For those of you that have followed my blog posts on my adventure in India, you will know that for the most part, we stayed in accommodation that usually meant we couldn’t shower properly or at all, the rooms often had paper thin walls which meant broken sleep, cows mooed in the carpark, and we generally spent 2.5 weeks never quite feeling rested or clean.
But Jo and I had a plan that was put in place soon after we booked our flights. To counteract the cheaper accommodation along the way, we decided to spend one luxurious filled night staying at the famous landmark that is the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai.
Flying back to Mumbai from eye-opening Varanasi (read about that here), we had one night in a B&B before we could check in at the Taj. The B&B experience was worth a whole blog post in itself, it wasn’t our finest evening of sleep, but we were certainly about to experience the best sleep of our trip.
There’s two parts to the Taj Mahal Place Hotel, the tower and the palace. We’d booked at the tower as there weren’t any suitable rooms left in the palace wing. We arrived at the hotel, which oozes luxury every which way you look, and at check-in we couldn’t believe our luck, they were upgrading us to a club room in the palace wing. A club room meant our stay included breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and post dinner cognac and chocolates. YAY!
The check in was an experience itself, being gifted a beautiful necklace and marked on the forehead with red powder, all symbols and wishes of good fortune. We were then led to our exquisite room on the sixth floor. Our twin room was perfect, and everything you’d hope for from a hotel with such a good reputation.
Our first priority was taking a shower, which was truly an amazing experience. It felt so nice to have clean hair and a proper wash! Then we head downstairs for coffee in a beautifully decorated room. Jo and I were so happy in this moment, and I feel so ‘first world’ saying that, but I think we both felt like a bit of a weight had been lifted from our shoulders. We no longer needed to think about whether utensils were clean, if the food had been cooked properly and all those sort of things that keep you on your toes travelling in India.
We spent a lot of time in the last part of our trip talking about what food we’d eat once we were back in the UK. I lost weight in India, not just because of food poisoning but because of my gluten intolerance. Whilst a lot of the food in India is gluten free, I just couldn’t face eating curry every single night, so I ate my weight in Cadbury Dairy Milk to keep me going most of the time!
Mumbai however, does have a lot of fantastic cafes and restaurants and so we decided we’d pop out for a deliciously healthy brunch at The Pantry. Located in a trendy area of Mumbai, the cafe itself is fab, along with a great menu too. We sipped on almond milk cappuccino’s and ate a huge bowl of fruit salad with kefir milk, and in that moment, I wished our trip could have lasted a few more days. We’d had the adventure of a lifetime, but this now felt like a holiday.
Back at the Taj Palace Hotel, we changed into bikinis and head out to the pool area. This part of the hotel is amaaaaazing. The pool is huge for a start, and everything is so well designed. Sitting down on our sun loungers, I tried to relax, but failed miserably, there were too many pretty things to photograph!
I left Jo at the hotel in the afternoon, and wandered around some of the stores, which really were very cool. From chic boutiques, to design stores, Mumbai is definitely one of my favourite cities I’ve visited.
Back at the hotel, we changed for the evening, and head downstairs for pre-dinner cocktails, skipping dinner and going straight to the cognac and chocolate service haha! It was such a perfect evening, sitting in such a stunning hotel. We both agreed we should have stayed two nights and not one!
The next morning, following our lovely buffet breakfast (there was even a gluten free table!), we packed our bags, dropped our room key, and jumped in a cab to the airport. I was now looking forward to getting home, and I know we both loved our flight back to the London, with hardly any passengers, we spread out, drank wine, and watched movies.
I can’t get India out of my mind, for all it’s up’s and downs, frustrating moments, food poisoning and lack of showering, I’ve never experienced a country like it in all my travels. It’s got me hooked and I’m desperate to return. Definitely with a TWO night stay at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel next time ;o)