Had a brilliant two weeks here in January, amazing weather, brilliant food, huge beach, great service, clean rooms and fantastic food!!
Loved how the rooms were all little bungalows rather than a big hotel block, really added to the feeling of privacy and it never felt crowded at the resort. We had a room with a shared balcony but this really wasn't a problem as there is so much space at the resort/beach we never used the balcony.
The room and the resort in general were kept spotless by the brilliant staff working constantly to keep everything looking great. Our room was cleaned thoroughly every day, despite us getting sand all over the place!! Also two fresh bottles of water in the room every day, and they'd always send more if you asked at reception.
Only problem with the room was that the A/C unit didn't work, but the ceiling fan was more than enough to keep the room cool even in nearly 40 degress so it was not a problem as we wouldn't of used it anyway. I'm sure had we reported it they'd of sorted it straight away, reception were always very helpful.
The resort had a great pool with lots of space around it, but we hardly spent any time there due to the huge beach less than a 5 minute walk from the rooms. Never seen such a huge beach, we walked for an hour and a half in one direction one day and still couldn't see the end of it! And bar a few beach shacks, it's just empty which is brilliant. The hotels don't own/use the beach which adds to it's beautiful simplicity, just a collection of beach shacks in the areas where the hotels pathway to the beach ends. As soon as you walk along away from there it's just empty space!
Loads of beds on the beach which are free to use as long as you buy the odd drink (about 20 rupees, nothing!) Only one shack was rude and insisted you ate lunch there to use their beds, so we just moved along. Only negative about the beach was the abundance of sellers on walking up and down, but once you give them the message you're not interested they will move on. (trick is to simply say 'no' rather than let them get you into a conversation, seems rude but they will pester you then)
Best bit about the resort for us was the food. We had worried that after two weeks the buffet would get repetitive and monotonous, but I don't think in the whole two weeks did they repeat a dish, especially impressive given the amount of choice each day! Obviously the curry was superb with plenty of choice, but also just as much great western food if you needed a break from the indian food! Also brilliant for vegetarians, with the main buffet area being veggie. But still plenty of great meat dishes too.
Twice a week they did the buffet dinner out in the garden with some entertainment which was a nice change.
Also a nice touch to have a dinner included at each a la carte restaurant. The grill restaurant beside the pool was brilliant, they really transformed the area at night and the food was superb. Then the 'kebabs & kurries' restaurant was top class indian food, and so much of it included! Well up there with the best indian food I've had. But we still had some of our best meals at the buffet restaurant which proves the quality they produce everyday. The paneer curries were addictive!
Goa itself was fantastic too, we booked a taxi from reception one day, and for 3000 rupees (about £40?) we did a tour of south goa for about ten hours. They had a set route but were happy to change it to where you wanted to go. The driver would wait for you at each place until you were ready to move on. (Definitely make sure you visit the spice plantation if you do go out, and if you go at lunch the buffet lunch (included in the tour price) is brilliant!
All in all it was a brilliant relaxing holiday with perfect weather throughout. Brilliant food in a really relaxing environment. Plenty of tourism and culture available when wanted but great to retreat back to the tranquillity of the resort!
When hearing people there say it's there 10th, 15th or even 20th time at Dona Sylvia, I can definitely see why! When we return to goa, it will definitely be to Dona Sylvia.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC