Santana Beach Resort in Goa, India

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Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of Santana Beach Resort in Goa, India.

Santana Beach Resort – Extensive grounds, beachside position, and Mediterranean vibe; also great value.

The Santana is far larger and more likable than the 1960’s-style exterior would indicate. The narrow resort grounds stretch from the main road to as close to the beach as authorities allow. The fetching blue-and-white buildings, some named after colonial forts and castles, are among gardens blooming with ferns and lilies. The bright and airy suites are huge and feature balconies, separate living areas, and three sets of windows. (Some cheaper rooms do face the side street, however, so choose carefully.) The bathroom fittings and cupboards need updating, but all this adds to the charm. A short and lovely garden path from the second pool leads to the glorious beach. What’s more, the resort offers terrific value for money (and the rates include breakfast).

Santana Beach Resort – The Location

  • Address: Along a side street off the main road through the southern part of Candolim, a major tourist region in a southern part of North Goa. (Most places in Goa don’t have an address.) The resort stretches from the main road for about 300m down the side street. The reception is close to the beach.
  • Area: Less developed, and therefore, less traffic than the northern parts of Candolim and anywhere in Calangute. Yet, more nightclubs and bars with live music nearby than elsewhere in the region. As close as possible (150m) to Dando Beach, part of what is more commonly known as Candolim Beach.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (37km, 70-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama, 38km away (75-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beaches at Candolim.

Santana Beach Resort – The Basics

  • Guests: Mostly Indian tourists, many with families.
  • Views: All rooms and suites feature balconies/verandas, but views vary, so choose wisely. Some face the side street, which is fairly quiet. Some overlook one of the 2 pools (which are often noisy). Others face inwards to the meandering garden path. These are the quietest.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at this sort of mid-range resort in Goa.
  • 
Wi-Fi: Free throughout for all guests and reliably quick.
  • Parking: Nowhere on-site. Dedicated area near the beach and close to the reception, but safety is not guaranteed.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 247 9556
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: santana-goa.com

Santana Beach Resort – Amenities

  • Pool: Two pools. The main one is smallish and often crowded. A sunken poolside bar and some tipping buckets that splash water from above. The second pool is smaller and near the café, but it’s often ignored and therefore, quieter.
  • Spa & Fitness Center: None, but not really expected at this sort of mid-range holiday resort catering mostly to Indian families.
  • For Families: Cots.
  • Other Facilities: Book exchange/Library. Tours. Laundry.

Santana Beach Resort – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: Olegario’s Restaurant provides a casual setting undercover or on the lawns beside the second pool. Wide-ranging menu including salads, soups, seafood, and Goan cuisine. The separate Olegario’s Bar is about 50m away. Also, a sunken bar alongside the main pool.
  • Breakfast: Decent buffet breakfast is included in all rates.
  • Room Service: Available from 8 am to 10.30 pm.

Santana Beach Resort – Rooms

  • Room Types: Standard Rooms • Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms, but OK elsewhere around the resort grounds.
  • Best Room: The suites are substantially larger than the rooms. The quietest ones are those furthest from the pools and not facing the street.
  • For Families: The management is used to catering for families. Suites have space for 2 extra single beds and feature small living areas and kitchens (but no cooking facilities).

Santana Beach Resort – Local Transport

  • Walking: The main road is decent enough for walking and even provides a few sidewalks (mainly used for illegal parking, however). Strolling is nicer along the side streets to the beach.
  • Public Transport: Local buses are convenient and frequent. They travel up and down – and stop anywhere along – the main road through Candolim and Calangute. Some detour to Panaji (Panjim), the state capital and regional transport hub, via a stop opposite the Acacia hotel (900m north, 11-minute walk). No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: No auto-rickshaws or metered taxis in the immediate area. Uber/Ola don’t operate anywhere in Goa, but app-based rides can be arranged through Goa Miles. The only option for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’ which can be arranged at the resort or with drivers hanging about the streets.
  • 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 resort. Rides on the back of a motorbike (called a ‘pilot’) are possible; ask around.

Santana Beach Resort – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Calamari Bathe & Binge +91 73500 75105 – Unique name and the classiest place on the beach anywhere in Candolim. Huge number of tables in different sections inside or on the sand. At the end of the path from the resort. A few other beach cafés nearby as well. 2-minute walk (160m).

These 4 places are north along the main road and within 400m of the resort.

  • Bomra’s – Rare and authentic Burmese restaurant. Popular for its shady terrace, attentive service, and intriguing menu. 2-minute walk (190m).
  • Adelaide Bar and Restaurant – Quaint and shady, with an extensive menu featuring tempting daily specials. Ideal for people-watching. 4-minute walk (290m).
  • The Stone House – Always busy because of the shady courtyard, delicious seafood, and live music nightly (mostly blues and jazz). Opposite Adelaide. 4-minute walk (300m).
  • Café Candolim +91 88797 89992 – Charming Mediterranean-style café with wrought iron tables and friendly staff. Come for the tasty cakes, coffee, and sandwiches. 5-minute walk (400m).

