In 2012 on February 1, Sofitel, part of Le Club Accor Hotels, made its debut in India in Mumbai’s business district, and has since been the only Sofitel in the country. Just like its properties worldwide, the Mumbai property is a blend of French luxury and local culture. The other hotels under the group are the Novotel hotels and the budget Ibis hotels.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The blend of French and Indian cultures is very prominent from the moment you step in. Bonjour-namaste is the greeting during the day and bonsoir-namaste is the greeting at night. The lobby has stone stupas from Indian heritage, the wall behind the reception desk holds a large stone carving of the Ashoka chakra to signify the strength and unity of the hotel. The chandeliers emulate dresses worn by French dancers. Paisley designs from India’s northern state of Kashmir are etched on the Sofitel’s glass. WHERE IS IT? It is located in
the heart of Mumbai’s prime business district, Bandra Kurla Complex. It is less than a five- minute drive from The Bharat Diamond Bourse. Terminal 2 of the Mumbai International Airport is about 12km away, and the domestic airport is at a distance of six kilometres.
Guests are welcomed to their room with a small offering of sweets — Indian or French or a mix of both. The base category Luxury room, in which I stayed, is a spacious spread across 38 sqm. As you enter, a double-door cupboard, a full length mirror and a platform for your suitcase line the short corridor that leads to your bed. The Club Millésime room is 41 sqm; Junior suite is 48 sqm; and Prestige suite is 57 sqm. Each of the 302 rooms is equipped with a good-sized work desk, a 37-inch Samsung TV, free wifi, iPod docking station, illy coffee maker, a small sofa-bed, and a fully stocked minibar. In the Luxury room, the plug points are easily accessible on either side of the bed, as well as beside the paisley designed work desk. The curtains are controlled with a switch by the bed. The bedside lamp fixtures are mounted on the wall leaving the bedside tables empty for your belongings and the telephone. The bathrooms, as in all rooms, have a separate tub and a shower. The decor is slightly busy with the sofa-bed’s darkly coloured upholstery matching the pattern over the bed. The colours of the bed’s base are also dark — mine was in royal purple. The art in the room is tastefully picked out though. Guests of the club rooms and Le Club Accor Platinum and Gold members can access the business lounge, which has a small meeting room for eight, as well as plenty seating on the floor for guests to lounge and hold informal meetings. This is the only floor in the smoke-free hotel that has a balcony for its smoking guests. Additional facilities available to them include: personalised express check-in and check-out, late check-out at 4pm, free evening Millésime wine-tasting cocktail from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, free 2-hours per day usage of the Club meeting room, personalised butler service, and free laundry and ironing service for the first set. RESTAURANTS AND BARS Pondicherry Cafe on the lobby level is an all day dining that has live counters. They pride themselves for their regional cuisines that are served every Sunday. Jyran – Tandoor Dining & Lounge is the Indian restaurant that offers cuisines from India’s NorthWest Frontier Province. Tuskers, named after the vegetarian elephant, has only vegetarian Indian and international cuisines. Le Bar Diamantaire, which can be accessed through Pondicherry Cafe prides its wine tower that holds an impressive selection of global wines. Artisan is a patisserie by day and turns into a jazz bar post 7pm.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
It has a dedicated floor for its Sofitel INSPIREDMEETINGS space. The pillar-less ballroom can be sized as per requirement. This and eight executive meeting rooms are equipped with high-tech conferencing, audio- visual equipment, built-in LCD screens, telephone lines and wifi connectivity. Sofitel also has a 2,788 sqm outdoor space for large events.
The 557 sqm spa floor has six treatment rooms, which are available round the clock to its guests. Sensitive to the needs of a corporate traveller, it offers pre jet-lag treatments too. The 24-hour gym has trainers from 6am to 11pm, after which videos are available to help you train. The open air pool looks over the business area as you lounge on the deck chairs and
sip on cocktails from the pool- side bar.
This hotel caters to every need of a business traveller, keeping luxury in mind. The over-sized pillows envelop you in a deep slumber.
PRICE: Internet rates for a midweek stay for a base category room in September started from₹7,000.
CONTACT: Sofitel Mumbai BKC, C-57, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East; tel +91 22 6117 5000; sofitel-mumbai-bkc. com