Holiday Inn Resort in Goa, India

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Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of Holiday Inn Resort in Goa, India.

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – A little isolated, but gorgeous beach, terrific facilities, and fabulously family-friendly.

This resort provides the sort of first-class amenities expected of this international chain. These include a marvelous gym and spa sharing a villa in the extensive gardens, bar and grill virtually on the sand, and quintessential tropical-style pool. All accommodations face the gardens and feature comfortable furnishings and modern décor. Worth a splurge are the magnificent suites, with balconies/patios, substantial living/dining areas, and inviting jacuzzis. With a games room, sandy playground, and activities for the young ones, it’s also heartily recommended for families. What sets this apart even further from competitors is the space throughout, particularly the vast gardens, immaculate lawns, and the quiet location on a peninsula between a white-sand beach and blue-water river. It feels isolated but is only five minutes by frequent bus to all the facilities at Cavelossim.

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – The Location

  • Address: Mobor, near the main tourist region of Cavelossim, midway along South Goa.
  • Area: Isolated and facing the beach, with only a few shops and cafés nearby. About 3km south of Cavelossim, a delightful compact enclave of shops, restaurants, and hotels.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (35km, 60-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Margao (Madgaon), 16km away (30-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beaches at Cavelossim and Mobor.

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly westerners on packaged tours staying for a week or more. Plenty of families.
  • Views: All rooms and suites face the internal gardens and not the sea.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Suites feature jacuzzis.
  • 
Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: Plenty of secure spaces behind the gates. A definite bonus for those traveling by car.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 287 0012
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: holidayinngoa.com

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – Amenities

  • Pool: Unusual, round, and likable, with columns inside. Some natural shade and plenty of sunbeds. Fenced section for children.
  • Spa: Set inside a separate villa among the gardens, it offers a long list of tempting treatments better than those at most rivals.
  • Fitness Center: In the same villa as the spa, the equipment is state-of-the-art, and views across the gardens are very pleasant.
  • For Families: Good-sized playground on the sand. Tennis court. Secure pool area for children. Some activities if enough interest. Games room.
  • Other Facilities: Money-exchange. Travel desk. Laundry. Boutiques.

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Zest Café & Kitchen – Open 24 hours for a comprehensive range of Goan, Indian, and western food, but most come for the extensive buffets at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. • Beach Grill – Almost on the sand, for sunsets, breezes, and views. All sorts of meals, but seafood is a specialty. Make a selection from the ice trays. • Fig and Olive – Exquisite setting near the pool. Italian cuisine, including some of Goa’s best pizzas, as well as Mediterranean dishes. Extended wine list. • Sundowner Lounge – At the lobby level for snacks, meals, cocktails, and live music every evening.
  • Breakfast: Not included, but available for an extra charge.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – Rooms

  • Room Types: Plaza Garden and Pool View Rooms • Deluxe Rooms • Garden Suites • Sunset Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking is allowed in some rooms and suites.
  • Best Room: The very spacious Sunset Suites provide the finest views (of the garden, not sea). The living/dining areas are huge, and the jacuzzis are very alluring.
  • For Families: Space in the rooms for an extra single bed. More than enough for 2 extra singles in the very spacious suites.

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – Local Transport

  • Walking: Lovely along the beach and road further south (away from Cavelossim). To the north, the road becomes less shady and the beach, less developed. Also, a terrific area for cycling, especially south of the resort. Ask at reception about bike rental.
  • Public Transport: Buses travel about every 10 minutes as far south as the Leela resort (500m). To the north, they stop at Cavelossim (3km) on the way to Margao (Madgaon), a major regional town with frequent connections across Goa. No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: No auto-rickshaws or metered taxis. Uber/Ola don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but app-based rides can be arranged through Goa Miles, though really, the only option for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’ arranged through the resort. 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.

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Handful of cafés/bars on the beach in front of the resort. The biggest and best is Mike’s. Also:

  • Betty’s Place +91 (0)832 287 1456 – Breezy and reasonably classy setting, and fabulous seafood. Boat trips available, too. About 100m south of the resort gates. 2-minute walk.
  • The Fisherman’s Wharf – Attractive position along the river and opposite the bustling harbor. Elegant setting, attentive service, and pleasing prices. Look for the signs just past Betty’s. 4-minute walk (300m).

Otherwise, take a bus north to Cavelossim (3km) and get off at the Novotel. These places are within 500m of that resort:

  • Robin’s Ark – Spacious and tasteful roadside setting. Very popular for hearty western meals. Directly opposite the Novotel. 1-minute walk (90m).
  • Mike’s Place – Long-established hangout down a side street that starts almost opposite the Novotel. Lovely setting in a converted mansion. Also, beach parties and live music. 2-minute walk (140m).
  • Hungry Shark – Casual and charming riverside position for seafood and live music. Down a side street just up the road from the Novotel. 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Beach Cafés – Down the lane marked ‘James’s Beach Hut Café’, just south of the Novotel. At the end of the lane (200m) are numerous cafés on the sand. The best is Q-Ba. 4-minute walk (350m).

