WHAT’S IT LIKE? The hotel is a fairly modern building that from the outside looks like so many others around the world. Inside, however, you find a smart five-star hotel with all the facilities a business traveller could need.
WHERE IS IT? Well situated in the south part of Mumbai, close to the financial centre and the older business district.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 292 guestrooms, including 20 executive suites.
ROOM FACILITIES: I was staying in a Deluxe Room, one of 40 that had been renovated. It had a dark wooden floor that matched the furniture, and the furnishings were coordinated in beige and green. It had a double bed, a huge desk with multi-region power sockets at desk height, a handy cordless phone, plus a modern and very comfortable office chair. There was also a satellite flat-screen TV with surround sound, a DVD player, minibar, complimentary water and tea- and coffee-making facilities. The room controls were simple and easy to use, with those on the wall and by the bed carefully labelled to allow me to switch off the air conditioning or dim the lights.
For those of us who like to work on our laptops in bed, there was even a multi-region socket in the bedside table. If you prefer to sleep, there was also an extensive pillow menu. My bathroom was fitted with black and cream marble with chrome finishings. I had no bath but a large power and massage shower. Toiletries were supplied by local firm Biotique.
RESTAURANTS: The Thai Pavilion serves good food and has an excellent reputation, while the hotel’s 24-hour restaurant Trattoria serves Italian food. At breakfast, a buffet serves a range of items from English to Continental plus plenty of Indian dishes, but I wasn’t brave enough to try curry for breakfast.
For local food, Konkan Café serves Indian dishes from the local coastal region. It serves a mixture of curried dishes that are a little lighter than you might expect to find and, as it is coastal food, there is a good selection of fish as well as meat.Another choice in the evenings is the barbecue on the pool terrace level. Finally, there is also a coffee shop, Sugar ‘n Spice.
BAR: The hotel’s one and only Library Bar was recently renovated.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: The hotel has a number of meeting rooms that can seat from two people up to 600 theatre-style, or up to 800 for a reception. Meeting rooms are located in the business centre, on the banqueting floor or the pool/fitness floors.
Wi-Fi access is available throughout the whole hotel. The procedure is simple and costs Rs661 (about US$15) for 24 hours and can be bought by the hour for about one-third of the price. If you are using this in your room and want to print a document, a handy function is the ability to print using the wireless network. Copies are printed elsewhere in the hotel and delivered to your room within 10 to 15 minutes at a cost of Rs35 (or 79 cents) per page. A business centre is available 24 hours on the first floor.
LEISURE FACILITIES: There’s an outdoor pool, a gym with cardiovascular and weight machines and some free weights. There are two treatment rooms for massages as well as hydrotherapy and a steam room. A unisex beauty salon also provides hairdressing and treatments.
VERDICT: Traffic in Mumbai can be very bad, so if your meetings are in south Mumbai, this is a good choice of hotel, but if you are meeting nearer the airport or in North Delhi make sure you choose a hotel there.
PRICES: Telephone rates for a midweek stay in February started at US$176 for a Standard Room with city view, US$247 for a Deluxe Room with sea view, including buffet breakfast, rising to US$275 for a suite, including buffet breakfast. Best available internet rate was US$198 for an Executive room with city view, room only.
CONTACT: Taj President, 90 Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, www.tajhotels.com.