The best thing about Abode, apart from its fantastic location and very friendly staff is the careful attention to detail. Nothing is ordinary, everything is bound to stir your interest, to make you sit up and take notice. A beautiful and vibrant Goddess of Mumbadevi, painted by local truck painters, dominates the little shrine outside the entrance of the hotel. (Truck art is a fascinating art form found widely in India.)
The hotel and its environs provide such a welcome relief from the unimaginable crowds that throng Colaba, particularly the Gateway of India.
Each of the 20 rooms of the hotel have been beautifully done, using reclaimed wood, refurbished pieces of furniture, handmade tiles and gorgeous photos of the maximum city. Our room was impeccably clean and it had everything that we needed for a comfortable stay, like soft clean linen, a safe, a table and chair, a space to hang stuff and a TV that we never switched on. Abode is a boutique hotel and not a budget hotel. However they do have budget rooms where occupants have to share toilets.
Here’s a bit about the design aspect from the hotel’s website: Architect & Interior Designer Sian Pascale for Young Citizens combined the feel of luxury, the charm of a boutique hotel and a unique Bombay inspiration to source and create the furniture of the hotel. 20th Century colonial and art deco pieces have been sourced from Bombay’s second hand markets and lovingly restored for the hotel. Custom-built furniture designed specifically for Abode includes bed side tables made from chaat stands and library shelving inspired by Bombay roadside bookstores. Reclaimed Burma teak, salvaged from demolished houses has been used as flooring. Bedroom light fittings have been created using hand-thrown ceramic lampshades, turned hardwood lamp holders and neon. Fabrics used for soft furnishings have been sourced from vintage saris, local markets or handwoven by the charitable organization WomenWeave.
To read more about the entire design process and to delve into the designer’s mind click here.
When we had had our fill of Abode, we stepped out walked around Horniman Circle, sat on the steps of the Asiatic library and watched life go by. Having driven by Flora Fountain at least a hundred times, it was for the first time that we actually stood right in front of it and took it all in. We also walked down leafy Kala Ghoda, popped into one of the many fabulous exhibitions that you find around and shopped to our heart’s content on Colaba Causeway. The highlight for my daughter though was a horse carriage ride from the Gateway of India, past the Taj Mahal Palace hotel to the Radio Club and back. We also went on a 45 minute ferry ride from the Gateway of India. It’s a mad jostle to get into the ferry and out, but the stunning views of the Gateway and the Taj, and the hundreds of boats and ships around, as well as Navy vessels in the distance makes it worth it!
Colaba is a vibrant corner of Mumbai, home to some of the city’s most iconic buildings that have been witness to landmark events. It’s noisy, crowded, buzzing with life and a must do if you haven’t been there already. It’s a perfection reflection of the city that was and that it is today!
Food: Breakfast is part of the room rate and consists of basic fare. A couple of local dishes find their place, amongst freshly baked spread, seasonal fruits and juices, milk and eggs to order. I tried the Indian style bhurji (scrambled eggs) which didn’t look very exciting, but it was the best I have ever had! Apart from this, cafe style food can be ordered throughout the day. The hotel allows guests to pack food and drinks, and you can have these at the reception area or in your room.
Spa: The hotel has a spa room where they call therapists according to the services that you require. In addition the hotel also organizes fitness and yoga sessions on request.