Hotels in Maharashtra were given a green light to resume operations on July 8 so Guru visited The Oberoi, Mumbai - which has been recognised by ‘2020 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards’ as the best city hotel in Asia.
I booked a premier room with city view at Trident Nariman Point with hotels.com for approximately INR 9,100 (USD 121), including breakfast, the night before my stay. The same evening, I received an email to say I had been upgraded to The Oberoi Mumbai (Trident's more exclusive sister property, located just next door) in a luxury category room.
About The Oberoi Mumbai
This iconic property located at Nariman Point, overlooking the Arabian sea stands out because of its elegance and prime locality. It is one of the top luxury hotels in south/central Mumbai, houses 287 rooms and suites and serves business as well as leisure travellers.
The hotel is home to various top-end luxury outlets.
Though, if you wish to see more options for shopping, they are available within close proximity from the hotel. The 21-storey Oberoi is connected to the Trident Nariman Point which has 555 rooms and suites.
Guru checked out the common areas at Trident, which also looks a great hotel, though perhaps not as elegant as Oberoi...
Arriving at The Oberoi Mumbai
I was driven to the hotel and upon arrival our car door was opened with a sanitised cloth by the doorman. We were then invited to have our car parked in the basement, though this wasn’t needed.
My luggage was sanitised and screened, my temperature was recorded and I was let inside the hotel through the revolving door. Once inside, I was asked to wait until I had been given a safety kit (containing two masks, a pair of hand gloves, and a hand sanitiser) and was then escorted to the lobby.
The check-in experience at The Oberoi Mumbai is luxurious, the lobby is facing the ocean and the high-tide made the view even better. I was requested to have a seat at the counter and was informed that I’d been upgraded to The Oberoi as Trident Nariman Point was being used for quarantine purposes.
There were screens installed at the check-in desk and the staff were wearing full safety gear. Everything was very smooth and I was comfortable throughout.
I requested to be upgraded to an ocean facing view but none of them were available. I was then offered to be upgraded to a bay view room, and I accepted it.
Bay view room at The Oberoi Mumbai
I was in room 2065 on the 20th floor, which had a part bay and part city view. My view of Marine Drive was blocked by Trident, but I could clearly see the Crawford market at a distance.
The view of the lobby from the hallway on 20th floor was a beautiful one as well.
This room was 400 sq. feet in size and featured a king size bed in the centre, the mattress was soft and comfortable and pillows were of my preference too.
A working table which was quite spacious with a comfortable chair and ample storage space met my requirements perfectly. Across from the table was a a nice sitting chair, which you could enjoy the soothing view of the ocean from. Between them was a beautiful table, which had the complimentary fruits on it.
The Oberoi provides a pillow menu, which features a range of options to suit all preferences.
A see through bathroom, which can be covered by a sliding screen, had a bath and a separate spacious shower.
The bathroom was equipped with an illuminated makeup mirror, digital scale, 17” waterproof television and toiletries from Forest Essentials, though a dental kit was missing so I requested one be delivered to my room.
Artwork in the toilet was a nice touch from The Oberoi.
There was 24 hour butler service in the room (available with all the rooms at The Oberoi Mumbai). The services include:
40” television in the room had plenty on offer to keep you entertained.
The mini bar was chargeable and had only a few snacks and drinks to choose from, I was surprised to see such a small collection. There were other offerings (at a price though):
A kettle with takeaway cups was available in the room, though I was a little hesitant to use the takeaway cups as I wasn’t sure it met the hygiene standards.
The free wifi had an advertised speed of 2mbps, though it worked pretty well and let me connect four devices, which was enough for me. There is an option of super fast internet while using eight devices at a charge of INR 500 per day.
Overall, the room was spacious, bed comfortable, and bathroom well-equipped. This made my stay comfy, however one thing which bugged me throughout was the fact that I noticed a Gillette shaving cream and coconut hair oil in the bathroom when I checked-in, but when I returned back from lunch, it wasn't there.
Even the dental kit was there earlier, I wondered why they took those away. Was it due to hygiene or did they just assume that I didn't need grooming and dental hygiene? 😉
Dining at The Oberoi Mumbai
The Oberoi Mumbai has a selection of good restaurants, the one which has stood out for me in the past is their North Indian, Mughlai specialty - Ziya ("deconstructed and reinvented by Michelin star Chef Vineet Bhatia").
There are a total of three restaurants, a bar, bakery, and The Champagne Lounge. Vetro is their Italian specialty restaurant and offers a selection of old and new world wines.
Fenix is their all day dining restaurant and also the only one which was open during my time there. It has a variety of cuisines to offer, however the server suggested that the Asian dishes were their specialty. Guru has included all three meals at the restaurant below. It is open from 6.30am to 11.30pm.
The Eau Bar is the nightlife offering from Oberoi, it also has an outdoor area, and is normally open from 6pm to 1.30am.
