There’s always an upside of any kind of business travel- the luxurious light at the end of the dusty, humid tunnel!! After a day of a 6 a.m flight followed by 10 hours of driving from the airport to Mulund to Vashi to Kalyan, and then finding out you have to stay the night so you can drive next morning (6 a.m. again, to Nasik, the final stop is the Leela.
So I’ve been a consultant 2 years, travelled on work to several cities across Asia, and a bit in the US and lived in luxury hotels (or as they call them business hotels; my bar is clearly lower than that of HNWIs) throughout. But even now, the idea of spending an evening by myself in a well equipped, reasonably lavish room, with a view better than that of NH-8, appeals immensely to me. And it helps being alone, with little socializing to do. People warned me when I started life as a consultant that I’d get fed up of this sooner than I’d believe. Still no!
And it’s not like I’m staying by myself in a bachelorette pad, where I have to clean, cook, do the laundry etc myself. I live in my parent’s house, in a lovely little room, which has been made to evolve over the years (by me….I’m not that spoilt) to be exactly to my taste. Dim lighting, a reading lamp, a bookshelf next to my bed with my favourite books neatly stacked up, a little section where I admire myself (twice daily on weekdays, several hundred times on weekends), a small but highly functional bathroom, and a big bed (big enough for my small frame). And I love going back to it, most days of the week. Long evening chats with parents are the best stress buster!
I guess the love for these luxurious rooms comes from a day of work madness. And the fact that I so deserve it after that!
The other kind of room I love is the youth hostel, or a shoddy hotel room, but ONLY WHILE I’M ON VACATION. And this almost axiomatically leads me to dislike luxurious hotels, when on vacation. I loved the little room I had to spend half the night in the time I got locked in a park in South of England. I slept on a rug. At the same time, I absolutely hated the semi-luxurious room my firm paid for on my soccer trip to Madrid.
This one’s cool. No fuss, no gold furniture with over-done Indian carvings (unlike like Le Meridien in Jaipur, which although most firangs absolutely lurrve, I find overly ethnicized). This is plain luxury!
Lehman Brothers wrote a 560 page research report on eating out in Mumbai- entertaining but hardly helpful in choosing a place. Any way, I have an addition to it: Chicken Kathi Roll, Room Service, The Leela. I usually have high standards in food, so totally recommend the greasy, fried, but yummy Kathi roll.
Another discovery: the difference between a good day and a great day is a long hot shower!