Luxury Hotels

INDIA – 16

Nitesh Gandhi, above, arrived as GM of Four Seasons Mumbai only a month ago but he knows Bombay like the back of his hand and he’s already conducting, as a skilled maestro, the orchestra that this hotel has become. When the 33-floor hotel opened in 2006 it stood out, to say the least. The buildings in the immediate vicivinity were single storey. It looked rather lonely.  But over the years it has gained confidence, it now has some multi-storey neighbours. And it has gained followers.

Rumour has it that there are at least a couple of Bollywood stars in the hotel most days. As far as staying-over is concerned, it’s international bankers’ lifeline. You see them, Monday to Friday, fit  and in a hurry, waiting for one of the three elevators. At about seven most mornings they are in the fitness centre, taxing the Technogym bits for all they’re worth. They can even make breakfast there – the attendant offers green detox juice, or orange, or pomegranate. Gandhi and his gang are doing a great job, by the way, in encouraging loyalty to this hotel. Girlahead had to work out at 4.30 one morning and much to her amazement there was a personal trainer on hand, really.

At weekends the 202-room hotel turns to leisure. Perhaps the Saturday and Sunday staycationers have more time to appreciate the public areas.  Designers LTW have gone for a light teal and terracotta palette, both in the lobby and the bedrooms. The lobby palette blends well with dark-honey Angre woodwork, and art chosen by Volte Art Projects – you might see something by MF Husain, known as the Picasso of India.

Corner suite 1606 illustrates marvellously how the 18-year old hotel has matured while keeping eternally fresh. It was brave of the hotel’s owners, the Jhatia family, now led by Adarsh Jatia, to agree to bold terracotta carpeting with an all-over pattern of 15cm-diameter white connecting circles, but it works (the minibar front and seating upholstery is teal). There are ample sockets but they’re not too obvious. Toiletries are L’Occitane, big size. There was a choice of soft white terry or bright yellow silk robes…the suite is extremely agreeable, see the video below. And now for the dining choices.