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Mumbai Experiencing Hotel Boom With Opening of Three
High End Brands in Past Two Months

By 2011 City will have 3,000 New Hotels Rooms

By Naomi Canton, Hindustan Times, New DelhiMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Apr. 15, 2010--MUMBAI -- Mumbai is witnessing a boom in hotels with three high-end branded hotels making their debut in the city in the past two months bringing more than 800 new rooms to areas like Andheri and Goregaon.

By 2011, the city will see 3,000 new hotel rooms owing to the increase in the number of domestic and international travellers in Mumbai.

On Saturday, the four-star business hotel, Courtyard by Marriott, opened in Andheri East with 292 rooms and another 39 to follow. The Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport opened on April 1 at the Saki Naka junction in Andheri, with 225 rooms. Westin Mumbai Garden City opened its 269 room establishment in Goregaon East in February.

Low rates The Holiday Inn is offering rooms at Rs 5,999 per night, including breakfast. The rack rate for rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott starts at Rs 7,500; at the Westin, it is Rs 9,000.

"Rates in Mumbai hotels have had corrections," says Harry Thaliwal, general manager of the Holiday Inn, run by the British company InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

A first for five star hotels in this city, its all-day dining restaurant, Saptami, specialises in Mumbai street food such as bhel puri and pani puri. It also serves Indian, oriental and continental cuisines from live stations.

The lobby bar, 72, taking its name from the area's postcode, has flair bartenders. There is also Saptami Express, a take-away gourmet counter that serves cakes, pastries and breads. A pool will open in a few months.

The Westin, a 32-storey tower adjacent to the Bombay International Exhibition Centre, boasts of five eateries: Seasonal Tastes, an all-day multi-cuisine restaurant; Prego, serving Italian fare; Kangan, an Indian restaurant; Splash, a poolside bar and restaurant; and Eighteen, a lounge bar.

Courtyard by Marriott has opened on the Andheri Kurla Road, an upcoming business hub close to the international airport and the Western Express Highway.

The hotel has two restaurants, MoMo Cafe, a 24 hour international coffee shop and bar, and Red Zen, a contemporary Asian noodle bar, which will open in a few weeks.

There is also a bakery called MoMo Mart and MoMo 2 Go, a small grab n' go cafe selling sandwiches and coffees, a gym and an outdoor pool. Mumbaikars can pay to become members of the gym. The spa will open in June.

"The total number of branded hotel rooms in India is 58,000 which is less than the number of rooms of most major cities in the world such as Manhattan or Paris," says Rajeev Menon of Marriott International.

In the financial year 2009-2010, India attracted 7 million international travellers and 21 million domestic travellers. Shaun Langdon of IHG adds,"Our research shows that there is an increasing demand in the mid-market and upscale segments in India, specifically from business clientele. Demand for rooms will remain strong."

"We believe that Goregaon is an area that is presently in need of an upscale property and that the demand will continue to increase in North Mumbai from a corporate accommodation perspective as well as local demand for quality dining and catering.

After having been open for only a couple of months, our belief has been confirmed," says Jan Bundgaard, general manager of the Westin.


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Copyright (c) 2010, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

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