Stylish room decor, amazing pools, delicious food, kid friendly services and proximity to a beautiful beach in North Goa are just some of the things about my recent stay at the brand new Ibis Styles Goa Calangute – and needless to say, it was an experience my family and I enjoyed a lot.
Goa is one of the most popular and fun beach destinations in India and is usually considered a spectacular solo travel destination. Water sports in Goa are also a major attraction, and it is also a well known romantic getaway. My recent Goa trip, however, was a family vacation with my husband and our four year old daughter, Gauri. This post is Part One of this family trip to Goa.
Gauri, as you might already know via this blog, is an enthusiastic traveler and a fun travel buddy. My husband is also someone who loves to travel, and together we make a family that’s addicted to travel. It is pretty fun, to be honest. And Goa is the recent addition to this list.
For the first part of our trip, we stayed at the newly constructed Ibis Styles Goa Calangute and here is my review of the same:
My Review of The Ibis Styles Goa Calangute, a Premium Luxury Hotel in North Goa.
Ibis Styles is located in Calangute, just a few minutes away from the famous Clanagute beach in North Goa. It took us an hour from the Goa International Airport to reach the hotel in normal traffic. The hotel offers airport pick-up and drop facilities, you just have to inform them.
All around the hotel, the streets are lively and full of various eating joints. There’s a pretty chapel (image above) at a walking distance and plenty of shops that sell everything from Crocs to swimming costumes. If you might need anything that isn’t available at the hotel by any chance – like medicines, cough drops, emergency flip flops – you will find it right outside.
We were picked at the Goa airport by the Ibis Styles taxi with my name written on it, along with the hotel logo – something I love too much for a sane adult, hehe. The car was clean and the drive to the hotel was comfortable.
Once at the hotel, we were welcomed by the staff with a fedora and a pretty sea shells necklace. Gauri loved the necklace a little too much and carried it with her throughout our Goa trip like a prized possession, like kids often do. It was cute.
I want to mention here that the hotel is wheelchair accessible.
The lobby at Ibis Styles Goa is a fun riot of colors that are artfully incorporated in the aesthetic decor. From the bright cushions with typography to the chandeliers made of local shells, this lobby is a treat for the eyes.
The welcome drink given to us was fresh pineapple juice, much welcomed after the long drive. The check in was done in three minutes flat, thanks to Adrian at the front desk who was always smiling and helpful.
After we had our room keys and finished the juice (almost immediately, for me), we were escorted to our room on the third floor.
The Ibis Styles Calangute Goa is a newly constructed property, so everything is contemporary, modern and state of art. The hotel falls into the Premium Budget Hotels in Goa category, but looks and works like any luxury hotel chain would. Maybe its just me (and a few others I know), but the term “budget hotel” makes us think of mediocre service and compromise on stay quality. Let me assure you that is not the case here.
Ibis Style is a part of the big portfolio of Accor Group, which also has Novotel and Sofitel hotels under its brand umbrella. So obviously, the group is a master in the hospitality industry. This expertise shows in the way Ibis Styles is run and managed.
From cleanliness to service – nothing feels like a quality compromise. Full points for that.
The hotel has 197 rooms which are divided in two wings. All the rooms have pool view. Yes, all 197 rooms! I’ll get to the rooms in a separate point later.
There are two pools in the hotel, and a kids’ pool. These pool are well maintained and lovely. We spent a lot of time in and by these pools, whenever we were not at the beach. There are housekeeping staff members constantly cleaning the area during the day which is good to see, especially when you’re there with kids.
Good news is that the pools are open all day and all night, so you can swim whenever you like. (For some reason, this was a good news to me, ha ha)
Apart from the rooms and the pools, Ibis Styles Goa has a well equipped Gym, a Restaurant and Bar, a Gift Shop and a net covered Cricket Area with a Bowling Machine – yes, cricket enthusiasts, this is FUN!
The lobby has a selfie point which is a vibrant boat. I clicked a few selfies here but none came out good because although I try a lot, I seriously lack the skill required to take good selfies. Sigh.
A section of the lobby has two shinning red foot massage chairs – for when you have walked along the beach for too long or have swam a bit too much. It is heavenly, and very thoughtful I must say.
The Kids’ Play Area is where we spent a big chunk of our time, because Gauri loved it. Right next to it is a brand new Foosball Table so we, the adults, weren’t complaining either!
The property is clean and well maintained.
