Now that the summer vacations are almost here, most of us have our holidays planned out. Of course, there are exceptions like me who are still in the process of planning it, but that made me realise, that just like I am asking for hotel recommendations from other locals, there will surely be those who would want recommendations from local Bombayites. So, here are some of hubby and my favourite hotels, based on either our personal experience or that of our friends/business associates who we have hosted. These are among the best hotels in South Mumbai and will truly make for a wonderful stay. Since South Mumbai is where all the touristy places are and where you get to see the Victorian architecture, I have listed only the hotels in South Mumbai…..
THE TAJ MAHAL PALACE
Any listing of hotels in Mumbai has to start with this grand old lady, The Taj Mahal Palace. This is my absolute favourite hotel, and not just because of it’s iconic architecture and elegant luxury. This hotel holds a special place in my heart and hubby and I will usually be found celebrating special occasions and landmarks here. Having stayed at several luxury hotels in India and abroad, when it comes to warm hospitality, no hotel comes close to The Taj. (This holds true even for the Gateway Hotels, which is their more economic chain of hotels.)
For a truly luxe experience, I strongly recommend booking a room in the Palace Wing rather than the Towers. It feels as though you have stepped back in time to an era of understated luxury and sophistication. The sister hotels of the Taj, Taj Land’s End at Bandra and Vivanta Taj President at Cuffe Parade, offer the same hospitality and are wonderful hotels as well. But since they are part of the Taj group, I am not mentioning them separately.
THE OBEROIImage courtesy, The Oberoi Hotels
If the Taj Mahal Palace is the grand old lady of Mumbai, the Oberoi is the grand princess. When I was a child, the only luxury hotels in South Mumbai were the Taj and the Oberoi. Both these hotels give stunning sea views and while the Taj is as iconic as the Gateway of India, the Oberoi is part of the glittering “Queen’s Necklace” as this promenade stretching from Nariman Point to Chowpatty is called.
THE INTERCONTINENTALDome at The Intercontinental, Mumbai
A stone’s throw from the Oberoi, along Marine Drive, is the Intercontinental with art-deco architecture in keeping with the other buildings along this stretch. Home to Dome, another one of our favourite “date-night” places, take in the romantic ambiance here as you sip their signature cocktails with a loved one and watch the sun go down.
ITC GRAND CENTRAL
I have actually seen this hotel being constructed from my bedroom window. For a couple of years, it stood tall with it’s triangular red “roof” among defunct mills and “chawl” cloisters. Now, however, I can’t even see the hotel behind cluster of high rises that have come up around it. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful hotel and I would especially recommend booking a Club room, which would be on the higher floor, giving you amazing views of Central and South Mumbai and the Mumbai Docks on the East and the Arabian Sea on the West.
THE PALLADIUM HOTEL
The Grand Staircase in the lobby of the Palladium hotel. ©Dollie Solanki
While the exterior of this hotel looks pretty much like the standard skyscraper, it is the interiors that impress with it’s sweeping grand staircase in the lobby and it’s swimming pool on the 9th floor with fabulous city views to Asilo, the rooftop lounge on the 38th floor with even more impressive views of Mumbai. The Palladium is where all the action is (Lakme Fashion Week anyone?) and if it’s retail therapy you’re interested in, the best of the brands are just an elevator ride away at the adjacent Palladium Mall.
So, these are my favourite luxury hotels in South Mumbai, hotels where we have staycations and where we host our visiting friends/associates. If you are planning a trip to Mumbai, I highly recommend these for your stay here. Do let me know if you’d like a post on hotels in the suburbs as well.