I have been travelling to Mumbai regularly for over 15 years now. Whenever I moved out from Santacruz airport to the city or came from the city to the airport, I would pass by this huge round structure which was earlier called Centaur Hotel. This month I travelled to Mumbai for a client and was told that my booking is in Sahara Star. I asked the pick-up driver how far is the hotel from the airport and he replied that it was next to the airport. That was an understatement as the hotel was almost inside the airport complex. When the car approached the huge, grey structure I had been seeing all these years, I had misgivings. I had heard that the hotel was defunct and was worried that I would be getting into some incomplete, make-shift hotel. From outside it actually looked like a 'work in progress'.
The initial impression was not too good. The security guard had to shout for the concierge as I waited at the entrance with my bag. There was something casual about the person who came to pick up my luggage and I thought I was going in for a bad experience, overall.
However, as I stepped in, all that changed.
To say the least, I was stunned and impressed as I stepped into the building. Huge is not the word. Humungous !! Lots of lights, screens, decorations - all this without looking overdone. There seemed to be an air of celebration and at the same time, ease, comfort and accessibility.
From then on whoever I met right from the youngster who escorted me to my room, the front desk, the room service, the banquet sales person, were all thorough hospitality professionals. Food was average, but the quality of room service as well as the restaurant made up for any minor inadequacies in the food itself. The banquet service was very sincere and very generous. Beverages, cookies, snacks were served in abundance and were of very high quality. Housekeeping in the banquet area was also outstanding.
Coming to areas that made me uncomfortable, the first and most unpleasant was that when I checked into the room, the bed was made and everything looked right for a good night's rest. However when I pulled back the sheets I found that the bed linen had been used, with stains and other obvious signs of use. (Sad to say this is something that I have come across in some of the most high profile hotels.) This one thing negates all the other good work done as you immediately suspect the quality of hygiene - of the toilets, the towels, everything. I called housekeeping and the person who came and changed the linen was very courteous and apologetic.
The other area of discomfort is the long walk from the elevator to the room. The rooms are in a massive circle under what the hotel claims as the largest pillar-less dome in the world. It is a long walk from the elevator to the room. While this makes for good exercise perhaps, it could be serious disadvantage for sick, tired, or elderly guests. They should probably consider having another set of elevators somewhere in between.
Overall, I would say, it was a good experience and I would certainly recommend the place. However, please check the sheets before you get into bed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sahara Star, the flagship hotel of Sahara India Pariwar, is one of India’s most desirable destinations. The 5-star deluxe hotel strategically located near Mumbai's domestic airport magnificently blends Indian mysticism and culture, while personifying the country's progressive spirit blending peerless hospitality with ultra-modern technology. Hotel Sahara Star enthralls the world with its magnificence, an architectural phenomenon, a majestic landmark, a destination to be experienced in its entire splendor. The hotel is a distinct yet contemporary destination which caters to the guest’s requirements with state of the art amenities, services & promotions. Creating a paradigm shift, Sahara Star showcases world largest-pillar-less- clear- to- sky dome, an architectural landmark blending hospitality and entertainment to cater one of the most individualized hospitality experiences. The grand new lobby of the hotel that firmly differentiates between construction and creation is a visual delight, an engineering marvel, a clinical fusion of design and space. Complemented by India's finest 4,000 sq ft Marine Aquarium, abode to world’s only Private Dining Room inside a marine aquarium exquisite marine lives, the Hotel weaves a dining facility amidst these aquatic wonders. The world's first 'hemisphere' three compound-curved custom designed all glass panoramic elevators rising in the exotic 55,000 sq. ft tropical lagoon can be found nowhere else. In an ambience steeped in rich culture and superlative luxury, Sahara Sapphire, Mumbai’s largest pillar-less multi-purpose event hall, gives an opportunity for every host to announce their event to the world. Hotel Sahara Star boasts of its largest hall in the city with a floor plate of 55,000 sq.ft, an impressive ceiling height of 25ft. Besides, reigned by contemporary design, Jade Ballroom embraces a sombre play of elegance. With a capacity to host 1000 guests in its abundant space of 10,000 sq.ft. Jade’s pillar-less multi-function area with a ceiling height of 18 feet is a captivating sight for every guest. With a complete makeover of its exclusive rooms - Earth, Mercury, Uranus and Neptune, Hotel Sahara Star is well appointed with 286 guestrooms inclusive of 14 luxurious suites and 9 Food & Beverage outlets. Hotel Sahara Star features an unbelievable external facade made of glass and steel. Here, the culture, mystique & hospitality of India blends with modern facility & services to create the finest business-cum-leisure hotel of the country. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sahara Star Hotel In Mumbai
- Sahara Hotel Mumbai