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Review - 100 Year Old Colonial Home in Goa

Thank you to IVHE members Pauline and Stuart for this lovely review following their recent trip to IVHE property #0363 Sounds like a great place to relax and explore the region.  

Vivenda dos Palhacos in Majorda, Goa turned out to be a real gem. Simon and Charlotte the hosts were extremely hospitable and the staff there couldn’t do enough to help. Highly recommendable.
Was the property description accurate?

Yes, except that Chummery has a double bed, not 2 singles as advertised; I have mentioned this to Simon.  Vivenda is like an extended family group, with people arriving and leaving the various rooms during the course of our week. Life circulates around the huge outdoor stone table where everyone just meets up for refreshment, starting with a cooked breakfast. We feel we have made a lot of friends.

Was communication good with the owner?
My communication with Simon was mainly from UK via email; He couldn’t have been more helpful, with him always replying promptly; he even recommended a Goan travel agent friend Mario, who then went on to organize the whole of our second week in Goa before we even left UK. Charlotte mostly meets and greets their guests and is always around to help organize things like money exchange, massages, how to get to the beach, places to visit, taxis etc. Again, Charlotte couldn’t have been more helpful and was always around and nothing was ever too much trouble for her. Simon and Charlotte’s love of their place is obvious.
Were there any unique local activities not to be missed?  We went mainly to chill out, but we did arrange a trip to Hampi, the 2nd most important sacred site in India after the Taj Mahal, we were told. We went as part of a group, organized by Simon’s travel agent friend Mario and travelled 3rd class by train; this too is an experience not to be missed and having a courier all the way, including travelling on the train with us, was a huge plus. The priest’s house, recommended by Charlotte is also not to be missed, with an amazing 7-course luncheon thrown in as part of the visit.

Anything else you would lik to share?

Accommodation at Vivenda is lovely, comfortable, friendly and absolutely full of character, having been designed and converted by Simon from dilapidated buildings. The only problem we had was with the mattresses (we stayed in two different rooms and were able to look at the others). My husband has a back injury which only causes him a problem at night and he did find the beds too hard and unyielding as the mattresses were of foam set on, for the most part, solid bases. It wasn't a problem for me, however anyone who needs a sprung mattress (as we had at other Goan hotels) would be advised to check this out with Simon before booking.

How was your experience with the trade coordinating team?
As new members we didn't really know what to expect from IVHE, however we needn't have been concerned – from start to finish it all went like clockwork, with nothing left to chance. Communication with your team was excellent, with emails answered quickly.

Pauline and Stuart - 26 Feb 2015


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