by Kristian Steffensen

Abode Hotel Mumbai

Colonial and charming digs in old-world Colaba.

Absolute Highlight

Slipping back in time, wandering along leafy streets amongst a smorgasbord of architectural vestiges.

In a nutshell

No. of rooms
20
The design aesthetic is...
vintage, reclaimed, restored colonial-era coziness.
The typical guest is...
a mixed bag of all ages.
The sustainability features (ie. plastic free, recycling, green wall, garden) are...
amazing... no plastics, all locally sourced goods, employing and empowering local women, supporting school for the blind, facilitating donations...
The location is...
superb, you take a trip back in time in and around Colaba.
Interaction is encouraged by....
a cozy common area..
You should stay here because
of the location, sustainability and authenticity.
What took you there?

A work trip to India had me in Bombay over the weekend.

What was your room like?

Rustic, low-roofed, basic but furnished with charming vintage furniture and the shared bathroom worked well – very clean, spacious and barely a guest in sight.

What about the venue

Down a cobbled-stone backstreet across a mosaic-tiled floor, you’ll find a large wooden staircase leading up to what was once the abode of old-world Bombay entrepreneur David Sassoon. Like Sassoon, the building has a speckled heritage, adding to its charm. The beautifully restored timber floors complement the heritage decor creating a lovely warm feel. Don’t come expecting a luxury hotel though, it’s small and pokey… but this is India, and character helps define the soul.

Now any review of the Abode has to note it’s tremendous effort in pursuing sustainable development and fair-trade practices. The premises are plastic-free, the furniture is sourced from local artisans and manufacturers. The airport shuttle service is run by an organisation focused on empowering the local women (often single mothers), the spa employs blind massage therapists and the lobby supplies are products that support local NGOs.

Thoughtful is the modus operandi for Abode, topped off by the sweet notes and night treats and as part of the turn-down service. Insider tip: stay in the luxury rooms for the classic bathtubs overlooking bustling streets below.

Tell us about the destination

I found the neighbourhood of Colaba to have so many elements thrown into together. Waking up early on a Saturday morning I wandered the streets, feeling the vestiges from a bygone era – strong flavours of the British Raj and the East India Trading Company amongst an architectural delight of gothic and neo-classical, art-deco, Hindu-Islamic buildings, peppered by dereliction, vegetation and renewal. Old chai houses as old chai houses, or speakeasies, you’d never know … I loved the way the hum and buzz of the India metropolis was cooled along leafy streets. Adobe Hotel’s neighbourhood has it all.

Who did you meet there?

Apart from the lovely hotel staff (who were fantastically helpful), I didn’t really meet anyone at the hotel, although bar and restaurant hopping around the south Bombay nightlife scene was a whole lot of fun. There are plenty of locals and travellers to meet and mingle within the area.

Surrounding Activities

Colaba

Wander the streets of Colaba. Explore the area by foot and take in the architecture. There are so many streets to choose from, but a great place to start is Merewether Road, sandwiched between the busy Apollo Bunder Road and the crowded Colaba Causeway it's a quiet stroll.

India Khaki Tours

Delve into the history of Bombay. Keeping history alive and kicking in India (Khaki) Tours are fantastic. Run by Bombay history aficionados, you’ll learn of stories and characters that thread amongst the monuments abound.

India Khaki Tours

Gokul

Sample the local cuisine at Gokul. There are so many cool little bars and restaurants to visit, but for something really unique, a late night bite with the local crowd, head to Gokul and head through the kitchen and up the stairs.

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