Mumbai Hyatt Regency & Abode Bombay Hotel
Two Unique Hotels in Mumbai You’ll Love
By Cindy-Lou Dale
Just off the Colaba Causeway and a block from the famous Taj Mahal Hotel on Marine Drive is the Abode Boutique Hotel. Okay, from the outside it’s not exactly The Ritz, in fact it looks a little glum, but don’t judge this book by its cover. Walk up the wooden stairs of this heritage building to the first floor (the Abode is contained on one floor of a property built in 1920) into an authentic colonial oasis amidst the intense hubbub of Mumbai.
Leading through ornate wood and glass doors is a tall and very chic, colonial-styled sociable dinning room/café where you’re greeted as a friend. On one side of a narrow chimney-breast is a breakfast room (which serves a rather luxurious continental breakfast) with a 12-seater wooden dining table at its centre.
Suspended above the table is an immense waterfall chandelier. On the other side of the chimney-breast is a sitting area/library with a stack of books and a newspaper rack.
The brick walls are painted white and throughout the floors are laid with hand crafted black and white checkered tiles. Four large rotating ceiling fans, strategically placed between the wooden beams, keep the interiors cool.
Accent lighting showcases lots of little trinkets, creative ideas (the owners are passionate supporters of the local community), a mixture of Art Deco and relics from India’s colonial era.
Like military style travel trunks, a large battered wooden chest used as a coffee table, walls adorned with framed professional photos depicting scenes – all within keeping of Abode’s effortless style.
Vintage Indian Furnishings
Twenty air-conditioned rooms come with vintage Indian furnishings and hand-made art deco floor tiles. Ask after room 108 – it has a tall Banyan tree right outside its corner window where the birds provide the most glorious wake-up call imaginable.
The room itself is light and large, with a comfortable sitting and desk area plus wrap-around windows. The modern, polished-concrete bathroom is small but perfectly formed; there’s a free-standing roll-top bath in the bedroom.
The king-sized bed is deep and dressed in crisp white linens, complete with a string of tiny flowers on the pillow – every detail is a joy.
It has all the modern-day requirements you’ll need, including a flat-screen TV and free WiFi throughout.
Additional amenities within Abode include a cafe and a homeware shop. There’s also a spa treatment room, along with free bike rental.
All the lovely parts of old Bombay are within strolling distance, and just about every week there’s a new boutique or bar that opens nearby.
Just 400 metres from Abode is the Gateway of India – one of the biggest tourist attractions in Mumbai. You’re located bang in the middle of the fashionable Colaba district and within walking distance of the Prince of Wales Museum, the High Court, the Stock Exchange and Mumbai University.
Abode is surrounded by great eateries – including the Café Leopold where part of the novel ‘Shantaram’ is set, art galleries and shops galore. Reception staff will provide a map indicating the recommended places to visit.
Funky, cool, unique are words you wouldn’t necessarily associate with an Indian city hotel, but Abode is an absolute gem.
This small hotel’s beauty, generosity and attention to detail exceeds that of many 5-star places.
The Abode is an ethical Mumbai gem with impeccably chic rooms and service that’s second to none.
Prices start at Rs4,000 ($60) a night and includes a groovy continental breakfast. www.abodeboutiquehotels.com
HYATT REGENCY MUMBAI
For the discerning traveller there is only one choice – the Hyatt Regency Mumbai. This dramatic glass and steel structure, just minutes from the airport, is a welcome escape from the chaos of the city.
The cool and dramatic ambience is contemporary, open-plan and immense. With floating ebony-coffered ceilings, stainless steel and glass features, eye-catching art, granite under foot, floor-to-ceiling windows and discreet staff, eager to tell you about their city – it’s everything and more you’d expect from a five-star hotel.
Its luxurious Wi-Fi enabled rooms and suites (401 in total) are generous and elegant, complete with oversized mirrors, walls of windows allowing natural light to flood in, Malaysian teak flooring, crisp white linens and luxurious Italian marble bathrooms (with a separate step-down bath and rain shower). You would struggle to do better.
Club Prana is the Hyatt’s state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa, offering an exotic selection of treatments – which I can personally attest to after discovering new muscle groups I didn’t know I had.
For a long cool drink take a look at the collection of premium wines and whiskeys on the drinks menu at The Bar.
If you’re in the mood for authentic Indian cuisine, book a table at The Glasshouse – at night there are terrific views across the lit swimming pool and the hotels four acres of landscaped garden.
The Hyatt’s uber-cool signature eatery is STAX, the elegant, open Italian kitchen, showcasing regional favourites from Italy’s provinces.
Sous Chef Rajiv Das personally prepared my ravioli served with almond shaving, butter and parmesan cheese – simply melt-in-the-mouth.
For something sweet and sinful there’s The Bakery which presents all sorts of scrumptious cakes, pastries, muffins, doughnuts and other artery tightening delicacies you know you shouldn’t be having, so don’t make eye contact with the Chocolate Brule Gateaux.
Instead, take a look at the ‘sugar free’ options. Yeah, I know, who am I kidding… but Mumbai won’t tell.
Prices start at Rs10,000 ($150) – ask after room number 645. mumbai.regency.hyatt.com
The best time to go
Visit after the monsoon (June to September) and before the seething summer – in other words, between October and March.
Be prepared for some coastal humidity all year round. In January/February, the city buzzes with festivals and fairs.
Read a story about Mumbai’s Street Food by Cindy-Lou Dale on GoNOMAD