Finally, I found myself at the St. Regis in Bombay! Having photographed the brand launch in Jaipur in February 2015, I’d been keen to visit the property in Bombay when it launched in September 2015. I was finally able to make it happen in the last week of May as I headed to Bombay for the Go Pro India launch ( which I will be writing about in a bit ).
For now, please soak in the visual splendor of the property’s many stunning nooks and corners, including a look at their wonderful art collection ( thank you Aditi for the Art Tour ), the afternoon tea ritual, the Equus Club ( which is a member’s only club ), the stunning swimming pool and the beautiful views of the city of Bombay that aren’t available from anywhere close yet. Those views really were the highlight of my stay at the hotel. It is India’d tallest luxury hotel building!
Above, where you arrive at the ground floor and if you’re staying with the hotel, you’re taken up to the 9th floor for check-in.
Below, on the 9th floor, what is called the Drawing Room and houses most of the art pieces and is also the location for the Afternoon Tea ritual. ( The Indian vegetarian food was my favourite from the ritual, as well as the chocolate tea ).
Some views huh! This one below was shot on the Go Pro Hero 4 Silver. I was given a room on the 21st floor. There are a total of 38 floors in the building and most cab drivers still know it as the Palladium Hotel and will stare blankly at you if you say “St. Regis”.
Below, the view from the fitness center and further below, the view from the Equus.
In-Room dining is best avoided unless you’re ordering the dark chocolate dessert with the drunk figs or the Dahi Bhalla. The in-room dining service is stellar but the food is best at Seven Kitchens or Mekong ( they have other restaurants but I didn’t get the time to eat there ). If you are still going to order in-room, the lemon soda has lemon that’s been squeezed and stored so it’s not fresh – instead, order the coconut water, which is delightful and fresh. At Mekong, try the peas and edmame dumplings and the pork belly as well as the kumquat chocolate pudding.
The other thing I enjoyed doing the most apart from staring out the windows at the Bombay skyline was getting into the swimming pool. You head down to the 10th floor, which houses the Iridium Spa ( I had a very rushed and half-baked massage – they’re super busy on weekends and I arrived at 1815 for my session that had been booked for 1800 and the lady who was doing my massage had another session that had been booked for 1900 and although she worked on me till 1930, it felt rushed – maybe next time I’ll get to experience the real Iridium spa that I’ve heard so much about. ) There’s also a small fitness center and then there’s the swimming pool. The pool is operational from 0600 hrs to 2200 hrs only and there’s great service by the pool staff. If you ask me nicely, I’ll tell you what my favourite spot in the pool was – with stunning views and the glow of the Bombay High gas-fires lighting the sky. Best time to hit the pool if you really want to swim is post 2000 hrs.
Dinner and breakfast was usually at Seven Kitchens, which serves a very large variety of cuisines and you might need a few days to run through all of them!
Some of my favourite pieces of art from the hotel below.
The hotel is fairly quiet on the weekends ( Saturday and Sunday ) but if you find yourself on the 37th floor ( above, Mekong ), just outside the elevators around midnight, don’t be scared if you walk into a massive crowd of people partying – it’s quite a “happening” place on the weekends and considering how private and quiet the rest of the hotel is, I was very surprised to unexpectedly walk into the party!
St. Regis Mumbai is definitely a destination hotel but I didn’t get the “luxury” feel I’ve heard so much about whenever the brand is mentioned – expectations did not match reality and both of those are subjective. Maybe it is because of the sheer number of rooms and guests that the property accommodates and maybe because it’s still early days for the brand to establish itself in India. I had a decent stay – maybe the bed sheets could’ve been changed a little before they started smelling musty – apart from that, can’t find much to complain about. ( Even if you turn on the Do Not Disturb sign though, room service will come in and clean up – which was a first for me – usually the room stays untouched if I put on the DND sign. ) Service staff is absolutely wonderful, Harshal, Umesh, Milind at Mekong, Ibrahim who chauffeured me to the St. Regis Aficionado experience to the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Gitanjali who was lovely with the Afternoon Tea and the pool staff who did not allow an underwear-clad-gentleman to get into the pool. Exceptional service.
The location of hotel is also absolutely superb – so much to do within the Phoenix Mall and the vicinity and even South Bombay isn’t too far. About 45 minutes drive from the airport – I’d recommend being conservative and estimating 60 minutes instead.
DO NOT forget to try the in-house tamarind-chilly chocolates that are delivered with room service daily. Slightly spicy so be careful with the first bite – but I don’t easy chillies at all and I LOVED the chocolates so much.