Family Hotel Review: Joet’s Guesthouse, South Goa, India
Simple beachside accommodation and award-winning food in a beachfront location.
Best for: The best tandoori prawns in Goa; kids of all ages
Reviewed by: Katja Gaskell
Why You’ll Love It
If it’s simplicity and good value that you’re after then you’ve come to the right place; Joet’s offers good, sandy, family fun in a beachfront setting. What’s more it’s only four kilometres from Dabolim Airport making it a very easy weekend getaway or first port of call after a long haul flight.
The purpose-built, whitewashed block sits right on the edge of Bogmalo Bay and has seven cheery, air-conditioned bedrooms. Downstairs is an open-air restaurant that serves excellent seafood. What better way to end a day on the beach than with a cold beer in hand, tandoori prawns cooking on the barbeque and the sun setting over the Arabian Sea?
It’s worth noting that hotel’s location means that you can hear the occasional take-off and landing at the airport. Also, the restaurant can get busy and noisy with live music at the weekends, which may appeal to some families, but probably not to all.
Why The Kids Will Love It
It might not be the prettiest stretch of sand in Goa but the Joet’s location on the beach makes it an easy destination for a family beach holiday. In addition to the usual sandy activities you can watch the fishermen head out to sea in the morning and pulling their nets to shore come dusk. The bay is well sheltered and the waters are relatively calm allowing for easy swimming (there are flags to mark the swimming areas and there is usually a lifeguard on call).
There are fresh banana lassis and ice cream galore, and guests at Joets can take advantage of the swimming pool at its sister property, Coconut Creek Resort, located just a five-minute walk away. Here you’ll find plenty of shade as well as a lovely swimming pool with bridges to swim under, and shallow paddling areas for novice water babies.
There are seven rooms, three on the ground floor and four on the first floor. All are spotlessly clean and the décor is simple; white walls with colourful curtains, bedspreads and cushions. The rooms are fairly spacious with a small separate sitting area that acts as a good second bedroom for younger kids. Rooms come with air conditioning, TV, fridge and kettle.
The attached bathrooms are a good size; all have showers with the exception of 706, which has a bathtub.
If it’s sea views you’re after then ask for room 705 or 706 on the first floor although these lie above the restaurant and music can sometimes be heard in the evenings.
Best rooms for families: All rooms are a similar size and all work for families, particularly if you have young children as they can sleep in the separate sitting area. Rooms can fit up to 2 extra beds (mattress). The rooms upstairs are generally quieter. Families travelling with older kids can ask for two adjoining rooms (or two rooms opposite each other) as there are no interconnecting rooms. Joets is small, so reception for baby monitors usually extends to the whole property, including the restaurant.
Joets restaurant, awarded ‘Best Shack (Food)’ 2012 by The Times of India, is very popular and gets busy with outside guests who come just for the tandoori prawns. The semi-open-air terrace overlooks the beach and Arabian Sea.
Breakfast Breakfast is included in the room tariff but is rather underwhelming compared with the lunch and dinner options. Cereal, toast, fruit salad and yoghurt are on offer as well as eggs cooked (almost) any way you like. If you struggle to get going without a good coffee in the morning then you would do well to bring your own or take a short stroll to their neighbouring sister property for a espresso shot or cappuccino. If you’re a big group, be prepared to wait, service is far from snappy.
Lunch & Dinner Lunch and dinner share a menu of primarily Goan and seafood dishes with a handful of other Indian specialities and Continental options. Particularly recommended are the tandoori prawns, Goan chilli prawns and the butter garlic crab. The naan and roti, pulled straight from their tandoor oven, are also excellent.
Kids’ Menu There is no children’s menu however there are plenty of child-friendly options including noodles, simple seafood dishes, fish fingers, sausages, beans on toast, omelettes, sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, soups, steaks, tandoori chicken, biryani, banana fritters, ice-cream and pancakes. The staff are also very helpful and will do their best to accommodate kids’ requests. It is also possible to get dinner served earlier for younger kids.
Activities for Parents
Soak up the sun on the beach and then retreat to the shade for a fresh lime soda or ice-cold beer.
Relax with a massage at the neighbouring Coconut Creek Resort spa followed by a swim in their curvy, turquoise swimming pool.
Explore the charming streets of Panaji, the capital of Goa, with its many churches and colonial mansions.
Take a wander around Bogmalo village and visit the distillery where Goa’s local liquor feni is made.
Scuba divers can delve into the Arabian sea with Goa Diving and explore local dive sights as well as those further afield.
Enjoy a round of golf at a neighbouring course or ask the hotel to arrange a shopping trip to discover some of Goa’s best bargains.
Activities for Kids
Swim, swim, and swim some more, either in the sea or in Coconut Creek’s lagoon-shaped pool.
Collect shells, build sandcastles, and bury your siblings in the sand.
Race down to the shore’s edge to see the fishermen’s catch of the day.
Take a walk into Bogmalo Village for a look at traditional Goan beach life, stopping at one of the traditional tea shops along the way.
Jump into a rickshaw and wind your way through the small streets to neighbouring Vasco-Da-Gama.
Learn to scuba dive and spot shipwrecks, coral reefs and an abundance of marine life in the warm waters of the Arabian Sea.
Air-conditioning, babysitting, common rooms, cots, doctor on call, the nearest hospital is 15 minutes away, two extra beds per room, laundry service, travel desk.
Please contact the hotel directly for an exact quote based on your family’s requirements.
When to go:
The best time to visit is from November to March when the daytime temperatures hover between 25-30C.
Peak season is from mid-December to the end of January; if you plan to visit over this period then make sure to book well in advance and be prepared to pay extra. From April the mercury rises and by May the daytime temperatures are nudging 35C.
The monsoons arrive early June when things get hot and sticky, but this is also when Goa becomes lush and green.
Joets is open year-round.
Location & Travel:
Joets Guesthouse is located on Bogmalo Beach in South Goa.
There are regular daily flights in and out of Goa to numerous Indian cities. Domestic airlines servicing Dabolim Airport include Indigo, GoAir, Jet Airways and Spicejet. Joets is 4km from Dabolim Airport (10 minutes by car). The hotel offers a complimentary airport transfer service.
The closest train station is at Vasco-Da-Gama, eight kilometres away. Margao Railway Station is the other main station in south Goa. Goa is linked to Mumbai in the north and Mangalore in the south via the Konkan Railway. Joets offers a complimentary transfer service from Vasco-Da-Gama Railway Station. From Margao, transfers are chargeable.
If you’re planning on travelling around Goa then it’s a good idea to hire a car and driver. It’s a refreshingly easy place to travel around and nothing is too great a distance. Local taxis are available and motorbikes can be hired.
Contact The Hotel
For more information or to make a booking enquiry, visit the hotel’s own website by following the link below:
Reviewer’s Top Tips!
1) Don’t come expecting white beaches and turquoise seas, Bogmalo is not a pretty beach. But it is still very good for a family seaside break!
2) Opt for a room on the top floor rather than one on the ground floor.
3) If you’re serious about your coffee and / or tea, then bring your own supply with you.
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