Hard Rock Hotel in Goa, India

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Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of Hard Rock Hotel Goa in India.

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – Quiet village setting, musical memorabilia, and lovely pool, but distant from the beach.

Slightly less impressive than others in this renowned chain, the Hard Rock Hotel is at the end of a side street, offering a charming village (and almost rural) setting. It is only a short distance from the main road, which is lined with cafés, bars, and shops, but inconveniently a little far from the beach. (Free shuttle buses offset the isolation, however.) All types of accommodations feature a trendy design, signature Hard Rock themes (e.g. prints of musical icons on the walls), motifs on the rugs and towels, and unique ‘audio experiences’. The suites are even more spacious and extend the rock theme even further. The pool is especially inviting and offers a genuine tropical resort feel. Everything else is as expected: hip bar lined with murals of rock legends, a coffee shop with hanging guitars, and shop selling signature T-shirts. Breakfast is included in all rates, which is a pleasing bonus.

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – The Location

  • Address: About 200m along a quiet side street from the main road, Calangute-Arpora (Anjuna) Road, midway along Calangute, a major tourist region in the southern part of North Goa. Look for the sign, 100m north of the Dr. Jack Sequira Junction, a roundabout with a KFC. (Most places in Goa don’t have an address.)
  • Area: Real village vibe, but still close to the main road. The road is lined with facilities more for Indian locals than foreign tourists, but enough for guests. The beach is 1.2km away.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (37km, 60-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama, 40km away (70-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beach at Calangute.

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – The Basics

  • Guests: Younger set from across the globe, including families.
  • Views: Many rooms overlook the pool (which can be noisy). Others facing outwards are quieter, and the views, arguably more interesting.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: None, but these are very rarely offered anywhere in Goa.
  • Extras: Regular shuttle buses to the shops and beach at Calangute.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: Nothing available on-site and along a narrow lane, so parking is problematic. Contact the management when booking.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 674 5555
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: hardrockhotelgoa.com

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – Amenities

  • Pool: Long, wide, and inviting. Natural shade and sunbeds provide a tropical resort feel. Separate and substantial children’s pool. Could get crowded at times.
  • Spa: The Rock Spa is very funky and offers more treatments than just massages. Also, yoga and meditation.
  • Fitness Center: The Body Rock Fitness Center is well-equipped and can provide personal trainers.
  • Other Facilities: Hard Rock shop.

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Sessions – Tables inside and along a shady courtyard. Extended menu of Indian and western food, including some of Goa’s finest burgers. Fascinating murals and bar attached. • Tonic Poolside Bar & Grille – The name says it all. Cozy seats, tasty snacks, and trendy bands and DJs until late.
  • Breakfast: Included in all rates, which is unusual.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deluxe Rooms (with King or Twin Beds) • Deluxe Rooms Gold Pool View (with King or Twin Beds) • Studio Suites King • Rock Family Suites • Rock Suites King • Rock Suites Platinum
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking is allowed in some special rooms.
  • Best Room: The Rock Suites Platinum are more than twice the size of the standard rooms, and feature living/dining areas and huge bathrooms.
  • For Families: All types of rooms are large enough for an extra single bed, but staff would probably guide families into the Rock Family Suites. These provide proper beds for 4 people.

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – Local Transport

  • Walking: Plenty to see and do along the main road, which offers some sidewalks. More pleasant along the side streets, some of which lead to villages.
  • Public Transport: Local buses are convenient and frequent. They travel up and down – and stop anywhere along – the main road through Candolim and Calangute, and also head to the major beach at Calangute (see below). Some detour to Panaji (Panjim), the state capital and regional transport hub, via a stop opposite the Acacia hotel (4km south, 11-minute drive). For connections around North Goa, head to Mapusa, 8km away (20-minute drive). No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: No auto-rickshaws or metered taxis. App-based Uber/Ola don’t operate anywhere in Goa. The local alternative – Goa Miles – is worth trying, though really, the only option for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’. Arrange these through the hotel or with drivers hanging about the streets. Rates are overpriced but negotiable.
  • 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 this at the resort. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    These places are just south of the turn-off to the hotel from along the main road:

  • Café Sussegado Souza – Adorable historic building in a fascinating roadside location. Long and very inviting menu of Goan cuisine. Fabulous for a cold beer while people-watching. Just before Hotel Calangute Towers. 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Hotel Calangute Towers – 2 great options: Eat Street at the front, popular for its well-priced evening buffets, and Curry Leaf, almost hidden at the back for an elegant setting and exceptional service. At the roundabout 300m from the Hard Rock. 4-minute walk.
  • The Avenue – This hotel features Uncle Sam’s Restaurant & Café (long menu of Indian and western food, and pastry shop), Sky Lounge Bar & Restaurant (rooftop for views, meals, cocktails, and hookah (shisha) pipes), and Bardez Multi-Cuisine Restaurant (Goan food and impressive service). 400m from the Hard Rock. 5-minute walk.
  • Sher-a-Punjab Bar & Restaurant – Lovely setting inside and out. Tasty thalis (set meals in steel plates) and other cheap Indian food. Open 24 hours. Just past The Avenue hotel. 7-minute walk (600m).
  • Also, a few familiar fast-food outlets: KFC (at the roundabout 300m away, 4-minute walk) and Domino’s (just past The Avenue hotel, 600m, 7-minute walk).

