The 20 best hotels in Mumbai

The 20 best hotels in Mumbai

From opulent to budget, from north to south, here is a selection of the best hotels in Maximum City

EXTREMELY HIGH-END -- Mumbai best hotels

Taj Mahal Palace & Towers

1. The Taj Mahal Palace & Towers: Waterfront luminary

Apollo Bunder, Mumbai 400 001
+91 (0) 22 6665 3366

When George Harrison wanted sitar lessons, he took notes from maestro Ravi Shankar in one of the Taj Suites. When Jimmy Page and Robert Plant toured India in the 1970s, they made the hotel their Mumbai base. Playing host to cultural icons like these had already made the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers a cultural landmark before the 2008 November terrorist attacks seared the hotel into public memory.

Rooms in the old wing are still under renovation, but we suggest booking the sea-facing Suites or Taj Club rooms in the Tower. The slightly heavier price tag is absolutely worth it once you lay eyes on the stately Gateway of India aglow at night, with yachts bobbing in the distance. Aside from the views, there is round-the-clock butler service, free airport transfers, variable check in/check out times and complimentary breakfast and cocktails. Before you leave, visit the Harbour Bar, which re-opened late 2009.

“The Taj has always reinvented itself since it was born decades ago and this is what makes it the icon that it is,” says general manager Karambir Kang.

You Should Know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 6665 0323-4
Rates: from Rs 13,600 (plus 10 percent luxury tax)
They accept: American Express, Diners, Visa, Mastercard, JCB International, Cash (cash payments above Rs 25,000, should be accompanied by pan card/photo identity)

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2. The Trident Bandra-Kurla: Beige, brown and bronze

Trident Bandra-Kurla

C 56, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai 400098
+ 91 (0) 22 6672 7777

The warm colors and quirky bronze sculptures of the new Trident Bandra-Kurla are the first indication that if you’re here to mix business with pleasure, this hotel will serve up a pretty heady cocktail.

Those that like a tipple will love the wine tasting room and wine library at Oh Two Two (022, the all day multi-cuisine restaurant), as well as the grappa display and enoteca at the Italian fine dining restuarant, Botticino. Indian specialty restaurant Maya and the in-house delicatessen complete the delectable quartet.

All 436 rooms and suites come with iPod connectivity, DVD players with a USB plug-and-play port, and all hour valet and laundry services. “The staff has been trained well to extend gracious, personalized and dependable service,” says general manager Visheshwar Singh. And if you’ve brought the kids along, you can book the babysitter to watch them while you’re out.

The first hotel in North Mumbai’s new business district, the Trident is 30 minutes from the international airport (on a good traffic day).

You Should Know:
Fax: + 91 (0) 22 6672 7870
Rates: from Rs 15,000 for rooms, and Rs 30,000 for suites (plus 10 percent luxury tax)
They accept: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, JCB International, Cash

3. The Gordon House Suites: Which flower do you choose?

Gordon House

Off International Airport Approach Road, Marol, Andheri East, Mumbai 400059.
+91 (0) 22 4090 6633

“A charming little hotel that’s big on style,” is how Gail Enrique's, GM for operations describes the Gordon House Suites, and with ten different themes running through this 102-room boutique property, we’d have to agree with her.

Wireless internet access, SIM cards on request, and a travel desk make life easier if you’re here on business. Also ask about the free airport transfers, buffet breakfasts and baggage storage for late check-outs.

You’ll feel like a kid in a candy store. Should it be one of the classy floral suites? The turquoise-and-white Marine Room for the see-through bathrooms? Or the Mountain Room with jazzy cow skin-print sofas? Whatever theme you choose, you’ll get ironing facilities, a bar, refrigerator, DVD player and a choice of movies.

And if the pillows aren’t fluffy enough, housekeeping, which comes around twice a day, will be glad to resolve that for you.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 4090 6632
Rates: from Rs 17,000 (10 percent luxury tax extra)
They accept: Diner’s Club, MasterCard, Visa and American Express

HIGH-END -- Mumbai best hotels

4. The Four Seasons Mumbai: Into the Aer

Four Seasons Mumbai

114 Dr. E. Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai, India 400018
+ 91 (0) 22 2481 8000

A decade is a long time in hospitality, but if you ask Vincent Hoogewijs, general manager at the Four Seasons Mumbai, he’ll tell you that the ten years they spent waiting to enter the Indian market was worth it.

We think so too, since the hotel has given us Mumbai’s highest bar (roof top lounge Aer), a fabulous spa and The Club, an exclusive 33rd floor area where members can talk business even as they ponder the vintage of their Cristal Rosé.

