Ramada Caravela Beach Resort
Historical Traveler Reviews Beim Hirschen Merzhausen
Fantastic hotel, brillant for a relaxinf introduction to India
My partner and I stayed at the Ramada Carvela beach for 7 nights in the middle of March.
The journey out was less than spectacular due to our flight being rescheduled and Monarchs tiny seating, I'm only 5ft 6" and my knees touched the seat in front of me! Definitely upgrade to premium if you can afford it, especially as it'll save you several hours queuing on your return trip.
The transfer to the hotel was good as it gave us an opportunity to see some of the countryside. Though do be warned the 90 minute transfer detailed in the brochure took over 2 hours!
On arrival at the resort we got checked in immediately and went straight to our room. We had upgraded to a pool view room, which was amazing with lovely views of the large pool and gardens. The room itself was large and comfortable.
We ate in the hotel restaurant "Oriental Hut" on our first night, the food was excellent but expensive, dinner for two cost £40. Which whilst not a huge amount is expensive for India. For the rest of our holiday we ate at the beach shacks and local restaurants. Our favourites were Agnelos (at the front of the hotel) and Sea Breeze (beach shack about 5minutes down the beach from the Ramada shacks).
Our best treat during the trip was the full body massages in the hotel spa. We both had one and they were fantastic, at the end we both had to be helped up we were so relaxed!
If there was one thing I wish I had known before I went it would have been about the frequency of the power cuts. The actual cuts didn't last long but did tend to catch one of in the shower! So take my advice and bring a small pocket torch!
Great Resort, recommend
My husband, two friends and I stayed at this resort for 3 nights after surviving a horrible Delhi guest house, but a pleasant stay in Mumbai. Even so, we ready for some relaxing time on the beach at the end of our tour and found it at the Ramada. The grounds are well kept and staff very friendly and helpful.
The rooms/bathrooms are very clean, large, and the beds comfortable. However, the rooms had a musty smell that we eventually got used to. The minibar lacks any snacks and the prices for the minibar as well as laundry service are above average for India.
The resort has a gym and spa with decent prices for US standards, a massage is about 1600-2500 rupees. The pool area is attractive and kid friendly. My husband and friends enjoyed the mini golf course although don't expect too much with a 9hole, 3par course. They had fun anyways, club rental and green fees about 600rupees.
The beach is a walk through the grounds but has limited chairs and umbrellas (get there early). However, the drinks and food at the resort are extremely over-priced; there are a few beach shacks that offer cheap and safe food and drinks. They also have more chairs with comfortable padding, however, beware of the flimsy umbrellas that don't offer as much protection from the sun. Even so, there is a nice breeze on the beach and the waves are calm but offer enough height for play.
The breakfast buffet was included and had an extensive selection, however not a lot of Indian choices. All the food at the resort is expensive, but there are three restaurants just outside of the resort on the drive in. Our favorite was the one closest to the resort.
We took the bus into town (Maragoa?) and found a driver who was willing to drive us around for the rest of the afternoon and evening for 1600rupees. He took us to old Goa, St. Xavier's, and to Baga Beach. Baga was incredible but extrememly crowded, but if there's any bargain shopping to be done, Baga is the place.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would recommend the resort, however the guest population tended to be a bit older and more family oriented. The night life was non-existent with few people at the "club" or even out on the grounds. There's a hooka bar which remained empty almost our entire stay and the horrible singing lady in the pool bar was enough to make us walk to the beach.
We booked a week here, but the moment we arrived we wished we had booked two!(or a month or two!)
The flight out was with Monarch and was very VERY uncomfortable, although we couldnt fault the cabin crew, its just that that sort of plane was not good enough for such a long haul flight.
All that was the last thing on our minds once we reached the resort.A warm genuine welcome, a nice comfortable and secure room. Puffa jackets off and stripped to our beach wear in seconds!
I noticed that other reviews say that the bathroom was a little tired, true, but what the hell it was ultra clean and tidy and you dont go to India to spend most of your time in the bathroom!(ok then, as long as you dont have the Deli-Belly)
Its set in a dream-land landscaped gardens leading down to the most pristine beach that i have ever seen in my life, and ive seen a lot of beaches on my travels.The sunsets are to die for.Talk to the local girls on the beach,DONT do the usual tourist thing and ignore them, they really are interested in you and want to be friendly to you. They will almost likely want you to have a look at there wares so go on have a look, you will pick up a great bargain too!
Ok i`m gonna stop now cos i could go on forever praising this hotel.
Take my word for it and book in here, you will never EVER regret it i promise you!
Sid n Netty. x x
ps neither of us had the Runs!
