This post is a part of the Great Escape series
Picture: Fernando Monte da Silva
Dobby takes in the view from the room window
Over the last two years, since we’ve adopted Dobby, it has been brought to my attention significantly enough for it to register that I am more parent, less owner. Scratch that! Let’s put that down as an ‘overprotective parent of 16-year-old girl going out on a first date’. I’m fussy about who he meets, where he goes, and what necessity there may be for a ‘dog his age to mingle with others’. I mean, he has us, shouldn’t that be enough? My wife doesn’t always agree, and makes it a point to remind me, that much like the aforementioned 16-year-old girl, he needs to have a social life. However, in India, it can be quite a task making plans when you have a pet from which you are unapologetically inseparable.
After much digging as part of a birthday surprise for me, the wife discovered that Planet Hollywood in Betalbatim, Goa has a fairly liberal pet policy, and it includes allowing your pet to occupy the same room as you which isn’t something that many other supposedly ‘pet-friendly’ properties do. I am, as stated before, very fussy about where Dobby goes, even though I’m very low-maintenance myself. I suppose they call it ‘a dog’s life’ for a reason…emphasis on life, not existence.
So off we set for Planet Hollywood, for our first-ever, pet check-in. The process was honestly more straightforward than I expected it to be, and having being out of his element, it was something that Dobby appreciated more than anyone else. At the time of checking in, guests need to sign a disclaimer that has terms and conditions such as:
- Not leaving one’s pets alone in a room or public areas
- Owners being responsible for their pet’s hygiene
- Pets not preventing the welfare or sleep of other guests.
- Owners being responsible for all property damages or personal injuries resulting from their pet’s behaviour
- Housekeeping staff not cleaning a room unless the owners are present with their pet, or when the pet is out of the room
- Not allowing pets on any of the furniture or the bed
However, most of the terms on the disclaimer are unnecessary, as the property goes above and beyond to ensure that all one’s needs are taken care of. I remember walking into the room with a slight feeling envy, wondering if Dobby was going to be treated better than the two of us. Awaiting us was a bed that had been plumped up for him (apart from our own), a series of toys, and options as to what he’d like to eat. I thought back on some of my childhood vacations, reflecting on how much better Dobby had it.
Picture: Fernando Monte da Silva
An absolutely stunning platter of sushi at Fame
However, to be perfectly honest, I was excited about Planet Hollywood for my own selfish motives as well. There are two things (there are more, but these are personal favourites) that are at the top of their game on their menu, as far as I’m concerned – the Eggs Benedict and the sushi. Veteran chef, Sundar Sudarshan is, to steal a title from Richard Gere, the veritable officer and gentleman. He runs his kitchen with clockwork precision, but a colonial-era geniality as well, and rumour has it that he was the first employee to be hired at the property, just highlighting how much he is valued by the powers that be.
So once Dobby was taken on a stroll through the rather picturesque property and fed minced-meat that had been prepared exclusively for him (and what seemed like several 100 dinner rolls), we settled in and took in a beautiful orange sunset, all the while thinking of the sushi that awaited us in a few hours.
Having made ourselves presentable, we strolled over to Fame, and sat down to a dinner that affirmed a belief that I’ve held for a while now; that the sushi chef at Planet Hollywood, Siddharth Shrestha is a genius. I've said for ages that Fame, the restaurant on the property that handles sushi, is one of the best in that segment. I stand corrected. It has no competition at the moment, because it's taken massive strides forward. Our meal was an exemplary one, showcasing just how good the sushi at Fame is. There is an assortment of rolls and nigiri on the menu that ranges from the most conservative to the uber contemporary, with flavor profiles across the spectrum, and something for everyone. I could go on about the other impressive food there as well. However, the sushi steals the show every single day of the week, no questions asked.
Our stomachs content, and our souls even more so (having taken in a spectacular show of Dobby having a pool-side staring match with a stray cat that had wandered into the property as we ate), we ambled back to our rooms; our only regret being that it was all coming to an end that soon, promising ourselves that we would do this more often. We tend to neglect ourselves far too often, and at times its good to give back to yourself, bearing in mind L’oreal’s tagline, ‘you’re worth it’. For those of you who are planning a getaway with a pet, I would recommend Planet Hollywood, who have definitely managed to capitalise on the pet-friendly area of the hospitality industry, which is so often overlooked. As I sign off on this post, all I can say is that Dobby is reading this over my shoulder, nodding in agreement.
Planet Hollywood have managed to capitalise on the pet-friendly area of the hospitality industry, and is ideal for a short getaway with one's pets, if the can't bear to leave them behind when on holiday.
If your pets have specific toys or treats that bring them comfort, carrying them along would help your pet to settle in.
The additional cost of a meal to have your pet share the room is ₹2,500 (at the time of publishing this review). Check out https://planethollywoodgoa.com for more details.
How to get there
30/3, Acsona Waddo, Uttorda Beach, Salcette, Goa 403713
Every once in a while, we all need to let someone else take care of us, and that is precisely what the Great Escape series of posts is all about. It is where I discuss time well spent at places from the most obscure to the glamourous page 3-worthy establishments. At the end of the day, a little self care never hurt anyone.