The 202 rooms are child friendly, with cribs, strollers, high chairs and play pens provided at no extra cost. The L’Occitane toiletries are also complimentary; too bad the seriously comfortable duvets and bathrobes won’t fit in a regular suitcase.

Their fleet of 7 series BMWs will ferry guests around town but if you dread being stuck in Mumbai traffic you can always call for the helicopter.

You should know:
Fax: + 91 (0) 22 2481 8001
They take: American Express, Diners Club, JCB International, MasterCard, Visa, Cash
Rates: from Rs 13,500 for a Superior Room (check for their weekend offers)

5. Grand Hyatt Mumbai: Mini metropolis

Grand Hyatt Mumbai

Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz (East), Mumbai, India 400055
+91 (0) 22 6676 1234

Take 547 rooms, 147 apartments, 10 meeting halls, and an upscale shopping plaza. Add some fine dining restaurants and sprinkle liberally with funky, contemporary art, et voilà -- you have the sprawling 10 acre complex of the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.

General manager Ilan Weill explains that the art is a collaborative attempt by established artistes, upcoming talent and craftsmen “to reinterpret the Shiva myth.” Staff also double up as art guides.

Rooms are uncluttered, with an oversized work desk, high-speed Internet, and a concierge to tackle any problems.

Head to the Celini restaurant for one of its three set executive lunches or let Chef Alessandro Persico whip up a mean margherita for you, at the restaurant’s show kitchen. Once you're don there you can book a seat in the sleek salon, headed by international hairstylist Christiaan Georgio.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 6676 1235
Rates: from Rs 7,500 (additional rates apply)
They take: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, Cash

6. Hyatt Regency: A spa-tacular experience

Hyatt Regency Mumbai

Sahar Airport Road, Andheri East, Mumbai 400099
+91 (0) 22 6696 1234

It’s understandable given its location, service and facilities that the Hyatt Regency is usually filled with business travelers, but surprisingly, this hotel is popular with wedding crowds too.

In large part that could be thanks to the 10,000 square feet Club Prana –- a spa, salon and fitness center rolled in one. The Traditional Thai Yoga Massage is great, especially if you prefer dry massages. Also try the delicious Marma facial from their Ayurvedic menu.

Rooms are sleek and uncluttered, and include a work desk and Wi-Fi internet. After a day of work, do take advantage of the rainshower facility and the sleek marble tub.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 6696 1235
Rates: from Rs 10,000 (taxes not included)
They accept: All cards, Cash

7. Hotel Marine Plaza: The lure of the Allamanda

Hotel Marine Plaza

29, Marine Drive Mumbai 400020
+91 (0) 22 2285 1212

With a breathtaking sea view, lights along the bay, and a flower-laden pool terrace, Hotel Marine Plaza’s Allamanda terrace really is hard to resist. One besotted couple, says general manager Sanjeev Shekhar, even paid handsomely to have the place to themselves on their first wedding anniversary.

The Art Deco interiors hold another sweet spot -- its five-story atrium, with enthusiastically English pub, Geoffrey’s, adjacent to it on the ground floor.

Check into the elegantly-furnished Special Suites -- wall-to-ceiling glass panels from the living area to the bedroom reveal a bird’s eye view of the Queen’s Necklace, especially fabulous at night. The coffee table books in this suite are a thoughtful touch, particularly Sharada Dwivedi’s "Bombay, the Cities Within."

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 2282 8585
Rates: from Rs 14,000 for Superior Sea Facing Rooms, to Rs 25,000 for the Special Suite (plus 10 percent luxury tax)
They accept: American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, Diner, Cash

8. Hotel Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach: Rock out on the seashore

Hotel Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach

Balraj Sahani Marg, Juhu Beach, Mumbai 400049
+91 (0) 22 6693 4444

Juhu beach in the suburbs can be noisy with crowds thronging daily to the food stalls on the sand, so credit goes to the 203-room Hotel Novotel at Juhu for creating a quiet spot further north along the beach.

Multiple leisure zones like Serena Spa and five restaurants pull in the business and leisure crowd. General manager Heinz Egli is a musician after hours, and the DNA (and name) of chic lounge bar Gadda Da Vida on the ground floor bears much of his influence.

Nurse your drink on the patio and enjoy the selection of English-only jazz, electronic and rock (live sets on Fridays); then head across the pool to Olio and ask for their Parmesan Cheese Risotto.

