Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Keri Stooksbury
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Visiting India for a friend’s wedding was the main reason behind a monthlong trip around the world that I recently returned from. While the wedding took place in Jaipur, Rajasthan, I wanted to spend a little more time in India before the wedding.
I’d long wanted to visit Mumbai, the center of business and culture in the world’s most populous nation. A seaside city with a metropolitan population of over 20 million people, it is already a powerhouse on the world stage and is only becoming more so as its population continues to boom. I knew I had to see and experience it as the first stop on my entirely too brief journey through a very small portion of the country.
In such a large, globally connected city, there’s no shortage of accommodation options, from budget hostels to 5-star hotels. Naturally, I gravitated toward the latter and began assessing my options for the 3 nights I’d be in town.
Initially, I booked my stay at The St. Regis Mumbai as I’m a frequent Marriott guest and found a great rate. But then I remembered I had an unused $200 annual hotel credit to use at American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts (FHR) properties. I figured Mumbai would be the perfect place to use it, given the reasonable cash rates for hotels across the city — even for the high-end ones.
Sure enough, I found a great rate at the Four Seasons — less expensive than the St. Regis — that was eligible for my FHR credit, so I didn’t hesitate to book!
Read on to find out what my stay was like and what you can expect if you find yourself at the property.
The Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai is in the city’s Worli neighborhood, an upscale district that’s home to high-end malls, plenty of offices, and some of the top attractions in town, including the Haji Ali Mosque, the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum, the Gateway of India, and more.
The hotel’s location makes it ideal both for business travelers in town for meetings as well as for leisure travelers like myself who want a well-located base from which to explore the city.
The Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai is located only about 10 miles from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM). Mumbai is notoriously traffic-choked, but without traffic (or light traffic), you can expect the journey to take around 20 to 30 minutes. The route also involves traversing the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, a cable bridge that — as its name would suggest — connects Bandra in the city’s western suburbs with Worli in the city’s southern end.
The bridge has been instrumental in alleviating some of the traffic that travels between the 2 areas. Crossing the beautiful, imposing bridge on the way to the hotel from the airport was fun, as it provided some fantastic views of the city’s skyline.
On my way to the hotel, I rode in the hotel’s house car (more on that later), but on my way out of town, I took an Uber. The Uber cost me 706 rupees (~$8.50) and took about 25 minutes.
I should note, too, that I used Uber many times throughout my stay in Mumbai. It was reliable, easy, and very inexpensive.
The way I was able to book this Four Seasons stay was one of the main reasons I settled on this hotel. I had an unused $200 prepaid hotel credit — a perk of The Platinum Card® from American Express — that I was hoping to use before the end of the year.
I canceled my original reservation at The St. Regis Mumbai when I remembered that I still had the credit to use, so I quickly turned my search to the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program to see what was available.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re considering putting this credit to use:
With all that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised when I found the Four Seasons available for about $250 per night. At that price, I could score a 3-night stay at the hotel for (close to) the price of 2 nights.
I booked my prepaid reservation with my Amex Platinum card for a total of $893, including all taxes and fees. Prepaid reservations made through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts earn 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar.
Soon after the transaction posted, I noticed that the full $200 credit had been applied to my statement. I was all-in for just under $700 for 3 nights at the Four Seasons — not too bad!
As this was a Fine Hotels + Resorts booking, I was entitled to a number of elite-like benefits. That’s fantastic to have at a Four Seasons property, which doesn’t have a traditional loyalty program.
I was eligible to receive the following benefits:
After my plans were solidified, I reached out to the hotel directly to arrange the car transfer from the airport. I was told I’d be picked up in a Mercedes E-Class sedan, which I was certainly excited about. Typically, the hotel charges about $90 for the service, so if it hadn’t been included as an FHR benefit, I would have stuck to the sub-$10 Uber.
I arrived in Mumbai on an Emirates flight from Dubai (DXB) and quickly made my way through immigration and customs. Just like the hotel had said in our emails, a Four Seasons employee was waiting for me with a sign with my name on it in the arrivals hall of the terminal.
He greeted me, welcomed me to Mumbai, took my bag, and led me to the Mercedes in a nearby parking garage.
When I got into the car, I found a glass jar of refreshing lemonade and some mixed nuts to snack on during the journey.
There was light traffic when I got into town, so we made it to the hotel in less than 25 minutes, which was great. On the way, I marveled at the city’s sights, reveling in my first moments in India.
We pulled up to the hotel, where we were greeted by security guards who asked the driver to stop while they checked the car. I quickly learned this was commonplace at many destinations in the city.
The hotel was tucked away from the street in a high-rise tower. The driveway was elegant, with a neat green wall on 1 side and a fountain greeting guests. It felt like an oasis in the middle of the chaotic city.
When we pulled up to the door, a bellman immediately approached the car and welcomed me to the hotel. He asked for my name and took my bag, saying it’d be waiting for me in my room.
I made my way into the lobby, which was small but beautifully designed in a sharp, urban style.
There was a beautiful arrangement of flowers in the middle of the space, which I waited in front of until it was my turn to check in.
