Mumbai - Travel tips & where to stay
We had the amazing opportunity to move to Mumbai, India for few months due to business here. Me who love traveling and explore new places were thrilled with excitement. Depending on how long you´re in Mumbai for, there are many choices of spectacular hotels around different areas of the city. Since we were staying long term we decided to get a hotel apartment so we had the benefit of cooking our own food most of the time. However, if you come here for a few days, you might as well just get a regular hotel room.
Where to stay in Mumbai
We decided to stay with Grand Hyatt, Santa Cruz, because of the convenient location. Traffic in Mumbai is a organized chaos, so to get from one place to another in rush hour takes forever. We were happy with our stay at the Grand, we had our very own pool area, a big gym which offered several personal trainers and all the equipment needed, yoga classes on request and the spectacular spa which offers various selection of treatments, sauna, steam room and a nice jacuzzi.
Our apartment was spacious and very clean. But what really stood out the most in this hotel was all the food choices and the amazing service we received. Guests can choose from Indian, multi cuisine buffet, authentic Chinese and Italian cuisine. Our favorite was SOMA which was honestly one of the best Indian food we had in a very long time. Here you can read more about SOMA and book a table. Since we´re both very health oriented and particular in what we eat, Chef Chandan made us feel like home every single day at Fifty Five East. Caring for our special food needs with his professionalism, knowledge and amazing service is something that would really make us choose to stay at the Grand Hyatt if we came back again.
Even though we had our own apartment and the possibility to cook every day, we still decided to have the breakfast buffé everyday cause it´s really amazing and so much to chose from. They also have indian food for breakfast and asian too, plus all the hot and cold typical american style breakfast including a egg station with all the extras, and a wide selection of all the fresh fruits, fresh juices, cold cut station and of course the sweets station with different pastries and waffles with toppings. You won´t regret choosing the breakfast here.
One of my favorit things in this hotel was the Christiaan Georgio Hair and Beauty salon who also offer manicures and pedicures. They also have the most amazing hot oil hair treatment with head and shoulder massage followed by wash and blow dry. My all times favorit. I love to pamper myself every now and then and this is perfect for that. Ask for Mami & Maria only! They are very lovely and friendly and they will definitely take good care of you and make you feel like a princess.
They also prepared for the christmas season by decorating festive lights in the garden, christmas trees and loads of other beautiful christmas decorations around the hotel that really made it feel like home.
The St Regis, Lower parel Mumbai is another amazing hotel, part of the SPG- loyalty program, and Starwood hotels with (according to me) Mumbais most spectacular rooftop lounge - Asilo. We had light dinner and mocktails here in a very relaxing atmosphere and it has a stunning view overlooking the city as well as the Arabian sea. The St Regis Mumbai also offers a wide selection of amazing dining experience and guests can choose from Indian, Japanese, Asian and European Cuisines. Guests can enjoy the relaxing spa, stunning rooftop pool and fitness centre during their stay. They also offer in house butler service which is really amazing. We did not stay here on this trip but maybe for our next visit we will try The St Regis Mumbai and review the rest of this stunning hotel.
Intercontinental hotel, located on Marine drive in Mumbai is another five star hotel and they are part of the IHG Rewards club for hotel guests. They offers a beautiful rooftop - Dome. Here you can have sundowners while watching the view of the beautiful sea while they´re playing some really good lounge music. Make sure to book in advance, 17.00 is a good time since it gets quite busy. Ask for a table closest to the sea, not in the middle area. Have a aperitif here and relax, and then continue to dinner somewhere else since their menu is very limited. The nutella crepes are amazing but food wise I would go somewhere else after the sunset. The hotel also offers a pool on the roof.
If you want to read more about shopping in Mumbai you can read about it in my Mumbai shopping guide. And if your time in Mumbai is limited or if you don´t feel like going around all over the city, you can stop by Crawford market next to Colaba. There you´ll find everything in one place and I literally mean everything. It´s super busy though and very crowded too.
Mumbai is a busy city, very crowded and people come from all over India to find their luck or follow their dream. It is a strong contrast between rich and poor, be aware of poverty in the streets, the women and children really struggles and you will see some heartbreaking situations. It is everywhere you go, more in some areas, be humble and understanding.
When it comes to taxis and rickshaws. Always go by taxameter, or else they´ll rip you off. We found the best guy who became our driver. He drove us around on the weekends where ever we needed to go for a fixed amount. Meaning he stopped wherever we wanted, waited for us so we could do all our errands and sightseeing in our own time and schedule, less stress and I really preferred it that way. Uber is also a great idea which we realized at the end of our trip.
You can go to see Colaba for a day, include the gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace in the same day. There´s a great restaurant called Leopold in Colaba near Taj Mahal Palace that serves amazing food and the place is famous internationally and always very crowded. Try the lobster in a rich gravy or the shrimp from the tandoor, they´re both excellent.
While you´re at it and doing your shopping in Bandra, pass by the street art and Bollywood art project on Chapel road. I loved the graffiti walking down this street.
For health enthusiast like us :) Every Sunday 10 am - 15 pm all year around you´ll find a organic farmers market that connects Mumbai with organic farmers across the area of Maharashtra. Read more about the farmers market here.
On Hill road next to bank of India, you will find Godrej Nature´s basket, this is a grocery store that sells everything that can be hard to find in Mumbai including organic vegetables, fresh squeezed juices, nut flours, gluten free/vegan pastas, almond butters, seafood, organic homemade tapenade and sauces, nut milks and veggie chips just to mention a few of the things the have. I simply loved this store and we went here at least once a week for our grocery shopping. They also have home delivery options find out more about Godrej Nature´s basket here.
You should also visit any spice market in Mumbai, since you can get all the amazing healthy spices from there including turmeric, ginger, different curries, saffron, cinnamon and many more. You can even buy it whole and dried and then you go to a place where they make the spice for you fresh grounded and you can also mix together your own mixes of spices. This is a dream for food lovers and health freaks like myself :)
We really had a great time in Mumbai. The people we have met have been so friendly to us. I am not sure when but we will come back again due to business here in the future. Next stop for us is Sweden and christmas in winter wonder land with our families and loved ones.