Planet Hollywood Hotel- it’s here!

Let’s dig deep and ask ourselves- are we star crazy? I’m not referring to the constellations or stars in the skies rather all the Stars in ‘Woods’ ranging from Holly,Bolly,Tolly and perhaps someplace in the world-Molly. 

Let’s play the Instant two second reaction game? Ok! Here goes.What happens to you when you see a known celebrity pass by? Do you salivate, perhaps scrimmage through your Gucci handbag for that IPhone (selfie time to guffaw with friends over drinks later) and go ditzy and weak in the knees all at once? I have the odd family member time and again and it’s hilarious, mind you. If so, this is one place you don’t want to miss on your destination radar. 

Welcome to Planet Hollywood. A place that could possibly have you mingling and hobnobbing (non chalantely) with A and B listers on the next breakfast table or casually lapping it at the pool. It’s a destination hideaway where the stars come to unwind and this iconic international brand is the ONLY one of its kind (currently) making its presence felt in our backyard right here in Goa. Only two Planet Hollywood Hotels in the world (the first being in Las Vegas) and the first one in Asia. This is a huge deal indeed. I’m excited!!!

I drive up the very German block design inspired driveway and make my way to the reception. Right then and there I stand with a jaw drop expression. No I did not see Pamela Anderson walk past me, though that is on my bucket list this lifetime, rather was arrested by the ‘Wall of Fame‘ with its ginormous screen at the bar in the lobby- The Heart Bar. 

 The devil lies in the details of the minimal decor and color tone setup with white and purple being the predominant winners for the overall theme. My check-in was smooth and time flew by, as my eyes traversed the length and breadth of that wall. Stars in all their glory from current to yesteryears- with the ocassional odd movie playing on the screen for visual appeal. 

Tired from my journey, post the meetings and greetings from the effervescent staff, I am ushered to my room. It’s uncanny how I am given a room with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson adorning my masthead above in his Hercules avatar- a movie I happened to watch just the other night. Karma perhaps?

 The room is spacious and well balanced in decor and light. It’s got mood lighting for all you lovely couples and a beautiful relaxed balcony with a hint view of the beach in the distance. The bed has a cloud like embrace and allows you to sink in whilst it moulds itself to the contours of your body. There is an added touch with a leg massager given for those aching feet and is a much needed delight to sore heels. 

The bathroom is well proportioned with his and her sinks and a wet rain shower cabinet with a similar resemblance of ‘Boogie Nights’ and shimmering floors. Rather large enough to hear myself think, like ‘The Thinker’ on the commode. 

Tastefully Opulent   
A hot shower post, I am ready for breakfast. While this is a #staycation mention, the one item making it to this review has got to be the delicately moulded Eggs Benedict at the hands of Chef Sundar. I would do it a great injustice if this had to be explained especially the gastronomic senses that sent my tones into a frenzied rapture- a mere suggestion for you egg lovers? Do yourself a favor and head on over to Planet Dailies and order this marvel.
Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce  

The eager beaver in me scouted the grounds to find out much an interesting thing. There is a playground for kids and an archery zone to practice your aim. The beach is close by with its pristine sands. The swimming pool is magnificent and vast with a pool bar menu thrown to you by the peppy staff as a frisbee. Fun indeed!! 

For those more adventerous there is a Zorb in the pool as well as a paddle boat to exercise those muscles. The gym has an overview of all the heavenly bodies entering the pool in swim trunks and bikinis. This could, without doubt be a venue for the Pirelli calendar of 2017. I did spot a couple of celebrities but this is a haven for them to unwind; so Mum’s the word!!! Head on over and carry your camera.

The spaces are expansive and one can make out the grandiosity of the venue through the definition of its negative space. Neat and crisp lines with memorabilia around to remind you of the theme at hand. 

Grandeur defined in negative spaces 

Each section of the resort is well defined; from their Pink Room Spa to their multiple dining venues. There is Planet Dailies– their signature all day dining restaurant, Fame– the hot spot resto lounge, Heart Bar– the eclectically designed high energy bar, Cigar lounge– A perfect place to relax over champagne, martinis and that perfect stogie in old world charm (I felt the ghost of Winston Churchill while I sat there- it’s that Brit!!) 

Being spoilt for choice I have decided to head on over soon just to cover the Food Junket of these amazing establishments. More on that shortly. 