Shops & Markets

  • Most shops in the immediate vicinity are for locals, not tourists, so they are even more interesting to explore. Also, a few minimarts around the place. The road to the beach (see below) is packed with makeshift market stalls.

Beach

  • The main stretch of Calangute Beach is about 1.2km away. Take an auto-rickshaw, shuttle bus, private (unmetered) taxi, bus, or simply walk. (The turn-off to the beach from the main road is almost directly opposite the turn-off to the hotel.) This part of the beach is Indian-style: very busy, packed with souvenir stalls and cheap eateries, and a little garish. Fascinating, but not relaxing. Beach cafés on the sand also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty from about 10 am to sunset. 14-minute walk.

Hard Rock Hotel Goa – The Hotel

The hotel is located in Calangute.

The Hard Rock hotel dominates a quiet village street in a vibrant area of Calangute.

The hotel design is contemporary and chic.

The design of the hotel is as expected: contemporary, and not painted in any of the bright colors so typical of Goa.

The hotel has a large swimming pool.

The long pool dominates the hotel grounds.

The lobby is decorated with musical memorabilia.

Like many Hard Rock hotels, the lobby features musical memorabilia.

The lobby is adorned with murals of musical celebrities.

Walls around the lobby area are lined with murals of famous musicians and singers.

The souvenir shop showcases a Harley Davidson.

Like most others in this chain, a shop sells signature T-shirts. Inside this shop is a Harley Davidson.

The large pool is very popular.

The pool is long and wide, but could get crowded at peak times.

The pool deck has several sunbeds and tropical plants.

Sunbeds and tropical plants surround the pool.

The children's pool is also very big.

The children’s pool is almost as large as the main pool in some rival resorts.

Tonic bar & grill is located by the pool.

Alongside the pool is the Tonic bar and grill.

Sessions bistro/bar features musical-themed murals.

The Sessions bistro/bar is at the back and features musical-themed murals.

Sessions offers poolside seating.

Tables at Sessions spread out to a shady courtyard overlooking the pool.

A coffee shop is located near the reception.

Near the reception desk is a small coffee shop (that doesn’t seem to have a name).

Rooms and suites mostly overlook the pool.

Many rooms and suites face inwards and overlook the pool, but none have a balcony/veranda.

All accommodations have Hard Rock motifs and prints on the walls.

All rooms and suites feature signature Hard Rock motifs and prints on the walls.

Most accommodations offer pool views.

Many rooms and suites feature pool views.

All accommodations feature a chic, contemporary style.

All rooms and suites are spacious and nicely designed with a chic, contemporary style.

A roundabout and KFC outlet are good landmarks for the hotel.

The hotel is not that easy to find, although taxi-drivers will know it. This roundabout is a useful landmark, about 100m south of the turn-off to the hotel.

Directions to the hotel are prominent.

The turn-off to the hotel is well-signposted, about 100m past (north of) the roundabout with the KFC outlet.

Sai Kripa restaurant is located close by.

This brightly-colored Indian-style eatery is also a useful landmark at the turn-off to the hotel from the main road.

The quiet street too has directions to the hotel.

From the main road, the hotel is signposted along the quiet village street.

Café Sussegado Souza close by is great for a drink or meal.

The most charming place to eat or drink in the immediate area is the historic Café Sussegado Souza.

Eat Street is popular for it's good-value dinner buffets.

Next to Café Sussegado Souza, Eat Street offers great-value buffets every evening.

Curry Leaf in the same hotel is also a classy restaurant.

At the back of Eat Street at Hotel Calangute Towers is the classy Curry Leaf restaurant.

Uncle Sam’s nearby is a great place to eat.

Another terrific place to eat is Uncle Sam’s in front of (and part of) The Avenue hotel, about 400m down the main road from the Hard Rock.

The neighborhood is reasonably quiet.

The main road north past the turn-off to the hotel is reasonably quiet compared to the roads further south.

The neighborhood is fun to explore.

Alleys off the main road are great to explore. This one is near the roundabout.

The main section of Calangute beach has several facilities.

The main section of the beach at Calangute is accessible along a pedestrian walkway lined with all sorts of facilities.

The busiest section of Calangute Beach is about 1km from the hotel.

The main (and busiest) section of Calangute Beach is about 1.2km from the hotel.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas.

There are plenty of places to rent sunbeds and umbrellas at Calangute Beach.

There are some good cafés on Calangute Beach.

The main beach at Calangute also offers some casual cafés.

Calangute Beach facilities can be garish.

Some facilities at this part of Calangute Beach are a little garish.

Private taxis can be found outside the hotel.

Private unmetered cars (the only form of ‘taxi’ in the area) wait outside the hotel gates.

Buses connect to facilities in Candolim and Calangute.

To reach the main beach at Calangute and other parts of Calangute and Candolim further south, it’s cheap and easy to use the local bus service.

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