A great compromise between full-service Hyatt Regency and limited service Hyatt Place, the newly launched Hyatt Centric Candolim in Goa is the brand’s second hotel in India that emphasizes things millennials look for – Modern Aesthetics, Advance In-Room Technology, and local experiences to name a few.
Invited for a Familiarization Trip recently, the extremely friendly hotel cab driver greeted at the airport with bracelets and fresh fruit juice that put me straight into that laid back tropical vibe that people flock to Goa for. The ride was pretty smooth that I reached the hotel from the airport within 45 minutes – thanks to an early morning flight and the newly constructed Panjim Bridge.
Hyatt Centric Candolim, as the name suggests is right in the heart of Candolim which is where all the action is. The beach is just a 10-minute walk while all the other exciting attractions of North Goa are just steps away.
As you enter the hotel, the striking décor captures your attention. The striking scheme throughout the lobby was contemporary, with bright colors and lots of locally inspired elements incorporated. The lobby blends a contemporary styled sofa set with bright-rustic armchairs where one can read from a wide array of books on architecture, history, arts or plan the day before heading out. It also turns out that all of the major hotel services were on this ground level, not just the lobby, but also the large pool, gym, business center, outdoor deck and the restaurant that was aptly called Grok.
The check-in process was smooth and it took less than 5 minutes for the entire process post which the staff escorted to the guest elevators. 31sq meters of Balcony Room on the fourth floor was assigned to me with a King sized Hyatt Grand Bed. The room maintained a contrast color scheme than that of the lobby providing a bright aesthetic and had a décor that reflected the neighborhood.
I liked the modern in-room technology such as the electronically controlled blackout shades, Hyatt plug panel media center, AM/FM alarm clock with MP3 connectivity and the 55’ flat screen HDTV.
The bathroom had plenty of counter space to stock essentials like dental, shaving kits etc. In keeping with the brand’s other hotels, the toiletries were an environmentally conscientious line and included Kimono-style robes.
The view from the room could not be characterized as “beach” by any stretch, but I greatly enjoyed the pool side view.
The Hotel’s restaurant – Grok located on the ground floor comes across as modern, fun and experimental dining space that impresses you the moment you walk in. The restaurant features a spacious and relaxed atmosphere with delicious local Goan favorites. In the evenings, Grok changes itself to a themed Kebaberie and bread bar while the bar serves fresh handcrafted cocktails with locally inspired ingredients.
The Breakfast at Grok was second to none. The spread included a balanced variety of Western and Indian options, with a selection of hot items like made-to-order omelets and grilled fish, a salad bar, pastries and various cheeses. A mix of fresh fruit, yogurts, juices, coffee and tea were also available. I especially like the emphasize on “Food, Thoughtfully sourced, Carefully Served” moto of Hyatt that was quite evident in the breakfast spread.
Of the many meals that I dined at Grok – a special shout out to their innovative lunch concept. The fish thali was presented in a colorful, contemporary Tiffin Box. Parboiled Rice, Goan Prawn Curry, Rawa Fish Fry, Kismur Vaalchi Bhaji and bebinca included in the Tiffin box was as authentic as it could get.
The evening kebaberie menu was perfectly crafted that included some of the deftly flavored curries, stews, kebabs and roasts. Antakaya Tepsi Kebab – a flattened lamb kebab cooked in lamb fat with bell peppers, tomatoes & blend of spices and the Georgian delicacy of kaachapuri made of only cheese and eggs were my favorite of the lot.
Mixology at Grok was one of the best I’ve seen in recent times. All the cocktails that I sampled were Innovative, fresh and made using homemade bitters & shrubs. Each of the cocktails were named after local Goan city part, to celebrate people, festival and their spirit. My absolute favorite was Ashwem – a super smooth blend of white rum that’s infused with apricots & plum and later shaken with exotic mulled wine and tonic water.
More often than not, its uncommon for hotels to have their dining spaces open up to a balcony. Hyatt Centric does offer such experience on request and they ace at it. Was happy to have it experience first-hand where the beautiful candle lit dinner of 6 course seasonal degustation menu, served with finest wines & cocktails against the silhouette of Candolim was just beautiful.
The pool at Hyatt Centric is more of a lap pool than a wading pool, but I loved the lounge chairs sprawled around it for maximum comfort and relaxation. The colours were all light, warm and pleasant, absolutely fitting for a tropical destination.
The staycation at Hyatt Centric also came with outdoor tour/activity which one can choose. I opted for the 2 hour guided heritage walk to Fontainhas – Goa’s Latin Quarter that includes remnants of the houses and cottages built in colonial architecture and painted in fluorescents and pastels.
The staff at the hotel, from front desk to the restaurant staff and everyone I met while I discovered the hotel was extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable that they truly embodied the famous Goan spirit.
All in all, Shifting from minimalistic to millennial one, Hyatt Centric is a perfect fit for Goa market and you should definitely consider staying here for your next visit.