The Luxe List 2014:Â Abode,Â Mumbai, India
A collaboration between Wich Latte sandwich-chain owner Abedin Sham and former Goldman Sachs banker Lizzie Chapman, this 20-room charmer holds the distinction of being Mumbaiâ€™s first luxury boutique hotel. Abode inhabits the 110-year-old former home of David Sassoon in Colaba, within walking distance of Kala Ghoda and the Fort area. The larger of its retro-chic rooms shine with double-height windows, carefully restored vintage furniture, hand-tiled floors, Indian textiles and art, and claw-foot bathtubs, while the smaller roomsâ€”though no less charmingly appointedâ€”share bathrooms and are affordable for travelers on a budget. As part of its community outreach philosophy, the hotel employs single mothers to work as its own team of taxi drivers and hires its massage therapists from a nearby vocational school for the blind, who will do treatments in-room if you donâ€™t want to venture to the spa facilities. And if afterward youâ€™re too relaxed to step out for a bite, ring the lobby cafĂ© at any hour, day or night, for a Mumbai street foodâ€“inspired meal.
Landsdowne House, M.B. Marg, Apollo Bunder,Â Colaba; 91-80/8023-4066; Abode; en-suite doubles from US$98