Some of the images and information in this review were provided on request by the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa.
A light rain was falling as I alighted at the lobby of the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa in Cansaulim, a 5-star luxury hotel in South Goa.
I stepped out of the car and was struck by how much it reminded me of my favourite 5-star timeshare resort in Goa, Club Mahindra Varca Beach Resort, of which I’m a member.
The resemblance ended there. As I was taken to the check-in counter on the lagoon, I saw that the property was much larger and more lavish than I had imagined.
Here’s a 360-degree view of the lagoon from our check-in counter.
I was in Goa having being invited to speak on Pinterest marketing, at the 6th edition of the Exotic Wedding Planning Conference, a one of its kind event organized by Exito, and conceptualized to bring the top wedding planners across the globe to a single platform.
As the Official Country Winner in the Luxury Wedding Destination category at the 2016 World Luxury Hotel Awards, the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa seemed like the perfect place to organize a conference of wedding planners in Goa.
The conference was from the 13th to the 14th of August, 2018, and I had arrived a day early to relax and prepare for my talk, which was on the 2nd day.
After checking in, another speaker and I were transported by buggy to our respective rooms. The Indo-Portuguese style room and suites are a distinctive feature of the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa hotel.
At first sight, my room looked like any other 5-star hotel room. But when I explored it further, I saw that it had a large verandah (balcony) with a view of the lagoon that runs through the property.
My room was part of the Indo-Portuguese style villas, called Pousadas, that are divided into five landscaped courtyards, each distinctive in theme, architecture and landscape.
The Pousadas are predominantly single-storied and have spacious balconies with stunning views that overlook the sea, lagoons or tropical spaces, perfecting the concept of ‘verandah living’ that is innate to the people of Goa.
The furniture in the rooms was styled like antique Indo-Portuguese furniture, which I love. It is locally sourced with design features from the early 1900s.
The other feature I loved in my room was the lavish bathroom with a sunken shower. I love beautiful bathrooms and this one looked and smelled wonderful.
I had mixed feelings about the fact that it led to an outdoor shower room with a pebble floor and vegetation, that opened out to the sky, and the only thing separating my bathroom from that room was a pane of clear glass.
Imagining that a peeping Tom could look into my bathroom made me cringe, so I called up the resort host, who assured me that there was “absolutely” no cause for worry.
The walls enclosing the outdoor shower were designed so no one could look inside, she said, so it was “absolutely private and confidential.” She said “absolutely” quite a few times. Although it didn’t mitigate my discomfort, I said, “Screw it, let’s do it,” Richard Branson-style.
Once I decided to take a bath, I found I didn’t really care after all. I was more focused on enjoying the bath products from Forest Essentials. From the shampoo, conditioner and shower-gel, to the delightfully lemon-scented hand soap, all the products felt luxurious and smelled divine.
After my nice hot bath, I felt relaxed and squeaky clean. I polished off the welcome platter, with delicious Goan sweets, like bebinca. Even the logo had an edible bottom, Willy Wonka-style. Nice touch!
For dinner, I ordered a plate of saffron arancini from the 24/7 room service and prepared to spend my evening curled up watching a movie and resting in preparation for the next day.
I also got my blazer and trousers pressed by the laundry service, which returned them promptly in an hour.
The next morning, I called for a sunny side up with sausages and potatoes. It was delivered in a steel tiffin, which I thought was wise since it’s both environmentally-friendly and keeps the food warm.
However, the breakfast itself turned out to be something of a disaster, because the kitchen had forgotten to send salt and pepper, and didn’t tell me that toast was not included as part of the order.
In the time it took the delivery boy to go fetch the salt and pepper, the eggs were cold as ice and practically inedible. I shoved them down anyway, in my hurry to get to the conference on time.
Later, when I told a sales representative from the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa about my disastrous breakfast, she notified her higher-ups, who apologized and sent a bottle of red wine to my room, to make up for the gaffe.
I called a buggy to take me to the Pyramid Ballroom since there was no way I was going to find my way around the enormous property by myself. I was all ready for the talks, engagement and networking activities and the day went off well.
The conference was very well-organised and went off without a hitch. The food at the networking luncheons was excellent and the speakers included some actual celebrities like Devika Narain, the wedding designer for Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s hush-hush wedding in Italy.
In the evening, we were invited for dinner and cocktails at another ballroom (whose name I can’t remember). A new friend of mine, Boi, and I navigated our way over the vast and gorgeous swimming pools to the dining area.
The resort grounds and architecture are a treat for the eyes. Designed by famed resort architect, Simeon Halstead from Spain, and landscape designer, Peter Imrik of Napa, California, it has the cheerful and relaxed atmosphere of a small Indo-Portuguese village.
