Mumbai; it may be the last place you may consider for a luxury holiday. But look past the crazy heat (and crazy roads) and you could unearth a unique kind of charm.
As the most populous city in India, and the capital of the Maharashtra State, Mumbai is truly a place of complete contrasts. On one hand you’ll find some of the world’s most spectacular luxury hotels whilst on the other hand, you could be faced with the most shocking slums and poverty. One evening you could find yourself in a 5 star restaurant and the next you could be tasting the cheap street eats from the endless street vendors. One thing’s for sure – it’s an unpredictable place.
And if you’re here in search of extravagance? Don’t despair, as Mumbai has much to offer those who are ready to expand their minds.
Arriving in Mumbai
Upon arrival, the first thing that will hit you is the extreme heat. If you’ve traveled to India before, you will probably be prepared for the climate. If not, it’s important to understand that you won’t find air conditioning everywhere. Hotels, mainstream restaurants and some taxi cabs will offer air conditioning but not every establishment will have this luxury.
The second thing that may shock you is the unruly driving culture of many Mumbai locals. Driving in Mumbai can be a terrifying experience if you’re not a confident driver, so it’s recommended that give holiday car hire a miss. Book your airport transfer in advance – or consider having a local guide drive you around.
Finding Flights and Hotels
It’s worth taking the time to hunt for a good deal for your flight. Use comparison sites to search for the best deals. If you want to make sure that you have the best hotel experience, it’s best to book your accommodation in advance to find the best property in Mumbai. Use trusted resources such as Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, travel blogs or online media.
Many hotels in Mumbai are familiar with American or British tourists and you will find that most people working in hospitality speak English. Although most hotels will promise you a good night’s sleep, it’s important to remember that Mumbai is by no means a quiet city. Horns can be heard throughout the night if you are positioned close to a busy main road – so be sure to research your hotel location before you travel.
If you can get past the city’s little quirks and its idiosyncratic nature, you will soon fall in love with this colorful destination.