Just back from 9 nights in the Ramada. We had a wonderful time. The beach is truly beautiful - you can only see endless beach... Staff are very friendly and helpful. Grounds and gardens are colourful and well maintained. Food is excellent although rather expensive (Dublin prices not expected in India!) and wine in particular was overpriced. Bars a bit of a let down, again alcohol in general is overpriced and only beer available in entire complex is Fosters (apparently they have the sole contract) - but 5-6 beach shacks nearby that sell excellent food and many beers at ridicously low prices and really nice staff. Yoga master Guruji runs yoga classes every morning at 8am, he is really good - many people come back year after year for his classes. He also does auyruvedic consultations - well worth a visit. Our hotel room was disapppointing. It was very basic with 70s style shabby furniture and quite stuffy. The once white furniture on the balcony was grey and grubby. The main downside of our stay in the Ramada was the entertainment at night. The same music was played every night (with the excepion of Tues night) and it is absolutely brutal - A lady from Goa very badly trying to sing Abba and Whitney Houston with lots of speakers was hard to take nightly! (staff said she is there all season). Goa itself is really diverse and buzzy with lots to do and although there is really little else to do around hotel at night (bar listen to...) taxis are plentyful and reasonably priced re going to other areas for dinner, markets etc. So if you have a choice go for non inclusive option - this leaves you with much more freedom and choice. Overall very enjoyable and relaxing holiday.
Large hotel but designed for 'Individual' space
Stayed at this hotel for 4 days in March 2005.
The staff at the hotel are friendly, trained and provide good service.
Our room was spacious, clean, had balcony/terrace, and all amenities of 5* hotel Eg hairdryer, mini bar serviced daily, aircon. Most rooms appear to have interconnecting doors as standard although some rooms do not.
Buffet style breakfast with many choices.
Choice of restaurants to eat in the evening if you do not wish to go to the four beach shacks within a 100m along the beach. Beach shack food was as good as the hotel food.
Food quality is very good with plenty of choice.
Evening entertainment is around the pool with local bands or dancers. Nightclub on site.
Main pool only has a small section where you can stand (I'm 5ft 3"). Most of the pool is 2m or more. There is a separate childrens pool which is shallow and suitable for under 5's.
There are separate ledges interspersed at the edge of the main pool where you can sit in the water to cool down.
The gardens are well established, providing quiet areas with shade where you can relax in the sun.
The hotel offer watersports including parasailing, banana boat, jetski etc. They do not have boogie boards for surfing. If you wish to get a boogie board the nearest town to get one is Panjim.
Beach is clean around the hotel, with coconut shades at the top of the beach next to the entrance to the hotel. There is also a bar and restaurant next to the beach.
Within 100m there are 4 beach shacks, where you can get drinks and meals. They are not part of the hotel.
You can hire bikes either from the beach shacks or hotel to cycle along the sands at low tide when the sand is firm.
Water here is not clear if you wish to snorkel. There are good waves and the slope into the sea is gentle.
Beach Sellers are now banned from Varca Beach, and enforced by local patrols.
Massage, Beauty Salon, Internet connection, Yoga, Bike Hire, Watersports, to name a few.
This hotel provides good service and quality accommodation.
Ramada is great but could be even better
We stayed at the Ramada Caravela (formerly Renaissance) for 2 weeks on Honeymoon in Mar 05. The resort is fantastic, has 5 excellent restaurants, 4 good bars including swim up bar, beautiful grounds, spa, nice pool, great beach and unbeatable service. The staff just could not do enough for you...fantastic people. Our only complaint was that the rooms are looking a bit tired as are some of the public spaces (coriddors, lobby, breakfast restaurant) and they need renovating. If they renovate in the next year or 2 it will continue to be a fantastice place but if they put the renovations off the hotel sadly go down hill.
We had a great time, enjoyed the facilities and spent pleny of time on the beautiful beach.
It is a quiet part of Goa and the beaches are not busy at all. Walk south down the beach for a half an hour and you may very well be on your own!
There are a half dozen beach shacks 5 min from the resort as well as 2 or 3 restaurants just out side of the resort which are excellent.
We went all inclusive which we enjoyed as it was hassle free, but as the food and drink in the hotel restaurants and also the nearby shacks and restaurants is so cheap we probably did not save money as opposed to going B&B.
We had a wonderful time in Goa and at the Ramada and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quietish time in a fantastic location.
Your own pice of paradise
We booked a fortnight at the Caravela Beach resort. It was a "treat" for myself and my partner following a traumatic few months so we needed a good break...and boy did we get it. Once we'd actually got there, the holiday was FANTASTIC. The journey there however was not. We had a late night flight from Manchester (UK) airport. I was astonished that a major international airport literally closed down after 10pm. There were no shops open and very limited facilities. Not a good start. We flew with Monarch, which was another disappointment. The aircraft was adequate ..... had we been flying to the Med. It was the most uncomfortable (12 hour!) trip I have ever had the misfortune of making and I will certainly pay a little extra for my holiday if it means avoiding Monarch in the future.