How can we talk about Goa and not mentions beaches? The nearest beach to the hotel is the Tivai Beach which is at a ten minutes walking distance. I found Tivai Beach to be one of the cleaner beaches on North Goa, and it is very lively. Not many Indian tourist were here during the days I visited, but plenty of international travelers were present from morning till late evening.
This beach has a bunch of shacks that offer fresh sea food and drinks. I did not try any food at these shacks though, so can’t comment on the quality but they seemed to be full all the time. Saw a few tourists getting foot massages as well. People who make temporary tattoo is another thing that’s common on most Goa beaches, and was here as well.
Gauri enjoyed the beach a lot, and especially the Thar (a kind of jeep) that Ibis Styles provides all day if you need transportation to Tivai Beach.
Calangute and Baga beaches are also close by.
Rooms at Ibis Styles Goa Calangute:
Our room was on the third floor and the view of the pool from top was pretty good. Every room at Ibis Styles has a pool view, like I mentioned earlier, and ours was from the balcony that also had a sitting area. The rooms are cozy and well done, although a bit small. The beds are super comfortable! We slept like logs here.
The room had a 32 inch LED television set with dish TV connection, a work desk with a chair, a wardrobe with an electronic safe, digital air conditioning control and a couch attached to the wall.
Our room had four bottles of mineral water when we checked in, and fresh bananas along with Pringles.
Tea/Coffee maker is in all rooms.
The attached washrooms come with a separate shower area, and various things that will take care of your basics bathroom needs – dental kit, toiletries (shampoo, body wash, conditioner), sanitary disposal bag and more.
The room cleaning staff was discreet and quick.
Food at Ibis Styles Goa Calangute:
Spice It is the restaurant at Ibis Styles Goa, and the bar is called The Hub.
Spice It is a multi cuisine restaurant and the buffet boasts of a variety of dishes – Indian and international. You can get a taste of famous Goan preparations by the chefs here, or you can go for the regular favorites like Chinese cuisine and north Indian food. I will do a detailed review of Spice It soon, so stay tuned. But I can tell you this right now that the food at Ibis Styles Calangute Goa is delicious.
Ibis Styles Goa has one of the longest breakfast hours – something that comes in handy after a late night out. The breakfast buffet starts at 8am and goes on till noon. Although only selected items are available from 10:30 onward – for example, no eggs to order after 11-ish, but you can wake up late and have a hearty breakfast here till noon, by the pool. Yes, Spice It has indoor as well as outdoor seating which is right next to the pool.
The bar which is called The Hub, is stylish and robust. There are live musical performances at Spice It regularly, and we quite enjoyed the one we witnessed.
Like the entire hotel, Spice It is also stunning, with colorful accents and quirky design that stands out. The service is good, staff is prompt.
Facilities & Amenities:
Other than things I have already mentioned, Ibis Styles Goa has the following facilities and amenities as well –
- Free WiFi
- High speed internet station right outside Spice It
- Wheelchair Access
- Indoor + Outdoor Parking
- Laundry Service
- Show Shining Machines that are placed at quite a few spots
- Free Cycles available for rides to the beach or wherever you want
- Go Pro cameras that you can get from the reception and use at the pool, for free
- Meeting Rooms
- Gift Shop
The highlight of my stay at Ibis Styles Goa was the fact that the hotel is very kid friendly. From a kids’ menu at Spice It, the restaurant, to the very fun Kids’ Area and a trampoline, my daughter enjoyed it a lot.
Another thing we loved was the pool! Clean water, regular maintenance (like I mentioned above, staff was constantly cleaning around the pool, something we appreciate a lot), tubes and pool toys for kids, and a comfortable beach chairs – all this adds to the effect and makes sure you have a great time in the pool!
The Thar that takes guests to the Tivai Beach and back all day, is a fun and stylish touch as well, I’d say.
And last but not the least, the bed was very comfortable. I generally have trouble sleeping at a new place, in a new bed even if I am exhausted, but here I fell off to sleep almost immediately.
Overall, my stay at Ibis Styles Goa Calangute was very comfortable, super fun and simply amazing.
If you are looking for a hotel in Goa in the premium budget segment, you should definitely try Ibis Styles Goa Calangute, especially if you are travelling with a kid. The hotel is priced like budget, but feels like luxury, trust me. And this is what smart travelling is all about, isn’t it?
PS: Stay tuned for more about my long Goa vacation, because a lot more is coming up. I was hosted by Ibis Styles Goa Calangute for two nights, but the opinion, as always, is completely non biased and my own. If you have any questions about Ibis Styles Goa, let me know and I’ll try to answer. Also, please follow my travel adventures on my social channels for latest updates.