The lobby space has been designed for impromptu meetings with an Apple Corner for last-minute emails. Wi-Fi internet access in rooms is steep, though, at Rs 882 for 24 hours.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 6693 4455
Rates: from Rs 8,000 (superior double), and Rs 16,000 (suite). Luxury tax of 10 percent extra
They accept: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB International, Demand Draft, Cash (no debit cards)

9. Rodas, an Ecotel Hotel: For the carbon conscious

Rodas Hotel

Central Avenue, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai 400076
+91 (0) 22 6693 6969

The eco tag is always a novelty, but the Rodas Powai does live up to it with a very high green quotient. The Hafeez Contractor-designed structure faces north-east catching only oblique sunlight that helps reduce cooling costs.

Heating in the 36 rooms cleverly channels the hot exhaust from the air conditioning, using a system of compression. Rooms have internet, and the Biotique bath accessories and jute slippers are a nice touch. The Rodas receives mainly corporate clients, so they have a large business center and excellent boardrooms, though wireless internet is chargeable (Rs 700 plus taxes for 24 hours).

The Rodas has a strict no paper napkin/sachet/plastic policy so you’re encouraged to be a planeteer –- reuse towels (hang them up) and sheets (place the Save Our Planet tent card on the bed).

You should know:
Fax: 91-22-66936979
They accept: Travelers cheques, cash, American Express, Masters, Visa, Diners and major credit cards
Rates: from Rs 12000 for a Deluxe - Single to Rs 16000 for an Executive Deluxe – Double.

10. Sahara Star: Five star fish bowl

Sahara Star

Opposite Domestic Airport, Vile Parle East, Mumbai 400099
+91 (0) 22 3989 5000/ 2615 6660

As far as first impressions go, the Sahara Star’s unfinished exteriors don’t give you much to go on, but inside, 'bigger, glitzier, better' seems to be the hotel’s mantra. The hotel is home to India’s largest aquarium, 11 specialty food and beverage outlets, five banquet halls and 18,000 square feet of open air banquet space.

For the novelty of the experience (in India), we suggest the Ocean’s Private Dining Room, beneath the aquarium. The hotel’s unique design, according to CEO Vivek Kumar, was shaped with the help of leading consultants and professionals, responsible for London's Millennium Dome and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.

Rooms are named after planets though there’s no celestial theme. All have a view of the central area inside, a welcome alternative to the chaotic Expressway outside. Airport transfers and breakfast are free for all residents. Wi-Fi is relatively expensive, at Rs 400 per hour, and Rs 750 a day.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 3989 5001
Rates: from Rs 16,000 for the Earth room (basic) to Rs 1,25,000 for the Saturn Suite (non inclusive of 10 percent luxury tax)
They accept: American Express, MasterCard, Visa, JCB International, Cash (no debit cards)

MODERATE -- Mumbai best hotels

11. Shalimar Hotel: Feel at home, away from home

Shalimar Hotel

The Shalimar Hotel, August Kranti Marg, Mumbai 400036
+91 (0) 22 6664 1000

Looking more like a sleek residential building than a hotel, the Shalimar occupies a plum position in one of South Mumbai’s prime shopping and entertainment areas. The comfortable apartment feel extends to the 66 rooms and suites, with colorful furnishings, busy prints, drapes, paintings and carefully placed knick-knacks.

Prices may seem steep compared to other hotels of its calibre, but the 47 year-old establishment is a short cab ride away from sea front, and the tourist and business areas of South Mumbai.

There are plenty of restaurants around, but try the in-house bakery's fresh goodies (they make their own breads and pastries), even if you give the hotel’s other eating joints a skip.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 6664 1010
Rates: from Rs 10,000 for a Smart Room, to Rs 18,000 for a Lifestyle Room (extra person Rs 2,000)
They take: All credit and debit cards (except Diners), travelers’ cheques, Cash payments require photo id

12. Executive Enclave: Suburban hospitality

Executive Enclave

331, Dr Ambedkar Road, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050
+91 (0) 22 6696 9000

Stepping into the small, welcoming lobby of the Executive Enclave is like walking into someone’s living room -- only the shoeshine kit near the sofa gives it away.

The hotel is a minute from Linking Road (a shopping area), and some great restaurants. Too tired to head out? Try The Café on the rooftop for continental fare and a very basic bar, it somehow manages to blot out noise from the traffic below.

Marketing manager Norbert Pinto informs us that all rooms come with electronic safe, LCD TV, Wi-Fi connectivity (a modest Rs 331 for 24 hours, though it’s free if you head to the ground floor lounge).

