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Sunday, 21 April 2024 | RUPALI DEAN


Once a humble 125-room budget haven, now transformed into a sophisticated 135-room Joie de Vivre by Hyatt, Ronil Goa marks a significant milestone as the first of its kind in India and Southwest Asia, says RUPALI DEAN

During a weekend journey to Goa, there is lots to revel in, like vibrant takeovers at popular bars while navigating traffic warnings amidst local insights. Grateful for tranquillity amid burgeoning tourism, the allure of undiscovered venues fuels a persistent fear of missing out.

Today's Goa contrasts starkly with the nostalgic reminiscences of the 1990s and early 2000s, as stories of a quieter, untouched era blend with the vibrant, bustling present. Ronil Goa, a Joie de Vivre by Hyatt in Calangute, intriguingly connects these divergent facets of Goa's evolving narrative. At Ronil a cherished gem with a legacy spanning over 35 years, I discovered a captivating fusion of past and present.

Tucked away along the Calangute-Baga Road, the resort's unassuming facade belies the vibrant haven that unfolds beyond its doors — two distinct blocks flanking serene pools and an inviting on-site restaurant. My journey began with a warm welcome in true Goan style — a delightful coffee-rum shot that set the stage for the energetic vibe of the resort.

Straying from convention, the check-in process eschewed the traditional reception in favour of the lively ambiance at Patrão's, the round-the-clock lobby bar where tantalizing cocktails and local bites awaited. The unique touch came as DJ Maria greeted me with an iPad in hand, ready to customize the property's musical offerings based on my preferences, ensuring a personalized soundtrack for my entire stay.


JdV, short for joie de vivre, epitomizes the essence of simple joy in living. At this property, 'the hub' reigns as the focal point, boasting a vibrant pool, complete with a swim-up bar, cosy cabanas, sunken beds perfect for unwinding with cocktails, and a wood-fired oven for delectable pizzas and poolside barbecues. Ideal for those seeking a dynamic holiday experience, the rooms in this block exude a high-energy ambiance.

With the pool remaining open until 2 am, spontaneous midnight swims are just a PJ change away, accompanied by a soundtrack that shifts gears post-10 pm. For a more serene retreat, opt for accommodations in the second block to escape into tranquillity and silence. Here, a peaceful pool awaits, providing a relaxing atmosphere for a leisurely dip until 10 pm.

Whether craving lively vibes or seeking calm repose, JdV offers a tailored experience to suit your holiday preferences. In my Deluxe room, overlooking the tranquility pool, thoughtful design elevates the stay experience to a new level of sophistication. Unveiling smart design touches that exude practical luxury, a sliding mirror serves as an elegant door to the wardrobe, while textures adorn the walls in lieu of conventional artwork typically found in hotel rooms. A generously sized bathroom mirror accented with a border LED light offer both functionality and style.

For tea enthusiasts, a selection of Tea Trunk blends awaits, sourced from the locally renowned Goa-based brand that boasts a tea room in Fontainhas. Additionally, a French Press stands ready, showcasing the exclusive Ronil special sunrise and sunset coffee blends.

Opening the balcony doors during the day allowed the melodies from outside to mingle with my sanctuary—though as night fell, the desire for tranquillity surfaced, and the music lingering until 1 am required a gradual adjustment.


Indulging in a culinary adventure at the Ronil Bistro led by head chef Karan Kohli quickly became a delightful ritual during my stay. For lunch, the fish curry, rice, kismoor, and tindli pickle effortlessly stole the show, showcasing Chef Kohli's culinary prowess. Come dinnertime, the poolside ambiance paired perfectly with the fresh, pillowy sourdough pizzas and the BBQ a true highlight of the evening.

While the house made churros come highly recommended by the team for dessert, I found the ice cream equally captivating. Sourced from Goa's renowned Cream Choc, the pistachio gelato stood out as a refreshing conclusion to lunch and a comforting midnight snack in the quiet of my room.

Night owls are in for a treat with the complimentary lager tucked away in the minibar, a perfect companion for those late-night moments of relaxation. The property's bespoke experiences, from bonfires to barbecues, floating breakfasts, and poolside picnics, are meticulously curated to foster unforgettable moments to relish. While the property gleams with modernity, it intertwines a subtle thread of yesteryears, evoking tales of Goa's bygone charm that now linger in whispers. Amidst the staff's offerings for lively bar crawls and exploratory visits to Chapora Fort lies a unique opportunity to embrace the cocoon of nostalgia within Ronil Goa's embrace — a place where cherished memories are reincarnated, fostering an ambiance that transcends mere tourist trappings.

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