Multiple energies in Mumbai
Courtesy Four Seasons
The Four Seasons has assembled some of
its top staff in Mumbai, delivering everything one expects from the
top hotel brand in a new property
by Stanley Moss
photographed by the author or courtesy of the Four Seasons Mumbai
MUMBAI MEANS BUSINESS, and so does
the new Four Seasons Hotel, opened barely a month ago in the up
and coming Worli district, in the city they used to call Bombay.
When the property goes fully online in September, the 33-storey
structure dominating the skyline will feature 202 top-grade luxury
suites of uncompromising comfort and quality, catering to the international
business traveller, and celebrating the awakening of Indias
global aspirations. What an impressive property this newcomer is.
The lodging aspect tracks with the established
Four Seasons style of over-the-top comfort. Much thought has been
put into these quarters, with memorable and unexpected details like
loaner books and top-grade Darjeeling teas hand-selected by GM
Armando Kraenzlin, placed in each room. Tea and silk, accented by
warm woods, café au lait marble baths, LOccitane amenities,
glass-walled rain showers, soothing light and rich tapestries enhance
the sensual package. Both business and leisure travellers stopping
over will find extreme comfort in these, the largest guest accommodations
Because of the hotels excellent situation
in the geographical centre of Mumbai, any room boasts astonishing
views of the city. Outside the hotel windows, hawks ride the thermals
in the stifling midday heat, sometimes to the background sounds
of the call to prayer from a nearby mosque. West-facing rooms overlook
the Arabian Sea, where whitecaps roll in and break dramatically
along the curvaceous waterfront. South-facing rooms have panoramic
angles on the Mahalaxmi Race Course and the teeming business district.
The most spectacular vistas will be found from the Presidential
Suite, a 3,336 ft² aerie with private elevator, configured
to expand up to a three-bedroom apartment if needed.
Dazzling public spaces have just the right variety.
comfortable vaulted lobby lounge with a full
bar, illuminated by backlit marble, ideal for casual business conversation.
Off to the left is the entrance to the molto moderna Prato Italian
restaurant, which doubles as a bustling breakfast room. Its very
authentic menu transports you to the Mediterranean, through a creative
array of innovative and flavourful interpretations executed by Chef
Matteo Arvonio. Hes backed up by the endlessly intriguing
work of Chef Patissier Thierry Methée, whose gateaux and
cakes never cease to delight (hot tip: available for take-out, an
added bonus). Behind the bar you will find Pratos spacious
terrace: the hotel has a removable window system which installs
during the oppressively humid monsoon season, thus maintaining a
constant and comfortable climate-controlled temperature year-round.
|The real centrepiece of public spaces is the
adjacent San-Qi restaurant, an outstanding fusion concept with
its own entrance, which brings together under one roof the best
of Indian, Asian and Japanese cuisines, housed in a spectacular
bi-level restaurant, ringed by a variety of opulent private
The real centrepiece of public spaces is the
adjacent San-Qi (three energies) restaurant, an outstanding fusion
concept with its own separate entrance, which brings together under
one roof the best of Indian, Asian and Japanese cuisines, housed
in a spectacular bi-level restaurant, ringed by a variety of opulent
private dining spaces. These windowed rooms and the very desirable
eight-seat Chefs Table are prime locations for theatrical
culinary entertainments, especially those involving live cooking.
The partnering of three top-notch chefs (think the Three Tenors,
except with food) is a brilliant stroke, allowing a confluence of
wisdom and tradition which delivers a striking array of tastes.
Try the signature dumplings called momos, or the Indian thali-style
platter, or anything sushi. This restaurant steps into the market-place
as a premier dining and entertaining destination in the city, featuring
power lunches built for speed and simplicity, opulent dinner options,
and even a Sunday brunch ideal for families.
A business hotel needs to provide more than bedrooms
and dining, and this Four Seasons has a state-of-the-art business
centre equipped with wood-panelled conference rooms and comfortable
workstations augmented by an accessories box next to each monitor,
staples, tape, pens, paperclips, the stuff you always need that
you always forget to bring along. Details like these make the difference
between just-plain-great and extraordinary properties.
After you sleep, eat, meet and send your emails,
some healthy endeavour sounds like a worthwhile alternative. Here
the Four Seasons does not disappoint, with a stylish outdoor pool
terrace; owing to its newness its a favoured location for
fashion shoots, so wear your shades and coolest swim togs. You can
avail yourself of morning awakening and evening enlightenment yoga
sessions in the Chi Studio, under the direction of Dr Kannan, in-house
ayurvedic guru. Theres also a Rossano Ferretti hair salon,
and a complete day spa occupying two stories of light-filled space,
where guests can savour a bevy of treatments aimed at wellness,
rejuvenation and well-being. Check out the VIP
suite at the spaand get ready for 500 ft² of major pampering.
For the truly adventurous, the hotel offers a guided mountain bike
tour of the Worli, a total immersion into the sights, sounds and
occasional smells of the neighbourhood.
How do you build a property offering such a complete package? You
begin with experienced management who possess career dedication
to the craft of hospitality. Four Seasons has posted a team of their
most talented executives to Mumbai for the launch of this, their
first property to open on the subcontinent. Next, you hire and develop
young staff from the local area, and impart to them a corporate
style which emphasizes the highest standards. In the process you
generate a real family feel, which every employee interaction successfully
communicates. Finally, you pay attention to local sensitivities,
backed up by meaningful community involvement.
is primarily a business hub, not a tourist destination. Though it
is known as the gateway to Goa, most visitors arrive to do business.
Abundant shopping, nightlife, eating, the excitement of the racetrack
or perhaps a Bollywood studio tour can round out the activity package.
Ask the concierge. You might even score a ride in GM
Kraenzlins spiffy red Hindustan Ambassador Avigo (above
right), and really attract some attention.
Four Seasons has spent years perfecting skills
in meeting the unique demands of top-tier business travellers, and
here one finds the first-class standards one expects from the brand.
Repeat guests understand the benefits: easier business travel, more
rewarding leisure travel. Which explains what inspires such incredible
cross-property loyalty whatever the location. •
Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai
114 Dr E. Moses Road, Worli
Mumbai 400 018, India
Tel 91 22 2481-8050
Fax 91 22 2481-8177
Stanley Moss is travel editor of Lucire.
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Above: Composite photograph of the new Four Seasons Hotel,
Courtesy Four Seasons
Above: Sumptuous rooms, up to the Four Seasons usual
Above: The Chi Studio, for morning and evening yoga sessions.
Above: Business facilities and one of the hotels BMW
Above: Dining views, from the San-Qi restaurant.
Courtesy Four Seasons
Above: Around Mumbai.