Goa is much beyond its sunny beaches. For the last 3 years Ajay and I have been regularly visiting Goa in the rains and every year we stay at our favourite hotel Park Hyatt Resort & Spa Goa. Ajay has reviewed this hotel back in 2012, but since then, the General Manager has changed, and the hotel has almost been through an ownership tussle. Hence, we figured it would be a good idea to review the hotel again. Besides the rooms and hospitality, there is much more this luxury resort offers.
We flew in to Goa with an early morning flight from Mumbai. Once outside the airport we were picked up by their top of the line Mercedes.
Once we arrived at the hotel, the view from the entrance lobby is absolutely mesmerizing. There is a clear view of the lagoon, overlooking the swimming pool and all the way down I could see the sea in the horizon. There is no dedicated reception area rather a large lobby for check-ins.
Group check-ins happen at the boathouse, a reception area in the middle of a lagoon.
While we completed all check-in formalities, we were served kokum, a sweet and tangy juice made out of regional fruit. Later check-ins get tender coconut water, but that comes in fresh later in the day. The entire check-in process took about 5 minutes after which we were seated in a buggy to drive off to our room.
We had initially booked a standard room and applied Diamond Suite Upgrade from my account to upgrade the room to a Park Suite. Although, while we were being seated in the buggy our host whispered that we have been upgraded to the Imperador Suite a.k.a the Presidential Suite.
The Presidential Suite is 172 square metres and divided into 3 rooms. I have already reviewed the suite in detail.
Like I’ve mentioned before, the Park Hyatt Goa is situated on a 45-acre stretch of land. There are no tall buildings, but cottages and villas built in Portuguese style and tons of landscaping. The entire property has a lovely bohemian village style feel. Being a massive sized resort, the living areas are divided into five separate courts. Each of these courts either faces a lagoon or the pool or offers a direct view of the sea.
The lanes, the water bodies, the lily pool are all lovely to walk through. Even though there are a number of buggies available to move inside the premises we used the buggy only once through our stay.
The hotel is landscaped with huge lush green lawns infringed with palm trees all over. We noticed a group of people were playing football in the lawns. There were small patches of neatly manicured flower beds on the sides.
There is plenty of greenery all around interspersed with hotel rooms & small lagoon like water bodies.
Perhaps the most stunning feature of this resort is the pool. The Park Hyatt Goa has the largest free form swimming pool in India that is encircled with palm trees and tropical gardens. The pool is spread across multiple levels, is beautifully landscaped and offers an amazing view of the Arabian Sea.
The entire resort is designed in lagoon-style including the pool area. We spent an entire evening swimming and splashing around in the pool. Every time we wanted to take a break we would just hop over to the pool side bar for a drink or sit back and relax in the outdoor whirlpool jacuzzi. There are even water slides and a separate splash pool for kids.
A short walk from the lawns, there is a quaint wooden walkway that leads up to the resort’s private beach. The hotel does have a beach facing restaurant however due to the monsoon there were no beach activities. Though we had no regrets because the white sandy beach area was immaculately clean and for us it was just beautiful to stroll on the sea shore.
The resort implements the village garden square concept, where all the restaurants are located. The Village café is a multi-cuisine restaurant open 24×7 and serves buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is an Indian-themed, an Italian eatery and a local Goan restaurant as well in the Village Square. The great thing about this place is that we could order any cuisine from any restaurant that we chose to sit in. In spite of our plans to step outside the hotel for dinner one day, we eventually landed up eating all our meals at the hotel’s restaurants.
After checking into our suite we headed to the village square for breakfast. Breakfast is served daily at the Village Café that offers indoor as well as outdoor seating.
We started off with the special masala tea and took about an hour to finish breakfast.
There is a massive spread that included fruits, cereals, bakery, a choice of yogurts and juices.
The hot selection had a variety of Indian and Continental choices available. There was a live egg station along with a live dosa and parantha corner. To finish off on a sweet note Ajay ordered freshly made pancakes while I devoured hot waffles.
That evening we again ate at the Village Café that serves up a buffet for dinner alternating between Indian and Western cuisine. There was live music.
A full salad bar that offered a variation between greens and tandoori salads.
The Indian spread included some tandoori starters and made to order kathi rolls and apart from the regular north Indian curry choices there was some Goan fish curry with local par boiled rice.
The western fare had a range of small plates along with risotto and pasta. I noticed that chef were quite adaptable to individual guests’ dietary requirements.
On our second night, it was our first wedding anniversary and to celebrate the occasion Ajay organized a private dinner that was set up in our suite balcony that faced the pool.
The full 5-course Italian dinner started with an antipasto of cured meats, olives and cheese and finished all the way down with some great dessert. We were assigned a butler for the entire evening, who waited on us and chatted us up when we ran out of conversations. For the amount of F&B we passed through that evening, I imagine it was a very value for money option, without having to step out of the hotel for a one-on-one meal and away from the noisiness of the restaurants. Ajay tells me he could have organized a 4-course menu from any of the restaurants, and he worked with the crew to customise an Italian menu for this evening.
We did not use the spa on this occasion, however I have used the spa multiple times during my previous stays. The spa is huge and is tucked away from the residential courts, restaurants and the pool. That minimizes any kind of external disturbance. There is also a sound proof yoga studio in the spa premise.
The spa offers a wide range of Ayurvedic treatments and my all time favourite is the cold-pressed cashew oil massage.
Ajay and I have always believed that the hospitality industry is all about the people, and that everything else is just a reflection of how good are the people and the way they are treated. Undoubtedly, the best part about this resort is their people. The staff here left no stone unturned make our stay special. The lady at the check-in recognized us from our last year’s visit and promptly said ‘welcome again’.
Then we go out for breakfast, and people who were serving at the restaurant last year were still there. One of them remembered that Ajay loves Eggs Benedict. Evening, we popped out for dinner at the all-day dining restaurant, and the chef ran into me, and tells me he’ll have my favourite fish ready if I wanted to have it. The staff including the GM are very friendly and genuinely hospitable.
Apart from this there is a children’s play area and a fully-functional gym, both places that we did not take a peak into.
Overall this is one of those resorts, where you can spend the entire vacation without actually leaving the premises with huge campus, beautiful architecture and genuine hospitality. As a category 4 property, the hotel can be found for 15,000 points or 7,500 points + 100$ in cash using the Hyatt Gold Passport program. However, you could book a cash stay $150-200 onwards usually, so I won’t advise redemption over booking for cash.