Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Four hours in Mumbai

Unpretentious, superior hospitality, and cosy restaurants. That, in a nutshell, is how I would describe the Le Royal Meridian Hotel in Mumbai. I spent exactly four hours here before taking the Singapore Air flight on my way to San Francisco. The hotel is located behind Hyatt Regency and ITC Grand Maratha, and is very close to Mumbai's International Airport.

Le Royal Meridien MumbaiThe hotel is not large and lavish like most five-star hotels in India. However, the lounge area on the same level, surrounded by the Chinese and multi-cuisine restaurants are done up rather nicely with white drapes and chandeliers. The live music during the evenings livens up the atmosphere considerably.

I ate at the Imperial China which had Oriental fans swaying to-and-fro in the ceiling; never seen that before! The prawns in black pepper sauce was delicious; however, the chilly-garlic rice was nothing to write about. I finished off with rose-petal ice-cream, which was rather nice and reminded me about childhood indulgence of home-made rose-flavored sweet dishes.

Le Royal Meridien MumbaiWhat stood out during the few hours I spent here was the great service by the hotel staff. The moment I got off the car, one of the staff greeted me by name, escorted me directly to my room and handed me my room keys, etc. The bellboys and front-desk staff were very courteous, as was the waitress at the restaurant, offering me complimentary kimchi and starters while I was waiting for my order, and magazines to read. Definitely a notch higher than the service levels at most hotels I visit; almost Oberoi quality!

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