Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Mumbai. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Mumbai and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Mumbai insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the rock-cut caves at Elephanta Island is a worthy day trip from the bustle of Mumbai. The hour-long boat ride departs from the Gateway of India, reaching the island the Portuguese named for a stone elephant found on its shores. Visitors must climb a vast staircase to the 9th century caves, the path lined with a flurry of vendors selling trinkets and souvenirs– But if the hike is too much, climbers can pay locals to carry them in a chair for a few rupees. The six square mile island is the home to about 1200 locals mainly involved in growing rice, fishing and repairing boats.
Bring a little appetite to Chowpatty – loads of kiosks selling Mumbai’s favorite snacks like Bhelpuri and Kulfi are a must for first timers. Then frolic with a wealth of entertainers like masseurs, snake charmers, contortionists and monkey trainers. Chowpatty also has historical significance for the city, as a place where the masses gathered for political meetings before India’s independence. And at night, be dazzled by the “Queen’s Necklace” – a theatrical view of street lamps that light up Marine Drive along the beach.
Capture a piece of Mumbai at the city’s largest marketplace for a reasonable price. Trinkets, shawls, food, antiques, clothes, shoes, jewellery, and art can all be found in this shopper’s haven. Developed in 1838 and renovated again in 1861 and 1863 became a commerce centre as a cotton exchange, then by the early 1950s the causeway gradually became known as the city’s most fashionable shopping center.
Mumbai’s famous outdoor market is not exactly a haven for thievery, as the name chor may suggest. The bazaar is simply a beautiful congregation of people who come to browse, hunt and bargain for second-hand treasures.
Housed within a turn-of-the-century colonial bungalow, this is probably the most fashionable restaurant in south Mumbai. Indigo's innovative menu is predominantly modern European with a dose of local flavor and the wine list extensive and impressive. The décor is slick (the Black Lounge is particularly chic) and the split-level roof-terrace is the place to eat in cooler months.
Excellent north-Indian dishes are served at the long-standing Gaylord restaurant that's as famous for its ostentatious dining room as it is its food. The décor is very much Raj-era pizzazz with additional flourishes such as the tuxedo-wearing waiters only adding to the over-the-top finish. There's an outdoor seating area, separated from the street traffic, and a quieter indoor air-conditioned section better suited for conversation.
Tucked away on a back street in the Fort area is what many local (and visiting) foodies promise is the best seafood restaurant in town. Trishna specializes in Mangalorean seafood dishes and its signature dish, butter pepper garlic king crab, is every bit as delicious as it sounds. Try also the pomfret hyderabadi and the (incredibly spicy) kolhapuri prawns. Trishna is popular with Mumbai's 'in' crowd so you can people-watch while you wait for your order.