Yes, there are adventure holidays, wildlife camps and trips to explore the unknown. But once in a while a luxurious break, where you don’t have to lift a finger except to dial room service or worry about pitching a tent, can be rejuvenating. Grand Hyatt Goa is a destination worthy of such a break.
The road leading to the Grand Hyatt Goa is nondescript, just like its location. But before I form an opinion, the hotel comes into view. The view from the Bambolim Bay (North Goa) — on which the hotel is located — impresses. The imposing Indo-Portugese-styled main building, especially when lit in the evenings, competes with the crescent-shaped bay as a sight to behold.
The 28-acre luxury hotel is built around a story of a rich Portuguese merchant who landed at Bambolim in the 17th Century and built his home — a palace inspired by Portugese architecture and overlooking the bay. Adding a touch of authenticity to the story is a dilapidated 17th Century chapel on the property.
My room, one of the six ‘Guest Rooms’, has a verandah that opens to a lawn dotted with coconut trees and lined by the sea. The sea has encroached upon most of the shore, but during other times, there’s enough to lounge on.
The room is spacious, as is the bathroom. Two-way access to the cupboard — from within the bathroom and outside — is a plus. But the bathroom is not completely closed — sliding door without a lock can get quite uncomfortable.
As for the hotel’s location, (seven km from Panaji), well, you have to depend on either the hotel taxi or hard bargain with the taxi drivers outside the hotel to get anywhere close to a ‘sight-seeing’ location or the city. A drawback, yes, but maybe you won’t have to get out because the hotel’s got something for everyone — honeymooners, families, corporates hosting workshops or conferences, the big fat Indian wedding party…
Besides the whole range of activities such as rappelling and archery etc., I found the walk around the property exercise enough after a meal from one of the hotel’s three restaurants and a bar. Surprisingly, Goan food features only as part of the menu at Chula, along with the dominant Indian fare.
My favourite part is the wellness centre that houses its award-winning Shamana Spa, gym, activity centre, Jacuzzi and an inviting indoor pool. Again it’s the architecture and attention to detail that impress. The launch of Aquasail, a company offering different sailing experiences within the property, in the coming season, is likely to interest sport lovers.
On the last evening, we are invited to a by-invitation-only wine dinner organised along with Sula Vineyards. Food, wine and great company at the table — a perfect way to end the trip.
(The writer was at the hotel on invitation)
Grand Hyatt Goa
P.O. Goa University, Bambolim, North Goa, Goa — 403206. Ph: +91 832 301 1234. Visit Grand Hyatt Goa
Starts at Rs. 10,000 (rates vary according to season)
- Friendly staff
- A variety of things-to-do on offer
- The location makes you dependent on either the hotel taxi or taxis outside, both of which are expensive
- Slow room service