First came the Mall with its hallowed Foodhall, then funny-chain The Comedy Store (now Canvas Laugh Factory) and Chanel. Now enticing Maximum City in equal measure is the Hotel. Yes, I’m talking about Palladium that started off as a mall and the success of which sparked the namesake Hotel. Either way, the two together began to convince us why phrases like ‘dynamic duo’ exist. And that led us to the obvious- who better to ask what to do when in Mumbai. You might be wondering why step out at all in the first place. But it takes a real expert to create and curate a list of the city’s finest. Which is why, we went on to speak with Deepti Dadlani, Director of Marketing & Communications and find you Mumbai’s best.
“As someone who sincerely and unabashedly loves the ‘Good Life’ and lives to Eat, Shop and Party, these are my top picks of ‘Luxury Far From the Madding Crowd.’”
Dine in Style:
“Indigo has long been a personal favorite with its fine Modern European fare (best Lobster Bisque in town) and ambiance.” We concur. Rahul Akerkar’s iconic fine-dine, famous for its heritage-villa like appeal is what one might call a gastronomic no-brainer on our list. Mekong, the highest and award-winning Asian restaurant, at Palladium Hotel “has in recent times proved to be the perfect spot for a thorough luxurious dining experience.” Likely named after the trans-boundary river, it offers food and views that could, in all probability, benefit from the same adjective. “Can it get better than dining on the 37th floor in the city?” Doubt it.
“A walk around the art galleries of Colaba like Volte, Chemould Prescott Road Gallery, Tasveer, Chatterjee & Lal and my personal favorite, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke.” Trust the art aficionado in Deepti to comment on emergent contemporary art culture in India and the galleries, by extension. She also advises not to miss the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, “clearly a sight for sore eyes, with its Palladian edifice.” According to her, after many years of careful restoration, the museum now houses some of the finest works in history and culture. “To know Mumbai, a visit to BDLM is mandatory.” Then there’s, of course, Jehangir Art Gallery, one of the oldest in the city and also, home to Samovar, “a cafeteria and now- institute popular for its simple fare and history.”
For the love of the arts:
Art gets an extension. Everyone who is anyone that lives in Mumbai understands The National Centre of Performing Arts deserves a special mention. Such understanding no doubt has seen its fair share of ripple effect and NCPA receives countrywide patronage. “(It) is a haven with international film screenings, dance and musical performances, etc., on a daily basis. The cold coffee and chicken sandwiches are plain nostalgia.” So there’s your insider tip if you’re making your first visit. Needless to say its sweet Nariman Point spot means trickling over to the famous strip that juts into the water and has seen many a filmy moments. It was reclaimed from the sea along with the surrounding land that’s now dons the role of a swanky business district.
Next up, Asilo. Meaning sanctuary in Greek, this bar is indeed the perfect sanctuary for (much needed) post-work tippling. Or the place to get sky high, figuratively, as well as literally! Nestled on Palladium Hotel’s 38th Floor, it offers unrivaled views of the metropolis. “With its Mediterranean ambiance, classic cocktails like the El Presidente (my personal favorite) and appetizers like the Baked Brie and Scallop wrapped in Prosciutto, Asilo makes for the perfect setting for a casual get together or a celebration.”
“No visit to Mumbai shall be deemed complete without visiting Kala Ghoda and Horniman Circle – both now the center of luxury shopping and some really edgy boutiques. Standouts: Obataimu at Kala Ghoda for designer wear; Christian Louboutin at Horniman Circle; Filter at Kala Ghoda for some lovely curated stationary and other designs; La Folie for the finest French pastries; Kala Ghoda Café for some me-time with its lovely coffee and dark chocolate cake.” We also think the waffles at KGC are out of this world! As is Nico Bombay’s décor!
Just next door, the restaurant reportedly boasts a head chef of Alinea fame. That would probably explain our excellent goat cheese, caramelized onion and sour cream puff, and corn soup from this past December. “Head to the Asiatic Library and spend a few minutes sitting on the whitewashed staircase outside – take a selfie and watch this dual-faced city speed by. Make your way north to Lower Parel’s sprawling luxury shopping center, Palladium Mall where you can find fine luxury brands like Burberry, Canali, Jimmy Choo, Bottega Veneta and many more.”
And there’re only two words for this- Le Mill. According to Deepti, this ‘Home Fashion Décor’ abode located at Mazgaon is ideal “for the most exquisite furniture and home décor items”. So we decided to do a little digging and discovered some great Indo-European treasures at this rice-mill turned concept boutique. The industrial spunk of the sprawling 15,000 sq. ft. space is only fitting for all the edgy labels it houses. By which we mean, Price On Request ‘Industrial Playground’ products to the award winning, 10,000 Rupee ‘Menu’ carving and serving set.
Party like a Star:
For a city with “maximum” in its moniker, Mumbai’s party options sure have been minimal. But with the entry of EXO at Palladium Hotel, the trend seems to be fast changing. “With Osler Chandeliers and handcrafted cocktails, EXO – the highest club in the city – is undoubtedly the decadent choice for some weekend partying.” The two-floor bar and nightclub also serves up in-house infusions and whisky selection to match besides, of course, rad music. “Swish, thumping and riveting easily describes the space and with Madoc spinning away Big Room House tunes, dancing the night away has never been more fun.”
Relax and rejuvenate:
“I love a good spa just as much as the next person. After trying out just about every Spa in the city, I keep finding my way back to Jean Claude Biguine for their excellent facials, manicure and pedicure treatments”. The Spa at the Palladium Hotel is just as expertly indulgent. Situated in the Hotel’s dedicated Level 10 Wellness Floor, it is the ideal destination for some mid-shopping cooling of heels or just a great reason for seeking relaxation. Deepti recommends the Aroma Nodal Massage or as she likes to call it, “a 60-minute treatment of pure bliss.”
“Offbeat and Mumbai go hand-in-hand and there is no better way to experience the Sea than to sail away or enjoy some bubbly aboard a luxury yacht.” Well put. For someone who believes ‘Luxury’ in Mumbai is a lot rawer, edgier and grunge than sophisticated and polished, Deepti suggests renting a yacht at the Gateway of India is the coolest way to enjoy Mumbai. “In Maximum City, how ‘luxurious’ something is considered is directly correlated to how it makes one feel.” And we’re guessing yacht and bubbly are already plenty ingredient-some in the recipe for a great experience.
Deepti Dadlani is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Palladium Hotel, the tallest luxury hotel in the city, which is currently proving to be the city’s choice for fine dining, entertainment and luxury. She is heading the marketing and event innovations at the award-winning restaurants and bars like Seven Kitchens, Mekong, EXO & Li Bai, as well as the luxurious Wellness Floor and new upcoming signature restaurants.