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January 2020

Issue: January 2020

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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
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Travel to Mumbai (Bombay)


Welcome to the club

1 January 2020

Mingle with the artsy crowd at Soho House’s first Asian outpost, which is making waves in Mumbai’s burgeoning beach enclave

Framed by breezy palms, this 11-storey white stucco townhouse could easily pass for Miami or the French Riviera. But stepping inside the private members club’s café-cum-reception – resplendent in Rajasthani fabrics and vintage rattan furniture, soon jolts you back to your Indian locale. The informal welcome is very “Soho House” – the brand that famously hates suits and politely reminds its guests to silence their smartphones.

That’s not to say networking isn’t encouraged. Bollywood bigwigs from nearby studios and the city’s creative class pile into its rooftop restaurant’s pastel banquettes. Small bites like squash fettuccine, avocado toast and paneer bao are served under retractable teal awnings with endless Juhu Beach views. The dawn-to-dusk regime here involves breakfasting al fresco in the pool’s candy-striped cabanas, then drinking in the sunset at its marbled bar overlooking the Arabian sea.

Guests can chase the waves from pretty much any corner of the hotel, from Italian restaurant Cecconi’s potted plant terrace (which does a mouth-watering crab ravioli) to the sea-facing gym and balconied playroom suites. Spread over five floors, all 38 bedrooms ooze country manor house chic, with four-poster beds, slouchy armchairs and patterned wallpapers. Ruched silk sari lampshades and bone inlay teak furniture add local spin that’s offset with retro accents like Roberts Radios and rotary dial telephones.

The bathrooms, meanwhile, are a tasteful mash-up of gilded antique mirrors, marble fittings and cement tiling salvaged from Indian heritage mansions. Soho House’s own cult beauty brand, Cowshed, warrants some serious tub time, before whipping up a house Gimlet from the room’s teak drinks cabinet. For the bells and whistles version, head downstairs to the hotel’s chandeliered main lounge. It’s the place to be seen and see a taster of the house’s eclectic 200-piece art collection, including sculptures by Subodh Gupta, Delhi’s new darling of the contemporary scene.

From the concierge

Creative credentials
Being a hotel guest entitles you to the same privileges of a House member, meaning free rein of its popular cultural programme. The daily schedule spans art, design, film, fashion and tech, with events like an evening with photographer Bharat Sikka and Japanese zombie comedy at Soho’s plush 32-seater cinema.

Drink up
The creativity spills over to Soho House’s long list of libations. From low alcohol and low sugar concoctions like ‘the golden route’ (a Martini Bianco with lemon, turmeric and honey), to ‘high tea Hibiscus Kombucha’ – it’s a health nut’s dream drinks menu.

Electric dreams
You can be whisked around Mumbai’s main sights in the city’s only electric BMW if you book the hotel’s ‘Big Bombay Gateway’ package, which includes complimentary yoga and airport transfers as part of a four-day customised itinerary.

Words: Sarah Freeman