Aldeia Santa Rita - A Little Treasure
The Adeia Santa Rita is a quite superb little hotel with a 3* rating and 5* service.
We stayed in a 'Colonial' room which featured bathrobes/slippers fridge/stocked minibar and a private sun terrace. The room was basic and simply decorated but was clean and very quickly felt comfortable.
We were all-inclusive but fully intended to eat out frequently. This we never achieved even once. The quality of food was better than the last 5* hotel we stayed at in Mexico. Twice weekly 'a la carte' menus offered several pages of options freshly cooked to order whilst 'sizzler' and 'kebab' nights added variety to the buffet evenings.
Breakfast included eggs made to order and was simple but provided enough options for most. Lunch was buffet style but often included a gem or two worthy of any dinner menu. Entertainment was nightly and varied. The quality wasn't exactly Vegas but was appreciated none the less. The hotel is at the quieter end of the Candolim Rd and is a short walk to the beach using a pathway at the back.
The compact nature of the hotel and beautifully maintained gardens give it a cosy feel. The pool is on the smaller side but is set in a lovely tree shaded spot with enough sunbeds and towels to go around.
We took our 10 year old daughter and she virtually lived in the pool.
What sets this tranquil hotel apart is the staff. They are brilliant.
Friendly,great with kids,very efficient and very helpful. Goa itself is a wonderful blend of bedlam, beauty, tranquility and vibrancy. It's whatever you want it to be. It was our first visit but we will return. We loved riding and washing elephants, visiting temples and churches, exploring the jungle and its wildlife and simply soaking up the atmosphere and witnessing a way of life and culture that is constantly fascinating. We can recommend the Aldiea Santa Rita to anyone wanting a peaceful, relaxing hotel with quality service and great food.
We stayed in the Don Fransisco in January 2004 and it was dreadful. I got very ill. I said I would not return but two years later in 2006 we found the Aldeia Santa Rita through Direct Travel. It was spotlessly clean, towels and bed linen changed every day.
There was a variety of menus, the food excellent, the local wine and brandy also very good. We had cucumber sandwiches for tea in the afternoon! We enjoyed it so much that we are returning in 2007 to the same hotel where the staff are so friendly and always smiling. Nothing is too much trouble for them. The beach is very close and within walking distance and very clean. We have our favourite taxi driver, Babba, who will take you out for a whole day at a very low cost. Don't try to drive in Goa even though they drive on the same side of the road as in England. The traffic is chaotic with the occasional oxen walking leisurely across the road. Every morning when you wake the sun is guaranteed to shine. The only down-side is that the traders on the beach are a nuisance but you have to be firm and say "no".
What does "all inclusive" mean?!
Stayed at the Aldeia Santa Rita hotel and had always wanted to know what all inclusive meant exactly. I was under the impression it mean free meals and booze, but thought there has to be a catch. Well now i know. With the Santa Rita, inclusive means all meals are free, and they give you a list of what alcohol is for free. The free alcohol goes from 11am to 11pm. The spirits on offer (whiskey, gin, brandy, few others) are locally or home made. If you want more popular imported spirits (jim beam etc) you have to pay. They only had one beer on offer for free and that was "Kings". Admittingly i thought the spirits and the beer was pretty rough, but i guess when it is for free who cares!
The rooms are basic, but the service and the food was excellent. The swimming pool is small but well maintained and very clean.
As you walk outside the entrance, turn left and walk up the road about 400 metres there is a restaurant called The Curry House. Great food and drinks and cheap !
Fantastic staff and service!
We stayed at the Aldeia Santa Rita in the first two weeks of April 2006 on an all-inclusive basis.
