The Adobe Bombay Hotel

The Adobe Bombay Hotel


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1st Floor, Lansdowne House Building, M.B. Marg,Near Regal Cinema, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400039
Visit the Website +91 80802 34066
Luxe for Less
Area: Mumbai

The first thing you may notice about the Adobe is its name. The Adobe Bombay Hotel. India’s self-declared ‘Maximum City’ was renamed Mumbai by bureaucrats determined to sever the city’s cultural link with its British past. The name ‘Bombay’ has stuck, however, and for two reasons. Firstly, it just sounds a heap nicer. Remember the dried fish, dried on the wharves of the city’s docks and for some reason named Bombay Duck, that one could buy in Indian restaurants in London and New York until health-and-safety intervened.

And secondly, none of the locals call the place Mumbai. Foreigners may wag their fingers and solemnly remind one another of the official, post-1996 name. But if you’re from Bombay, you call the place Bombay. Partly to thumb your nose at bureaucrats and partly because, well, the name is cooler.

But back to the Adobe, a wonderful throwback to times when things were simpler (ie when we didn’t have so many energy-draining gadgets cluttering up our lives). This is first and foremost a wonderfully located hotel, on MB Marg, a small avenue leading from SP Mukherjee Chowk (a bumper-to-bumper roundabout) down to the splendor of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Gateway of India. If your taxi driver is lost, tell them to drive to either of these famous national monuments and walk the remainder of the five minutes to your new front door.

The Abode is something else entirely. It describes itself as an ‘anti-chain’ hotel and so it is. Each of the rooms, which range from ‘basic’ up to ‘super-luxury’, the latter with sumptuous linen duvets, fluffy cotton robes, huge standalone baths, and kick-ass air conditioning, is a paean to old-fashioned Indian design. The tables are stripped wood, as are the trunk-style coffee tables and desks. The ornate chairs and benches are adorned with large, tropical-designed cushions, and there is a genuine sense of being thrown back in time to an era when people wore pince-nez and top hats, and hailed one another by their surnames.

The Adobe’s staff and management are happy to regale you with tales of the building itself, which was bought by an antiques dealer in the 1980s, before being transformed into a boutique hotel in 2013. Its founders scoured the city’s second-hand stores for the right mix of colonial and art-deco beds and pieces of furniture, sourced from reclaimed Burmese teak, and reflayed vintage saris into soft furnishings to give visitors the feeling of entering a genuine, turn-of-the-20th century Bombay-style hotel.

Moreover, far from being a museum exhibit, this is a proper working hotel, mixing old-world style with modern mod-cons. Each room comes with high-speed wifi (no small thing in a city blighted by low internet speeds). The downstairs lobby and library, which doubles as a café (try the homemade South Indian coffee) and a morning breakfast room, is filled with light and is a great space to work in. The stripped-down menu is no less well off for its simplicity- morning service includes fresh juices and eggs, while in the afternoon, you have to try the city’s famous chilli-cheese toast and masala grilled sandwiches.

For its size (just 20, individually ornate rooms) and its reasonable prices (remember to book well in advance) the hotel also offers a surprisingly good range of leisure activities. Visitors can gain access to a nearby gym, which also lends out foam rollers, yoga mats and instructors. The spa is simple to look at, yet it offers some of the best massages in the city, in large part because the Adobe has joined forces with a local school for the blind. (If you haven’t tried a blind massage, as it were, you’re missing out – they’re the best). And that’s it. Simple, stylish, no bling. That’s the Adobe, a throwback to a time when Mumbai was just a badly chosen word.


Establishment Type
Modern Design
Complimentary Mini-Bar
Room service
Spa treatments
Middle of the road