We all swoon over the thought of jetting off to someplace new. While travel is well embedded in our souls, there are times when we are pressed for time. This is where a staycation comes in picture and options galore. Lucky, for me, my staycation was 24 hours of luxury and pampering at the ravishing The Leela Mumbai.
Being greeted by a long check-in line may be a thing of the past. At least, The Leela ensures that the check-in is as swift and cordial as possible. Mine was in the comfort of my plush suite which falls in the Royal Club category. Expect: round-the-clock butler service, dedicated concierge service, “The Leela” toiletries, Bose wave audio system, 24-hour access to the Royal Club Lounge, which offers a selection of international foods including breakfast and midday meal, and beverages around high tea, happy hours and nightcaps. The welcome touch was some sinful macarons and a handwritten note warmly welcoming me.
Next was lunch experience at the property’s restaurant The Great Wall which serves a variety of authentic Chinese specialties. We love the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light, creating a cosy ambience during daytime while offering an incredible view of the waterfall and picturesque garden. Think: marble lions placed at the entrance, delicate paintings, large porcelain vases and artefacts accentuate the traditional Chinese décor in the restaurant.
The Great Wall Sichuan hot and sour soup with shredded chicken, truffle and edamame dimsum, Shanghai pan-fried chicken dumpling, Wasabi prawns, Singapore chili crab and truffle flavoured treasure rice with mushrooms were the stuff of gastronomic delight. A pampering session at the salon followed where the best blow-dry of my life awaited me, giving me my red-carpet moment.
Post the salon session, I enjoyed a dreamy monsoon high-tea at the Lobby Lounge. With high wooden ceilings and views of the lush, green foliage and the Lotus Pond with its lotus flowers shooting through the water the lounge is a perfect place to meet for conversations and business discussions over coffee or a cocktail. Monsoon snacks like vada pav, bhajiyas, chili cheese toast, samosa, jalebi, gulab jamun regaled us with their tongue-tingling flavours. Add to this a comforting cup of tea/coffee and you got a winner! We love the eclectic tea and coffee selections here. We also heartily recommend the delectable monsoon brunch at Citrus which brings the best of monsoon delicacies- chaats, vada pav, corn, pav bhaji, popcorn, cutting chai, you name it and you’ll find it here. Our best brunch experience till date
Dinner was at Jamavar- the Indian speciality restaurant which showcases distinctive cooking styles and dining rituals of India’s ancient nobility. Here we devoured succulent kebabs to rich curries and fragrant Dum Biryanis, so delicious that they are still imprinted on our palate. Our Royal Indian dining experience was elevated by the ambience enriched with hand-carved wooden screens, decorative Indian motifs embroidered in gold thread adorning the walls, flower-laden urli with floating candles, silver cutlery and crockery.
I must acknowledge that with all staggering personalization and thoughtful touches, there is an incredible natural high that comes from being surrounded by the great spirit of the hotel. From swish pampering experiences to celestial private meal-experiences, a sort of beauty overdose flooded through me. No wonder, this “Leela” has already set her sights on her next experience.
Note– The critic was hosted by the property but all the opinions expressed herewith are her own.
Where: The Leela Mumbai
Sahar Airport Road, Andheri – Kurla Rd,
near Mumbai International Airport, Andheri East,
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400059
Phone: 022 6691 1234