It is no secret that the Park Hyatt Goa is one of my favourite hotels, and my go-to hotel for a quick respite from the city of Mumbai. I first reviewed the hotel in 2012, and I’ve gone there every year since. Last year, when it came to choose a place to get married, Shipra and I chose the Park Hyatt Goa to host our clan.
But the story is about the attempted acquisition of this place by the ITC conglomerate in India last year. ITC runs their own chain of hotels called the ITC Hotels, and some of these hotels participate in the Starwood Preferred Guest program as well. Last year, when the owner of the Park Hyatt Goa kept this property as some sort of security to raise a loan to develop new hotels, the lender called the loan back, then grabbed the property and put it out on auction. ITC won the auction, supposedly only bidding INR 1000 more than the reserve price of the hotel. The original owner challenged this sale, since it was not even half the price of the property.
When we visited the hotel numerous times last year, however, nothing changed and all the management remained the same too. There was just a flag and a signboard trying to show this was an ITC property outside the hotel premises.
Now, as per the Bombay High Court, which ruled on this case a couple of weeks ago, has cancelled the sale of the hotel to ITC and asked ITC to collect a refund on the price they paid from the party they paid it to.
Essentially, the order can still be appealed in a higher court, but for the time being, this hotel continues to be a Hyatt!