Monday, April 12, 2010

Mumbai Hotels

We arrived in Mumbai on Jan 16, 2009 just six weeks after the November 26th terrorist attacks. And since we had purchased our Yangon to Mumbai via Bangkok plane tickets at the end of December, we arrived with no hotel reservation.

Our first stop, after surviving the airport money changers (we used the ATM), the queue at the airport's train ticket window (no luck), a prepaid taxi scam (resolved in our favor), and a free tour of VT, Fort and Colaba Districts with our clueless taxi driver (got some great photos), was the Oasis Hotel, a popular backpacker joint according to Lonely Planet. Took a look at a Double for 1600 RS – way too small. Deluxe Doubles were 1800 (47RS = 1USD) but they were all full. The nearby Welcome Hotel was also full.

The Railway Hotel had a corner room for 2300 + tax = 2530 RS, over $50 US, with breakfast included. We also went by the nearby Ship Hotel which has non-AC rooms for 200 to 300 RS. Looked like a great place if you were a seaman. So we take the room at the Railway.

After snagging train tickets to Goa from the Foreigner Ticket Window at VT, we headed out in search of dinner and had a tasty evening meal at Mangalore Naaz Restaurant. Well run with friendly proprietor and waiters, and located just a few blocks south from the hotel, we ended up eating there at least once a day during our stay in Mumbai.

We were out the door the next morning at 9:00 AM with a plan to search for a cheaper/better hotel in the VT District. We noticed that while our room key fob says Railway Hotel, the room stationary and invoice say Fort Landmark Inn. Hmm. We check back at Welcome Hotel - still full and more expensive than the Railway. On to the Princess, a sister Landmark property, which is even more expensive. The Grand, The Benazeer, all were either full or too expensive or we didn’t like the “available” room(s).

After changing more money (hotels wanted cash) and enjoying a tasty McVeggie at the McDonald’s across from VT, we were headed back to the Railway resigned to spending another day there, when we spotted the Hotel Victoria right next to the Welcome Inn and we took newly renovated room #202 for 1500 RS per night. Great! And there was a Wi-Fi signal if we perched our netbook on the window sill. Awesome!

And there was a mad dash to get back to the Railway before noon to check out. Haha!

Hotel Victoria:
255 Shahid Bhagat Sing Road, 1st Floor,
Near G.P.O., V.T., Mumbai - 400001
Phone: 2261 1642 / 2265 1322

All the hotels mentioned above are within easy walking distance of Victoria Terminus (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus)

The Railway Hotel
Railway Hotel - Mumbai, India

The view from the Railway Hotel
View From Railway Hotel - Mumbai, India

The Hotel Victoria (left) and Welcome Hotel (right)
Hotel Victoria - Mumbai, India

The Mangalore Naaz Restaurant
Mangalore Naaz Restaurant - Mumbai

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Ah yes, the delightful Railway Hotel! Stayed there for one night in 2001 - then had a dispute about whether I had a regular or deluxe single on check out. Resolved in my favor since after a while I simply paid for a regular and left to catch my train. (BTW the caption is backward on the Victoria/Welcome photo).

I've been reading your pieces on Japan 2006 - the hotels sound like good finds - thanks.

john said...

Fixed the captions. Thanks!