Sonesta Inns Hotel in Goa, India

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Updated: October 9, 2019

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Review of Sonesta Inns in Goa, India.

Sonesta Inns – Good-value, peaceful, and closer to the beach than any nearby resort.

The rooms – and suites with separate living areas – are positioned around the pool and gardens, and each features a balcony with space for a table, chairs, and two alcove seats. The design is also clever, so most rooms/suites are separated from neighbors, and are located in twin-level buildings only. Definitely not an inn (singular or plural), the Sonesta is reliably good and definitely affordable (rates include breakfast), and it boasts a position envied by five-star resorts: quiet, spacious, and as close to the beach as authorities allow. And for a smallish hotel it packs a lot in: e.g. pool with jacuzzi and sizable children’s area, gym, and spa with steam room. Renovations are planned from 2020 (but don’t appear necessary).

Sonesta Inns – The Location

  • Address: About 300m down a side street from the main road through northern Candolim, a major tourist region in the southern part of North Goa. (Most places in Goa don’t have an address.). Virtually at the invisible border between Candolim and Calangute. The turn-off from the main road is opposite Le Seasons hotel.
  • Area: The side street between the main road and hotel is lined with shops, cafés, and bars. The street continues for another 200m to the beach, which is also packed with cafés. More tourist facilities can be found along the main road, 300m from the hotel.
  • How to Get There: From the airport (38km, 70-minute drive), there is little choice except overpriced pre-paid taxis. The nearest major train station is at Vasco da Gama, 41km away (80-minute drive).
  • Handy to: Facilities and beaches at Candolim and Calangute.

Sonesta Inns – The Basics

  • Guests: Couples, often over 40 years old, but also some Indian families. Some guests have been returning regularly since it opened 15+ years ago.
  • Views: Most rooms face the pool and gardens, while a few overlook the street, which is quiet.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzi: Not expected (or provided) at this sort of mid-range hotel in Goa.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free, but not that quick.
  • Parking: Must park outside, so security cannot be guaranteed.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)832 248 9448
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: sonestainns.com

Sonesta Inns – Amenities

  • Pool: Most rooms overlook the pool, so it’s not that private. However, the abundant palms and colorful sunbeds make it more appealing than most. Attached is a jacuzzi and sizable and partially-fenced kids’ pool.
  • Spa: There is no spa, but guests are urged to visit Kera The Spa at the sister resort, Andores (2km north, 7-minute drive). It offers massages, scrubs, and yoga.
  • Fitness Center: Small, but not too bad. Unlikely to be used much by guests.
  • For families: Small playground.
  • Other Facilities: Money-changing. Laundry. Travel advice/bookings.

Sonesta Inns – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Ocean Deck – Broad menu, and some tables on a deck facing the beachside gardens. Comes alive after dark when an old-fashioned disco may come to life. • Flavours – Breezy coffee shop where breakfast is served. • Pool Bar – Facing the poolside lawns, the design is intriguing and the colors, bright.
  • Breakfast: Included in all rates, a bonus rarely offered by rivals.
  • Room Service: Comprehensive menu available in-room from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm.

Sonesta Inns – Rooms

  • Room Types: Luxury Rooms • Suites • Geetanjali Suite (1 only)
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking in the rooms, but permitted elsewhere.
  • Best Room: The 1-only Geetanjali Suite is designed with Indian and Portuguese flair, and features a separate living/dining room.
  • For Families: Suites feature separate living areas which are small but can fit 2 extra single beds. A larger family or those with teenagers should book 2 adjoining rooms (but they won’t have connecting doors).

Sonesta Inns – Local Transport

  • Walking: Some sidewalks along the main road, 300m away, but 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 (2km south, 6-minute drive). No metro or any local trains of use to tourists.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: A few auto-rickshaws (which 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. The only options for longer trips are unmetered private ‘taxis’ which can be arranged at the hotel or with drivers hanging about the streets.
  • Cars & Motorbikes: Goa is the only place in India where renting a car or motorbike is feasible. There are no internationally-recognized agencies, 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.

Sonesta Inns – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    All the places listed below are within 600m of the hotel.

