by Santorini Dave • Updated: August 5, 2019
The Crown Goa – Majestic hilltop setting in the loveliest part of the old city.
Despite the rooftop sign (large enough to be seen from across the river), there is no longer a casino at the Crown. However, a better reason to stay here is its incredible position on top of the hill, offering arguably the finest river views in the state capital. Even the elegant café/bar and resort-style pool offer magnificent panoramas of the city and river from the shady gardens. Rooms are comfortable, although perhaps needing they could be updated a little, but most guests won’t mind as they stare at the views from the balconies or seats alongside the floor-to-ceiling windows. The other major attractions are the competitive rates (which include breakfast) and the inner-city location: along a meandering street in the midst of the fascinating old city.
The Crown Goa – The Location
- Address: Bairo Alto Dos Pilotos Jose Falco Road, a narrow lane best accessed from Rua 31 de Janeiro (31st January Road), which has several cafés and bars. The suburb of Fontainhas in the old part of Panaji (Panjim), the state capital.
- Area: Delightful section of the old city with winding lanes and narrow streets of brightly-colored heritage-listed buildings. About 150m from the main river, Mandovi, which meets another river (Ourém) near the hotel.
- How to Get There: From the airport (26km, 50 to 60-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The hotel is 1.5km from the Panaji KTC bus station (6-minute drive), which has connections all over Goa. The Madgaon train station is 37km (75-minute drive) and the Vasco da Gama station is 29km (60-minute drive) from the hotel.
- Handy to: Old city of Panaji (Panjim).
The Crown Goa – The Basics
- Guests: Business people and tourists from across India and the rest of the world.
- Views: Magnificent. Most rooms face the front, offering unparalleled views of the main river. Even those at the back offer amazing city views because of the hotel’s position on a hilltop.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at this sort of inner-city hotel in Goa.
- Extras: Daily newspaper delivered to each room.
- Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
- Parking: Nothing on-site, but a few spots immediately opposite the main entrance. With guards everywhere, it should be safe.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +91 (0)832 240 0000
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: thecrowngoa.com
The Crown Goa – Amenities
- Pool: Terrific, with sublime views, some shade, and a few sunbeds. Children’s area attached, but not fenced off like other hotels. Also, a communal jacuzzi.
- Spa: The Divine Salon & Spa offers little more than massages.
- Fitness Center: Decent size and reasonably well-equipped. Faces the gardens, not the river.
- For Families: The ‘Children’s Park’ was being rebuilt in mid-2019. Small and outdoors, it probably won’t excite the younger ones anyway. Also, board gardens on tables among the gardens.
- Other Facilities: Travel desk. Money exchange. Laundry.
The Crown Goa – Food and Drink
- Restaurants & Bars: Harbour Café – At the lobby level, so views are limited, but the nautical-themed décor is fascinating. Long menu, and open 24 hours. • Dario’s Trattoria at Hanging Gardens – The Italian chef focuses on Mediterranean cuisine. With superior river views, it’s intimate, breezy, and ideal at sunset. Colorful bar attached and live entertainment on some nights.
- Breakfast: Included in all rates, which is unusual among rivals.
- Room Service: Available 24/7.
The Crown Goa – Rooms
- Room Types: Superior Rooms (with City Views or River Views) • Executive Rooms • Suites • Junior Suites • Honeymoon Suites • Duplex Suites
- Smoking Rooms: Smoking is allowed in some rooms.
- Best Room: The Duplex Suites are lovely. Bedroom on a mezzanine level and separate living area with a bar below.
- For Families: Space for an extra single bed in all types of accommodations. The separate living areas in the suites are large enough for 2 extra singles.
The Crown Goa – Local Transport
- Walking: Fantastic area to wander about, but sidewalks along the narrow streets can be awkward at times.
- Public Transport: No metro or any local trains of use to tourists. To reach the beaches, take a public bus from the Panaji KTC bus station to the regional hubs of Mapusa for the north or Margao (Madgaon) for the south.
- Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: The few black-and-yellow taxis have meters, but drivers won’t use them. These are best arranged through the reception. App-based rides, Uber and Ola, don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but the local alternative – Goa Miles – is worth trying. A few auto-rickshaws are also available for local trips, but they too refuse to use their meters.
- Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. No internationally-recognized agencies are present, so renting at a local shop presents obvious risks. Best to organize through the hotel. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.
The Crown Goa – What’s Nearby?
Restaurants & Bars
To reach the places listed below, head south (away from the main river) to a junction (100m) at Rua 31 de Janeiro (31st January Road). These restaurants are within 400m of the hotel and along or just off this side street.
- Venite Bar & Restaurant – Lovely décor, with balconies almost hanging above the sidewalk. Tempting menu and excellent service. Easy to miss in a guesthouse of the same name. Left at the junction. 2-minute walk (180m).
- Caravela Café & Bistro – Arctic air-conditioning and lovely décor. One of the best in town for western food, including all-day breakfast. Just past Venite. 3-minute walk (210m).
- Ancient Rock Café & Restaurant +91 99217 50221 – On the ground floor of a magnificent bright-yellow building alongside the river. Try the fish thali (set meal in steel plate). Left at the junction. 3-minute walk (260m).
- Route 66 Goa – American-style diner, just south past the Riverfront Restaurant. A little pricey, but the burgers are humungous. Live music on most nights. 4-minute walk (350m).
- Tataki – Immersive Asian Dining +91 880071 23435 – On the top floor offering scintillating street views, contemporary cuisine, and attentive service. Just east of Ancient Rock. 5-minute walk (400m).
- Down the Road & Riverfront Restaurant – Overlooking the old bridge, the views and food at the Riverfront are excellent. Down the Road bar/nightclub is on a lower floor. Right at the junction, then left towards the Ourém River. 5-minute walk (400m).
- The streets and narrow alleys are lined with all sorts of interesting shops, but they’re mostly for locals, not tourists.
- The fascinating old city has some of the finest examples of colonial-era buildings anywhere in India. Beautifully renovated or delightfully crumbling, and often painted bright blue or yellow, these are dotted all over the streets near the hotel. But note: this is not Old Goa, which is about 10km east.
The Crown Goa – The Hotel
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