It is said that ‘more dreams are realised and extinguished in Mumbai than any other place in India’, such is this city and the promise it holds. Founded on seven islands, Mumbai came into being in the mid-eighteenth century when land was reclaimed from the sea to establish what would become Bombay. Renamed Mumbai in 1995 to reflect its Maratha heritage and pay tribute to the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, it is now the most populated city in India. Presenting a vibrant, fast paced and intensely exciting sensory onslaught, there are a multitude of attractions to appease the avid traveller.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best hotels in Mumbai:
The Oberoi Mumbai - 9/10
Subscribing to the Oberoi philosophy that ‘the guest is everything’, The Oberoi Mumbai is one of the top hotels in the city. An impressive example of modern architecture, it has you towering above Marine Drive with magnificent views towards the ocean below. There are 73 suites and 214 guestrooms, each decorated with elegant dark oak wood furnishing, impressive artwork and high-tech amenities such as electronic blinds – should you wish to take a break from the ample natural light. Two Presidential Suites offer unrestricted views towards the famous Queen’s Necklace, with Executive Ocean View Suites, Premier, Luxury and Deluxe Rooms all comfy and well-appointed to suit your preference.
The 24-hour spa, fitness centre, outdoor heated pool, butler and concierge service as well as travel desk add to the appeal. Of the eateries, the Fenix offers European, Asian and Indian specialities. Vetro serves Italian dishes, while Indian food can be enjoyed at Ziya. The Eau Bar overlooking the Arabian Sea regularly features a live Jazz band. The Champagne Lounge offers a comprehensive choice of bubbly to toast the Mumbai sky. A nice touch is that female butlers are available for the comfort of female guests travelling alone.
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The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai - 9/10
Built-in 1903, The Taj Mahal Palace is an iconic heritage hotel in Mumbai. India's first luxury hotel, it is best known for its position alongside the Gateway of India, as well as the exceptional high-end hospitality. The 550 rooms, including 42 suites, are adorned with original paintings and period furniture that exude old-world charm and elegance. Décor includes patterned carpets and quality Egyptian linens. There are 10 room categories to choose from, each with its signature highlight. The voluminous suites have unique architectural features and evocative design elements. Added details such as a pillow menu, softer or firmer beds on request, a bath menu and yoga kit ensure that every comfort is considered.
You cannot go hungry here either. Spoilt for choice, choose from the hotel’s nine dining facilities, including Wasabi by Morimoto for Japanese cuisine, Golden Dragon serving Chinese, Masala Kraft contemporary Indian and Souk Eastern Mediterranean. Shamina offers à la carte international cuisine, while Aquarius next to the pool serves lighter meals and signature cocktails. Allocate time at the Jiva Spa and Taj Salon, catch up on a workout at the 24-hour fitness centre, and laze around the large swimming pool that is engulfed by a meticulously landscaped garden. Other amenities include valet parking, kid-friendly services and babysitting, a travel desk, heritage walks and tours of the Taj Art Gallery.
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The St. Regis, Mumbai – 9/10
The St. Regis Mumbai is South Asia’s first St. Regis Hotel. Just steps away from the city’s vibrant entertainment and commercial district of Lower Parel, the hotel is renowned for its unique sense of refined opulence and sumptuous eateries. Choose from the 395 gracefully styled and well-appointed guest rooms and suites, including the 39 Residential Suites. All benefit from amazing natural light and brilliant views courtesy of the floor to ceiling windows. The Residential Suites are ideal for home-from-home stays. Refreshingly modern in design, they have substantial amenities and include discreet 24-hour butler service.
Take a culinary tour around the world starting with At Seven Kitchen where live cooking stations serve up Italian, Oriental, Indian, Japanese, and Mediterranean cuisine. Feast on robust Indian delicacies in The Sahib Room and toast the sunset with a G&T in the aptly named Kipling Bar, inspired by the writer and philosopher Rudyard Kipling. Mekong is recognised as one of the city’s finest Asian restaurants, and Yuuka on the 37th floor is the place for Japanese art on a plate. But it is on the 10th floor that you will linger. Dedicated entirely to wellness with an outdoor infinity pool overlooking the city, the Iridium Spa, a Salon by Jean-Claude Biguine and a fitness centre. The St. Regis Mumbai is a place to sleep, eat and be treated in a style to which you will quickly grow accustomed.
