I honestly haven't been to Mumbai a lot. The last time I was there - technically also the first time I was there - I had a pretty good time. I won the award for Best Creative Writing Blog in India, you see. Prreeeety good time, as I was saying. It's been nearly eight months to the day that I picked up that award and when the opportunity came to visit Mumbai once more, I would be lying if I said I wasn't licking my lips with anticipation.
You see, I had been thinking a lot about some advice fellow blogger Nisha had given me awhile back during a discussion - about saving a third of your money for traveling and seeing the world outside your regular walls. That's something I had not really done in the years prior to this one and it was something I did intend to change in style.
In the days to come, I would hear the familiar refrain of "Vadde log Vaddi baatein" many a time and I could only laugh. After all, I had decided not to think of the purse-strings for once and instead chosen one of Mumbai's finest five star hotels as my not-so-humble abode to stay in while I was there.
Grand Hyatt deserves every bit of applause that you could conjure up in your mind. Wonderfully pleasant staff, immaculately maintained rooms and a gorgeous ambiance are just the thoughts that crossed my head in the first hour I was there. From being extra-helpful in accommodating me when I landed there a few hours prior to the official check-in to catering to my every need with a smile, this hotel single-handedly redefined my image of a luxury stay.
Some of the things I would like to highlight from memory:
- The overall design of the lobby interiors - par excellence. High ceilings, very spacious interiors allowing for a relaxed ambience as you stroll from one end to the other.
- The complimentary chocolates on arrival: best I have had in India. And that is not an exaggeration.
- The 'shopping store' downstairs. My impression of in-hotel shopping stores has always been about the odd store which sells rural trinkets and the odd painting. Hyatt ups the ante with a two floor shopping complex, with designer gowns, Mont Blanc, luxury watches and suits et al.
- While I regret not being able to try out two of the in-house restaurants (Cellini and China House), I have no regrets about the place I did have my 'meals' at. I used to say that Barbeque Nation was the best buffet I ever had. Well, I change my stand.
Once more, there is such a beautiful aura to the place with perfected lit backdrops and shades. The staff are not just courteous but extremely knowledgeable and helpful, guiding you with choices and yet being unobtrusive once the food has reached your table.
- There are separate live counters in action for every style of cooking: Japanese, Thai, Chinese, continental and Indian. Each section offers a dozen or more options at hand. Watching the vast set of chefs in action as they sliced the hams and sushis while making the steaks as per personal requests was simply poetry in motion.
- This is in addition to the awesome range of unlimited martinis, margaritas, wines and mocktails too, for a ridiculously minimal price addition.
- The dessert section again, consists of two sides of a very large table and I would be lying if I tried to tell you I recalled everything I saw and ate there.
- Honestly, this is now my official breakfast place whenever I step into Mumbai from here on in. Yes, yes... I know. Vadde Log...