My sister and I booked Hotel Beach Garden through the recommendation of a friend who frequently travelled to Mumbai and understood our need to budget.
We aren't particularly fussy, as long as the place is clean with running hot water and enough mirrors so we can get ready each night. The hotel was mostly just a place to crash between clubs and meals with friends.
Excellent location just opposite Juhu beach and very near a lot of the five star hotels where the clubs are. We didn't bother going to Juhu Beach as its not particularly picturesque. Also nearby districts such as Bandra are hip and trendy for the clubbing scene. And most importantly the area was safe, even for two foreign young girls that would normally be prime target in India. We didn't get half as much hassle as in other areas.
The hotel layout was quite unusual and pretty intimate. An outdoor reception area that you could see through all the room windows, with stairs and/or balconies that connected each room. Plenty of character, rather than a generic, impersonal hotel that you can't call home for a few days.
The room itself was like a cute, homely apartment. Even when the delightful manager later asked us if we wanted a free upgrade to a much larger room, we declined as the room we had (with a small balcony to smoke out of) had much more character and felt like home. For those who can't quite embrace the Indian bathroom system like we did (toilet and shower all in one place without separate cubicles or raised areas, which meant the water after a shower went everywhere) then look elsewhere.
We were constantly calling room service/reception for questions and asking to borrow irons etc. they were all so patient and happy to oblige. The restaurant was also room service only, so perhaps it was just a kitchen attached, but when one is hungover and too lazy to roll out of bed, this set up was perfect. And the food was pretty good too, and far more reasonably priced than the nearby restaurants. They had the wifi up and running throughout our visit but it was only on the last day that we realised that the connection is not strong enough to reach the rooms and we had to sit in the reception area to access it. Also plenty of good tv channels for those hungover mornings.
By the end of the 3 nights, we were friendly with all the staff, even joking around that they were like caring parents making sure we got back safe and at a decent time (if 6am in the morning is "decent")
Would definitely stay again.
Despite the excellent location, rickshaws and taxis just could not find this little hidden away hotel, and the address (opposite Juhu beach) is rather vague. So I strongly suggest that you find your bearings before venturing out, and tell the driver it is opposite the ramada and close to the Marriott. We got a rickshaw from the Marriott to our hotel and it took half an hour and a ridiculous charge before we discovered it was a 5 minute WALK away!
As with many hotels and houses in India, the rooms aren't very bright. All the shades, curtains and lack of windows tend to keep out heat. But we go on holiday specifically for heat and light!
On the first night we asked the manager if it was okay to have friends over. As described above, he was extremely helpful and accommodating. Unfortunately by the time our friends turned up, another porter was on duty and kept pestering us that our guests need to leave. We had to pay the 600 rupees for "an extra guest" just to shut him up! The manager apologised profusely the next morning, but that wasn't going to bring back out money already spent and having to deal with a nuisance all of the night before.
As for the price, we were well aware that there is no such thing as a cheap, clean and well located hotel in Mumbai. In fact Mumbai proved to be more expensive than London for a clubbing weekend...! And while elsewhere in India a place like this would be a fraction of the price, we had to bite the bullet and fork out, as everywhere else would have just been even more money.
Overall, I'd be happy to revisit.
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