Spread over 45 acres, the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa property is like a picturesque township, full of green courtyards and gardens, linked by Venetian-style canals and waterways, tiny bridges and cobbled streets.
Once Boi and I managed to find our way to the dining area, we were greeted by a lively bar area and a delightful singer who kept us enthralled with songs from the 80s and 90s.
I contented myself with a couple of Pina Coladas and enjoyed getting to know my fellow-attendees. The dinner was a multi-cuisine spread that had so much choice, I was confused at which way to go – Goan or Asian or Italian?
I finally settled for the seafood ravioli followed by Crêpes Suzette for dessert. Both were delicious. Although many of the conference attendees stayed on to party till 1 a.m. or later, I called it an early night since my talk was the first presentation on the agenda the next morning.
I retired to my room and slept early. The next morning I rushed off to the Pyramid Ballroom at 8.30 am, without a chance to eat breakfast because I wanted to run through my Powerpoint and make sure that the animations were working.
As it was my last day at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa and I would be in the conference all day, I also packed my bags and took them with me.
My talk went off well. It was well-received and I got some great feedback from the attendees.
Since I had to check out that day, I’d booked myself into another hotel for the night – a budget hotel in Nuvem called the Indismart Woodbourne Resort. It turned out that Boi was staying there too, so we decided to leave together after the conference and split the cost of the cab fare.
In the hurry for us to get to the hotel, where her father was waiting for her, I forgot to check out of the Park Hyatt. Luckily they sent me an email with my room service and laundry charges, which I paid online.
My stay at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa did not lack comfort. However, one of the things I would change was the wasteful use of plastic bottles in the rooms and conference areas. These could easily be replaced by jugs with glasses.
To their credit, they do use glass bottles at their all-day Village Café restaurant, but it would be great if they extended this eco-friendly practice to the entire hotel.
Sustainable Practices by the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa
On request, the staff outlined for me, the sustainable practices followed at the resort. Their corporate social responsibility program is called Hyatt Thrive, which includes energy-saving and water consumption reduction initiatives, engagement in community causes, and environmental clean-up drives.
In addition, the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa operates a series of initiatives under the Hyatt Thrive program that are geared for the betterment and livelihood of the local community and benefit the environment in the Cansaulim area.
These activities include an Apprenticeship Programme, organic farming programme, sustaining and promoting a local small-scale art industry, enriching the lives of village youth through sports and festive celebrations and other community activities.
Some of the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa’s ‘Green Initiatives’ include:
- Renewable sources of energy
Renewable sources of energy through windmills and solar panels that generate power used for the external illumination of the hotel.
- Water conservation measures
The hotel implements rainwater harvesting measures. All the lagoons in the hotel are waterproofed to save water. Water circulation is kept off for five hours. Water in the sewage treatment plant is recycled and used for irrigation of landscaping.
Drip irrigation methods help reduce water consumption. Hedges are mulched with coir dust and grass clippings to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination.
- Recycling of biodegradable waste
The hotel has a wet garbage plant that processes about 500 kg of wet garbage per day, and a vermicompost system that uses earthworms to convert pre-composted grass clippings to organic manure, which is then used for landscaping.
- Air pollution control
A scrubber plant removes and neutralizes particles like dust and gases from exhaust streams.
- Organic Chefs’ Garden
Their ‘Chefs Garden’ is an in-house, organic vegetable garden where fresh herbs and tropical fruits are grown and used by the kitchens at the resort.
An in-house spice farm grows cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper and other aromatic spices. Neem is a natural insecticide used for the plants.
Other green initiatives include the use of reusable cloth laundry bags and cane baskets in place of plastic, and energy-efficient light bulbs, instead of incandescent bulbs.
Types of Accommodation at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort And Spa, Cansaulim
The resort has two categories of accommodation, rooms and suites. The Suites include options like the:
- Park Lagoon View Suite
- Park Sea View Suite with Lap Pool
- Vista Suite
- Park Sea View Suite
- Imperador Suite
Rooms are available with a single bed or twin accommodation with a view of the lagoon, pool and ocean.
The busiest times of year for tourism in Goa are from October to February. The rest of the year is usually off-season – although over the last few years Goa is becoming a popular destination for MICE Events.
Activities at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort And Spa
The Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa also seems to be quite popular with Indian families, and I saw a bunch of them lounging about the lobby on my arrival. Not surprising, since it won the Most Child-Friendly Hotel award at the 2016 KidsStopPress.
Its Sereno Spa also won the #1 award for most luxurious Spa resort at the 2016 asiaSpa India Awards. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to check it out because my stay was too short and hectic.
Places to visit near the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa
Arossim beach is walking distance from the resort. Again, I was unable to visit the beach since my visit was for business and I had no time for anything else.
To see more stunning images from this property, check out the video below.