Dona Sylvia Beach Resort Cavelossim Goa got me addicted to South Goa, and also to the kind of luxury that makes you wish that the days were longer.
[You might like my two cents on the ancient debate: What is better, North Goa or South Goa]
There is a certain possibility of addiction to luxury, when you get to experience the hospitality of some of the best luxury hotels and resorts in a span of few months. I have been lucky in the past few months to have done the very same thing, and yes – I am guilty of getting addicted to it!
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But how can one not get hooked to getting pampered, being taken care of and getting just plain royal treatment? I am not immune to the charm of a perfect day that starts with a hearty breakfast, leads to a rejuvenating Spa treatment and ends with a lavish Goan dinner designed & curated especially for my family.
This is exactly what I got at Dona Sylvia. Easy to see why I loved it, right? But wait, There is more – much more – to me falling in love with South Goa and with Dona Sylvia, and I am going to try to show you a few things through this post.
I made a small video to show you a glimpse of Dona Sylvia Cavelossim Goa, and here it is:
Like what you see? Well, here’s more.
Dona Sylvia is extremely popular with international tourists visiting Goa – some for extended vacations as long as five months. You will see this when you go to the resort’s Trip Advisor page – majority of reviews are written by foreign travelers.
However, more Indian guests tend to book the Radisson Blu next door – which by the way, is owned by the same group and there is literally no boundary between Dona Sylvia and Radisson Blu Cavelossim Goa.
[I loved Radisson Blu for it’s authentic Greek Food at GRECO, for a personalized Portuguese lunch at Sagres and it’s extensive breakfast that made me wish I had a bigger appetite.]
I personally prefer Dona Sylvia for two simple reasons:
- Proximity to the beach, and
- The personal and very friendly staff.
I stayed at Dona Sylvia with my family – Gauri, my four year old daughter, the husband and me – during the second leg of our Goa trip. This is where I found my answer to the ancient and popular debate about the best place in Goa – North Goa and South Goa. Needless to say, I prefer South Goa and Dona Sylvia has a lot to do with it. But let me start from the beginning and tell you why I fell in love with this gorgeous resort with a pristine beach (not a luxury you can afford in most of North Goa) and dream-like Portugese villas.
Reasons I Fell In Love With Dona Sylvia Beach Resort Cavelossim, South Goa:
1. The Portuguese Style Villa
The first impression of Dona Sylvia, as you enter through the grand gate and drive through and see the high ceiling lobby cum reception area, is of instant awe. As we were handed fragrant towels to freshen up and a tall glass of fresh juice as part of our welcome, I was awestruck by the Portuguese charm of the place.
The pathways that lead to various villas, rooms, to the beach, restaurants and everywhere else are lined with various flowers and look beautiful amidst the lush green gardens.
But I was overwhelmed when we got to our villa. Facing the Cavelossim beach, with a small patio and our very own hammock – our villa was perfect. The bed was king-size, linen a combination of white and yellow. The bathroom was huge, something that I really appreciate when travelling with my daughter.
The room had all the basic amenities that were complimentary, like tea/coffee supplies, an array of freshly baked cookies, a bowl of fresh fruits, a chocolate cake in the mini fridge, a jar of crispy roasted cashew nuts and a savory snack that was probably a bakery item and was delicious. The room has a safe to keep valuable items. Iron and ironing board was available on request. From fluffy bath robes to good quality toiletries (shower gel, moisturizer, etc), our villa was heavenly.
The housekeeping staff left behind a coloring kit for my daughter, with a personalized note to her.
The room, like the entire property, was kept very clean and the housekeeping was very quick and discreet.
The best part, however, was opening the main door and seeing the sea roar – the proximity to a beautiful, clean and not-crowded beach is a luxury we enjoyed the most during this stay.
2. Cavelossim Beach That Was Right in Front of Our Villa
The villa we stayed at had a distinct advantage of being about a hundred steps away from the Cavelossim beach. Being the last line of villas towards the sea at Dona Sylvia, we literally just got out of our room and walked to this beautiful – and extremely clean – beach four to five times a day.
The Cavelossim beach is one of the best South Goa beaches. It is tidy and lively, but not crowded like Baga or Anjuna. There are a bunch of good shacks (beach side food / drink joints) here and some guests of the resort who were not on an All Meals Inclusive package, regularly have their lunch or evening meals here.
I met Monika at the beach while the kid was busy building a sand castle and an army of sand crabs protecting it, as we the parents say staring at the sea with a drink in our hands. Monika is from Karnataka but lives in South Goa and sells pretty jewelry and other trinklets, and is ready to indulge you in an interesting story or two about her nomadic life. I loved her colorful dress, don’t you?
The Cavelossim Beach is perfect for swimming, but there are no water sport activities happening here – which was a relief because the beach is quiet and serene. However, the water sport enthusiasts can book the activity of their choice from the reception at good rates.
3. The Food at Seagull
There are a few restaurants and a club at Dona Sylvia, out of which one is Indian cuisine and another is barbecue. The international guests that Dona Sylvia seems to be very popular with, often eat at all the restaurants, but we stuck to Seagull, because we loved it. The chef is a highly trained and very talented person who took time out to speak with me every time we ate at Seagull.
At Seagull, the breakfast was an array of scrumptious food – Indian, Italian, American breakfast, you can have anything you like here. The coffee needs a special mention because it is delicious. There are fresh juices as well, as well as a huge table full of freshly baked items – cake slices, muffins, danish pastries and a lot more.
For dinner, I requested for some Gona dishes and got these delicious curries:
One is a Goan prawn curry prepared with coconut paste. The other one is the famous Chicken Vindaloo. Both were devoured soon, with some steamed rice.
The dessert was this beautiful thing that I did not want to eat and ruin, but I did and it was yummy.
4. The Architecture of the resort – adorable and enchanting.
The entire resort – and its HUGE – is adorable, to say the least. The architecture is Portuguese. The villas and rooms are all different from one another and yet carry the same theme of understated elegance – nothing flashy about Dona Sylvia and I loved this about the resort.
The gardens are green and inviting, the hammocks on the coconut trees are tempting, the pathways are where you will definitely meet a kitting or two and everywhere you look, Dona Sylvia will enchant you.
5. The People!
They are not mechanical, they don’t give you the mandatory niceness that’s standard to “hospitality industry”, and that is refreshing. Each and every staff member at Dona Sylvia is attentive and you become friends with them before you realize it. From the front desk staff, to the guest relationship manager at Seagull – from the chef to the house keeping team – everyone was efficient and equally prompt and warm.
People are the best part of any set-up, I always say. And Dona Sylvia is a proof.
6. The Property – Extremely well maintained, stunning to look at, and grand in every way.
The entire property is stunning. No wonder this is also one of the hottest wedding destination for couples who want to say their vows or tie the knot in Goa. I witnessed the gardens next to Caveossim Beach transform into a fairy tale for a wedding during our stay. It was a sight that made me stop and stare, to be honest. And then I almost became an uninvited guest at that wedding – I wanted to be a part of it so bad, hehe.
Hope you enjoyed this virtual trip to Dona Sylvia Beach Resort Cavelossim Goa with me, and I hope you like the pictures. Here is another images that you can pin on Pinterest, if like me, you also obsess over potential travel destinations. Here you go:
So tell me dear reader, did this post make you fall in love with Dona Sylvia too? Even if the pictures here try to convince you, I suggest you do not take my word for it and book a stay with them to experience it for yourself. I’ll be waiting for your review.
What is your best Goa experience?