We needed to head back to Mumbai as one of our pre-booked flights departed from here. We were informed that there wasn’t much to do here and would have been better off staying elsewhere. However, this suited us fine as we had had a busy month already and needed some downtime and to catch up with work.
We decided to stay in a nicer hotel for this part of the trip as we knew we would be spending a lot of time indoors. Plus, after some of the teahouses in Nepal, we needed a little bit of luxury.
The hotel is located along the Marina of Mumbai and is relatively close to the main tourist attractions. It was about a 20-minute walk to the night market and a short taxi ride to the Gate of India.
Although the Intercontinental is a 5* hotel, it wasn’t as grand as we expected/hoped. The hotel didn’t have many floors so it wasn’t a superimposing skyscraper. Nevertheless, the staff and our room was lovely.
There were 3 restaurants in the hotel and the food was excellent. Portion sizes were quite small though so it wasn’t great value for money. On the rooftop was the dome bar, which gave views overlooking the Queen’s Necklace. As Mumbai isn’t filled with skyscrapers, the view was rather underwhelming. The amount of noise/pollution didn’t help either.
Even though our room was very nice, it didn’t feel like we were in a 5* hotel and we were a little disappointed overall.
Gate of India
The only day of tourism led us to the Gate of India and the Elephanta Caves.
Like everywhere in India, everything is manic! We got a taxi from our hotel to the Gate and as soon as we jumped out, we were hounded by many men selling tickets. One man told us to go to the Caves later as he wanted to sell a city tour. After ditching him, we managed to find someone who was just selling boat tickets to the island. The tickets are super cheap and you can buy a return journey (just make sure you keep the ticket). The boat ride took about 1.5 hours.
The Gate of India is pretty underwhelming. Now that Mumbai has lots of big buildings surrounding it, the gate is dwarfed in comparison. I’m sure when it was built and used in the 1920s it would have been more impressive.
Speaking of underwhelming, the Elephanta Caves were exceptionally disappointing. We expected there to be 7 caves, each with something unique/impressive to look at. How wrong were we! The first cave was the only decent cave. It had many carved faces and statues of Trimurti, Shiva and many others. All the caves after that were just plain caves! It really isn’t worth going, save your time and money and go elsewhere. The best part of this day was the boat ride, which was rather pleasant.
We are on the move again, so we shall see you in Abu Dhabi.