A few people were in front of me, but the wait wasn’t long. The friendly front desk agent asked for my passport and credit card to start the check-in process. She saw that I had booked through FHR, so she grabbed some paperwork explaining my benefits and ran through them verbally.
I had booked a renovated Superior Room with 1 king bed but was informed that I’d been placed in a Deluxe Renovated Room, which, according to the agent, had a nice view. While it wasn’t a suite, I appreciated being put into a room with a better view, especially for my first time in Mumbai!
After she explained all of the hotel’s features — most importantly, where I could claim my complimentary breakfast each morning — I was handed the keys to my room, and I made my way upstairs.
As this Four Seasons is a city-center property, there aren’t as many amenities as you’d find at a resort, but it has all of its bases covered. Here’s what’s on offer.
My favorite amenity by far was the rooftop pool deck. Mumbai is typically a very hot city, so having a place to relax and cool off was a great perk.
The pool deck was a beautiful space, with plenty of spacious, comfortable loungers spread around the outside of the pool.
Some were under gazebos, providing more shade and a degree of relief from the hot sun.
I spent a morning working by the pool. I picked a chair under one of the gazebos, which was the perfect place to focus for a few hours with a delightful breeze.
Very few people were using the pool at the same time I was, so it was very peaceful and relaxing. It was quite high above the city, making it the perfect respite for a few hours.
The Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai offers a fully-equipped gym for guests from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Near the entrance was a station with towels, water, and a bowl of fruit.
The gym wasn’t huge, but it offered a solid array of machines designed for cardio and weightlifting.
I particularly liked that the gym featured large floor-to-ceiling windows, letting in plenty of light and providing great vistas of the city below.
As expected at a Four Seasons hotel, a full-service spa is available. It offers a full range of treatments, including massages, facials, scrubs, and Ayurvedic experiences. The spa is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and appointments are required.
The Wi-Fi at the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai was strong, and I maintained a connection throughout my stay with no issues. I was particularly pleased that it worked so well by the pool that I could work for a few hours in a beautiful setting.
Valet and self-parking in a garage are available to guests free of charge, not including tips for valet.
Pets up to 33 pounds are welcome to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, though there is a ₹1,500 (~$18) charge per pet per night to accommodate them.
I was assigned to a Deluxe Renovated Room on the eighth floor. Let’s take a look at what my home in Mumbai was like!
As I made my way through the corridor, I could see some remnants of the pre-renovated look with the light-wood panels on the wall and dark door frames. But the carpet looked like it was new.
I opened the door to my room into a small foyer. The bathroom was immediately on the right, while the room’s closet unit was on the left side.
The closet was fairly large — certainly more than adequate for my things — and contained several hangers, a luggage rack, a couple of umbrellas, an ironing board, and an iron.
Behind another door was the room’s safe and some additional drawer storage.
Next to that was an open storage portion with a shelf, a couple more drawers, and a few more amenities, including a pair of slippers. It was the perfect spot for my suitcase.
Across from the closet was the room’s minibar area. On top were a couple of delicious complimentary snacks, an ice bucket, a kettle, and a Nespresso machine. In a drawer immediately below were pods for the coffee maker, tea bags, and several mugs.
There were several drawers beneath that with the rest of the minibar’s contents. The first had a corkscrew, some chocolate bars for purchase, and some mini bottles of alcohol.
The next had glassware for various drinks.
And the drawer below that had even more snacks available for purchase.
Finally, there was a mini fridge stocked with a range of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages for purchase.
Along one of the room’s walls was a sitting area with a long bench, table, and an armchair.
Sitting on the bench allowed for amazing views across the city.
The wall facing the exterior was almost entirely glass and provided incredible vistas of the city’s skyline. In front of the glass wall was the room’s media unit, which housed a flat-screen TV.
The glass continued on the other side of the room, with another floor-to-ceiling window featuring a cozy chair and floor lamp in front of it.
The views from this corner room were fantastic, and I loved gazing out into the city before starting a day of exploring and equally when returning after a busy day.
In the center of the room was the room’s sumptuous king-size bed.
Behind the bed was a floor-to-ceiling tufted headboard in a smart-looking blue fabric with a subtle design. I loved the look, and it really dressed up the room.
The hotel provided a Bluetooth-enabled speaker for listening to music, and there were intuitive controls for the room’s lighting and blinds on either side of the bed.
I really liked this room. It wasn’t huge, but it was predictably luxurious. The bed was extremely comfortable and had everything I could have needed for my 3-night stay.
The bathroom wasn’t particularly large, but I think the designers made great use of the space they had to create a true 5-piece bathroom.
There was a double vanity with a very long counter. I was traveling solo on this leg of the trip, but there would have been plenty of space had I had another person with me.
There was a freestanding soaking tub with a small window that let in light and provided a sliver of the great views I got elsewhere in the room. Personally, I would have preferred to nix the tub in favor of a larger shower, but I know some people really love a bath in a hotel, so I get it.
The shower was on the small side, but it boasted great pressure, and I had no issues with the temperature whatsoever.
