Divia Thani, the Mumbai-based editor-in-chief of Conde Nast Traveller India magazine, shares her hometown’s highlights.
Eat In midtown Mumbai, the always-buzzing Bombay Canteen is chef Floyd Cardoz’s latest—and possibly coolest—outpost. Dishes like the Goan pork vindaloo “tacos” put a novel spin on regional street food and the cocktails are just as good. For global comfort food, I often end up at The Table, a favorite South Mumbai destination for the well heeled. The communal table downstairs is perfect if you’re dining alone.
Drink Right at the top of the all-new St. Regis Mumbai is Asilo, where cozy alcoves, billowing curtains, and a dazzling bird’s-eye view of the city all make for a truly glamorous setting. In Colaba, Woodside Inn (no website) is an under-the-radar spot favored by professionals, who congregate here after work to drink craft beer and shoot the breeze.
Shop For design-focused goodies, apparel, and the best of Indian craft and textiles with a contemporary twist, head to Bungalow 8, a gorgeous concept store at the Wankhede cricket stadium. In Kala Ghoda, Sabyasachi is the namesake of India’s current top fashion designer, who makes clothes that celebrate the country’s wealth of traditions and craftsmanship. Even if you never plan to wear a sari, go take a look: it’s practically a museum of fantastic, detailed embroidery and spectacular colors. And you won’t find a better spot for souvenirs than Good Earth, where the goods range from beauty products infused with Indian rosewater and jasmine, to colorful cushions in dazzling patterns and organic-cotton kids’ pajamas.
Bliss Out The Taj hotel group’s Jiva Spa brand is world-class in every way, even while remaining rooted in Ayurvedic traditions. And the outlet at Mumbai’s legendary Taj Mahal Palace is no exception. Choose from treatments that relax, de-stress, pamper, and heal, such as the signature Jivaniya, a two-hour ritual that combines an herbal scrub, heated body wrap, and deep-tissue massage. You won’t find better.
This article originally appeared in the December/January print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Mumbai to the Max”)