If you’re still undecided about your long weekend plans, here’s something to sort you out. Make the best of the upcoming four days with the ideal staycation in your city. We’ve done all the groundwork for you right here.
Taj Mahal Palace
There is no better way to relive the grandeur and old-world charm that Mumbai once represented than to spend time at this iconic hotel that will be lit up in tricolour from August 14-15. Stay in the opulent palace wing with a personal butler at your beck and call. Or take a room where the sweeping expanse of the Arabian Sea will instantly make you forget the crowds and chaos of the city as you watch boats gently bobbing on water. There is a special brunch at Shamiana on Independence Day and Viennese afternoon tea at the Sea Lounge the entire weekend, so make the most of it.
Make reservations: +91 022 6665 3366
Even if you’re not be a member this exclusive club, there is nothing stopping you from booking a room at Asia’s first Soho House, and rubbing shoulders with Bollywood stars and Mumbai’s crème de la crème. The 10-story white building on Juhu beach has rooms with vintage furniture, retro radios, Indian print lampshades and balconies with sweeping views of the Arabian Sea. Spend a lazy day doing a few lengths at the rooftop pool, browse at the library, and then head for a leisurely meal at Cecconi, the Italian eatery (the crab ravioli is superb), or Allis, the cafe which is one of the few places in the city that serves a typical Afternoon Tea.
Make reservations: +91 22 6213 3333
A spa that spoils you silly with indulgent treatments, five restaurants that make sure you get what your heart and belly desire (and maybe more), artwork and décor in rooms that tap into Bengal’s rich culture, and an e-butler that helps you control everything through an iPad – if this isn’t your idea of an ideal staycation, we don’t know what is. ITC Royal Bengal, one of the tallest buildings in the city, recently opened its doors and what we love is that they take their food very seriously. Make sure you don’t miss a meal at these two restaurants – Royal Vega, the vegetarian one that’ll bring you some exquisite dishes, and the buffet at Grand Market Pavilion, which comes with live stations and a special section on North Eastern food.
Make reservations: +91 033 2345 4545
A traditional welcome with chandan tikka and sweets, evening puja with dhoop, a Bengali dance performance – this is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture of this rich state, step back in time, and get a glimpse of the zamindari lifestyle. In a room with traditional décor and a four-poster bed, experience the heydays of a ‘raaj bari’ in this palatial mansion. The trip down nostalgia lane does not end here – the East India Room restaurant pays a tribute to forgotten dishes of the city such as Elliot Road Niramish Cutlet, Portuguese Bandel Cheese Malakoff, Satyajit Ray’s favourite Beckty fish and more. Head to Loafer’s Cafe for Victorian High Tea, The Swig bar for a drink and when you need the modern comforts, there’s a pool, gym and spa.
Make reservations: +91 033 4084 4848
Forget your alarm and let the lively chirping of birds wake you up. And if you like sleeping late (don’t we all) then there is no need to rush for breakfast, because you get freshly prepared breakfast all day. In fact, forget the clock altogether because there is no check in or check out time. Located in a heritage village Moira, this 214-year old home is all about immersing yourself in a rustic experience in lush green surroundings. So you won’t feel as if you are in Goa until you taste the food. It is personalised and local – made by Anju, a local village housewife, who whips up some amazing Goan dishes served along with the huge banana that Moira is famous for. They also have a spa and pool.
Make reservations: +91 79995 55222
If you want to live it up in the party capital of India, then you’ve reached the right hotel. The colourful lobby and bar Living Room and WOOBAR turn into a happening party place each evening where you can dance the night away. The Rock Pool, located on a cliff, overlooking the Arabian Sea is a great spot for sundowners. The rooms are contemporary and done up in cheerful colours with mood lighting adding to the drama in the evenings. Satiate your hunger pangs at Spice Traders, the Pan-Asian restaurant and at The Kitchen Table, the all-day dining space.
Make reservations: +91 83267 18888
Choose from the one of the largest whiskey collections in the city at The Collection bar, bite into a range of kebabs at the Great Indian Kebab festival at CUR8, and if you are a tea lover then you can be a part of the Indian Chai Festival at the Lobby Lounge and Terrace – there is a lot going on at Four Seasons on the long weekend. After all that eating, stroll in the butterfly garden or ribbon lawn, sit by the cascading waterfall, take a dip in the pool or indulge yourself at the spa. It will be a weekend to remember and you will forget that you are in Bengaluru.
Make reservations: +91 80452 22222
There is no better way to unwind than gazing at Ulsoor Lake from the massive windows in your room as you turn the pages of a book or sip coffee. We love the TV hidden in the mirror in the sprawling bathroom, and the temperature controlled infinity pool that overlooks the lake that is sure to tempt you. But it is the five dining options at the hotel that will keep you distracted. Conrad, which by the way, is the tallest hotel in the city, has a Pan-Asian restaurant Mikusu; an Indian eatery called Indian Durbar; and a lovely Mediterranean bistro Tiamo by the pool. Don’t leave without trying the Sunday brunch at Caraway Kitchen.
Make reservations: +91 80221 44444
This one is for all – children, pet dogs, foodies, and the health conscious. Don’t be surprised if you find hotel staff in jeans and dungarees because this is what Andaz is all about – a fun, pet-friendly hotel that celebrates Delhi in more ways than you can think. Not only do they have curated walks and experiences around the city, but each of the 401 rooms has a unique piece of art related to it. For Sunday brunch, choose between AnnaMaya, the European food hall, and The Hong Kong Club, which offers unlimited dimsums. Both have a range of activities for children. Weight watchers can head to Soul Pantry for healthy flatbreads, while evenings can be kept for Juniper, a gin bar which has some amazing cocktails.
Make reservations: +91 11490 31234
In its new avatar, this hotel offers a dose of super luxury laced with something Delhiites cannot buy for love or money: Clean air. A hi-tech purification system means that you will literally breathe easy here. It beckons in other ways too, striking a new note while keeping its classic elegance intact. The rooms are bold and bright (think walls in peacock blue) and offer lush views of the Delhi Golf Course on one side and Humayun Tomb on the other. Two of its restaurants, the new Indian restaurant, Omya, and Baoshuan, have chefs who have worked at Michelin starred restaurants, so indulge in some fine dining and celebrate the long weekend.
Make reservations: +91 11243 6303o
All images: Courtesy hotels