My stay ay the ITC Grand Goa was from 24/25/26 April. Check-in was rudimentary with the welcome Coconut water Drink and sea-shell necklace. At no point during the check-in was my status with Marriott Bonvoy neither mentioned nor acknowledged; not that it is of major consequence, but it shows that being a Gold-Tier member is perhaps not important to warrant recognition. The property itself is beautiful spread over lush green landscapes and lagoons; maybe a bit too spread out but that is just my opinion. However, to call this hotel "luxurious" - that is a contravention of the trade descriptions act! This frayed key card I received at check-in is indicative of just how much standards have fallen at this property. The rooms have not been updated and are the same as they were when it was under HYATT management. The rooms have a redolent whiff of stagnation - a mix of a musty odor and humidity. All products in the toilet were Essenza Di Wills and all food in the minibar was also ITC branded. The Air conditioners do not adequately cool the room. The room and its amenities definitely does not qualify to the international standards of "luxury".
The food at the Pavilion at the Village Square was good, the service was excellent. The room service was also good, as I was able to order from Ottimo Cucina Italiana and the food was excellent. The food served by the pool was also good, however the "Kitchens of India" Ketchup was a bit of a letdown. Furthermore, I saw there was Guacamole on the menu, and asked for fresh Avocado - and was told since the Guacamole was ready-made they had no fresh Avocado! Serving guests pre-packaged condiments is not "luxury". Is this general practice at ITC hotels or just particular to the ITC Grand Goa not to offer its guest fresh food and only ITC packaged food to cut costs?
Kaya Kalp – The Royal Spa also was excellent - the staff and treatment included. The three pools, the major attraction of the hotel were in acceptable condition, however the middle pool has more than the acceptable level of decaying plant flotsam and jetsam.
On the 25th Evening a friend of mine came to visit. I told him to ask the front desk for a buggy to bring him to the room. I received a call in my room from him, telling me that the front desk was not allowing him to come to my room. The person at the front desk I spoke to, an insolent and rude woman named "Frenzie" (spelling), very rudely said that if I wanted him to come to my room, I had to pay "double occupancy" as it was the hotel rule that any guest to post 8 pm had to be checked-in as well! When I stated he was only visiting, and we intended to eat at the hotel, she had the audacity to say "meet him in the restaurant"! I was too appalled to retort! Is charging Double Occupancy for visiting guests a new gimmick by ITC Hotels or Marriott Bonvoy Hotels to extort money from guests when the hotel is at low occupancy? - Is this a general practice at ITC hotels or just particular to the ITC Grand Goa?
In the early hours of the 26th at 3:30 am, I was woken up by the noise of furniture being moved. I immediately suspected someone was attempting to break-into my room. After a few minutes, there was noise of furniture being moved, and bottles being broken. I immediately phoned the front desk, and requested security look into the matter. as the noise further continued, I asked the duty manager to look into the matter. finally when the noise reached an intolerable level, I went to check it out and found that someone was doing housekeeping! Who the hell does housekeeping at 3:30 in the morning??!!?? When I asked him to stop, all I got was a wide-eyed look of a rabbit caught in the headlights and his mobile phone kept ringing loudly. Other staff also appeared, and very nonchalantly stated they were doing house-keeping, whilst making no attempt to cease. A while later the duty manager arrived, apologized and then headed into the room to continue to help him clean the room! Is this general practice at ITC hotels or just particular to the ITC Grand Goa to do housekeeping at absurd hours of the morning and disrupt the sleep of paying guests? It later became apparent this was due to the late check-in of another guest at 4am! So I can assume that the ITC Grand Goa and its management has no qualm in disrupting my sleep, just to accommodate another guest. Is this a general practice at ITC hotels or just particular to the ITC Grand Goa?
As mine was an inter-connecting room, I had the pleasure of hearing my neighbor loudly talking on his phone and running his shower until about 5 in the morning. When I bought these issues to the notice of the front desk manager the next morning, he apologized profusely and offered to shift me to a suite. I made it quite clear, as this was a resort, I would be spending my time at the pool and a "suite" was not really what I wanted. The following morning at 1:30, I was woken up with a call from the front desk asking if I wanted a buggy! The most important aspect of any hotel, worth its name and brand is to offer its guest a comfortable night's sleep. Congratulations, your hotel has managed to fail miserably on two consecutive nights! Again, is this indicative at ITC hotels, Marriott Bonvoy Hotels or just particular to the ITC Grand Goa?
I can safely say, guests wanting "luxury", give this hotel a wide miss as post the ITC takeover, standards have drastically fallen to unacceptable and unprofessional levels! Clearly, this is another hotel I will give a total miss permanently. I am sure better-know and more professionally-managed hotels - or for that matter a budget hotel will be able to offer me a higher level of professional service!