It is no secret that the Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa is one of our favourite hotels in India. It’s our go-to hotel for a quick break whenever we need to disconnect from our busy city life. Ajay first reviewed the hotel in 2012, and ever since we’ve gone back here every year. In fact, we got married here, and every year so far, we’ve celebrated our wedding anniversaries here.
The hotel has long had the gun on its head. ITC almost bought it in 2015. To recap the issue, the owner of the Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa had pledged this 45 acres property as mortgage guarantee with a financial institution, to raise an INR 150 crores (USD 23 million) loan to develop other new hotels. The loan was called back, and the hotel put out on auction. ITC won the auction for INR 515.44 crores (USD 79 million), supposedly only bidding INR 1000 (USD 15) more than the reserve price of the hotel.
Blue Coast Hotels, the original owner, challenged this sale in the courts stating the amount did not reflect the real value of the hotel. The real value of the property was stated to be INR 1250 crores (USD 192 million) at the time, and the hotel owner suggested collusion between IFCI and ITC. In 2016, the Bombay High Court cancelled the sale of the hotel to ITC and asked ITC to collect a refund on the price they paid.
ITC did not give up and appealed to the Supreme Court, the highest court of India. Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the sale of this 250 room luxury resort to ITC by IFCI and has given six months to complete the transfer of the property.
ITC runs their own chain of hotels called ITC Hotels, and some of their hotels participate in the Luxury Collection, one of the brands of Marriott International. What ITC will do with this property nobody knows yet, but given that the hotel company does not have a property in Goa, it’s may happen that the property may be handed over to ITC Hotels and the management may change hands. Or ITC may just choose to honour the current management contract with Hyatt and let them run the show.
Hyatt Hotels operates three hotels in Goa, but the Park Hyatt is truly a crown jewel in Hyatt’s overall India portfolio. For now, let’s just hope that they don’t want to flag this as an ITC Hotel and continue to operate under the Hyatt flag.
In case you’re still wanting to visit here while it is still definitely a Hyatt, you do have 6 months to plan a trip. The hotel costs 15,000 WoH points being a category 4 hotel. We’ll keep you posted on what happens next, but for now, time to plan that next trip to PH Goa myself.
Have you been to the Park Hyatt Goa? Would you like to see it as Hyatt or an ITC hotel going forward?
As a resident of Goa, I’d prefer that ITC takes over…I find that ITC being an Indian brand has an ear to the ground and is in touch with India’s idiosyncrasies and fine tunes their hotels accordingly. Hyatt group from USA have a typical arrogance and a thinly hidden contempt for India and by association, Goa. They are always getting into skirmishes with locals and have only ill will feelings with many Goans. They’ve also had many vocal arguments with guests, calling in bouncers at the drop of a straw hat) Also, the hotel is overpriced for its so called luxury (most hotels get away with a minimum of service and interior decor, citing proximity to the beach – thus sand). Most ITC luxury hotels are well appointed and hopefully they’ll upgrade this fairly basic hotel that hasn’t had any renovation since they started in 2003 – 15 years soldiering on with nary a change)
PS: I understand that ITC will run the hotel on their own and are planning to name it ITC Grand (the ‘Grand” name is NOT a hotel chain and not thus not a patented name)