Like splitting cells create a mass of flesh, the city once called Bombay is now as complicated and rich as the blood that runs through its veins. With DNA from both the British and the Portuguese, the most populous and most wealthy city in India offers up some of the simplest and most extravagant pleasures, a popular juxtaposition in India which never allows one to forsake the other. From ice cold cocktails in gold gilded hotels, along twinkling, carriage-lined promenades to the most sizzling street food scene, you can’t truly experience one in its full glory without having been down the other road.
Stay // Abode Bombay
A boutique style hotel brought to life by a family of antique dealers, is filled with refurbished relics, kitschy Mumbai antiques, old photographs and sustainable luxury. Stay in the luxury room with giant windows overlooking the bustling neighborhood of Colaba, watch twinkling horse drawn carriages pass by at dusk and retreat to the super stylish lobby for a local breakfast and shopping in Abode’s integrated gift shop and library.
First Floor Lansdowne House Building, M.B. Marg, Near Regal Cineman, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400039
T: 080802 34066
Shop// Bungalow 8
Just like the city in which it was born, Bungalow 8 seeks to redefine the fashion of its former self. If Bombay was known for shimmering crystals and vibrantly colored sari’s, this boutique, located in three stories of a converted warehouse, brings Mumbai fashion back to its roots. Earth tone pieces of linen and cotton are crafted in angles echoing the simplicity and sustainable design of the tetrapods that line Mumbai’s shores. Downstairs, shop curated antiques and modern house wares.
Grants Building, 1st, 2nd & 3rd floors, 17 Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba
T: +91 22 22819880/1/2
Shop // Chor Baazar
India’s greatest flea market is a treasure trove of antiques, housewares, vintage cameras, Bollywood posters and more. Go early to find the most recently foraged finds.
Drink / Work / Be Social // Colaba Social
A collaborative workspace & café rents space—really hip space—to artists, creatives and the like, while keeping your workspace social and your cup of joe full. Apply for their monthly membership to reserve a space or use their on-demand conference room, lockers and wi-fi. Stop by anytime to have coffee, breakfast or just hang out in their hanging lounge chairs and relax.
24, Ground Floor,
B.K.Boman Behram Marg,
Apollo Bunder, Colaba,
T: +91 981 0052869
Eat Chic // The Table
Sharing is a popular theme in India: spaces, buses, music, meals and homes. Chef Alex Sanchez of San Francisco infuses his Pacific Rim-Americana cuisine with the essence of Mumbai in a beautiful loft-style restaurant, incorporating a communal bar and small and large plates that put sharing in India the chicest of spaces.
Ground floor, Kalapesi Trust Building
Opp. Dhanraj Mahal, Below Hotel Suba Palace
Apollo Bunder Marg, Colaba
T: +91 022 2282 5000
Eat Street // Bademiya
An Indian drive-in of sorts. Pull your car up to the curb if you can find a spot amidst the masses. Get out and walk up to find a lone plaid-clad order-taker at the grill or wait in your car for a server to come up to you. He’ll bring you a post-card sized menu, prop up your hood with a soda bottle to bring it to just level, and swath it in newspaper. When he returns with your order—chicken, lamb and beef kebabs, tissue-thin bread, rice and chutney—you jump out, gather round your hood and nosh. After your meal, your server returns to clear your dishes, wipe you hood clean and sends you on your way.
Shop No.7,8 & 9, Botawala Building Horniman Circle, Kala Ghoda
T: +91 022 6161 2371
See // The Gateway of India
Once the very gateway of India for travelers arriving in Bombay, this architectural entrance is now one of Mumbai’s largest tourist attractions. Go early to beat the crowds, go late to enjoy the sunset and the arrival of the twinkling horse drawn carriages. Boat rides are available for those wishing to “pull back” and get the full picture.
See // Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
The headquarters of Central Railways and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (or Victoria Terminus) is a short walk from the neighborhood of Colaba. Along streets lined with vendors from A to Z, the Indo-Saracenic architecture seems to grow out of the earth like a mountain range, jutting forth it’s minarets and sharp spires.