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Best Mumbai budget hotels for the quality conscious
Mumbai's budget hotels aren't all about rock-hard beds and flickering lamps. Here are five that exemplify value for money in the city
Selecting a Mumbai budget hotel can be a daunting experience. Often price is a bad indicator of comparative quality and searching for one can feel a bit like searching for a penny in a minefield. But these five Mumbai budget hotels are safe, clean, quiet and sincere and, while a couple of them possibly don't fit a strictly cheap-as-chips definition, they certainly do represent value for money in Mumbai.
1. Garden Hotel: Old Bombay lives on
42, Garden Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400039
+91 (0) 22 2284 1476
Downtown Mumbai is loud for sure. But the Garden Hotel is in a quiet lane off tourist central also known as Colaba Causeway. 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 schedule hauls you off to bigger attractions like the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Hotel near by. The unpretentious two-star springs some surprises on you -- good ones though. 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), 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 accept: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, JCB International, Cash, Travelers’ Cheques
2. Anjali Inn: Hotel and travel advisor in one
Plot No 15, Sag Baug, Andheri-Kurla Road, Marol-Sakinaka, Andheri East, Mumbai 400059
+91 (0) 22 2851 7591-92
Finding this modest hotel behind the curiously named Mahalaxmi Again restaurant in Mumbai’s crowded Andheri East area can be a challenge. But guests at the Anjali Inn needn’t worry about that as they are personally received at the airport or train station by the hotel manager Anil Rao. The staff double up as travel advisers too, and Rao candidly admits to telling vacationers to shorten their stay in Mumbai, and helps them with bookings to Rajasthan or Kerala instead. Which testifies to the sincerity and value for money of this Mumbai budget hotel option.
Rooms are extremely clean, and when you consider 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 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: 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)
3. Hotel Manama: One night stand
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 highly 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 phones. Phew! 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: Rs 1,550 for a standard non a/c, double that to Rs 2,650 for a Super Deluxe Room.
They take: Cash only
4. Hotel Pearl: Homely digs
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: Rs 1,300 for a non-AC Deluxe room to Rs 1,900 for a Suite with a bathtub (inclusive of taxes)
They take: Cash, cheque or demand draft
Fax: +91 (0) 22 2528 4027
5. West End Hotel: Low drama, high charm
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 the current owner Ajay Ramani tells us 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 is still on. 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: 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 inquire about a discounted rates)
They take: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, cash