Accommodation Review: Residency Hotel, Mumbai, IN
Stay: January 9 – 15, 2014 @ Rs 3,700/night (+ tax)
Our Rating: 4/5 stars
The Residency Hotel was our first ‘home’ in India and we couldn’t have been happier with the experience! We arrived on January 9th at 3:30am and were so happy to see our driver waiting for us to take us to the hotel. The airport pickup was an extra Rs 1,000, which we would have normally skipped, but again, we were splurging. The car was a Residency Hotel branded vehicle, and was large and comfortable. You can definitely get to the hotel more cheaply using a cab, but it was the middle of the night and we were exhausted so we didn’t mind paying a premium for the piece of mind.
Location: The hotel is located in a great spot in the Fort area, walking distance to the Gateway of India (or a Rs 30 cab) and Churchgate train station, and a short taxi ride from everything else that Colaba/Nariman Point has to offer. The hotel is located on a small side street right off a main road, so you escape some of the noise of Mumbai.
Hotel Quality: The hotel itself is in very good shape. The decor is modern, and the hotel is very clean and well-appointed. There is a small lift, although we ended up taking the stairs most of the time. There is also a small sitting area in the lobby and a slightly larger one just above the dining room. It’s a nice place to sit and read or relax if you want the a/c but don’t feel like being up in your room. There is even a foot massage machine, although we never tried it so we cant review it one way or the other :).
The Food: The dining room is a nice size and has large windows that allow you to enjoy the great people watching during breakfast. We ate breakfast at the hotel every morning and enjoyed the variety of ‘American/English’ options as well as some India dishes. There was even an omelet/egg station that provided on demand service. We don’t think there were other meals served although the hotel did offer room service, so maybe there was lunch and dinner in the dining room. Overall the food was delicious and we definitely took advantage of the room service a couple times (try the butter chicken!).
The Room: The rooms are bright and a bit on the small side but not out of the ordinary for what you’d expect in this price range in any large city. We had two large backpacks and two smaller daypacks and found the room to be of an adequate size for both of us and all of our stuff without having to step over things constantly. The bathroom was quite small as well, as was the shower. Again, not unusably small, but noticeably so. The one bonus though was having a real shower, with glass walls…quite a treat in India (we’ve come to learn). We were supplied with face soap, body soap, and shampoo. The bed was quite comfortable, as were the pillows. Both the bed and pillows were on the firmer side, but not hard. We slept very well. The room also had a small refrigerator, a safe, flatscreen TV, ice bucket, and hair dryer. Of these, we used only the safe and fridge and both worked as expected. Oh and the A/C worked very well – the room actually got quite cold at night when it was on full blast.
Staff: The staff were very attentive and friendly. Every single staff person you interacted with or even walked near would ask how you were doing and if you needed anything. Nearly all the staff spoke English well which was great for us as we speak no Hindi. The front desk was also able to provide change, which was a huge help! You can read more about our crazy change issues here: http://depart2arrive.com/change-can-believe/
Nitpicks and Complaints: We really only had a couple small things that occasionally bugged us. First, the blackout curtain on our window was not well-attached to the wall and kept falling to the floor, so we couldn’t use it. In the hotel’s defense we never complained about it, although they had to have noticed when they cleaned the room. Secondly, the bathroom tended to get hot and humid overnight, resulting in a slight mildew odor in the morning. We would just use a towel to keep it cracked and that seemed to solve the problem. Oh and one night the power kept going on and off at about 4am (not the hotel’s fault). This wouldn’t normally be a big deal except that every time the power came back on, every light in the room turned on. I’m not sure if the hotel can really do anything about it, and it was probably a freak occurrence, but it was annoying.
Final Thoughts: While there are definitely more budget friendly options in the area we really enjoyed our stay and would be happy to return in the future!