When you are scheduled to stay in a luxury suite at a top international hotel group's flagship property, which, in its time, has hosted various Heads of State and celebrated business tycoons, it is fair to say you arrive with a certain degree of expectation. But The Oberoi, Mumbai, with its first-rate facilities and undoubted style and sophistication, unquestionably lives up to its five star billing.
The property is located on the city's famous Marine Drive and, at night, the view from its suites of the twinkling lights of the 'Queen's Necklace', as the promenade winds its way along the coast, is an absolute delight. The hotel is becoming an increasingly popular choice with Mumbai's Arab visitors and with its attention to detail and personalised service, not to mention its fine dining options and spa, it isn't hard to see why.
Classic yet modern
The luxury suites at the Oberoi, Mumbai present classic European decor, incorporating elegant furniture, such as four poster beds with barley-twist columns and canopy, and well over 1,000 square feet in which to stretch out and relax. The suites also provide a spacious marble floored foyer, resplendent with freshly cut flowers, a voluminous living cum dining room with two huge inviting sofas, a guest bathroom, ideal if you wish to entertain or hold a meeting in your room, and even a brass telescope with which to enjoy the impressive view.
The rooms perfectly position the latest technology, such as wireless Internet connectivity and DVD players - with one in the vast living room and another in the bedroom - alongside traditional yet luxurious touches such as a personalised butler service who can be summoned at the simple press of a button.
Service with sensitivity
In order to cater to the cultural needs and comforts of its growing number of visitors from the Arabian Gulf, the hotel is more than happy to arrange for the butler service to be provided by female members of staff, and this also goes for other hotel services such as house-keeping or room service. Indeed, the Oberoi, Mumbai receives a steady stream of Arab visitors throughout the year who come for a wide variety of reasons.
Medical tourism is very popular among the hotel's Arab guests and some family groups will stay for several weeks at a time enjoying the property's relaxing and luxurious surroundings. Others will use the Oberoi, Mumbai as a permanent base for exploring the length and breadth of India's diverse and fascinating sights, constantly returning to the hotel before heading off in yet another enticing direction.
But an ever-growing number of Arab visitors come to Mumbai because of monsoon tourism. When the heavens open in mid June and the rain begins to lash down, as it then does for several months, many tourists from the Gulf jump straight on a plane and leave behind the dusty, arid Arabian Peninsula to marvel at that rarest of sights – an ominous build-up of leaden clouds and then a prolonged, heavy downpour.
The Oberoi, Mumbai receives visitors from all over the world, of course, both business travellers and holiday-makers, and all appreciate the top-end facilities on offer. The hotel's spa and fitness centre, for example, is run by the Banyan Tree Group and offers an impressive selection of treatments including Thai, Swedish, Hawaiian, Indian and Balinese massages.
It is also no surprise that the hotel offers some fine dining opportunities. Tiffin, the hotel's highly versatile all day dining option located at the lobby level right alongside the hotel's impressive atrium, is good for a light informal lunch, high tea or an evening meal.
But the hotel's crowning glory has to be its chic, contemporary Italian offering, Vetro. Its Enoteca houses more than 1,200 bottles of wine, including more than 140 labels, 52 of which come from Italy, and with no restaurant in India offering more. Guests are encouraged to indulge in a sampling session prior to their meal to aid them in their selection.
Vetro's Executive Chef, Emanuele Lattanzi, hails from Rome but he cut his teeth at some of London's top five star hotels before finding his way to the Oberoi. Many of Lattanzi's dishes are inspired by his mother's cooking and his seafood stew, a traditional fisherman's recipe, is sublime. He also displays great innovation with his home-made pasta and gnocchi.
Top quality, whatever the weather
The Oberoi, Mumbai is without question a formidable, luxury hotel offering high levels of comfort in its suites and an excellent range of leisure facilities; temptingly, it is also participating in an upcoming exotic holiday promotion between April and September, including the summer monsoon season, which will see its usual rates significantly discounted.
But, frankly, come rain or shine, you can certainly rely on the Oberoi, Mumbai's attention to detail and superb service to make each and every one of its guests feel just like a VIP.