach 1500rs per tent per night (very comfy double bed and pillows, fully flushing loo and shower in own bathroom!) The food here was also great and massive portions. Prices just the same as many other restaurants. Don’t miss the boat trip out in the morning. It is early, but we saw lots of dolphins and then while we were eating breakfast back on the beach, the dolphins came right in to the bay!

Eating out:
There’s a little collection of restaurants just behind the swanky deportment store in Cavalosiem, we tried the following:

Mikes Place: especially the mixed sizzler and the American beefsteak, onion bahjias.

Santos Paul: great prawn cocktail and amazing sea bass

Saajan: for those missing home, they do a great liver and onions and various homemade pies, as well as traditional fare

Goan Village: great all round fare in a nice setting.

A little further down the road:
River View: Nice for lunch, with the restaurant right on the river (literally!)

Betty’s Place: fabulous curries and amazing presentation.

Fishermans Wharf: very very nice restaurant. Great service and ambience. Quite upmarket compared to others in the area. Prices reasonable too. Nice for a special occasion. Get there early or book to avoid disappointment.

Other tips:
Don’t buy mosquito repellent before you go. Get Odomos spray from any supermarket/pharmacy. It’s about 55rs per bottle and is great and non greasy. Only got 2 bites the whole holiday. Also get some Fourderm cream from the Pharmacy, about 60rs a tube. It’s superquick at drying up any bites or stings and will also stop the itching. We’ve brought loads back for future holidays elsewhere!

Jai’s International is a good place to exchange money and he always greats you with a friendly handshake!

If you are going to use a mobile abroad, then take an unlocked or vodafone pay as you go phone and a photocopy of your passport. You can pick up an Indian Vodafone sim card for 500rs which will include about 350rs credit. A 12 minute call to the uk cost about 60rs (80p) the equivalent on a contract would be about £20!

Have a great time.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the garden in the main block will be quieter
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank spinny500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2012

We spent three weeks at Dona sa Maria in January 2012. It was delightful - the rooms are basic but clean and comfortable. We had a lovely view over the garden to the back of the main building and were entertained by a pair of beautiful bee-eaters every morning when the sun came up.

The staff were extremely helpful and very friendly - every one of them. There's a pool which is cleaned daily, a restaurant and bar which is especially good on Tandoori and Fresh Fish nights. We were staying on half board, with a fixed allowance for breakfast and dinner. If we wanted to spend more, that was straightforward and simple, settling any bills each morning.

The wildlife, particularly birds, in the area is spectacular. We saw eagles, kingfishers, ospreys, bee-eaters, egrets, herons, kites, and wild peacocks, not to mention buffalo, pigs, fruitbats and dolphins - all within a short distance from the hotel. The beach (about 20 minutes level walk) is fabulous - very quiet, with several beach shacks serving excellent food.

A couple of tips - take some decent earplugs in case any nearby dogs bark (they occasionally do at night) and wait till you get there to buy mosquito repellent (Odomos is best) and cotton clothing, which is varied and very cheap.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Wallyzed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dona Sa Maria

Address: Tamborim, Cavelossim 403731, India
Region: India > Goa > South Goa District > Cavelossim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Cavelossim
Price Range: $15 - $124 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dona Sa Maria 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Dona Sa Maria Hotel Cavelossim
Dona Sa Maria Salcette
Dona Sa Maria Hotel Salcette
Dona Sa Maria Goa/Cavelossim

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