Ankur and I are not full time bloggers and travellers. We would love it to be so, but we still have regular 9-5 jobs. Now, those in India will surely know that no job ever ends at 5, and its typically a 9-7 schedule that we are talking about. Add crazy Mumbai traffic and the time required to get to work! We are out from 8 to 8… that’s a fairly long day, what say? Thankfully, we work for five days and have the weekends off!
After a crazy week, where working hours were longer than those described above, we longed for a weekend break, albeit a short one. The soaring summer temperatures made us eliminate most locations in the country that were easily accessible by flight. As we did not have leave from work, hopping on an international flight wasn’t a plausible option. So, we decided to stay in the city and join the ‘staycation’ bandwagon. For our maiden staycation, we chose to park ourself at the JW Marriott in Juhu, Mumbai. We spent a lovely weekend at the property, splashing around the pool, savouring goodies and watching the sunset.
Read on for our review of the property:
The JW Marriott is located in Juhu, in the Western suburbs. For those who are not familiar with the geography of Mumbai, this is the area of the famed Chowpatty, lined with bhel puri and pav bhaji stalls. For those who seek celebrity endorsement, Amitabh Bachhan’s house is less than a couple of kilometers away from the property. Prithivi Theatre, with its al-fresco cafe, is about 500 meters from the Marriott and the Iscon temple is about 1.5 km away. These surroundings ensure that the property is visited by the who’s who of the Indian film industry and of the silver screen!
Check In/Check Out:
While check in time is 3 pm, we landed at the property at about noon. We were provided an early check in and our room was ready when we arrived. The Marriott also has an app that allows you to do a self check-in and simply walk upto the reception desk and take your key…an interesting feature for sure!
Check out was a breeze as well. We had requested for a late check out and left the property at about 2 pm. However, the quoted check out times is 12 noon and while the reception seemed crowded with people checking out, we did not run into any upset or disgruntled visitors. The front office staff seemed to be really good at their job!
We were expecting the JW Marriott to be a luxury hotel, with luxury rooms. However, the rooms had a more of a business feel. While the room was well appointed, it seemed fairly compact. Same was the case with the bathroom. That being said, the bed was very comfortable, the air conditioning system worked well and sleep quality was excellent. Our room was cleaned twice during the day, including the turn down service.
What did disappoint us was the towels. They were clean, but looked old and worn out. I expect fluffy white turkish towels in a five star, but didn’t get them here. Its time the hotel invests in its linen!
The food at the JW Marriott is excellent, whether it is in the buffet or in one of their speciality restaurants. We had a buffet lunch on the day we arrived and I was truly spoilt for choice. There were spicy aromatic Indian dishes, an array of salads and fresh produce, the whole Italian fare with a live pasta counter, a Teppanyaki counter and lots more. May I also suggest that you earmark some place in your tummy for desserts. I had a cup cake, some mousse and ice cream for dessert while Ankur relished the Indian sweets.
The breakfast buffet, served in the Lotus Cafe, was as lavish as one would expect from any top notch five star.
I stuck to the Indian fare and gobbled a few puri with a potato curry while Ankur decided to have the healthier option and have an omelette. The array of fresh fruit juices was a delight and I sampled all of them, which was so refreshing on a warm summer morning.
The hotel has seven restaurants to let you choose a cuisine as per your mood. Mezzo Mezzo, the Italian restaurant is perfect for a fine dining experience. They have a good wine list to pair along with your food. For those who prefer the Indian spread, Saffron showcases authentic Awadhi cuisine from the royal homes of Lucknow. If none of the above are in line with your mood, head to Spices, which offers an Oriental menu complete with sushi selections and an interactive teppanyaki grill.
The property has a great pool where we spent a couple of hours both days. It sure did get crowded on Sunday, with plenty of children and families who were there to use only the pool facilities, which are part of the club membership offered by the Marriott. However, we could still find our own little corner and didn’t feel that anyone intruded our space. The poolside bar was good and whipped up some yummy drinks.
The property also has a health club to let you burn the calories that you would have consumed at breakfast. There is a spa as well, but we found it fairly expensive and chose to unwind at the pool instead.
Thumbs up for the service standards at the JW Marriott. The front office staff was extremely courteous. We wanted a few changes in our staycation package, which were handled by the staff well without any issues. Service in the restaurants and at the poolside was great as well. The property sure did live upto the JW Marriott service standards!
We stayed at the JW Marriott on the weekend package, which cost us ~INR 15,000 (inclusive of taxes) for one night. The package included one buffet dinner, buffet breakfast and a bottle of wine. We swapped the dinner for lunch and headed to the Prithvi cafe for dinner after having enjoyed the sunset on Juhu Beach.
We spent ~24 hours in the comfort of the JW Marriott, without having to spend anything additional on air fare or train fare. Our maiden staycation experience let us unwind, destress and indulge in food cravings. It was all that we needed to charge our batteries and get back to the grind on Monday morning!