The toiletries came in large-format reusable bottles and were by a brand I’d never heard of: Forest Essentials. There was body wash, shampoo, and conditioner, all with a sweet basil and mandarin scent, which I got very used to as I showered at least twice a day, thanks to the humidity in the city.
There was also a water closet that featured a toilet with built-in bidet functionality.
Being an urban property in a city center, the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai doesn’t offer a ton of places to eat and drink, but I found what it did offer to be of very high quality. Let’s take a look at the options.
The property’s signature restaurant, San:Qi, offers a pan-Asian experience with Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian influences.
While I was eating off-property for lunch and dinner, this is where I enjoyed breakfast each morning. Emphasis on enjoyed because it was truly spectacular, and I quickly learned to look forward to it immediately after waking up.
The space was very modern, featuring concrete paired with colorful dining chairs throughout the room. Each morning, an extensive buffet was set up.
As part of my complimentary breakfast, thanks to Amex FHR, I could choose anything I wanted from the buffet and anything I desired from the à la carte menu.
On the first morning I visited, I decided to acquaint myself with the buffet by doing a lap before I made any decisions.
A separate room near the restaurant’s entrance featured tons of breakfast hits.
There were cold cuts, yogurts, nuts, and cereals on one side.
There were also cheeses, crackers, dips like hummus and tzatziki, crudites, salad, and more.
On the other side were the baked goods, which included everything from donuts and savory vegetable puffs to coffee cake and croissants (both sweet and savory).
Back in the main dining room, there was much more food to explore. There was a section with Indian selections, including samosas and medu wada (crispy lentil dumplings).
And, of course, there were several delicious chutneys to choose from.
Plenty of fresh fruit was available.
There were also some Western dishes, including breakfast potatoes, quiche, and sausage.
Finally, there was a range of juices and milk to choose from.
I made a somewhat eclectic plate and then sat down. The server came to me and asked if I’d like to see the à la carte menu, which I absolutely did.
It had even more Western and Asian options, with everything from French toast and omelets to dosa and congee.
I wanted to try the paratha, a flatbread dish filled with paneer (in this iteration) served with butter and an array of dipping sauces. It was fantastic — I especially liked the chili sauce it was served with.
I was craving eggs the following morning, so I ordered the eggs Benedict, which were perfectly executed and served with a fantastic, crispy hash brown.
San:Qi is open for breakfast Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday until 11 a.m.
It’s open for lunch daily from 12 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., for afternoon tea from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and for dinner from 7 p.m. to 6:15 a.m. The lunch and dinner menu is available online. After 11 p.m., food ordered from San:Qi is served via room service.
AER is a chic rooftop bar and lounge serving craft cocktails, wines, and beers, along with Mediterranean-inspired bites.
I visited AER on the first night of my stay. Unfortunately, the air quality that day wasn’t great, so my view was mostly of the clouds, but I could see at least a little bit of the city from my point of view.
The bar has the potential to be open-air, but the night I visited, it was enclosed with a glass roof.
I really liked the design, which was almost whimsical with a black-and-white striped marble floor, plenty of bright colors, and a long, white marble bar in the center.
I wasn’t particularly hungry because I was still severely jet-lagged at this point, so I just ordered a couple of gin and tonics (~$11.50), which were served with some seriously spicy bar snacks (welcome to India!).
I visited around sunset, so by the time I was done with my drinks, I stepped out onto the small open-air portion that was open to take in the city lights.
It was really exhilarating standing outside among the city’s glittering skyline, and I could see exactly why Mumbai has the reputation of being “the New York of India” among many people.
AER is open daily from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Men are asked to wear pants and closed-toe shoes.
The hotel offers a menu focused on seafood and other light bites served by the pool daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. I had a large breakfast before my morning by the pool, so I didn’t order any food, but the staff members working at the pool were very attentive and continually brought me fresh glasses of water when they noticed it getting low.
The Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai offers room service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I was fully expecting to order a late-night room service feast at least once, but it turned out that I was so exhausted from my days out and about in the city, so that never came to pass.
I was expecting top-notch service at this hotel, as it is a Four Seasons after all, and the hotel delivered. Everyone I interacted with was so friendly and made sure I felt comfortable at every point during my stay, especially after I told them it was my first time in India.
I left some laundry to be done, and it was returned in just a couple of hours in baskets wrapped in Four Seasons-branded fabric bags. Everything was folded beautifully, and clothes were grouped with other like items and tied together with Four Seasons-branded bows. It was all very high-class.
I loved staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai. It was the perfect base from which to explore the city — it was well-located, luxurious, comfortable, and polished, all while being totally approachable. Not to mention, I think I made good use of my $200 Amex FHR hotel credit at this property and got extra value in features like breakfast, thanks to my booking.
I loved my time in Mumbai, and it’s definitely a city I’d like to visit again. When I return, the Four Seasons will certainly be at the top of my list!
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
India has just 1 Four Seasons property: the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai.
The Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai opened for guests in 2006.
The Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai is located about 15.5 kilometers (~10 miles) from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM).
Four Seasons doesn’t have a traditional loyalty program, which means you can’t use a hotel chain’s points to book rooms. However, you can book the hotel with points if you use a travel portal such as American Express or Chase.
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