Delhi to Goa in search of sea, sand, sun and serenity.

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February 16th 2018
Published: February 20th 2018
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We checked out of the hotel in good time, before 8.30 am for our Air India flight to Goa. Had enquired as to the price of a hotel taxi to the airport at the hotel reception and was told it would be 2400 (£24) rupees. Given we came all way from Agra for 5500 in a hotel taxi we decided this was taking the mickey and said so. Receptionist agreed, quietly, and advised us to ask for a taxi to be called ‘from outside’ where price would be 600 (£6) rupees. That’s what we did and it was.

Delhi traffic as expected, grid-locked in places which suddenly clears and we are on the way again. No problems at the airport apart from being redirected from the domestic gates to the international, even though it was a domestic flight. No worries, this is India.

Checked our boarding passes to find my prebooked seat 7A, window seat next to Bob’s 7B had been changed to window seat 5F. 2 rows further forward on the other side. Now that was helpful. It seems that booking your seat when booking the flight is a waste of time as if, when someone is checking in online, fancies your seat, they book it and you lose it.

Fortunately once we were airborne, Bob was chatting to the man in ‘my seat’, 7A, who explained how the online checkin seat choice overrides any original seat bookings. The very kind gent then swapped places with me.

Flight only just over 2 hours and misty all the way so saw not a lot from my window seat. Surprised not to see the sea at all even as we got close.

Used the prepaid taxi service at the airport. 650 rupees to our hotel, Beleze by the Beach, just a mile before Colva. Taxi driver didn’t know the way so switched with his mate who also didn’t know the way and also somewhere along the way we were conned into paying another 70 rupees on the basis we had to go via Colva (we didn’t !) but as it was only 70 gave up and paid up.

Hotel down a dirt track off the road to Colva and through a set of rusty gates. We were not prepared for what greeted us on the other side of the gates.

A building site.

This was supposed to be a small 4* 35 room friendly, quiet hotel. It seems it is being upgraded to a large, more luxurious 5*, villa hotel complex with 100 rooms. Discovered later than it was only 2 days ago that the brand new, super swimming pool and the central breakfast bar were opened replacing the original ones on the other, quiet, side of the hotel.

Reception is still on the corner of the old bar area (as the new one is still being exceedingly noisily built) so all in all the most unimpressive entrance we have ever made to a hotel, anywhere.

Our room however is most impressive and we suspect we may be its first occupants. Certainly exceedingly new and as they are still building the ‘villa’ next door quite likely ours is only just finished.

The best part is the bathroom which is one of the best hotel bathrooms we’ve ever had.

The pool is also pretty super and enormous and at last, after the previous 3, warm. Helped by a rise in temperature now we are in South India to the mid 30s, a good 10 degrees higher than we’ve had to date..

We went for a peaceful swim in the lovely pool but discovered there is no peace in this hotel. There is a constant hammering and banging and grinding and drilling coming from all directions of the site. They are renovating older buildings to the left of the pool, building new buildings to the right of the pool, building a complete new reception area at the end of the pool and beyond that the approach road and entrance.

When completed it should be fantastic. At the moment it should be closed to guests. The noise levels at times are such that we should all be wearing ear protectors. The work goes on every day from before 9am to 10pm at night.

We suspect, after checking recent hotel reviews on the web, that the bulk of the work has only been going on from the start of the year or at least was not as obvious when the hotel bar and pool were sited at the far side away from all the new reception work. There is another lovely pool by the current (old) reception but that closed 2 days ago and they will be building there too.

Have been unable to post the last two blogs or any of my photos as the wifi doesn’t work. We will be in Mumbai before this gets uploaded to the internet.

The way to the beach is out from reception, along the road where new reception is being built so building works absolutely everywhere, then turn right down a long path leading to the beach. This goes via the hotel’s dining room and through a security gate where we have to book in and out !

Beach is lovely, miles and miles of powder soft pale golden sand. We took a look, had a paddle then a drink at the bar. Thank goodness the beer is properly priced and available here. 1.5 pint bottle of Kingfisher beer 200 rupees (£2).

We had dinner at the beach restaurant and it was very good. The music was live and the music was too loud, given that we had to sit quite close in order to have a table with reasonable lighting, but the waiter had the volume turned down a notch and then the music was good too.

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