Hotel Menino Regency is located in the heart of Panjim City on Dr. Dada Vaidya Road, very close to the City Church (Panjim Church). Its a fantastic location because just a few minutes of walk from here bring one either to the middle of 18th June Road, a shopping & food paradise, or to Dayanand Bandodkar Marg along the river Mandovi. Panjim's inter and intra State bus station - Kadamba Bus Stand - is also not far from here. Still before deciding on booking a room in Menino Regency, I looked at some online guest reviews. No one had said anything terribly bad about it but instead some people had praised the excellent food that was served to them at Menino Regency. So I went ahead and booked a two-day stay in a Deluxe Room at INR 2680 per night including breakfast. I do not know if I am particularly unlucky staying in Panjim hotels or perhaps I tend to compare these hotels with the much cheaper and better hotels in other countries that I often visit. Anyway, this stay of mine at Menino Regency was particularly bad because here I was given a silent message at the time of check-in itself that I was not welcome there. Now the problem with online hotel bookings is that hotels cannot choose their guests. If I had personally requested Menino Regency for a booking, I think they would have refused. I am not 100% sure about the reason, but my intelligent guess is that my religion or my being from North India was the problem. Perhaps I was, along with many other Indians, responsible for Mr. Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister and the stunning defeat of Ms. Sonia Gandhi. These things may seem to be very strange when written in an article that is supposed to be just a hotel review. Well, all I can say here is that there are stranger things in the world than man has dreamed of. I will write some more about this "hate" thing later but before that let us finish the hotel review. Keep reading...
|Hotel Menino Regency Panjim Goa|
The 'Deluxe' Room
|Deluxe Room At Hotel Menino Regency Panjim Goa|
I frankly do not know the room that I was given was "Deluxe" or not, but it was certainly not worth the price that I had paid. There was some dust on the furniture, as if the room had remained locked for a few days and not cleaned before it was given to me.
|Bathroom in Deluxe Room At Hotel Menino Regency Panjim Goa|
The bathroom was in a similar state of semi-cleanliness. There was a dirty plastic bucket & a mug under the water mixer, something that we do not see any more in modern hotels. The actual reason for the bucket was the bad overhead shower that was old and would throw water in all the directions in the bathroom. The toilet seat had a paper banner around it announcing that the toilet had been "sanitised for my protection". This was another thing that we do not see in modern hotels. I feel like laughing whenever I see such dumb announcements in hotels, as if the guest will expect a toilet seat that has not been sanitised or will feel elated after seeing this banner on the toilet. This was actually just some evidence of the fact that the people at Menino Regency had willingly decided to continue living in the past as the rest of the world had moved on. The drain fitting below the shower was dirty and I wondered why that had not been sanitised for my protection.
|Deluxe Room in Hotel Menino Regency Panjim Goa|
The two fabric sofa chairs kept towards the window were stained and not worth using. The cupboard in the room was smelly and dirty. The LCD TV in the room was 32-inch but its connection looked like the old "cable" type, not digital. Only some of the channels had good picture or sound while most were hazy with poor sound. Out of the channels that seemed to be clear, more were continuously showing recordings of stage shows performed by Indian and foreign televangelists.
The split A.C. in the room was very old, a little leaky, and made a lot of noise. It was nothing short of a miracle (performed by the televangelists?) that the A.C. was able to cool the room. I was continuously scared that at some point of time, the A.C. would just stop working or even fall down. That did not happen.
It was going to be just two days and I knew I would survive. But while leaving the room to go out, I got another shock. The lock on the room door was really very flimsy, something that would not need a duplicate key for a break-in, just a strong kick. I prayed to my God and left.
The Lobby and The Restaurant
|The Lobby At Hotel Manino Regency Panjim Goa|
I made the mistake of asking the gentleman at the reception counter about WiFi. All I got in return was a hateful look and a curt "No". There was no WiFi either in the room or in the lobby.
There was a restaurant in the lobby where they would serve the breakfast. The free breakfast that I got on both the days was just idli and sambar. Idli was dry and either not fresh or was prepared by a chef who did not know much about South Indian food. Coconut chutney was there on one of the two days. The fruit juice was Watermelon juice, that also on one of the two days. Second day, no juice. I had milky tea on both the days because they said there was no coffee. The breakfast was poor and I did not feel the need to try ordering any other food from the restaurant during my stay.
Why I Stayed There
My idea of staying in a hotel in that area was to be close to 18th June Road and the Panjim Church.
|The City Church In Panjim Goa|
And when I visited Panjim Church on one of the two evenings, my bad luck from Menino Regency followed me there. When I reached the entrance of the Church it was already closed for visitors but the main door was open. I thought of taking one picture of the inside through the door. When I took out my camera, a gentleman suddenly emerged from inside the church with so much anger and hate in his eyes that if it was possible to kill someone with a gaze, I would have died that day without writing this article. I lowered my camera and asked him if I could take a picture. He only gestured with his hand (no words) that meant that I was not allowed to take one more step but could take the picture standing where I was. Anyway that was my plan. So I hurriedly took the picture and moved away from the field of view of those dreadful eyes. Before I could go far enough I heard that angry gentleman ordering a security guard there to watch me: "Isko dekhna!". I was already walking down the stairs. Who wanted to be near that house of hate anyway.
Fortunately my two trips to 18th June Road were pleasant, no anger or hate there. I checked out of Menino Regency, still confused about what was my fault after all. As citizens of the same country - India - aren't we supposed to be all brothers?
Now while writing this article, I have decided to give a small message to those angry and hateful people at Menino Regency and Panjim Church. I will give a small quote from the Holy Bible:
1 John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|