Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel in India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: August 5, 2019

Review of Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel in India.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – Lovely villas among massive gardens in a prime location alongside an attractive beach.

Within a compact and developed area of cafés, shops, and bars, but set back nicely from the main road, the Novotel ticks all the right boxes. Spread across vast gardens, it’s one of very few resorts anywhere in South Goa that actually leads directly to a beach, although no rooms offer views. Admirably not overbuilt, all accommodations are delightful and in detached and semi-detached one or two-level buildings, each a different color (which is typical of the region). Inside, they are particularly spacious and comfortable, featuring more thoughtful decorations and vibrant décor than at most rivals. Everything else is as expected – immaculate lawns and substantial pool – and the kids club, children’s pool, playground, and assorted activities make this resort perfect for families.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – The Location

  • Address: On the main road through Cavelossim, a very likable enclave of tourist facilities and top-end hotels about midway along South Goa. (Most places in Goa don’t have a proper address.)
  • Area: Lots of facilities along the main road and side streets. Unusually, the resort also backs onto the beach, but is not alongside the sea. (Authorities insist on at least 200m between the rooms and ocean.)
  • How to Get There: From the airport (34km, 60-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Margao (Madgaon), 15km away (30-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beaches at Cavelossim.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – The Basics

  • Guests: Foreign tourists, many on packaged tours, especially from Russia. Very popular with families.
  • Kids Club: No dedicated area for children, but a range of activities offered according to age groups. Also, plenty of other stuff for the kids and families to do. (See Amenities below.)
  • Views: All villas and suites face the gardens and pool, but they’re too far for ocean views.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at a holiday resort like this in Goa.
  • Extras: Newspaper delivered daily to each room.
  • Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: Enough places behind the gates.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 672 7777
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: accorhotels.com

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – Amenities

  • Pool: Fabulous, with volleyball and other water games. Children’s pool attached. Can get very crowded, however, because the resort is so popular with packaged tours.
  • Spa: The Sohum Spa is nicely positioned in a separate building at the back of the gardens. Offers a range of massages.
  • Fitness Center: In a building next to the spa and decent enough.
  • Activities: Water-sports on the beach. Archery. Tennis court. Futsal.
  • For Families: Baby-sitting. Bicycle rental. Playground.
  • Other Facilities: Travel desk. Money-exchange. Laundry. Boutiques. Business services.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: (All restaurants feature children’s menus.) Seagull – The main restaurant faces the pool and offers buffets at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Family-friendly, but also some intimate tables for couples. Open-plan kitchens. • Mama Mia – Alongside the pool, it focuses on grills and seafood. Lovely setting under the trees. • Kebabs & Kurries – Classy Indian cuisine, but dinner only.
  • Bars: Amalia – Terraced seating and pleasantly colorful décor. One level above the reception desks. Live music nightly. • Tia Maria – Poolside bar for cocktails, ice creams, fruit drinks, and light meals.
  • Breakfast: Not included, but available for an extra charge.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Types: Executive Villa Rooms (King or Twin Beds) • Boutique Villa Rooms (King or Twin Beds) • Premium Villa Rooms • Premium Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking anywhere on the hotel grounds.
  • Best Room: Premium Suites are even more bright and cheerful and the closest to the sea, but they don’t offer ocean views.
  • For Families: Executive Villa Rooms have space for extra single beds, while all the other types of accommodations can squeeze in families of 4.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: The main road has plenty to see, features a few sidewalks, and traffic is minimal. The resort rents bicycles, and the road is great for cycling, especially further south.
  • Public Transport: Buses travel along the main road outside the resort gates every 10 minutes in both directions. They head south (3km) as far as the Leela resort, via The Fisherman’s Wharf café, and further north to Margao (Madgaon). The latter is a major regional town with frequent connections across Goa. No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: A few auto-rickshaws (that won’t use meters), but no 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 or with drivers who hang around the main road. 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.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Coco-Hut – Casual bar at the end of the path to the beach from the resort pool.
  • Robin’s Ark – Spacious and elegant roadside setting. Very popular for hearty western meals. In a shopping area almost opposite the resort gates. 2-minute walk (150m).
  • Mike’s Place – Long-established hangout 200m down a side street almost across from the resort gates. Lovely setting in a converted mansion. Also, beach parties and live music. 3-minute walk.
  • Hungry Shark – Casual and charming riverside position for seafood and live music. Signposted down a side street towards the Karma resort. 4-minute walk (350m).
  • Beach Cafés – Down the lane marked ‘James’s Beach Hut Café’, about 400m southwest. At the end of the lane (200m) are numerous cafés on the sand (7-minute walk). The best is Q-Ba. Also accessible via the beach (see below). 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Also, multiple options at 2 nearby resorts: the neighboring Radisson Blu (400m, 5-minute walk) and Karma Royal, just up the road (500m, 6-minute walk).