  • Southi Resto Bar – Bright and cheerful, with tables also facing the road. Upmarket versions of Indian street food. Immediately to the right (south) where the side street meets the main road. 5-minute walk (400m).
  • Barrica Bistro +91 79774 62353 – Cute place for a coffee and sandwiches. Just south of, um, Southi. 6-minute walk (450m).
  • Kailash Parbat – Part of a country-wide chain and a trendy meeting spot for contemporary Indian cuisine. About 300m north of the turn-off to the hotel. 7-minute walk (600m).
  • For something more elegant (and expensive), try the bistros and bars at the Hyatt Centric, such as Grok (open 24 hours) (550m, 7-minute walk), and at the Novotel Goa Candolim, home to Square (popular for buffets and pizza) (450m, 6-minute walk). Both are almost opposite the turn-off to the Sonesta from the main road.
  • Many would probably prefer a cheap meal and cold drink, especially at sunset, at one of the cafés at the end of the path from the hotel (200m). All are fairly similar, but particularly inviting is Lopes’s Beach Shack.

Shops

  • Plenty of places to spend rupees all over Candolim, even along the side street to the hotel. The closest decent supermarket is Newton’s, 1.3km to the north. 16-minute walk.

Beach

  • A path within the hotel grounds leads directly to the beach about 200m away. The beach is wonderful: wide, clean, and not too crowded. Spread across the sand, a few casual cafés sell food and drinks, and also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. Always swim between the flags. Lifeguards are on duty between about 10 am and sunset.

Sonesta Inns – The Hotel

The hotel is located away from the main road.

The hotel is pleasantly positioned along a side street about 300m from the main road.

The hotel lobby is very pleasant.

The lobby area is bright and welcoming.

The hotel is very popular due to the design and value it offers.

The Sonesta is good-value and well-designed, which is why guests return year after year.

The large pool is in the center of the hotel.

The pool dominates the hotel grounds and pretty much everything overlooks it.

The Ocean Deck restaurant offers garden views.

The main hotel restaurant, Ocean Deck, faces the gardens.

Ocean Deck restaurant also offers outdoor seating.

Tables at the Ocean Deck restaurant at the Sonesta spill out onto the lawns during the dry season.

The unusually-designed Pool Bar is very popular.

Featuring an unusual design, the Pool Bar is a great place to meet fellow guests.

The hotel even features a small playground.

A small playground is on the lawn between the hotel and beach.

All accommodations feature balconies.

The hotel design ensures that every room and suite features a balcony, and most face the pool and gardens.

The spacious rooms even have a sitting area.

Rooms are spacious and feature sitting areas.

The comfortable rooms have a bland decor.

The décor may be a little bland, but the rooms are very comfortable.

Rooms feature spacious bathrooms.

The bathrooms are also spacious.

All rooms and suites have a balcony each.

Each room and suite features a balcony, even those at ground level.

Balconies have niches for extra seating.

In each balcony are 2 cute niches offering extra seating space.

Most accommodations face the pool.

Most rooms and suites face the pool (which can be noisy at times).

The colorful suites are very spacious.

The suites are even more spacious than the rooms and feature a colorful décor.

Suites feature separate living areas and extra windows.

Suites have separate living areas and extra windows.

The hotel is located away from the main road.

The Sonesta is along a quiet side street 300m from the main road.

The side street features signs leading to the hotel.

The side street is signposted at the main road.

Southi Resto Bar is also located close by.

The Southi Resto Bar is immediately to the right (south) where the side street meets the main road.

Barrica Bistro nearby is a great place for a coffee and light meal.

A cute place for a coffee and light meal, Barrica Bistro is also within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel.

Kailash Parbat nearby is a popular place for great vegetarian Indian meals.

Part of a popular countrywide chain is the trendy Kailash Parbat café, just up the main road from the turnoff to the hotel.

A restaurant near the turnoff serves local food from all over India.

The main road, 300m from the hotel, is lined with casual restaurants serving cheap Indian food. This one is opposite the turn-off to the hotel from the main road.

There are several interesting shops on the main road.

The main road is packed with interesting places to spend money.

A small path within the hotel leads to the beach nearby.

A path within the hotel leads to the beach about 200m away.

The beach nearby has several casual cafés.

The beach at the end of the path from the hotel is packed with casual cafés on the sand.

The beach cafés nearby are great for drinks at sunset.

The beach cafés near the hotel are perfect for a drink, particularly at sunset.

The beach is wide, clean, and quiet.

The beach is wide, clean, and quieter than many areas in Candolim and Calangute.

The beach cafés rent out sunbeds and umbrellas.

There are always plenty of places to rent sunbeds and umbrellas.

The sunsets in Goa are magical.

The sunsets along every beach in Goa are magnificent.

Buses offer connections to Candolim and Calangute.

Buses career along the main road, linking all the facilities along Candolim and Calangute.

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