Vivanta by Taj - President
My parents were married at the President Hotel, 30 years ago. I recently celebrated my birthday here, and was reminded of why the hotel has remained a family favourite, after all these years, despite the change in name, ownership and all. Primarily a business hotel, Vivanta by Taj, President is located close to Mumbai’s business districts of Cuffe Parade and Nariman Point with proximity to touristy Colaba.
So here is my list of the top two things to try if you’re at the Vivanta by Taj,President.
1. The Food:
Honestly, the food is so good throughout this hotel! Italian. Thai. Konkan. Chef Ananda Solomon has weaved his magic into all the F & B outlets that dominate the hotel’s lobby ensuring it stays a buzzing, local hot-spot.
There’s the two decade old Thai Pavillion that was introduced to Mumbai after much study by Chef Solomon and then renovated again in 2007 with an all new look that includes traditional sunken seating, Thai motifs and an interactive kitchen. The restaurant stays fresh with a constantly evolving menu of seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Must Try: The raw mango salad with water chestnuts or the steamed John Dory with coriander, chilly, peanut in tangy sauce.
Timings: All Day
Average Cost for Two: Rs. 4000 ++
The Konkan Café:
Thoroughly Indian, the name invokes delightful images of full bodied fish curry with rice, garnished with coconut ofcourse! As a swimmer, both fish and rice were part of my staple diet, and the café serves up both in many exquisite forms. Try the rice in all its coastal glory as a dosa, roti or a fluffy appam. Choose to sit under the moon lighting of the “Open Sky” that created waves in architectural circles when first launched over two decades ago, or in the Rosewood verandah reminiscent of traditional Keralite architecture. Both make a nice setting in which to savour this coastal cuisine.
Lunch - 12:30 to 14:45
Dinner - 19:00 to 23:45
Weekend Breakfast - 07:00 to 11:00
Average Cost for Two: Rs. 3500 ++
After hours, you can unwind at the hotel's nightclub Wink, which so recently turned ten, or head to Trattoria, the hotel’s 24-hour coffee shop that’s still South Bombay’s place of choice for a tete a tete past midnight! My favourite restaurant in the hotel, the food in Trattoria is largely influenced by the southern regions of Italy. And I’m told that since the coffee shop has been the scene for so many “Wonder Years” memories, they even have a special dish called “Tratts Nostlagia” now. Our server recommended the Flamma Pizza made in their open show kitchen, with its brick-based Italforni. You might also want to try their Sunday Brunch which features a huge array of antipasti, soups and mains along with a varied dessert selection complete with a chocolate fountain.
Timings: All Day
Average cost for two: Rs. 2500 ++
With F & B gems like this, it’s no surprise this otherwise unremarkable building at the corner of Cuffe Parade, remains buzzing despite stiff competition.
2. The Head Massage:
If you have an hour and fifteen minutes to spare, the head massage at this hotel’s salon is a Mumbai must-do that will leave you fresh and rejuvenated. The masseurs at the salon will knead, massage, and rub away all the weariness from your head and back, leaving you awake and refreshed. The head massage at the President is one of the best I’ve had, and is the perfect pick-me-up if you’re jet lagging or just tired! Worth every rupee of the Rs. 2,580 spent!
If you have more time on your hands, you could also head to the Jiva Spa, which promises a head to foot invigorating experience with customized packages designed to suit your requirements. I haven’t tried the hotel’s spa yet - maybe next time!
Address - 90, G.D. Somani Road, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai.
Phone - 022 6665 0808.