A sprawling resort, popular with both business and leisure travellers, Grand Hyatt Goa offers a perfect introduction to the leisurely pace of Goa and the fabulous hospitality of India
There are few places in the world which whisk you to a holiday state of mind almost as soon as you enter them – Grand Hyatt Goa is one of them. The sprawling resort boasts of a spacious complex dotted with tall palm trees, plenty of al-fresco restaurants, glimmering pools, and a quiet stretch of Bambolim beach. This makes it ideal for romantic getaways, family vacations, work offsites, and even destination weddings. Read on to find out our experience at the hotel and just why we felt so relaxed at the end of our 3 days there.
Rooms are well-appointed and luxurious. Large beds, spacious wardrobes, bath tubs, and luxurious toiletries are almost a given at any Grand Hyatt property. But it being India, everything comes with a personal touch. I’ve said this on multiple occasions in the past, but Indian hospitality is well and truly special. The staff at Grand Hyatt Goa leaves no stone unturned to make their guests feel special. Everyone is greeted with a bespoke personalised welcome. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, the staff is bound to welcome you with a small surprise – it could be balloons, a bottle of wine, chocolates, or a cake – depending on the occasion.
If you are indeed celebrating a birthday or anniversary, we suggest choosing a suite, that comes equipped with a spacious balcony and a private jacuzzi, overlooking the sea. It’s a little touch that elevates the hotel stay to something special.
Aah – one thing is for sure. You will definitely leave Grand Hyatt Goa a couple of kilos heavier. I don’t know about you but easy access to sumptuous food tends to do that to us. The hotel boasts of 7 restaurants which offer a variety of cuisines and experiences. Opt for an informal lunch by the pool at the Pool Bar and Grill. If you’re in the mood to sample some local food, head to Chulha for a traditional Indian home-cooked meal. Try the chaat – deep fried moorish nibbles topped with a tangy sauce – to start off the meal. Opt for a Goan fish curry with some steamed rice for your main course. You cannot leave without sampling the coconut or cashew Feni, a spirit produced exclusively in Goa. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a delicious Goan meal.
For dinner, we would recommend sampling the Italian fare at Verandah. Everything from the well-curated Renaissance cocktails and rustic house tiramisu to the seafood soup and canapés embellished with caviar screams special here. If you want something you don’t spot on the menu, just request the chef to craft it for you. Nothing is too much of an ask here! The staff works hard to ensure every guest leaves thoroughly satiated. Spend your evenings unwinding at the beautiful Capiz Bar, with its charming outdoor lounge. We would urge you to try the recently launched Time Travel Cocktail Menu, which comprises a series of carefully-curated cocktails that pay homage to different decades in American history. Bespoke combinations and unexpected ingredients such as turmeric and chilli make each cocktail truly unique.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion or just craving a romantic night out, then you could also opt for a special handcrafted dinner by the ruins of a sixteenth century chapel. A special table is set up, with the beach on one side and historical ruins on the other. Rose petals and candles welcome guests and set the tone for the special evening. The menu for this experience is decided upon consultation with the guest, so expect all your favourites here. We opted for a light Japanese salad to start our meal. This was followed by some truly exquisite tiger prawns served on a slab of Himalayan pink salt. We requested for something light for dessert since it was a hot day and the chef surprised us with a luscious and soft mango and coconut pudding. The sweetness of the mango paired with the creaminess of the coconut made for the perfect ending to a special meal. But we refused to leave our table. We nursed our drinks, to the sound of crashing waves, well into the night.
Shamana Spa is a spacious and peaceful enclave that has everything from sauna rooms and whirlpools to pools and a fitness centre. The spa offers a variety of treatments and services – pick one that suits your preferences. We would recommend one of their traditional Ayurvedic treatments or the signature Shamana Experience, a body massage that is bound to leave you feeling thoroughly relaxed. If you’re up for something out-of-the-box try the luxurious Chocolate Fondue Experience which features lots of champagne, candles, coconut milk, and chocolate – irresistable eh?!
The hotel premises offer a variety of activities including yoga classes, cooking lessons with acclaimed chefs, and cocktail-making classes. Then there is a small stretch of Bambolim beach, where you can spend leisurely afternoons and evenings. With so much happening within the hotel, it’s hard to leave.
But if you do decide to venture out, there is truly no dearth of things to do in Goa. Check out the state’s bohemian night markets, offbeat beaches, and historical monuments. The hotel offers several excursions for different kinds of guest – nature walks for bird watchers, fishing and houseboat rides for water babies, rafting and rock climbing for adventure junkies, and historical tours for photography enthusiasts.
If you have just one day, we’d suggest picking an offbeat tour of Old Goa and its Latin Quarter Fontainhas. The tour, conducted by www.makeithappen.co.in offers a great insight into Goa’s Portugese past and its rich culture. Explore the winding by-lanes and colourful houses of Fontainhas, run your fingers along the crumbling cathedrals of Old Goa, grab a snack at one of the oldest bakeries in the state, and check some prominent landmarks such as Panjim’s Se Cathedral and Basilica of Bom Jesus.