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Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai - 9/10
True to the brand’s reputation, the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai combines a chic modern style with an intimate, boutique atmosphere. Rising above Mumbai’s upscale commercial hub, the guests rooms situated on the 7th to 32nd floors are among the most spacious in Mumbai, their elevation ensuring loads of sunlight and enhanced views of the ocean and city. With a hyper-modern appearance, the 33-storey glass tower prides itself in combining state-of-the-art technology, sleek Western design, and authentic Indian traditions. The 202 rooms, including 25 suites, range from Premier City and Sea View to Deluxe Rooms and Sea View, with the Premier Sea View Room on the higher floors the most popular. Bathed in natural light with a sleek sophisticated design, the rooms offer a peaceful sanctuary high above Mumbai’s busy streets.
As much as you will be out exploring and delving into the street food and local restaurants, for the nights in, dine at Café Prato, which serves international dishes with a Mediterranean twist. San:Qi has a pan-Asian culinary theme with tandoori to woks, sushi bar to Thai cookery on the menu. The best place to round off your day is undeniably the AER Bar and Lounge, ideal for cocktails and mingling with the city’s gorgeous elite. Mumbai's chicest open-air rooftop bar, you will find yourself lingering here long after the sky has turned a dark moody grey.
The Leela, Mumbai - 8/10
If fields of green, mature trees, waterfalls and lotus filled fountains are your happiness, the Leela Mumbai is the place for you. Set among several acres of lush, landscaped gardens just 5 minutes from the Mumbai International Airport and close to North Mumbai’s commercial centre, the Leela has lovely rooms and suites, and a range of comfort-focussed facilities. The centrepiece is undeniably the large swimming pool surrounded by greenery where you will want to relax and rejuvenate. The hotel’s range of stylish restaurants include Of the Citrus for all-day dining, Jamavar for signature Indian dishes, Le Cirque Signature Franco-Italian for fine dining. The Great Wall is the hotel’s Chinese speciality restaurant, while vibey Six Degrees is where you head for a drink after a day out and about, on the town.
A luxury hotel, the Leela Mumbai has 394 rooms and suites with either City or Pool Views. Choose between the Premier Rooms, Royal Club and Royal Club Parlour Suites. The top-level suites include a dedicated butler and access to the exclusive lounge. The Spa embraces holistic European, Eastern and Ayurvedic philosophies in its range of treatments and if you need help planning your day, the Les Clefs d'Or Concierge team design packages that will introduce you to Mumbai’s many hotspots.
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The Taj Mahal Tower, Mumbai - 8/10
Built-in 1973, the iconic 21-floor Taj Mahal Tower Mumbai stands majestically across from the Gateway of India overlooking the Arabian Sea. Designed by American architect Melton Bekker, it is in stark contrast to its adjacent sister-property, the famed Taj Mahal Palace. Bekker incorporated Indian design elements including Tanjore pillars from the south and arched balconies from 14th century imperial Rajasthan into the distinctive tower. Four decades on, the hotel continues to dazzle with recently refurbished luxurious suites, iconic restaurants, and sublime outlooks towards the city’s seafront.
The tower’s location - in the heritage district of Colaba - keeps you at the heart of the city’s art, culture, and glamour. Sprawling over 2.6 acres, choose from casual all-day eateries to formal fine-dining. Notables are the famous Wasabi by Morimoto for its innovative Japanese cuisine, and the Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant. Decorated in a combination of European and Indian architecture, the Tower rooms are more modern than the traditional Palace rooms, but equally opulent. Stylishly designed, each room includes a flat screen television, a well-stocked minibar and luxurious bathroom. In between the city exploration, pamper yourself with a treatment at the Jiva Spa or Taj Salon, take a dip in the inviting swimming pool or treat yourself to some luxury shopping.
Taj Santacruz, Mumbai – 8/10
Embracing the beauty of flight, the Taj Santacruz is located a 2-minute walk from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Domestic Airport and a ten-minute drive from the International Terminal. Tradition and modernism intermingle in the details of the hotel’s design. In the atrium you are greeted by a six-story high piece of Thikri art that changes colour with the sky, and from the lounge and many upper floor rooms, you have uninterrupted – yet soundproof views towards the mesmerisingly busy runways. An all-day dining destination at heart, Tiqri mirrors the soul of Mumbai street food with Maharashtrian cuisine and a menu that bursts with tantalising flavours.The Tiqri Bar Lounge is a swish new addition. China Inc, the Chinese speciality restaurant offers authentic Sichuan and Cantonese fare while Rivea, the Italian restaurant brings flavours from the shores of Italy.
