Alan DMello takes a look at
the Intercontinental Marine Drive, Mumbai
The Intercontinental Marine Drive,
Mumbai. An address only a few will come to know in the course
of time. I say this for two reasons; there are just 59 rooms,
inclusive of suites, and with a price tag starting in the
300 USD range, the two combine to make an exclusive address.
The newly opened hotel would be barely
a month old by the time you read this. The exclusivity however,
as general manager Christian Pirodon would have you know,
is in the approach. Hell let you know that his property
is boutique in all ways. It is a place where the staff-guest
interaction will be kept minimal and where space, physical
and personal, will be doled out in dollops.
As parent company Six Continents
first boutique property in India, the Intercontinental Marine
Drive has a lot to live up to. Its size helps it along the
way. Service is personalised right through it should
be, given the price. You could check-in in the hotels
complimentary car during the 40-minute plus drive-in from
the airport. The front desk is the concierges domain.
Even this comes down to a mere formality on the second trip
or if you have stayed in any Six Continents brand in the world.
Pirodon plans to use this to the fullest advantage.
The exterior belies the elegant interiors
whose smooth lines and tones remind me of another new Mumbai
hotel. And the manipulation of natural light here is as wonderful
as the other. Anyway, the rooms are delightful. Smart lines,
lots of space and great views of the sea and the Queens
Necklace. All rooms have a plasma TV, DVD-VCD player, Bose
audio and radio, intelligent lighting, fax machine and fast
Internet access. I liked the in-room safe with the plug point,
ideal to stash the laptop and charge it too. But what is luxury
without Bulgari toiletries? Not luxury.
Try the suites if you find the rooms
cramping your style. The suites, one to a floor, are on the
buildings curved northern corner, so you get an L-shaped
room with a western and northern view. These rooms, feature
similar appointments as the other rooms but have a space advantage
and differ in decor and bathroom design. Skillfully understated,
but sheer luxury none the less.
Food and relaxation too are well
thought of here. The hotels terrace restaurant, Dome,
overlooks the Arabian sea. The bar offers an international
selection of cigars and wines. Then theres RGs
Kitchen (after owner Ravi Ghai) on the first floor. The restaurant
has three sections which serve Oriental, Continental and Indian
through the interactive display kitchen. Czar, is the hotels
elegant and stylish, classic men's bar. And of course theres
Lobby Lounge, a refined lounge area.
But Pirodon does not forget that
in all this, his little boutique property is still meant for
business. There are infrared Internet ports in the restaurants,
meeting rooms soon to come in and all the other business frills
one can think of. But what did it for me, are the space and
location. It is a good feeling to be in a smaller hotel and
an even better feeling to chuck the leather for the loafers
and head for a walk along the sea front.
Intercontinental Marine Drive
135 Marine Drive, Mumbai 400 020
Tel: (022) 56399999