When one of the best hotels in Panjim (Goa) does not become my favourite, I think it is only my bad luck. In this case though I hope that my bad luck will change someday if the high and mighty who control the operations of this hotel so decide. There are so many good things in Varanda Do Mar. Its one of the cleanest properties, has very spacious rooms, several of the rooms offer nice views of the sea, food is almost good, and the location isn't half bad. Trust me, in Goa finding these many good things together in a hotel is not easy. Most of the hotels there just maintain a below-standard set up and keep posting fake positive reviews on Tripadvisor to trap customers. Varanda Do Mar is better than most but there are still a few reasons that keep it from being perfect. Again, most of the problems can be solved in a jiffy. I intend for this article to be an appeal to the owners of Varanda Do Mar to help their guests. Please keep reading...
|Hotel Varanda Do Mar Panjim Goa|
Varanda Do Mar, meaning 'balcony by the beach', is a high rise building near Goa Science Centre opposite Miramar Beach. Its a 5-minute walk from the Miramar Beach Bus Stop. Public buses connecting Dona Paula and Panjit City are available from this bus stop up to 9.00pm. A taxi ride to Panjim Market from here should cost INR 200-300, whereas a tuk tuk will demand INR 150. A taxi to the airport costs INR 700 for non-A.C.
|Guest Room Balcony In Hotel Varanda Do Mar Panjim Goa|
The rooms from the 4th floor upwards have a nice view of the sea. There is a large balcony attached to every room with chairs & a small round table to sit out in the evening and admire the views. The rooms up to the 3rd floor also face the sea side but there are buildings in the way that block the view. Actually, from what I could learn, the rooms up to the 3rd floor are all rented out to OYO Rooms while the hotel directly sells the higher floors. If you are looking at OYO, this property is referred to as "OYO Premium" on Miramar Beach. Booking an OYO room here can be real fun if you book within one week of the planned stay because there is an over 50% chance that you will get a room here for just INR 800 per day for 2 persons including breakfast. Before one week of the stay, OYO sells these rooms between INR 3800 and 4300. The hotel will directly give a room to a walk in guest at INR 3000 including breakfast for 2.
Quality Of The Rooms
|Guest Room in Hotel Varanda Do Mar Panjim Goa|
All the rooms are of one type only with the only difference being in the view. Room size is super large and cleanliness is top notch. Decor is nice, there is a mini bar - an actual one, a tea/coffee maker with good supplies, a clean cabinet, a digital locker, and an easy chair to watch TV while sipping tea. They give a one litre glass refillable water bottle everyday that can be refilled by calling the housekeeping.
|Guest Bathroom in Hotel Varanda Do Mar Panjim Goa|
The bathroom is super clean too. There are some good quality toiletries, shower caps, and hot & cold water.
If your booking comes with a free breakfast, its a very good deal. Its a buffet breakfast in the restaurant in the lobby and the quality and range of the food is good considering the tariff. With all this, this hotel would surely qualify for the INR 3000 a day price but for a few problems.
What Is Wrong
The biggest issue is of the poor air-conditioning. The room is just too large for the A.C. Even with one person in the room, it is never cool enough. The comforter on the bed is thick, and the few nights that I spent in this hotel were always hot. There is no ceiling fan to supplement the cooling and this I think is a problem that they can probably address. If cooling cannot improve then the bed comforter can be made lighter.
The second problem is of the elevator. There is only one tiny lift that is always too busy forcing guests to wait for up to 5 minutes during busy times.
Billing needs to improve. I personally experienced this and saw some other guests also complaining about wrong billing for room service, etc. A pack of peanuts consumed by a guest is reported as a pack of cashew nuts or the curry from the room service menu gets charged at a higher price. The front office staff then show reluctance in correcting the bill.
Mainly the air-conditioning problem has kept me from booking this hotel in the past few months but I feel that I am missing a good hotel. That INR 800 per day OYO deal sounds do good. I hope the Varanda people read this and try to resolve the problems.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|