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India 2021 – List of Posts
Introduction: India 2021, equal measure of frustration and fascination
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Montreal International YUL
Review: Air Canada Montreal to New Delhi, 14 hours in Signature Class
Review: Vistara Business Class, New Delhi to Mumbai
An ode to Mum’s cooking, delicacies from India
Review: Grand Hyatt Goa, India
Review: New Delhi airport sleeping pods (DEL)
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge, New Delhi International
Photolog: Air Canada New Delhi to Toronto, Signature Class Cabin
Grand Hyatt Goa is a quintessential Hyatt resort, situated along Bambolim Bay. This 17th century Indo-Portugese palace is a 25 minute car ride, and 25km to the north of Goa International airport (GOI). The resort boasts of 313 rooms and suites each with a private balcony, and lush gardens set against the beautiful Bambolim Bay, with direct access to the beach. Add to that multiple pools, Spa, a Casino, recreational facilities, meeting spaces, and seven restaurants, and my personal favorite – a 16th century Chapel (!), this 28 acre property is not short on action.
Booking and Suite Upgrade
Grand Hyatt Goa is a Category 3 property in the Hyatt portfolio, with a standard room rate of 12,000 points, and peak rate of 15,000 points. I had booked 3 nights at 12,000 points each for a Standard King room, while the cash rates hovered ~$500 CAD/nt.
I had also inquired about a possible upgrade to a suite, as a Globalist, and was told that all standard suites were taken on the day of check-in but that we would be able to move into a suite for Day 2 and 3 of the stay. I always appreciate upfront communication about suite availability, especially when a property has a solution on hand when one is not available right away.
Closer to the day of my arrival, guest services team contacted me to confirm that airport transfer was complimentary for Globalist members. After noting my flight arrival details, I was happy to learn that an Audi Q5 was the vehicle used for Globalist members, up to 3 guests, otherwise a 7 seater Toyota Innova for bigger groups. We were visiting to celebrate my mom’s 60th, and a ride in an Audi Q5 sounded perfect.
Check in – Grand Hyatt Goa
I was proactively contacted by the Grand Hyatt staff shortly after our flight had landed, who provided us with precise instructions and location of the pickup. Upon exiting the arrivals lounge (which was extremely busy, literally shoulder to shoulder, what COVID?), I noticed the red ‘Grand Hyatt’ away from the crowds. We were ushered away to the chic Audi Q5 that had pulled up as we neared the pickup point. Cold towels, water and candies awaited us in the car. Our driver was a charismatic local who was happy to point out the landmarks along the way, with great insights to daily life in Goa.
A short ride, and we pulled into the beautiful Grand Hyatt entrance, where Steffi (Director of Customer Experience, and my point of contact so far) greeted us. She co-ordinated for our bags to go straight to the pre-assigned room, gave us an introduction to the resort, all while walking us from the car to the welcome area.
Steffi informed us that we had come on the last day of Diwali festivities at the resort, which meant complimentary hor’dourves in the lobby. But first, a welcome drink! The drink station was beautiful and inviting – fresh coconut water (cold!), kokum and mint juice, or ice cold beer. I treated myself to both, the coconut water and the kokum juice. Because, why not.
Steffi walked us to comfortable couches around the white piano, in the magnificent lobby with towering ceiling, and an ornate light structure. My senses were overjoyed with the taste of drinks and the views of the lobby. I could not believe this was a Cat-3 property! While the paperwork for our checkin was being completed, we were invited to food stations right behind us, how did I miss that?!
The three food carts setup in the lobby served popular street foods on one, and dessert and local treats on the other two. I was definitely peckish and enjoyed rotating through the stalls more than once 🙂
The primary entrance and check-in desk was located on the second floor. The entrance we used was ear marked for Globalists and event guests, which brought us into the lobby with the white piano. Steffi and her team were simply incredible in their support, and the conversations were warm and authentic. I found it incredible that Steffi had shared her official Whatsapp contact, and invited any questions/concerns during our stay. Well fed and hydrated, I was ready to see our room for the first night, a King room with a pool and Bay view.
King Room – Grand Hyatt Goa
For the first night, we were allocated a Standard Room with King bed, 4205, which was in Guest House 4 (of 7). Guest House 4, is the most central building on the property, with easy access to most amenities. Guest Houses 1 and 7 being farthest – more privacy and quiet.
Truth be told, the room was dated and the mattress lumpy. The amenities, and the balcony with impressive views, were the highlight.
The balcony overlooked the main pool with the bay as the backdrop. A perfect spot to enjoy a cold beverage while enjoying the sea breeze and soak in the Portuguese architecture of neighbouring buildings, all at once.
The bathroom was appreciably large, with dual sinks, full bath tub, separate shower and toilet. The marble floors and walls completed the eclectic artwork really well, warm lighting, and a full closet, made it a spa like experience.
Salty snacks and fruit plate were replenished daily, which complemented the drinks in balcony really well. The lovely dessert plat which was our welcome gift was delicious as well.
Unfortunately our sleep was not the best given the condition of the mattress. We did enjoy our time in the large balcony, and the seating area. The room was adequate for one night, and we were eager to switch to the Grand Suite for the rest of our stay.
Grand Suite – Grand Hyatt Goa
Let me start by saying that the Grand Suite was a significant step-up from the standard king room, in all aspects. The suite is a sprawling 100 sq-metre (1076 sq.ft) with a large living room, separate sitting and dining area, one king bedroom, the master bathroom – where I could do a cartwheel if I could, a guest bathroom, and a 20 sq-metre private balcony with whirlpool tub.
While it wasn’t the most modern suite, the sheer space, amenities, private balcony with whirlpool tub, and direct access to the gardens, and the bay, made for a complete resort experience. The suite allocated to us was in Guest Room 2 which was a short walk away from the hub of the resort, which made for nice quiet evenings even when the main areas were quite busy.
Resort Grounds – Grand Hyatt Goa
This is a 28 acre, 17th century Indo-Portugese Palace, with direct access to long stretches of Bambolim Bay – and with that extremely difficult to do justice with pictures. But I do my best with some select pictures of the sprawling hotel;
Even if you are not an outdoors person, the hotel has several lounges and cafes inside, for public use. Some of the features not covered in pictures above include the indoor pool, fitness centre, spa, AquaSail Sailing centre, Adventure park for kids, and dedicated lounge for Hyatt Elites. Did I mention this hotel is really a resort in disguise?
Dining options – Grand Hyatt Goa
The property boasts of 6 fully functional independent restaurants, which cater different cuisines, with open kitchen concepts and live stations. The Dining Room was the largest of them all with five interactive kitchens, and also host daily breakfast for all members. Let’s just say I ate a lot more than I clicked when I was around food 🙂
Grand Hyatt Goa Review – Take Away
With such a large property and seemingly endless amenities, it is difficult to provide a succinct adjective to my experience. Aesthetically, the property is excellent, and does a great job of presenting old world charm with modern amenities. The rooms however are starting to show their age, and the only time I felt that a Cat-3 was appropriately assigned. But if the amenities, service standards, food, were to be measured equally, this could easily be a Cat-5 or higher. At 12,000 points per night, this is a steal of an experience for visitors to Goa. Not only will I recommend this property for its value, I will happily return and continue to experience amenities I missed out this time around. Away from the vacationing crowds of Goa, Grand Hyatt is beautifully situated with direct access to Bambolim Bay – reason enough if you are wondering about repeat value.
I enjoyed reading this article. I have been curious about Goa. I may give it a try!
You provided an excellent description of the hotel and surroundings.
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