Hotel Park Prime Panjim Goa

Thursday, October 8, 2015

This is one hotel in Panjim Goa that should be a winner, but its not. All the ingredients that could make it a winner are there but the end result leaves one disappointed. I have stayed there for four nights at a stretch and while leaving I decided never to return. So what makes this property end up being less than the sum of its parts? To a great extent, its the attitude of those who run the hotel and to a lesser extent, it appears to be lack of competence. Being a frequent traveller, I sometimes wonder how much the people who manage our hotels travel themselves? Looking at Hotel Park Prime in Panjim Goa, my guess is that they do not travel much. Because if they did, they would know what a traveller will need. I must share some details about my stay at this hotel in this page, so here it is...

Hotel Park Prime Panjim Goa

Park Prime Panjim Goa (earlier name Hotel Marigold) has the best location that can be. Situated at one end of the Old Patto Bridge, it is close to Panjim's Kadamba Bus Stand, close to Patto Plaza that is Panjim's commercial area, close to the city church and other local attractions, and also close to the casino jetties. Most of its rooms, I think third floor upwards, have a direct view of the river Mandovi. Actually the building has a strip design with only one row of rooms all of which face the front side road. Sound proofing of the rooms is not perfect but its almost OK. I got a room on a higher floor so there was very little sound from the road. The lower three floors will probably have more.

Types of Rooms and Pricing

Elite Room in Hotel Park Prime Goa

Elite Room Hotel Park Prime Panjim Goa

There are three types of rooms here: Executive, Elite, and Suite with the price of the base category starting at INR 4000 before discount. Suites are on the top floor and Executive rooms are on the lower floors with Elite rooms sandwiched between the two. For those not used to booking hotels in India, the booking sites here give away massive discounts that run year-round. Therefore, for a hotel in India, you never do a direct booking with a property and never pay the rack rates. I got my Executive room booking at approximately INR 1800 per night including breakfast.

Bathroom in Elite Room Hotel Park Prime Goa

Quality of the Room

Now according to the hotel staff, I was there during low season (Monsoon months) and occupancy was low. Hence they had given me an upgrade to an Elite room. Therefore I have not seen their Executive rooms and knowing the state of affairs in the Elite room, I guess Executive rooms will be pretty basic.

There were four problems in the Elite room in which I stayed. It was a twin-bed room. The booking process for this hotel does not take preference for double or twin so one will get what is available. I was staying single and would have preferred a double bed. The problem was that the twin single beds were too narrow, not enough width for a single person even. The second problem was of ineffective air-conditioning. From the A.C. duct in the room it appeared that they were using central air-conditioning. There was a remote control for the A.C. that did beep every time I pressed a key but it did nothing to increase or decrease the temperature in the room. The comforter on the bed was too heavy and the A.C. not so cold so I had to use both the noisy fan and the A.C. to be able to sleep. The third problem was of house keeping. I could almost see that they did not change the bedding on any of the two beds during my four days of stay. After two days, I just moved to the other bed. It was after all low-season and I had got the room at a discount so why would they change my bedding. The fourth problem was the non-functional telephone in the room. On the first day, I complained about that to the gentleman at the reception who looked and acted like the manager of the hotel. He promised to get my phone fixed immediately. Nothing happened. I complained again next day, still nothing happened. I gave up.

In general, the room was small, the bathroom was small but almost clean. Some very basic amenities were provided in the bathroom though one would expect a lot more for the INR 5700 tariff for an Elite room.

In the room, there was a cabinet with a locker in it. Outside there was a flat screen TV, a writing desk-cum-dresser table, one electric kettle and two small water bottles for each day. The tea / coffee supplies were poor. The coffee sachet was a cheap INR 1 per sachet variety and the tea bags were lose, open, touched by the house keeping while they cleaned the room.

Poor WiFi

The WiFi internet, though claimed to be free, was implemented in the most useless way. Instead of giving me user ID and password for the WiFi, they gave me a Tata-DoCoMo WiFi scratch card that one gets at the airport lounges. It means unlimited internet at the location of use for one session. The moment you shut down your laptop or disconnect WiFi, the card becomes useless. I used the card on the first evening but it did not work next morning. When I told about that to the guy at the reception (I had to personally go down to the lobby to tell them because they had not fixed the room phone), they acted surprised and promised to send someone to the room. Someone did come and instead of being able to fix the problem, gave me a new Tata-DoCoMo card. Even that new card did not work because the system was always giving some authentication error. It was a stupid implementation of WiFi that I have never seen in any other hotel. What was a Tata-DoCoMo scratch card doing in a hotel room? The guy who had come to the room to help with the WiFi left after saying "Sorry".

Now I knew, I was not losing much by not having a working land line phone in the room. There was no point complaining about anything to the staff in the lobby. They just did not care. I used my cell phone data connection during the rest of my stay.

Poor Breakfast

Tulip Restaurant Hotel Park Prime Panjim Goa

Bananas Served at Breakfast By Hotel Park Prime Panjim Goa

The restaurant on he first floor called Tulip perhaps is decorated OK. But the food was just too ordinary. Poori Bahji and Uttapam for vegetarians, and some frutis (read rotton bananas). The bhaji for the poori did not taste very pleasant and I would like you to see the picture above of the bananas they served at breakfast.

No more Park Prime

It was a prepaid, non-refundable booking so I completed my four nights of stay and left. I will not go back there because the price exceeds value, complaining to the staff about problems does not help, and the policy of the management seems to be: if something can be done in a wrong way, then why do it right. That Tata-DoCoMo WiFi card is a case in point.
Park Prime Goa Guest Ratings & Tariff Comparison

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh.


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