Hotel complex: Aldeia Santa Rita is a smart, externally well-maintained complex of villa style houses surrounded by lush greenery and flowers (which are meticulously watered every day by staff)
Room: Our room was basic, sparsely and cheaply furnished and was in desperate need of modernisation but was on the whole, clean, had effective air con, comfy bed with clean sheets each day which essentially all you need for a room. Unfortunately, there was a constant musty, drainage smell. Having read previous reviews on here and other websites, we were prepared for the accommodation to be of a basic standard and although we were a little disappointed with our room we felt it rude/disrespectful to complain to staff as we assumed all non-superior rooms were the same. However two days before the end of our holiday through chatting with other guests we discovered that this was not the case and that there appeared to be two standards of non-superior rooms - ours and a better furnished, more modern room (the one we have sinced realised that is advertised in the Thomson's brochure). The two rooms should have been graded differently as one was inferior to another. Apparently guests in similar accommodation to us who were aware of this distinction complained to the hotel who immediately moved them to the better rooms. We were annoyed that we were not made aware of the differences by Thomson before booking and that Thomson customers who had paid the same as us effectively had a better deal for their money. I think it highly likely that the negative reviews in respect to rooms for this hotel relate to guests who stayed in rooms like ours rather than the better standard rooms enjoyed by the vast majority of the hotel.
Communal Areas: The medium-sized swimming pool and sun lounger area is kept clean and tidy. Beach towels are available free of charge. The restaurant/bar area is half under cover and half in the open air - again everything is kept clean and tidy at all times. Safety deposit boxes are available - you need your own padlock though. We took our own but you can buy them from reception for a small fee.
Food: all the food was fantastic. Breakfast was cereals, toast, fruit and hot cooked such as sausage, bacon, hash browns and local dishes - of special note is the eggs to order which are cooked by the chef as you wait (omelettes were very yummy). Lunch was buffet style local dishes. Evening meals were themed each night and were either buffet style or a la carte. Snacks were available to order throughout the day (absolutely superb egg and chips). My only slight, minor criticism was that no cake or biscuits were on offer for afternoon tea. A word of warning if you're going AI and are not a fan of curry, you may feel limited by the food choices on offer.
Service/Staff: We cannot speak highly enough of all the staff at this hotel - from the room boys to waitors to the reception staff. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful.
Local area: A clean but quite busy beach lies 100m from the back of hotel - watching the sunset whilst sipping a cold beer was great. The hotel is at the quieter end of Candolim stretch and was pleasant to explore. Lots of shops and stalls to look at although most selling the same things. There are a couple of small supermarkets/stores close to the hotel but for a better, wider range of products you need to walk to south Calangute. Try Cafe Choclatti and Cinnabar (both on Fort Aguanda Road towards Calangute)for coffee and fantastic cakes.
Trips: Unless you are desperate to line the pockets of the package holiday companies, do not go with them for any trips. They are vastly overpriced. We used local tour groups such as Daytrippers and John's Boat Tours as well jumping in a taxi to go off wandering. We saved ourselves a lot of money and preferred to support local people/businesses direct.
Apart from our annoyance over the rooms (which is more of an issue with Thomson than the hotel itself), we really enjoyed staying at the Aldeia Santa Rita and would highly recommend it for a holiday.
If you are considering this hotel for the first time (and others for Goa for that matter), be realistic about what you will find and do your research about the place beforehand - Goa and India are a world away from UK experiences and you cannot expect the same accommodation and living standards as you would at home. Unrealistic expectations of grandeur and 5 star luxury will inevitably lead you to being really disappointed and miserable on your holiday. And while you're having a grump over how you've been ripped off, spare a thought for the many Goans and Indians who you will encounter on your holiday who live in huts, shacks or tents without running water and advanced sanitation facilities....
Aldeia Santa Rita
Found this site very helpful so thought I would ask a question of my own!
Just booked to go to Aldeia Santa Rita on 22 Jan 05 for 2 weeks. Wondered if anyone on here had been before?.
Also grateful for any info about Sinquerim beach as it is not one I have heard of before ( stayed in the south last time). How far is the nearest station as we fancy another trip on an indian train as it was such an experience last time ( went from Margao to Palolem).
Any chance of windsurfing nearby or is it too rough/.tidal - or does the big ship get in the way???
Re: Aldeia Santa Rita
Sinquerim is Candolim, and yes windsurfing should be possible. The nearest station is either Tivim or Margao.
Re: Aldeia Santa Rita
Sinquerim beach is the beach at Candolim down to Aguada. There are water sports on the beach and the ship (River Princess) does not really get in the way. Thivim (Tivim) is the nearest railway station, just a little north of Mapsa. I know you can certainly travel to Hampi and Mumbai from Thivim. I agree with you about Indian railways - great experience.
Have a good time