The Champagne Lounge, as the name suggests, is known for its selection of champagne. It was open during my time there and the guests were served snacks, however no alcohol was being served in the hotel for time being (due to government regulations).
Lunch at Fenix
I went for lunch at around 3pm and the restaurant was mostly empty, except a group of government officials who were seated at a table across the room. I was requested to scan the QR code to get the menu on my phone, there were no physical menus presented.
Vishwajit was hosting me and upon asking, he suggested I go for truffle tagliatelle, which is one of their best Italian dishes, and I was happy to go with it. I had the crisp bacon replaced with lobster.
I was offered an envelope to store my mask in, and soon after the bread basket was served.
While serving my order, he claimed that “this will be the best pasta I’ll ever have”, and honestly speaking, I wish he hadn’t said that. That comment set my expectations really high, and even though the pasta was very good, I was still disappointed a little.
The quantity of the pasta was good enough for one person and the pricing of INR 1,740 was justified, I had a comfortable lunch.
Dinner at Fenix
I went for dinner at 10pm, and the restaurant was empty, I chose to sit at the most comfortable table I could see.
Vishwajit was there to host me again, this time I chose to give the menu a pass and let him recommend something to me. He suggested Asian, which I was happy with, I went with teriyaki salmon and warm chocolate fondant for dessert.
The salmon was very well prepared and this is a must try, I was very happy with this dish and I would like to try it again. I was equally impressed with the dessert, however, I think they forgot that I had ordered for it, and needed a reminder.
It was worth the wait, and was served with coffee ice cream. This is one of the best desserts they serve at Fenix according to a staff member, and I thought it was worthy of that fame.
My experience of the dinner was very good, even better than what I had for lunch. The food was amazing, service was warm, and the soothing atmosphere in the lobby made up for a great dinner. Not even for once during my time here, did I feel that I was living through a pandemic (not exaggerating).
The food I ordered was good enough for one person and I was very happy with the quality. My total bill came to INR 2,743, and I felt that it was worth it.
Breakfast at Fenix
Breakfast at Fenix is served between 6.30am and 10.30am. I was presented with a breakfast menu and was invited to order anything I liked.
Here’s how my order read:
- Americano: One cup was enough to satisfy my daily caffeine input.
- Orange juice: It was fresh, I asked for another glass later but it was over and I went for watermelon juice instead.
- Masala Omelette with hash browns: It was very well prepared, exactly how I like it.
- Pancakes with sliced pineapples and grapes on top: This was equally good and was served with extra maple sauce on the side.
- Chicken sausages: This was the only let down in the entire food experience at Fenix, it didn’t look very appealing at first, and when I tried it, it was very chewy. I couldn’t eat anymore of it and chose to leave it be.
- Brown bread toast: I was first served white bread toast, but that mistake was immediately corrected and this was accompanied with orange marmalade and strawberry jam from Tiptree and butter.
Overall, the breakfast experience was very good, and I would like to once again mention here that I was very comfortable through out my breakfast, and didn’t feel any difference in service.
I noticed another customer leaving unhappy after waiting for half an hour for his order. I saw him remind two servers in front of me, later he was stopped by one of the restaurant staff on his way out and was immediately served his order.
My temperature was recorded while I was getting done with my meal and the personnel informed me that it was normal.
The Oberoi’s other facilities
The Oberoi Mumbai has an outdoor pool, fitness club, and a spa which is usually open round the clock - though all are currently closed.
The gym has a nice view..
There's also a hair and beauty salon, however due to the government regulations, I couldn’t take benefit of any of these.
The staff informed me that they won’t be opening these facilities for customers until the government allows them to (but he had no idea when this will happen).
The Oberoi Mumbai has been one of the iconic hotels of Mumbai for as long as I can remember, and I was happy to review this property. I felt at home during my stay there, and the staff was very warm.
This was my first night away from home since lockdown began and I am glad I ended up at The Oberoi (after originally booking Trident). I felt a real sense of luxury, and came to understand that The Oberoi really values its guests. I haven’t felt as comfortable at some of the other five-star hotels in Mumbai, mainly due to a lot of minor details adding up.
My major interaction with the staff took place at the restaurant and therefore it stood out for me, and they seemed to be extra careful. For instance, at breakfast when I was wrongly served white toast, the manager noticed that and immediately got it changed, this spoke volumes about how much attention they were giving to each customer.
As per the hotel staff, only 33% of the hotel is being used for operations (due to government regulations), which meant that I didn’t come across a lot of other guests. Though I noticed a lot of government officials staying at the hotel and some businessmen.
Proper precautions are being taken by the hotel, however, none of them become an obstruction in their service. I definitely want to come back again when they are fully operational.
What are your thoughts about The Oberoi Mumbai? Are you looking forward to staying at a hotel anytime soon?