Shops

  • Along the main road are plenty of shops, including minimarts, moneychangers, and agencies offering boat trips, but no supermarkets or classy boutiques. Shop owners can be a bit pushy.

Beach

  • Just a 2-minute stroll along a path within the resort grounds, the beach is wide and clean, but a little crowded in front of the resort; less so further south. Spread across the sand, a few casual cafés sell food and drinks and also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. Waves can be rough at times, so always swim between the flags. Lifeguards operate between 10 am and sunset. Some limited water-sports are available from a hut on the beach in front of the resort.

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort Hotel – The Hotel

The hotel is located in Cavelossim.

The Novotel dominates Cavelossim, a tourist-oriented town in southern Goa.

The resort lobby is bright and cheerful.

The lobby is bright and cheerful, which is indicative of the resort throughout.

The large pool is always busy.

The pool is large but always busy because the resort is so popular with packaged tours.

The Sohum Spa and gym are located in a quiet area of the resort.

In a quieter part of the resort grounds is the Sohum Spa. The fitness center is next door.

The resort is very family-friendly.

The resort caters better for families than most in the region.

The resort also offers archery and tennis facilities.

Among things to do for families are archery and tennis. (A high net separates the 2 activities!)

A vast lawn connects the resort to the beach.

A huge expanse of lawn, just like a golf course but with futsal goals, separates the resort and beach.

The Seagull restaurant offers buffets through the day.

The main restaurant at the resort, Seagull, serves buffets throughout the day.

The colorful Amalia bar/lounge is located above the reception.

Up some steps above the reception desks is the colorful Amalia bar/lounge.

The Amalia bar offers outdoor seating on a terrace overlooking the pool.

A delightful terrace overlooking the pool is attached to the Amalia bar.

Kebabs & Kurries serves only dinner.

Also at the resort, Kebabs & Kurries is open for dinner only.

The Tia Maria café/bar in Novotel is very popular.

Popular among families is the Tia Maria café/bar at the Novotel.

The poolside Mamma Mia serves grills and seafood.

Also near the resort pool, Mamma Mia specializes in grills and seafood.

The vast resort layout is almost like a village.

The villas and suites are spread out among the vast grounds, almost like a village.

The vast resort grounds sometimes require buggies to get around.

The grounds at the Novotel are massive enough for some guests to need a buggy.

The villas are all brightly colored.

Villas are detached or semi-detached and all are brightly colored, which is the norm among most buildings in southern Goa.

Larger villas have large balconies/verandas.

Some of the larger villas feature substantial balconies/verandas.

The spacious villas and beautifully designed.

Villas are spacious and beautifully appointed.

Villas feature appealing alcove sofas by the windows.

The alcove sofa alongside the window in the villas adds greatly to the appeal.

All villas and suites have a contemporary decor.

The décor is contemporary throughout all villas and suites.

The large balconies/verandas of villas and suites feature outdoor furniture.

The balcony/veranda attached to each villa and suite is more than large enough for some outdoor furniture.

Coco-Hut Bar is located near the beach.

At the end of the path to the beach from the pool is the Coco-Hut bar.

The beach has several casual and cheap cafés.

Dotted across the beach near the resort are a number of casual and cheap cafés on the sand.

The beach cafés serve cheap meals and drinks, and are popular during sunset.

These beach cafés serve inexpensive meals and cold drinks and are particularly pleasant at sunset.

The beach is clean, wine, and uncrowded.

The beach is wide, clean, and relatively uncrowded, especially a little further from the resort.

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

Waves can be rough at times, so always swim between the flags.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas.

Sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented in front of the resort.

Robin’s Ark is a classy restaurant close by.

Among a cluster of shops almost opposite the resort, Robin’s Ark is probably the classiest place along the main road.

Mike’s Place is a long-time favorite close by.

A well-established favorite, Mike’s Place is just down a side street, 200m from the resort.

There are several great cafés and bars along the riverside streets.

There are several other terrific places to eat and drink along the streets leading to the river.

Hungry Shark nearby has a terrific riverside setting.

One of several riverside cafés is Hungry Shark, 300m from the resort.

The main road in Cavelossim is very quiet.

The main road in Cavelossim is quiet compared to other tourist regions in Goa.

There are plenty of shops, cafés, and bars around Cavelossim.

The road is dotted with shops, cafés, and bars, but is not as developed as Candolim and Calangute in northern Goa.

Cavelossim has a good number of tailors.

Among the shops in Cavelossim near the resort are a number of tailors.

Buses connect to Cavelossim, Mobor Beach, and Margao.

Buses run frequently along the main road through Cavelossim to Mobor Beach further south, and north to Margao (Madgaon), the main town and regional transport hub in southern Goa.

Read More

Free Travel Guides

Get free travel guides and maps.

Coming soon: Paris, Santorini, Mykonos, London, Rome, Florence, Venice, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Bali, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Phuket, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Tokyo, NYC, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Cancun, Tulum

Get Started Here!