I'm quite a canny traveller and normally it takes me a day or so to settle into a resort. My first impressions are generally neutral to negative. Not so with CB. Apparently it's quite an old hotel, but you'd never guess. It's buildings and gardens are very well maintained. We even got room service twice a day and a weekly laundry run. I've never returned home with so many clean (and ironed) clothes! The staff were fantastic and really genuine - not like some in the Caribbean when their smile lasts for as long as they think they can be seen. There is an Ayurvedic health centre there and you absolutely must have a massage. The prices are embarassingly low - c£20 for a full hour massage and c£3 for a manicure. There's also yoga on the lawn at 8am every morning for those early birds amongst you. The restaurants had a great range of food. The speciality Carnival restaurant has the best Indian cuisine I have ever tasted (and I'm half Indian so I should know) Try the Meen moilee (fish curry) and Kulfi (ice cream style dessert). The staff were so great that (somehow) they found out it our anniversary and presented us with a celebration cake! I was really touched.
The pool area had nice atmosphere, with a smaller pool for children. There's a nice family atmosphere without being over-run with children and noise. The beach is only a few minutes walk through the gardens and there's a grill that looks out over the ocean, along with a bar.
If you are able, try to get a room in the block that is set away from the main building. Only a few rooms have a sea view, all of which are in this block.
STAFF: Before you travel, take along a few toiletries etc (just cheap ones from the supermarket will do) and leave them for the staff as a thank you. I left some (un-used!) underwear, hair bands/clips, lotions/potions etc. They may never get the chance to have products like these and believe me, these people will serve you very well during your stay. You WILL want to thank them.
TRIPS: Don't bother travelling to Dudhsagar falls unless you relish the idea of hours on a bus followed by a VERY dirty jeep ride (our clothes were ruined by red clay dust) followed by only 45 minutes at the falls (if you've seen Dunn's river falls in Jamaica, this will be a big let down) Probably a better idea to sort out your own taxi and have bit more control over your day. It's only about £25 to hire one for the whole day.
If you get the chance to go to Cola beach then you absolutely MUST. Granted the 90 min coach drive is a nightmare (it was 34 degrees on the day we went...and there was no air con) but it really is worth it. It's a deserted beach and you stay in Rajastani tents on the beach. The tents are very clean with running water, two beds, a shower and flushable loo! The food is prepared in a small hut and in the evening the locals have a campfire and bit of a sing song. Just beware that hygiene standards when it comes to food prep may be limited. The people there were great and everything was clean but you need to be realistic when you're in this sort of area (yes, we did have a touch of Delhi-belly for 24 hours after! Sadly this meant we missed the Jungle Book trip with the elephants but it couldn't be helped)
GOA CULTURE: The poverty in Goa is truly astonishing. Don't believe the stories about millionaire beggars. These people are truly empoverished and I would suggest that as priviledged westerners we should all try to share some of our fortune with those less fortunate than ourselves. Everything was so cheap that we simply "tipped" up to what we thought was a reasonable rate. Please don't be tempted to take advantage of these wonderful people.
NB The journey back was just as awful as the outbound journey. We landed at 4am (an hour late due to bad weather and an unexpected stop-off in Larnaca) and it took Manchester Airport baggage handlers over an hour to offload the luggage. Be warned !
staff very very helpful and friendly such happy people. rooms very clean, and spacious, could do with better lighting. they think and supply of all requirements you need. a wide range of choice of food in the 5 resturants something for everyone.
Beautiful on the surface, but...........
I spent 4 nights at this hotel in January 2005. I was knocked out by the grand foyer and wonderful pool area, surrounded by beautifully kept gardens. We'd booked one of the garden rooms at a very reasonable price, as opposed to the villa rooms which looked really impressive. Take my advice guys - if you can afford it DO NOT book a garden room. The decor is a bit tired and our room was really damp and smelly, so much so that we burned incense every day to try and get rid of the smell. The restaurants looked quite good, they do a fantastic breakfast, but if you want great quality food, you need look no further than the beach shacks. They are literally yards from the hotel boundary, the shack staff are absolutely adorable and the food and drink is fantastic, not to mention ridiculously cheap. Don't be fooled into thinking that you might get a dodgy tummy by eating in these places, it's always been all inclusive resort food that's made me ill!!!!
Just returned from two weeks relaxing at this welcoming hotel. Friendly, helpful staff, lovely public areas, good choice of restaurants and bars, pool with swim up bar and wonderful miles of sandy beach, where you can walk or hire a bike. There is a mini golf course and tennis courtsetc. Only bad point - the rooms are a little tired, especially the bathrooms. Clean and spacious but need a bit of a face lift. They are now offering "all inclusive" but this is such a waste as there are so many wonderful and cheap places to eat and drink locally. Thoroughly recommended.
TripAdvisor Reviews Beim Hirschen Merzhausen
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