Rates also include free airport pick up, in-room tea and buffet breakfast. Not bad for a hotel in one of Mumbai’s most animated suburbs.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 6696 9001/ 2649 6973
Rates: from Rs 5,000 for a Double Deluxe to Rs 7,500 for a Suite Room and Rs 500 for an extra bed (all inclusive).
They take: Visa, JCB, American Express, Cash (Diners, and travellers’ cheques not accepted)

13. Juhu Residency Boutique Hotel: Sun, sand, sea and single malts

Melting Pot

148 B, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai – 400049
+91 (0) 22 6783 4949

Makeovers can work magic, and the Juhu Residency Boutique Hotel is proof. This standalone property, a stone’s throw from Juhu beach, oozes class from every one of its 18 rooms and three restaurants.

Chef director Sebastien Fernandes (or Chef Saby as he's affectionately called) who was part of the makeover team, explains that eight rooms were torn down to create a central lounge on each floor where guests could relax or conduct meetings.

Rooms are spacious and accommodate a minibar and safe. The beds have supersoft comforters and a rollaway option for extra guests. (Wi-Fi is optional).

We strongly recommend you book a table at the Melting Pot where nightclub J 49 used to be, seafood joint Pebbles or rooftop 49 Grills, all operating under Chef Saby’s watchful eye. Their collection of single malts (Bunnahabhain, Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, Caol Ila and so on) would give any five-star a run for their money.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 6783 4950
Rates: from Rs 5,000 for an executive Room to Rs 7,500 for a Premium Room (10 percent luxury tax not included)
They take: MasterCard, Visa, JCB, American Express, cash, debit cards (no travelers cheques/ cheques)

14. Hotel Krishna Palace Residency: Where corporates are kings

Hotel Krishna Palace Residency

96/98, Sleater Road, Nana Chowk, Mumbai 400007
+91 (0) 22 6629 3333

Less than two minutes from Grant Road Station, Hotel Krishna Palace Residency was only recently transformed from humble two-story beginnings to its present 68-room, 15-story avatar.

According to Manoj Worlikar, general manager, the boutique property usually receives corporates, single travelers and Israeli diamond merchants, who stay for a week on average.

Rooms are modest but all boast tasteful, minimal décor and furnishing. Amenities include a flat screen TV, DVD player, iron and board, baby cot and hair dryer. The entire building has Wi-Fi connectivity, though it is chargeable.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 2389 3832
Rates: from Rs 5,000 for a deluxe room to Rs 10,000 for a deluxe suite (plus 10 percent luxury tax)
They take: American Express, MasterCard, Visa, travelers cheques (cheques are accepted only two days prior to check-out)

15. Best Western The Emerald: In town on business? Bring the family along

Best Western The Emerald

Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai 400049
+ 91 (0) 22 6714 4000

The world’s largest hotel chain has scored a notch in its rather large belt with an outpost in Juhu, Mumbai’s hip shopping and entertainment zone. Chetan Mehta, executive director of the hotel, believes that personalized service and friendly staff –- who can arrange anniversary surprises, restaurant reservations, spa bookings or hospital visits -- brings guests back.

The superior rooms suit couples with kids (they also have a kids play area outside), while studio rooms have a work station for business travelers. Shoeshine, bathroom slippers and shaving kit are complimentary though the all-access Wi-Fi is not.

Room rates include a free buffet breakfast, but for other meals get out and explore the restaurants and lounges on the Juhu strip -- the night will run out before your options do.

You should know:
Fax: + 91 (0) 22 6714 4005
Rates: from Rs 7,900 for a Superior Double and Rs 9,900 for a Studio/Club room (taxes extra)
They take: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, cash

BUDGET -- Mumbai best hotels

Garden Hotel

16. Garden Hotel: Old Bombay meets Mumbai

42, Garden Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400039
+91 (0) 22 2284 1476

Tucked in a quiet lane off the Colaba Causeway, the Garden Hotel is just a few minutes from South Mumbai’s tourist spots. The area is big on ambience and old world Bombay charm, with a small park directly opposite, and the sounds of a piano often filtering in from the nearby residence.

You won’t regret a quick stroll around, or a quick coffee break on the deserted terrace, before your travel brochure/tour guide hauls you off to bigger attractions like the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Hotel.

The unpretentious two-star springs some surprises -– free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, air conditioning in all 33 rooms and in-room lockers.

The kind concierge helps out with requests ranging from hair dryers, irons and the odd email (without charge), to laundry needs, booking a masseur or renting a DVD (chargeable).