Shops

  • A couple of minimarts and souvenir shops around the resort gates. Plenty more and other useful facilities (e.g. moneychangers and agencies offering boat trips) at Cavelossim.

Beach

  • The beach in front of the resort is white, clean, and broad. A few cafés sell drinks and simple meals and rent sunbeds and umbrellas. A modest selection of water-sports is also available. Further north, the beach quickly becomes undeveloped, and within 300m, is completely empty. Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty from about 10 am to sunset, but only in front of the resort.

Holiday Inn Resort, Goa – The Hotel

The resort is located in Mobor in south Goa.

The resort is in Mobor, a low-key area in southern Goa about 3km from the more developed town of Cavelossim.

The resort offers international-standard amenities and layout.

The amenities and layout are what guests would expect from this international chain of resorts, and the grounds are more spacious than most rivals.

The large pool has an unusual design.

Dominating the grounds is, of course, the pool, which features an unusual design.

The pool deck has lots of sunbeds.

The pool offers some natural shade and plenty of sunbeds.

There is even a small children's pool.

A separate children’s area is fenced off from the main pool.

There are several sunbeds on the lawns as well.

Sunbeds are also lined up along the immaculate lawns.

The family-friendly resort has a playground.

Unlike most resorts in this region, the Holiday Inn caters well for children.

There is even a tennis court.

Among the numerous amenities for families is a tennis court.

The spa and gym are located in a separate building.

In a separate villa, almost hidden at the side of the resort gardens, are the spa and gym.

The Sundowner Lounge bar is located near the lobby.

The classy Sundowner Lounge bar is at the lobby level.

Zest Café & Kitchen offers buffets through the day.

The main restaurant at the Holiday Inn, Zest Café & Kitchen, offers buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Zest Café also offers outdoor seating.

Tables at Zest Café spread out onto the courtyard.

Fig and Olive bistro serves a Mediterranean menu.

Close to the beach and pool, the Fig and Olive bistro focuses on Mediterranean cuisine.

Beach Grill by the beach serves seafood.

Almost on the sand, Beach Grill specializes in seafood.

Attractive low-level buildings house most of the rooms.

Most rooms are in attractively-designed low-level buildings.

Suite are located away from the facilities.

The suites are in separate buildings, a little more distant from the facilities.

The comfortable rooms feature a contemporary decor.

The rooms are functional and comfortable, and feature an interesting contemporary décor.

All accommodations have balconies or verandas.

All rooms and suites feature balconies or verandas overlooking the pool, gardens, or lawns.

The Fisherman’s Wharf is a classy riverside restaurant close by.

About 100m down from the resort gates a lane leads to the classy Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant.

The restaurant offers river views and pleasing prices and service.

Facing a bustling river port, The Fisherman’s Wharf provides excellent meals and service at pleasing prices.

Betty's place is the only restaurant close by.

The only other place to eat within walking distance of the resort is Betty’s Place.

Betty's Place is less expensive than the on-site restaurants.

Casual but classy, Betty’s Place is considerably less expensive than anywhere in the resort.

Robin’s Ark is a classy restaurant close by.

There are plenty of cafés and bars in Cavelossim, about five minutes up the road by bus, including Robin’s Ark.

Mike’s Place is a long-time favorite in Cavelossim.

A long-time favorite located down a quiet side-street in Cavelossim is Mike’s Place.

Hungry Shark nearby has a terrific riverside setting.

The best in Cavelossim – if only for the riverside setting – is Hungry Shark, just down the main road.

A path leads to the beach.

A path from the pool leads to the beach in front of the Holiday Inn.

The resort grounds are large and immaculate.

The grounds alongside the path to the beach are immaculate, reminiscent of a golf course.

Mike's is the biggest and best café on the beach.

The biggest and best café at the end of the path to the beach from the resort is Mike’s.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas.

The casual cafés on the beach also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas.

Some water-sports options are offered on the beach.

A very modest array of water-sports is available on the beach near the hotel.

Flags identify areas with lifeguards that are safe to swim in.

Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty from about 10 am to sunset.

A few souvenir shops and minimarts are outside the resort.

A few souvenir shops and minimarts are clustered together and opposite the resort gates.

Cavelossim can be reached by local bus.

The main shopping area is at Cavelossim, about 3km north and easy to reach by frequent local bus.

Cavelossim offers plenty of tourist-friendly facilities.

Cavelossim is a developed and compact tourist area offering plenty of cafés, bars, and shops, as well as useful facilities, such as moneychangers.

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