Mumbai – the centre of India’s chaotic race towards development – offers visitors everything from Indian heritage monuments to luxe modern malls. As the country’s commercial and entertainment hub, Mumbai can often be overwhelming to travellers, but fret not; we have just the travel guide you need to navigate the city.
Where to stay
While most booming urban areas opt for five-star hotels (and the city does have its fair share), many who travel to Mumbai look first to serviced apartments. One popular with Bollywood celebrities and elite travellers is the Oakwood Premier Mumbai, a luxurious serviced residence in Juhu Beach, Mumbai.
The elegant 62-suite residence gives off a cosy European feel, while also offering guests an exclusive fitness centre, fully-equipped business centre, a resident’s lounge, an on-site restaurant with an ocean view and broadband and wireless Internet.
Oakwood Premier Mumbai, 29/1 JR Mhatre Road (Opposite Iris Park) Juhu, Mumbai, Mumbai 400103, +91 22 6623 8888
Another popular residence is the Marriott's serviced apartment complex, Lakeside Chalet. The venue is situated along the quiet tree-lined banks of Powai Lake, away from the bustling city centre. In addition to giving off a home-like vibe and offering all the usual amenities, these 171 suites are also conveniently located near the airport, letting you bypass the infamous city traffic.
The best part of staying at Lakeside Chalet? The beautiful view of Powai Lake and the Mumbai skyline.
Lakeside Chalet, Mumbai - Marriott Executive Apartments, #2 & 3B, Near Chinmayanand Ashram, Powai · Mumbai, 400 087 India, +91 22 6692 8888, www.marriott.com
Where to eat
Ziya restaurant in The Oberoi Hotel, opened by Michelin two-star chef Vineet Bhatia, serves up innovative Indian-fusion fare. Bhatia was India's first Michelin-star chef, so bold culinary concept from him are sure to be easy on the palate.
Whether you indulge in either the a la carte or the Gourmand set menu, be sure to take a moment and enjoy the gorgeous views of the Arabian Sea from the panoramic windows.
If you've watched "Iron Chef" before, the venue Wasabi by Morimoto might sound familiar. It’s Mumbai's culinary landmark by the Iron Chef himself. One of the city's finest Japanese restaurant, Wasabi serves up classic Japanese cuisines with a modern flair – Morimoto style. A must-try on the menu: the rock corn tempura.
Ziya, The Oberoi, Nariman Point, Marine Drive, Mumbai +91 22 5632 5757; www.oberoihotels.com
If you've watched "Iron Chef" before, we're pretty sure the name Masaharu Morimoto will ring a bell. Yes, Wasabi by Morimoto is Mumbai's culinary landmark by the Iron Chef himself. One of the city's finest Japanese restaurant, Wasabi serves up classic Japanese cuisines with a modern flair, clearly Morimoto's style.
A must-try -- rock corn tempura.
Wasabi by Morimoto, The Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai +91 22 6665 3366, www.tajhotels.com
Where to shop
Ogaan has quite a history to back up its claim of being one of Mumbai's most popular retail centres. Open since 1989, Ogaan has everything a traveller could look for in Mumbai, selling textiles to crafts alongside some of the biggest names in Indian fashion.
If you're looking for a more boutique experience where you can find just about every high-profile local designer label, beeline to Kimaya.
Ogaan, Vaswani House, First Floor, 7 BEST Marg, Colaba, Mumbai, +91 22 2283 3576, www.ogaan.com
If you're looking for a boutique where you can find just about every high-profile local designer label, Kimaya is the place to be.
Kimaya, Kemps Corner, 3 Delstar, below Kemps Corner flyover, Mumbai, +91 22 2386 2492, www.kimayastudio.com
Where to visit
The Gateway of India, one of Mumbai's most iconic landmarks, was built to commemorate the 1911 visit of British monarch King George V. A must-visit for both locals and tourists, the Gateway of India is best visited at sunrise to avoid the crowd. This is also where the pier terminal is located, which brings us to the next place to visit -- Elephanta Island.
Elephanta Island is just a quick boat ride away from the Gateway of India, where you'll be able to see stunning rock-cut temples. The island was named Elephanta by Portuguese sailors who spotted a sculpted elephant at the entry of one of the caves (which dated back the sixth century AD).
Though many caves have been vandalised by the Portuguese, there's still much to marvel at, especially the Trimurti and Mahesamurti carvings. You'd also be able to look back at Mumbai from Elephanta's shores, which is breathtaking to say the least.
Credits to cntraveller.in