The rooms range from Luxury, Grande Luxury, Junior Suites to the impressive Presidential. The elegant and warm entry-level Luxury Rooms are on the 1st to the 4th floor of the hotel. The Taj Club Tranquillity Rooms occupy the 6th floor of the hotel and include access to the Taj Club Lounge. The Presidential Suite is a larger than life 486 square metres of chic décor, with a living room and two ensuite bedrooms. Whether as a treat to self or post-flight rejuvenation, definitely seek solace and holistic wellness in the hotel’s sumptuous Jiva Spa.
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Abode Boutique Hotel Bombay – 8/10
For the traveller who prefers the new breed of independent hotel, the Abode Bombay in an old lovingly refurbished building is perfect. The only boutique-style option in Mumbai, Abode Bombay in the heart of Colaba is within strolling distance of the city's historic sites, shops, markets, and many great restaurants. Manned by a small team who take a personal interest in your stay, the Abode Bombay is a cool and intimate retreat from the fabulous chaos of the city. Transformed by Australian architect and designer Sian Pascale, it has an undeniably charming shabby-chic character.
Salvaged chandeliers hang in the double-volume reception area, traditional tiles mark the floors, the furniture is a mix of custom-designed and vintage, with fabrics and artwork selected from Mumbai's markets. There are 20 elegantly appointed rooms, each with its unique character. The Superior Spacious rooms have double-height windows, plenty of light and pretty views. Their ensuite bathrooms feature walk-in rain showers and freestanding baths. The Luxury Rooms are similar with art deco tiles, carefully restored Indian vintage furniture, and showers only. The Simple and Basic Rooms are smaller, yet comfortable, ensuring that all travellers are welcome, whatever their budget. A peaceful spa and wellness centre, communal lounge, library, carefully curated shop, café, and tour desk are among the services on offer.
Trident, Bandra Kurla – 8/10
Found in the heart of North Mumbai's business district, the Trident, Bandra Kurla is within easy reach of many of Mumbai’s famed shopping and sightseeing hotspots, as well as Navi Mumbai. The epitome of elegance, the Trident, Bandra Kurla’s bright lobby is characterised by high ceilings and signature bronze sculptures, dazzling chandeliers, and a distinctly chic style. Botticino, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, serves authentic dishes and features the only grappa display in the city. Maya is the choice for delicious Indian cuisine, with the Trident Patisserie & Delicatessen where you get your sweet fix. Luckily there is a state-of-the-art fitness centre and the Trident Spa to keep your wellbeing in balance.
Of the 412 guest rooms, 24 are suites. Designed for the contemporary business traveller they have cutting-edge features that guarantee comfort. The spacious Premier Rooms have large windows and excellent natural light, while the Trident Club Suites include access to the exclusive club floors with a private reception and an array of extra services. The Presidential Suite occupies the top floor and is tastefully decorated with effortless attention to detail. There is a large living room, separate dining area, well-appointed study, and large bedroom. Serviced by a private butler, the suite serves as the benchmark contemporary luxury option.
There are two J.W. Marriott hotels in Mumbai but of them, the property in Juhu – with its delightful beachfront location – is our favourite. Opened in January 2002, the 326 room and 29 suites hotel offers the best of both Mumbai worlds – easy access to the bustling metropolis and a modicum of peace as its sits on the beach at Juhu, overlooking the Arabian Sea. Set over five floors, this Marriott boasts a plethora of dining options, a spa, and sports facilities. The Lotus Café – that overlooks the hotel’s lotus pond – is a bustling Indian diner where guests can enjoy freshly prepared dishes all day. The Bombay Baking Company is one of the city’s finest patisseries and locals love it for the fresh bread. Italian cuisine is served at Mezzo Mezzo, tapas in Reflections – which overlooks the sea, Dashanzi which serves up Asian fare and finally Saffron which is home to the hotel’s fine Indian cuisine.
Apart from the Arabian Sea, swimming can be enjoyed in an infinity pool, saltwater pool and for younger guests, there is a kid’s pool. Quan offers all the treatments you would expect from a luxury hotel spa and there is a beauty shop, barber, and hair salon on site. Finally, the fitness centre offers all the workout machines you could ever need – but nothing beats a long jog on the sandy beach.
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