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Luxury hotels
ITC GRAND CENTRAL, MUMBAI

Spanning an entire block, ITC Grand Central is one of a handful of hotels synonymous with old world luxury. Located in Parel, it is walking distance from the buzzing High Street Phoenix mall and 20 minutes into town or the suburbs! The hotel's magnificence and decor inspired by British Colonial architecture enveloped me as the limousine drove in through the gate towards the reception, where I was welcomed with a tikka and escorted by the floor butler to 'ITC 1'—the size of a small apartment for discerning travellers! Artwork spanning an entire wall and cityscapes, large windows and carpeted flooring, safes and climate control describes the suite with a large bathroom and walk-in closet. On the living room table was a bottle of wine, cupcakes, fruit platter and gourmet chocolates and the butler informed me I had complimentary laundry and use of meeting rooms—a good thing as I had short meetings lined up! In a nod to business travellers, there's wi-fi, notepads and a writing desk on which I was thrilled to see a personalised welcome note with my photograph. It felt good.

 

The dizzying number and categories of rooms range from 19 suites to non-smoking floors and floors for single lady travellers. During a round of the hotel, I discovered that it is segregated into inter-connected buildings—The Peace Zone houses the luxury accommodation with a gym, spa and pool and has a separate entrance from The Celebration Zone where the restaurants, pub, retail and banqueting facilities are located. At 1, I headed to 'Shanghai Club' for Chinese cuisine where my friend and I requested the chef to keep the dishes light and flavourful, and he sure did (click here for the review!). Lunch was followed by tea and cookies with a friend at 'Frederick's Lounge' overlooking the characterful Millsquare. I was more enchanted with the hotel with each passing hour despite my frenetic schedule!! At 4, I finally took a power nap to recharge for the evening ahead and then visited Kaya Kalp for a 90-minute deep tissue therapy. That proved to be an excellent idea! I was deeply relaxed and chilled out with a flute of Merlot at their spectacular terrace lounge 'Point of View' with breathtaking views of the cityscape; sinking back into the richly upholstered chair, I could see why its considered the most premium exclusive lounge in the city. Time was running out so I headed over to join my friends in Irish pub Dublin and we made our way to 'K&K' for dinner. What followed was its legendary flavourful cuisine as served in royal courts and on historical battlefields owing to ancient recipes and use of long forgotten herbs (click here for the review). 

 

Glancing at the clock when I woke up the following morning alerted me there was just enough time for a quick shower with luxe ITC toiletries and strong coffee before checking out! This review would be incomplete if I failed to mention that the service is amazing. The management goes out of its way to make guests feel comfortable and safe, and service through the hotel is quick and efficient. The hotel's range of services and amenities.. its upscale restaurants, pub and lounge.. will attract you but its attentive staff, particularly the butler, will make you feel at home and tempt you to stay longer. Is it any wonder then I checked out a little late?

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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ITC Grand Central, 287, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Road, Parel, Mumbai.

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