Congenial Hotels in Mumbai

If you are planning to visit Mumbai anytime soon, the first question on your mind (even before you think of the sightseeing list) will be “where to stay?” Mumbai has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in not only India but also the world. And the most expensive of all things in Mumbai is the real estate rate. With such skyrocketing prices, one wonders how and where to stay in Mumbai.

Do you prefer king size beds?

Do you prefer king size beds?

But the best hotels in Mumbai are not necessarily expensive. Any list of hotels in Mumbai will certainly have some excellent options for the budget traveller. And affordable hotels need not be run of the mill. There are budget hotel-chains of some very prominent luxury hoteliers. These hotels provide you not only the best in class services but also don’t cost you a bomb. There are also some tips and tricks to make sure you get the best deal out of our stay in Mumbai.

Cleanliness of the washroom is just as important as the room itself!

Cleanliness of the washroom is just as important as the room itself!

The first trick is to plan ahead and book as early as possible. Remember that if you travel in the off season (think monsoon), hotel bookings in Mumbai will be dirt cheap for you! Another trick is to travel in groups, as family or couple. The room-rates for single occupancy and double or family occupancy is almost the same in Mumbai! It makes no sense then to pay for two people when you are travelling alone. Once in your room, avoid eating out of the mini refrigerator. The products will always be marked up. It is better to eat at the in-house restaurant or any place nearby. Also, making phone-calls from the room-phone to numbers outside of the hotel will accrue extra charges on the final bill.

Five star hotels have a charm of their own

Five star hotels have a charm of their own

Most hotels in Mumbai are congenial and very professional. They will change your bed linen and towels every day or two. If you require your room to be cleaned more frequently, call up the room service. These services are mostly not billed extra. Also, beware of the high taxes in Mumbai! Most hotel menus will quote a price excluding all taxes. Your final bill will have VAT, service tax, service charge and in some cases, charity-charge. (Yes, it’s true!!) So, plan your spending accordingly and read the fine print.

Business hotels have a no-nonsense atmosphere

Business hotels have a no-nonsense atmosphere

While you may be tempted to sneak the wall-mounted hairdryer and cutlery (when you call for your food to be served in the room) to make up for your huge bill, refrain from doing so. Good etiquette demands that you respect the property you stay in and leave it for the next occupant as good as you found it when you first moved in. The complimentary sachets of shampoo, soap, toothbrush and comb can be safely stashed away in your travel-kit, though! 😉

Have you ever had a case of "more cushions than my fingers can count"?

Have you ever had a case of “more cushions than your fingers can count”? 🙂

Mumbai is a fairly safe place for tourists and has a plethora of stay options for all kinds of travellers – business, hostelites, sightseers and honeymooners. From luxury resorts and five star hotels to homestays and budget bed-and-breakfast places, you will not have any trouble securing a roof over your head! Happy travels to you!

This post has been written in association with askme.com.

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Help Oindrila Choose her Stay in Moscow!

I was on top of the world when I found out last month that I won return flights to Moscow! 🙂 I pinched myself five times to confirm I wasn’t dreaming. This news couldn’t have come at a better time as I was really upset with my life and the lack of any foreign travel lately. But the world has an amazing way to surprise you and lift your mood when you least expect it!

One of many magical sights that await me! :-) (Source: burgessyachts.com/en/locations/moscow)

One of many magical sights that await me! 🙂 (Source: burgessyachts.com/en/locations/moscow)

While it is really nice to daydream about the wonderful experiences I’ll be having in Moscow, I must not forget that I first have to sort out my stay! I did a quick search for hotels in that city, and boy, are they expensive! I really don’t want to blow my budget on something I’ll only be using for the night. (I’ll be spending a lot of rubles on sightseeing and interesting restaurants and shopping!) I shut my laptop, and a fantastic thought struck me – Airbnb! This option is perfect for a travel freak like me who loves the authentic local experience. Here are the benefits:-

  • I can stay with a local, and yet have some privacy. (I get my own room! 🙂 )
  • If the host is nice (and has free time), I’ll have company on my outings.
  • I’ll get to practise some Russian with a real Russian! 🙂 (That makes me go “Ура”!)
  • And most importantly, it’s dirt cheap!

Now, you know how indecisive I can get when I have too many lovely options! So, I’m asking you all (my wise and well meaning readers 😉 ) to help me choose my stay. I have handpicked 5 rooms offered by some kind ladies (I have nothing against men, but my parents are paranoid! 😛 ) who live in the heart of Moscow. Now, I need your help to finalize my stay! Are you ready? Here are the nominations (*Academy Award style*):-

1. Cute Pink Room

Pink walls with pictures that tell a story? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/1095147)

Pink walls with pictures that tell a story? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/1095147)

This room is right at the top of my list. I love this one because of the thick mattress I can see on the bed. I’m already dreaming of what I’ll dream about when I sleep on it! The room also has a nice window from where I’ll be able to watch the snow melt. Can you see the three racks of books in that corner? I know I’ll be reading myself a story to bed every night!

2. Drawing-Room-Turned-Bedroom

Pullout sofa anyone?(Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/3889387)

Pullout sofa anyone?(Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/3889387)

This is a cosy flat in North Moscow. The host is offering her pullout couch with some pillows and blankets thrown in. This looks pretty basic and neat to me. What do you think? This room also has curtains (unlike the previous one). Then again, I’d really like all the sun to keep me warm in the -7 degrees of Moscow!

3. Free Kitchen Access

Home away from home? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/4123024)

Home away from home? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/4123024)

This host lives with her husband and a little child. She’s ready to give full access to her well equipped kitchen. (What if I want to try cooking a new Russian dish?) The neighbourhood is pretty posh and safe, but the residents will be at work all day, so I won’t have a local to take me around.

4. The Brain-and-Brawn Room

Gym + Library in my bedroom? :-)

Gym + Library in my bedroom? 🙂 (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/881796)

The spacious wood-floored bedroom has an entire wall full of books! And as if that wasn’t enough, they stock it with a treadmill an weightlifting bars! If I stay here, I’ll not only be slightly more intelligent from my trip, but also look like the female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger! (Okay, I was REALLY kidding there! A week’s worth of working out won’t even help me burn the pounds I’ll gain gorging on Muscovite cuisine.)

5. Four Poster Bed and Flowerpots

Wood and chocolate room?

Wood and chocolate room? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/3870842)

This host sure has greenfingers because every room in her flat has half a dozen flowerpots! 🙂 It’ll be nice to share my room with another living being (only talking about plants here 😉 ). The room is really small, but the price makes up for it.

Alright! I’m done describing my options. If you were me, which would you choose? Help me decide and I’ll delight you with wonderful stories and pictures from my adventures in the mystical city of Moscow! You can view my Airbnb Wishlist for details of the rooms. If reading this article got you interested in Airbnb, you can sign up with my referral link. I’m giving away Airbnb credit worth Rs.1,549 if you use my link to register! (Thank me by helping me choose my stay, please.)