REVIEWER: ANASTASIA MIARI
Located in Bombay’s business district, the Four Seasons hotel stands as a welcome relief to the sweltering heat, manic honking and street peddlers’ hustling a stone’s throw away. Step into this cool, tranquil haven and you’ve entered a bubble that’s a far cry from ‘the real Bombay’. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on your own views on how best to travel. Following a month-long stint of Indian beach shack living and basic commodities, this was a well-worth-the-wait splurge I couldn’t help but indulge in.
hotel name & website: Four Seasons, Mumbai
who: The man and I
why: A welcome relief from Mumbai’s mad traffic.
when: January 2017
stay: A dreamy, cushioned, head-in-the-clouds couple of days made special by accommodating staff that are willing to go above and beyond to make your stay comfortable. I didn’t even signal for assistance when a member of the concierge staff spotted me at the entrance to the hotel, anxiously tracking my Uber driver making circles around the block on my phone’s map. She insisted on calling him from her own phone to make sure I wasn’t charged and then proceeded to offer up tips on the route to request before getting to that day’s destination. I tip my hat to general manager Vikram Reddy who clearly runs a very tight ship to great effect.
location: The Four Seasons can be found in the heart of Worli, a central district of Mumbai that has seen major developments in recent decades. Shiny grey office complexes have fazed out the fishing village this once was. This area is now the preserve of international businessmen and wealthy Indians, but that’s not to say it’s lacking in character. Dr. E Moses road, like most of Mumbai, is busy bustling at all hours of the day. Take a stroll out of the hotel and onto Dr. E Moses Marg for tailors shops, traffic street food vendors plying dosa and plenty of $1 thali-touting restaurants (our favourite of these being Kalpana).
rooms: Boasting over 200 guest rooms, the Four Seasons offers up a range of options from the damn-decadent presidential suite with impressive views over the city, to ultra comfortable deluxe rooms with a choice of sea view. Plush interiors with rich furnishings are representative of a modern Indian aesthetic. Expect lots of space, owing to the fact that there’s a maximum of eight rooms per floor and floor to ceiling windows that are best enjoyed at sunrise or sunset.
pool/gym/beach status: Having one of the few roof-top pools in India’s largest, most crowded city is definitely a huge draw. Save your Olympic-style lengths for when you get home though, this spot of blue amidst all that corrugated iron roofing is of the breast-stroke variety.
If you can manage a work-out in between sightseeing, there’s a gym well equipped for burning curry calories, a yoga centre to kick-start you namast-day (sorry) along with a spa offering a whole range of traditional Ayurvedic treatments in addition to a salon service, should you want to take care of your holiday hair.
food situation (mini bar, breakfast, restaurant): Yes to all of these. Choose from breakfast in bed or kick-start your day like we did in the airy downstairs restaurant, which benefits from a view of the hotel garden. Choose from modern Indian to continental and indulge in one of the city’s best buffet breakfasts. I’d recommend eating breakfast at the hotel but venturing beyond the confines of the Four Seasons for dinner – the restaurant doesn’t appear to see much action in the evenings.
bar: Roof-top bar Aer is famous in Mumbai for its panoramic views of the city and the Arabian sea. This is a must for sun-set where staff shake up saccharine cocktails to a soundtrack of sultry R&B.
data (wifi?): Ultra fast Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, even at the pool.
vibes: Business and pleasure – a spot to stop in transit for a breather.
kiddie agreeable: Kids are welcome, though the vibe is more business than family fun-zone.
specialty: Total convenience and comfort in a sometimes overwhelming city. Nestled between the coastal road (a great way to while away an afternoon of strolling), Colaba’s old fort and the bright new bars of Bandra as well as just a twenty minute drive from the airport, the Four Seasons is a great spot if you want access to all of Mumbai. The famous Dharavi slum is also very close by, if you’d like to truly see how the other half live.
price scale: A moderate sum for a pretty princely stay.