In a sprawing city notorious for its gridlocks, the choice of where to stay in Mumbai is crucial. If catching a flight out is of essence, there are a brace of deluxe hotels (and also lesser known ones) located in the Santa Cruz area, where the international and domestic terminals of Chattrapati Shivaji Airport are located. But be warned, the traffic situation is often unpredictable so give enough allowance for delays when departing from the hotel. For international flights, passengers are advised to check in three hours before the aircraft takes off and one hour before for domestic flights. Peak hours are officially put at 0830 to 1030 and from 1800 to 2030, although they usually start even earlier and last till late.
GRAND HYATT MUMBAI
Near Bandra-Kurla, one the city's emerging business hubs, Grand Hyatt Mumbai is a multi-dimensional lifestyle complex set on four hectares of landscaped gardens and water features. It consists of 547 luxury rooms and suites, with a serviced apartment component, varied dining options, including a fine Chinese restaurant and extensive leisure facilities and an upscale retail plaza.
Where is it? Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz (East), Mumbai, 400055
Distance to airport: 9km to the international airport, which is 20 minutes by car, while the domestic airport is 10 minutes away
Business amenities: There are 10 meeting rooms on the premises, including a grand ballroom for up to 1,200 people. It also has a dedicated outdoor area for exhibitions, the only known space attached to a hotel in Mumbai. Its business centre offers secretarial services as well as three fully equipped workstations with computers, colour printers and broadband internet connectivity. There are also has five private meeting rooms seating between eight to 16 guests.
HYATT REGENCY MUMBAI
This five-star hotel offers more than a place to stay for business travellers. It also provides extensive leisure facilities in the form of the 8,360sqm Club Prana Spa and Fitness Centre and featuring among others an outdoor free-form swimming pool and flood-lit swimming pool.
Where is it? Sahar Airport Road, Naupada, Mumbai, 400059
Distance to airport: 1km and travel time by car is estimated at five minutes.
Business amenities: The hotel has a fully equipped 24-hour business centre.
ITC MARATHA HOTEL
As with a number of ITC properties, ITC Maratha features ITC One, a special wing for top-level corporates with its own club lounge, library, private boardrooms and butler service. Those staying here can enjoy the Executive Club, targeting the traveller-on-the go with "smart rooms" equipped with the latest communications technology as well as offering the services of a fully equipped business centre. For the lady traveller, the Eva Wing is at her disposal.
Where is it? Sahar, Mumbai 400099
Distance to airport: 1.5km to the international airport and 7km to domestic airport
Business amenities: Its ballroom seats up to 450 guests and can be divided into three separate spaces, each with an accompanying pre-function area. An outdoor garden can accommodate a reception for 800 people. Seven smaller venues, including the "high-tech room" with a built-in AV projection facilities, are available.
THE LALIT MUMBAI
The seven-storey InterContinental property has 369 guestrooms and is located 30km from downtown Mumbai. It features a slew of dining options, including Baluchi for the flavour rich northwest frontier kebabs cuisine and Trendz for more western style grilled items.
Address: Sahar Airport Road, Naupada, Mumbai, 400059
Distance to airport: It's 0.5km to the international airport and 4.5km to the domestic terminal.
Business amenities: The business centre offers secretarial services, copying, courier, email, internet access, fax as well as mobile phone rental.
THE LEELA KEMPINSKI MUMBAI
The flagship of the chain, established by Indian hotel icon Captain C P Krishnan Nair, occupies an 11-acre plantation, features 390 guestrooms and suites. The Royal Club on the seventh and eighth floors reflect the hotel-within-a-hotel concept and offers perks such as two-way limousine transfers, personalised check in and check out, butler in attendance and access to the lounge among others.
Where is it? Sahar, Mumbai 400059
Distance to the airport: 1.5km to international airport and 7km to domestic airport
Business amenities: The Grand Ballroom on the ground level has its own entrance and can accommodate over 700 guests, but can be subdivided into five smaller spaces for more intimate events. Other breakout spaces and boardrooms are located on the same level or on the eighth floor (also where the business centre is found).
RENAISSANCE MUMBAI HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTRE
Facing the shimmering Powai lake and surrounded by lush vegetation, this 583-room property exudes an oasis feel, but is furnished with all the must-have corporate tools and mod cons. It's ideal for travellers, who want a completely different environment after a packed day of business deals and navigating Mumbai's gnarled streets.
Where is it? 2 & 3B Chinmayanand Ashram, Powai, Mumbai 200087
Distance to airport: While not in the Santa Cruz area, this 583-room property is still considered close enough to the airport.
Business amenities: The new Renaissance Towers with its 10,450sqm executive club lounge – probably the largest in India – divided into several zones for business and leisure, the Convention Centre with 192,280sqm indoor and outdoor meeting space, 15 meeting rooms and the business centre with the full service complement.
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT MUMBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Opening shortly, this is to be the nearest branded property to Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport. It will feature 239 deluxe rooms, 77 executive level rooms and 16 suites. Asian cuisine is served at the Red Zen, while MoMo, a staple of all Courtyards, operates 24 hours. It belongs to the Marriott stable and is also a sister brand of the Renaissance.
Business amenities: To cater to meetings, it will have eight specially designed venues with a total of 10,023sqm of networking space, including both indoor and outdoor breakout areas. A business centre and Wi-Fi access are also provided.
Margie T Logarta and Gigi Onag