Feeling Nostalgic @ Cigar lounge   

If you know me, I have a bucket list of sorts. One of them would have recently been ticked off this year, all thanks to the magical pool under a starry lit sky. The lights twinkle beneath you and the cool blue water is a perfect romantic setting for you and your loved ones. I happened to do hand stands and cartwheels however- blame it on the kid in me. But imagine a late night swim (the pool is open till 9pm) with your beloved and relax in the perched jacuzzi ahead and whisper sweet nothings to your special someone. A truly magical experience. 

Before I sign out here’s mr. NObody for a fleeting second feeling like a Somebody!!  Till I head on over again Planet Hollywood – you have been a STAR! 
Stars above and below 

 

Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography. All images shot on Iphone6 

Spa’z #staycation & how!

I remember reading the diary of Axl Rose (from Guns’n’Roses fame), wherein one of his mates said- ‘one can never comprehend the time in his world. Your on the Axl’s time zone’. I get the same feeling every time I finish an out of town #foodtrail. This last one in Mumbai though thoroughly satisfying, had me beat. What better way to kick back- than to, get into ‘Spa’z #staycation‘ at the Alila Diwa Hotel Goa

Many who converdsed with me during my long soaks in the bathtub (look at that beauty in the image above) envied the ‘double whammy’ of heading back to Goa and that too in the lap of such luxury.

What can I say? It’s a writers life-indeed. 

So, heading back to my ‘Spa’z #staycation‘- being the klutz, that I am, I happily checked into the hotel without any identification. Top it off, that too, dead in the middle of the night. They were kind enough-NOT to keep me waiting for long and after a few online checks identified mr. NObody. Some serious CIA stuff over the counter took place that night. What was it you asked? If I told you I’d have to kill you. To avoid the harassment don’t do a NObody, and check in with proper identification,please. 

Though a suffering insomniac- I was deadbeat. The bed enticed me, to snuggle in, while the AC cranked up the chill. Being a technosavant, the room had me written all over it. Yes, I’m that guy, who enters a room and needs to check out all the electricals. Fancy lightings and switches. What connection does what. Cause and effect really. 

There was also an ‘I spy with my little eye’ contest with so many minute details taken care of by the management. Like-the personal hand written note,by the General Manager- Mr. Siddharth Savkur (Yes-I stress on this a moment longer, given that while hotels do personalize real well these days, going the extra mile- i have mostly bared witness to printed stationary with the name and signature signed off by hand. The art of ink to paper is purist and much appreciated, from this old soul). 

Lest we forget the psychoanalysis of my near and dear ones gracing a printed card accompanying, would have made any psychoanalyst proud. The art of class indeed.  (let’s not forget Facebook for the pictorial courtesy

 It’s personal  
I am up early next morning in full witness of the view below. It’s one of those moments, where one gets lost in time and in the process almost missed breakfast just staring into the sapphire blue pool ahead with lush palms for company. I could have sworn, I heard peacocks well in the distance. 
 Room with a view  
After a rather scrumptious meal- (you have seen my breakfast posts, hence I shall NOT traumatized you, especially with all on offer and just let your imagination run wild on this count), I relaxed by the swimming pool and waiting for my appointed massage. I was slotted in for the Theraputic Massage for an entire hour and a half.  Tissue deep and aromatically infused are two words to describe this treatment. At the iron fisted hands of Ravi, who is a certified Masseuse from Kerela, I was kneaded into (quite literally) a snore. Rather embarrassing to say the least, but he didn’t mind the hypnotic tune I belted out, during the procedure. He found it rather relaxing (or maybe he was being polite, one would never know) An outdoor shower, amidst a lush garden had me soak in the sun (literally) with cool water streaming down my back- temporarily fooling my senses to a tropical paradise far far away. 

Top it off in the lap of luxury with a fine meal with the team- Siddharth and Rashmi who generously took time off their busy schedule to fuss over me. Delving into the spotlight of food you must try their fresh Kokum bar at the breakfast counter and their wide variety of eggs to order. The cheese and mushroom with sage was meticulously fluffed . Not to mention their king prawns which were every so fresh at the lunch table. Fresh catch of the day at the hands of Chef Alex Ensor. 

It’s a quick #staycation, as i have been away from home far too long and miss the babies- Mojo,my Labrador and Cupcake June, my Persian cat. 

The 5am, pee-o-clock alarm from the mutt beckons. 

Spa’zin out till next time. 

Spa treatment  
Pic courtesy: Nolan Mascarenhas Photography Shot on an IPhone6