CW Interiors |
Luxe Life | July 2012

Modern Heritage

Architect Chandrashekhar Kanetkar and Singapore-based GA Design join hands with Grand Hyatt to recreate the lost heritage of Goa …

So, the story goes like this. A European trader landed on this property in the seventeenth century and decided to build his palace here since it was close to the sea and the market. He employed local artisans to build a grand baroque-style country palace that represen­ted the Portuguese repute in Goa. As his family grew, new wings were added to the original structure, resulting in a building that represents the different eras that followed, right up to today! Designed like a private palatial residence of a royal trader, the Grand Hyatt Goa, located at Bambolim bay, is a landmark hotel created by architect Chandrashekhar Kanetkar and interior designers GA Design from Singapore.

Fiction creates function

Although the story is fictional, every element of the hotel revolves around it, beginning with the entrance foyer, which has a sculpture of a mother and a child near a water body. In the reception, tall urns in four niches stand like welcoming sentinels. Each urn is made with 800 pieces of wood joined together and then carved in intricate floral patterns, a very typical Portuguese art. Welcome to Goa!

The building that houses the lobby and the F&B outlets is the Palace Building and the starting point of the journey around the hotel. “The entire hotel is built around the existing landscape, and thus there is randomness in the planning of the buildings. We have created small winding pathways and a random layout to give the feeling of walking in a small Goan town,” shares Kanetkar.

Throughout the hotel, Kanetkar has used local capiz (mother of pearl) found on the banks of this bay in the most interesting ways. It is sometimes seen in the window frames and sometimes in the form of light fixtures; a large capiz screen runs across two floors and leads one to the Capiz bar, aptly named after the same glowing material!

Subtle change

As each building evolves, one sees a slight change in the design. The Palace Building, for example, has simple pilasters and less ornamentation, while other blocks have more; some blocks have flying buttresses, others have courtyards. The pool block has an Indian influence with touches of temple architecture. “The sloping roofs of the buildings are the highlight of the design. They have been created with cement-based roof tiles and given a terracotta finish,” shares Kanetkar.

Back in town

Black basalt cobalt stone pathways take one through the various sections of the hotel. “We haven’t given typical names to the F&B outlets,” shares Stefan Radstrom, General Manager, Grand Hyatt Goa. The Dining Room is the casual dining restaurant; Chulha, the Indian restaurant, has terracotta coloured walls. The Verandah, offering seafood specialities, has colourful furnishings and gorgeous lattice ceiling work with shell screens. The Bay View lounge offers spectacular views of the bay over an infinity mirror pond, and the Capiz Bar has both indoor and outdoor seating with colourful bead curtains to separate the booths.

In the interiors, there is a pleasing combination of indulgence and homeliness. Designers from GA Design have chosen traditional decorative elements such as terrazzo floors and curved stone wall patterns to build the feeling of luxury in the public spaces with a golden sand coloured stone throughout the hotel for a relaxed resort feel. The furniture is a blend of traditional Goan style with a contemporary uplift. “We opened up the spaces for natural light and used beach-inspired colours for the hard finishes and main furniture items. We used sandstone on walls, capiz and sea shell details in the counter tops and bright accent colours to represent the lush landscape,” share the designers.

Finishing touches

The finishing on the exteriors has also been given special attention. “We gave the plastering a little unfinished, unprofessional look going with the times it was conceptualised in,” says Kanetkar. Locally available laterite stone has been lavishly used to complement the antique-finished wood. Black slate covers the pool area along with river finish granite. The unusual random pattern of the pool has been developed in order to avoid spoiling the natural landscape of the property.

Thanks to thoughtful landscaping, thick foliage on the road-facing side of the hotel blocks out the outside world, while the other side, which overlooks the bay, has sprawling lawns and lesser plantation.

The most modern part of the architecture is the glass-roofed atrium in the Palace Building, under which there is a water body. Housed in a different building, the spa, with open courtyards and a gym, offers another relaxation venue. The property also boasts of the largest banqueting facilities with respite areas and a grand lobby with an Indian style balcony, which is used for flower showers or musicians. The ballrooms are adorned in decorative plaster patterns framed in white, Calacatta marble and highlighted in gold leaf.

Indeed, Grand Hyatt Goa presents grandeur at its best through fantastic architecture and imaginative design.

Architecture design team: Chandrashekhar Kanetkar, Pritam Bidikar, Sandeep Sirsat, Preeti Rathi

Text: Sumisha Arora

Materials used:

• Laterite stone
• Wood stained to an antique finish
• Black basalt stone for the foundation
• Black slate and river-finish granite in the swimming pool
• Roof tiles made of cement and rendered a terracotta finish

Meet the architect: Chandrashekhar Kanetkar

Firm: Chandrashekhar Kanetkar.
Firm specialisation: Hospitality and high-end residential and commercial spaces.
Design philosophy: Do justice to the site and client’s programme.
Philosophy towards life: Keep it simple and bold and always make a statement.
Favourite architect/Designer: Frank Llyod and Le Corbusier.


Chandrashekhar Kanetkar, 201, Vyom Arcade, Off Subash Road Veer Bajiprabhu Deshpande Marg, Vile Parle (East) Mumbai-400 052. Tel: 022-6693 6677.

Grand Hyatt Goa, Tel: 0832-3011 234. E-mail:
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