Mumbai – or Bombay, as most locals still stubbornly call it – has hotels aplenty at the five-star and budget ends of the spectrum but very little in the middle. However in January 2014, a new boutique hotel opened to great acclaim: Abode, billed as the Indian commercial capital’s first luxury boutique hotel. Located in the traveller hub of Colaba, Abode has 20 rooms ranging from budget to suites.
Abode is unique as it is arguably the city’s only hotel that really speaks of the place. It does this with multiple little accents: the floor tiles, inspired by old Parsi cafes, are by iconic Bombay heritage tile manufacturer, Bharat Flooring and Tiles.
Signage has been daubed on the walls by truck painters. Bedside tables are designed to resemble the portable cane stands carried by mobile snack vendors throughout the city. Water jugs are copper, while power switches are antique style.
Beds are comfortable and bathrooms, while small, are beautifully designed in concrete and timber. The overall feeling is crisp and homely, yet retains a strong sense of place: after all, the hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from Bombay’s most iconic monument, the Gateway of India. The check-in area doubles as an all-day cafe, and it is here that breakfast is served: freshly baked breads, eggs to order, homemade yoghurt, masala chai and South Indian filter coffee. A light cafe menu is also served throughout the day, consisting of snacks and sandwiches. A small shop is also contained in the cafe space.
Recent inclusions to Abode’s facilities include a spa room offering a range of massages (also available in-room), and yoga mats and Swiss balls are also available for guests to use.
Altogether, Abode is the place to stay in south Bombay if you are after quirk, fun, thoughtful design and a great location.