Shops

  • Less developed area than northern Candolim and Calangute, but enough places to spend money along the main road, including moneychangers. The closest supermarket is Delfino’s, 1.2km further north. 15-minute walk.

Beach

  • The wide and clean beach is accessible along a shady path (150m) from within the resort grounds – or via the dusty side street. A few cafés (but not as many as further north), and plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas for rent; some for free. Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty between about 10 am and sunset.

Santana Beach Resort – The Hotel

The resort is located in a quiet area of Candolim.

The resort stretches for about 300m down a side street from the main road in the popular tourist region of Candolim.

The resort has a pleasing Mediterranean vibe.

The design and blue-and-white paint provides a genuine Mediterranean feel.

The accommodations are spread out in the large resort grounds.

The rooms and suites are spread along meandering paths through the deceptively long resort grounds.

The gardens feature sculptures and seating.

The shady gardens feature some sculptures and seating.

The compact pool is always very popular.

The main pool is a little undersized but always popular.

The pool features a special 'waterfall' that is very popular.

Water from a tower often spills onto the main pool, much to the delight of the younger ones.

The pool bar serves a decent selection of drinks.

The bar alongside the main pool serves the usual array of drinks.

The second smaller pool is much quieter.

A second pool near the café and lobby is often ignored, and therefore, quieter.

There are several sunbeds in the gardens.

In the gardens near the second pool are even more sunbeds.

Olegario’s Restaurant offers outdoor seating.

Tables at Olegario’s Restaurant near the resort lobby are also spread across the lawns.

Olegario’s Bar is located close to the restaurant.

Olegario’s Bar is separate to the restaurant, and is only about 50m away.

The resort has a pleasant and uncrowded layout.

Rooms and suites are in twin-level buildings, so views are limited, but the resort is pleasingly not overbuilt.

Garden paths with murals of old Goa connect all accommodations.

Accommodations are accessible along paths through the gardens. Some walls are decorated with scenes of old Goa.

The resort buildings are named after old Portuguese forts and castles.

Some buildings are named after old Portuguese forts and castles that once stood in Goa.

All accommodations come with balconies or verandas.

All types of rooms and suites feature balconies or verandas.

The suites are extremely spacious.

The suites are huge.

Some of the furnishing is dated but it still adds to the appeal.

The furnishings, such as the cupboards as well as the bathroom fittings, could be updated, but this adds to the appeal.

Suites have separate living areas with small kitchen platforms.

Suites feature separate living areas, with a small sofa, desk/table, and kitchen sink (but no cooking facilities).

Some accommodations face the side street which is not that quiet.

Choose carefully because some rooms and suites face the side street. This street is reasonably quiet, but it is a thoroughfare for vehicles to the beach.

Bomra’s Burmese restaurant is close by.

Bomra’s is an authentic Burmese restaurant, a couple of minutes’ walk north up the main road.

The Stone House nearby is popular for its courtyard setting and live music.

The Stone House, just up from Bomra’s, is popular for its shady courtyard and live music.

Adelaide Bar and Restaurant nearby is also very popular.

Often busy with hungry tourists is the quaint Adelaide Bar and Restaurant, also just up the main road from the resort.

Café Candolim specializes in coffee, cakes, and sandwiches.

Café Candolim is a quaint Mediterranean-style eatery popular for coffee, cakes, and sandwiches.

A pleasant path leads from the lobby to the beach.

An attractive garden path leads about 150m from the café and lobby in the resort to the beach.

Calamari Bathe & Binge has an excellent beachside setting.

At the end of the path from the resort, Calamari Bathe & Binge may have an odd name, but the beachside position is divine.

The beach has a good selection of cafés.

There are also a few cafés on the beach, but not nearly as many as further north.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas, sometimes for free.

The beach cafés near the resort also rent sunbeds and umbrellas, sometimes for free.

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.

The sunsets in Goa are magical.

The sunsets at the beach in front of the resort are always magical.

There are several signposts leading to the resort.

The resort is well-signposted from the main road.

The resort is located on a quiet side street with the reception away from the main road.

The side street to the resort is flat and shady. The reception is at the end, about 300m from the main road and 150m from the beach.

Buses offer connections to Candolim, Calangute, and Panjim.

Buses ply the main road, linking this area with the rest of Candolim, all of Calangute further north, and (sometimes) the transport hub of Panaji (Panjim).

The main road has several stalls selling all kinds of stuff.

The main road is lined with plenty of places to spend Rupees.

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