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 2204 4290
Rates: from Rs 4,700 for a Double to Rs 5,800 for a Suite. (Plus 5 percent service charge and 10 percent luxury tax)
They take: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, JCB International, Cash, Travelers’ Cheques

17. Anjali Inn: Rest for the weary, and a personal travel guide

Anjali Inn

Plot No 15, Sag Baug, Andheri-Kurla Road, Marol-Sakinaka, Andheri East, Mumbai 400059
+91 (0) 22 2851 7591-92

Finding this modest hotel tucked behind the curiously named Mahalaxmi Again restaurant in Mumbai’s crowded Andheri East area can be quite a challenge. But guests at the Anjali Inn needn’t worry about that as they are personally received at the airport or station by manager Anil Rao.

The staff double up as travel advisors, and Rao candidly admits to telling vacationers to shorten their stay in Mumbai, and helps them with bookings to Rajasthan or Kerala instead.

Rooms are extremely clean, and considering the attached bathrooms, air conditioning, lockers, internet connectivity and television, they come at very sensible rates. They’ll provide a hairdryer for free and laundry is at Rs 15 a piece.

Interested already? Make sure you book in advance as the 12-room inventory fills up pretty quickly.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 2851 7592
Rates: from Rs 800 for a dormitory bed to Rs 2,000 for a double room
They take: Visa, MasterCard, cash (debit cards are accepted but they don’t take American Express, Diners or JCB International)

18. Hotel Manama: One night stands with Mumbai

Hotel Manama

221/225, P D’Mello Road, opposite St George Hospital near C.S.T. Station, Mumbai 400001
+91 (0) 22 2261 3412

Hotel Manama sits in the middle of the busy commercial area conveniently close to the CST train station, and its drab façade hides no frills lodging for very economical prices. The eternal pile of baggage in the lobby indicates tourists using Mumbai as a pit stop to get to Goa and other Indian cities.

The 45 rooms are small and comfortable, with TV and attached bathrooms, and important documents can be kept in the hotel’s safe deposit lockers. There’s no Internet for visitors but they do have local and international dialing facilities. Skip the restaurant on the ground floor and try Café Britannia a little further down or the street stalls in the area.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 2261 2020
Rates: from Rs 1,550 for a standard Non AC Double to Rs 2,650 for Super Deluxe Room.
They take: Cash only

19. Hotel Pearl: Peace and quiet in the heart of the city

Hotel Pearl

19th Road Corner, D.K. Sandu Marg, Near Dr. Ambedkar Garden, Chembur, Mumbai 400071
+91 (0) 22 2528 4025-26

This 39-room hotel keeps a rather low profile location in the central suburb of Chembur, but is a reliable base if you’re looking for a quiet stay, or willing to travel a bit to explore the city.

The staff are helpful with directions and getting around. Parking is free for vehicles, as is the use of the internet in the lobby. Being a residential area, there are plenty of economical restaurants and stores around if you need to stock up on provisions.

We suggest you use a pre-paid taxi from the airport (Rs 250 to Rs 300) as the hotel candidly states that pick up charges are more expensive (approximately Rs 800).

Rates: from Rs 1,300 for a non-AC Deluxe room to Rs 1,900 for a Suite with bathtub (inclusive of taxes)
They take: Cash, cheque or demand draft
Fax: +91 (0) 22 2528 4027

20. West End Hotel: Low on drama, high on charm

West End Hotel

45 New Marine Lines, Mumbai 400020
+91 (0) 22 4083 9121

Perhaps the only thing this SoBo hotel has in common with London’s entertainment district of the same name is that the original owners, who built it in 1948, were Englishmen.

Still, current owner Ajay Ramani says, this 80-room establishment has carefully preserved its old world appeal -– and international tourists, wedding guests and medical faculty (on work at Bombay Hospital nearby) will testify that the charm still works.

The décor is nothing fancy, but rooms are spacious with attached bathrooms and air conditioning. Given the location and amenities, prices are a steal, especially if you book a room for three (the Junior Suite), or four (the family Suite).

Rooms have Wi-Fi, but it’s a bit steep (Rs 110 for an hour, Rs 551 for 7 hours). It’s best to use one of the nearby cafés.

You should know:
Fax: +91 (0) 22 2205 7506
Rates: from Rs 4,600 for double room to Rs 5,800 for a family suite for four (10 percent luxury tax extra, honeymooners, corporates and those on extended stay, should enquire about a discounted rates)
They take: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, cash

Udita is an entertainment and lifestyle writer and author based in Mumbai.

Read more about Udita Jhunjhunwala