CITY OF MILLIONS AND MILLIONAIRES
It’s big, bold, and though its name was changed years ago, will forever be known in many hearts as Bombay. Although it can be overwhelming at first bite, Mumbai attracts both dreamers and millionaire businessmen. More modernly known as India’s Silicon Valley, it’s India’s richest city – home to 46,000 millionaires and 28 billionaires along with a total wealth of $820 billion.
But it’s not just those seeking tech fame and fortune being lured to Mumbai, with Mother India beckoning Australians to her shores. Searches for India, specifically Mumbai, are up by nearly 25 per cent year-on-year in 2017, and Expedia tips this might be the year many Aussies explore the country, broadening their horizons beyond butter chicken.
“When I’m overseas I love eating like the locals, and you can’t leave Mumbai without trying a spicy vada pav, a traditional street food of deep-fried potato dumpling inside a bread roll and served with chutneys,” says Lisa Perkovic, Expedia.com.au travel expert. CELESTE MITCHELL
*RATES BASED ON SEARCH FOR ACCOMMODATION FROM AUGUST 16-17. 2018. SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY, LIMITS AND CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. When you need a reprieve from the cacophony of sights, smells and sounds of India’s alpha city, you’ll find it in the art deco charm of Hotel Harbour View which is located in the old British Quarter of Colaba. With just 12 rooms, the crowning glory of this hotel is the rooftop Bayview cafe – providing sweeping views over the city and Arabian Sea, along with decadent Parsi delicacies and international eats from breakfast until the wee hours. You’re within an easy stroll of The Gateway to India, Colaba markets, Colaba Causeway, the iconic Leopold and Mondegar cafes, and the Kala Ghoda art precinct from your comfortable base. Complimentary breakfast is served each morning while airport transfers, room service and wi-fi are part and parcel of every stay.
EXPEDIA.COM.AU Less hotel, more eccentric art museum, Le Sutra offers decorated rooms based on Indian mythology. Each floor and each key-turn reveals a new chapter. A team of 120 painters, 40 sculptors, and 15 designers weaved their magic in the creation of this boutique hotel in the artsy neighbourhood of Bandra, where Bollywood star-spotting is almost a sport. Pull up a seat under the festoon lighting in Out of the Blue cafe and return for complimentary buffet breakfast. In the side courtyard you’ll find the whitewashed Olive Bar & Kitchen offering Mediterranean fare while on-site day spa Angdai makes a massage a nobrainer. Grab a city map from reception and head out into the hubbub. Bicycles can be arranged. Leave time for browsing in the Karma Korner spiritual bookshop.
EXPEDIA.COM.AU This is the type of place you book just for the chance to sit at its bar. Glowing purple, 33 floors up, you’ll know you’ve arrived when you’re seated with a Mumbai sour in hand at the Four Season’s rooftop bar. With only eight guest rooms per floor, you’re promised views of the Arabian Sea or the Mumbai skyline. The spa offers 24-karat pure gold facials along with a dedicated Ayurveda room, tropical rain and Scottish cold mist showers, and colour therapy. But for an invitation into local life, forget Uber Eats and join the dabbawalas to help hand-deliver dabbas (stacked lunch tins) across the city. This delivery trade has been ingrained in Mumbai culture for 125 years. To get around, a town car service is at your disposal, along with complimentary valet parking.