How would you describe it? Grandiose, ambitious, exquisite, welcoming, and family-friendly.
Who’d love it? Surprisingly, families! The Grand Hyatt is well equipped to cater for little ones. This state-of-the-art hotel would also make a great venue for weddings and business conferences.
How were the rooms?
Let’s just start by saying it was bigger than our entire townhouse back home in Oz. From the moment we entered the atrium, we couldn’t contain our dumfounded delight. We were like school children giggling at an inside joke – the lavishness of our room was brilliantly absurd. How did we get so lucky?! The entrance, decorated with fresh flowers, opened up to a vast, open-plan living room and dining area. A coffee machine, generous bowl of ripe fruit and jars of naughty treats were ready to welcome us. Before Ben and I tucked in, we needed to explore the all-important bedroom.
It was the stuff of dreams. The king-sized bed was so deliciously soft it felt as though I was being hugged to sleep. Behind the ultra-comfy bedroom was a bathroom fit for a queen. It contained so many specialised areas, we kept getting lost! And, just to add a little extra ostentatiousness, there was a remote controlled wall offering a choice between privacy and exhibitionism. As I started to open the bedroom curtains, I turned to Ben and said, “How can this possibly get any better?”. My question was answered before it ended. So it seemed, our room was bordered by a runway-length balcony with a state-of-the-art Jacuzzi and ocean views. It was time to jump up and down with joy.
How was the food?
The Grand Hyatt is a place where one can indulge in dessert during breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lavish breakfast spread was temptation of the ultimate kind, offering everything from freshly made waffles with several flavours of ice-cream to the finest pastries and masterfully decorated cakes. Of course, the usual local and international suspects were on offer, too, plus a deli section that was to die for (cream cheese with smoked salmon on a fresh bagel anyone?). Lunch is next level, and will leave you feeling like Marie Antoinette. Dinner presents a world of options but Ben and I stuck with the hotel’s Indian restaurant, Chulha. We were treated to a special cooking class with the chefs before we tucked into the tastiest Indian meal either of us had ever cooked. At the Grand Hyatt, every morsel is obviously made with love, expertise, playfulness and careful consideration.
How was the service?
I love staying at a hotel when I can tell the entire staff community shares a genuine and united passion for its mission and values. At the Grand Hyatt, it’s obvious everyone from the GM to the gardener is driven by the desire to create a flawless yet homely space for guests. There was a refreshing sincerity to their smiles and support.
I also valued the personalised service delivered at the Grand Hyatt. The staff were practically psychic and eager to go the extra mile. After a long day of filming, photographing and touring the hotel grounds, Ben and I came back to our room to discover it’d been showered in rose petals. A little romance and relaxation were exactly what we needed. It’s easy to get caught up in the work side of things when you’re a travel writer and forget to stop and enjoy the moment. Not at the Grand Hyatt!
What were the highlights?
From the moment we drove our Landy through the stately entrance gates, Ben and I were in awe of the Grand Hyatt’s unique aesthetic. The architecture was a beautiful mix of Hindu, Portuguese and contemporary influences. Every structure was paradoxically grand and down-to-earth. The use of natural fibres, tones, artworks and décor was very clever, making us feel both pampered and right at home.
The spa complex was pretty memorable, too. As we wandered past the ultramodern massage rooms, gymnasium, indoor pool, relaxation room, salons, steam rooms and private female/male spas – all blindingly white – we felt like we were in a sci-fi flick. Ben and I were “the lucky ones” who got to live on the utopia-themed spaceship. It was blissfully eerie.
What’s different about the place?
At first glance, the Grand Hyatt stood out due to its sheer size. Spread across 28 acres of prime beachfront land, the hotel was often explored by buggy rather than by foot. The common areas were so extensive, there were staff dedicated to offering directions (we took advantage of this on many occasions!). The gardens, despite their vastness, were perfectly manicured. There was also a beautifully weathered 16th Century chapel on the grounds, which begged to be photographed.
Another interesting point-of-difference was the Grand Hyatt’s menu of guest activities, which seemed to be season specific. During the monsoon, they were designed to keep holiday-goers entertained indoors. Everything from Indian cooking classes and fondue evenings to beer ‘n’ hop tastings and detox days were on offer. I could’ve happily lived at the Grand Hyatt for many months! During my stay, I well-and-truly became a Grand Hyatt girl – it’s an incredible brand which consistently delivers my favourite hotel experiences around the world.
How would you rate the overall experience? 9.7 out of 10 grand entrances.
Goa University, Bambolim, Goa 403206
Ph: 0832 301 1234