Based out of Mumbai, we hardly get a chance to stay at hotels in the city. Earlier this year we spent a night at the JW Marriott Sahar, before catching our next day early morning flight to London and a few years back Ajay and I treated ourselves to a city break at the Intercontinental Marine Drive, a boutique hotel that overlooks the Arabian Sea.
This time around, when Ajay was chasing his SPG Platinum status, he was running short of 1 stay. Given he was in a hurry to finish it off, instead of travelling out of Mumbai we decided to treat this stay as a mattress run and booked a weekend stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Navi Mumbai in Vashi.
The hotel is located in a satellite town of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai. Our stay package included a car pickup and drop service within 10 kilometres of the hotel, however, we requested to go slightly further and the hotel was okay with that. The driver arrived at 1030am and parked the car, a Toyota Corolla in our apartment block in the Central Suburbs of Mumbai. The drive to the hotel took us more than an hour.
The route was quite congested with traffic as it connects to the city’s main highway and on certain stretches, there was road repair/ construction work happening.
Check-in & Hotel Lobby
Once the car pulled up at the hotel, a doorman came forward to help us with our bags. We walked to the reception which is just a 10-steps walk after entering the hotel.
The lobby was small and had a rather busy feel with a lot of guests around. There was the coffee shop on the left and a seating space with couches on the right.
There was also a duty manager’s desk right at the reception. Probably the first hotel I have seen with a marked space for a duty manager to seated. The duty manager greeted us and while we completing our check-in formalities a hostess offered us water ( the hotel mentions that non-alcoholic drink is served on guest arrival, clearly times are not as good to serve canned juice!).
We were informed that we had been upgraded to a suite and would receive breakfast as it was a part of the package we booked. There was no mention of our SPG Gold welcome amenities which is a choice between 125 Starpoints and a complimentary beverage. Once ready with our room keys, a hostess escorted us in the lift to our room. However, once we reached the SPG Preferred floor on the 18th floor, the agent just walked the other way instead of walking us to the room. It took us a minute to reconcile with the situation, but then we walked the other way ourselves.
The Premier Suite
We walked down the hallway to the end, where our assigned suite was located. Down the corridor, I noticed wall paint in the hallway that was peeling off.
I really had no expectations from checking into this business hotel but our suite was spacious and beautiful. The living room was pretty large and there was a half bathroom on the right.
The room had a sink-in couch and chair, along with a four-seater dining table next to the window.
There was a work desk with a chair placed in the corner of the room. Waiting on the work desk was an advisory that the swimming pool was under maintenance. There was only one open plug-point to use on a work-desk. Beats me how does the traveller survive these days with multiple gadgets to juice up.
The large windows of the living room had a view of hotel’s outdoor pool and in the backdrop was the Inorbit Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in Mumbai, which was adjacent to the hotel.
There was also a kitchenette in the living room. It was equipped with a microwave and a toaster. I’m sometimes surprised with the things we find in hotels, which would have no use to a guest, such as a toaster.
The hot water kettle and an assortment of tea & coffee sachets were neatly arranged in a tray. Minibar bites included some biscuits, chocolates and nuts.
Beneath the kitchen slab was the minibar refrigrator that was stocked with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
The bedroom featured a king size bed as well as a day chair by the window, both of which faced the wall-mounted television. There was also a DVD player which was never used.
A third part of the suite was the walk-in closet and the bathroom, which were as big as a room in itself. The way to the shower passed through the walk-in closet that had wooden flooring which was wet and coming apart. I guess there was a leakage somewhere and water was seeping in through the flooring.
The bathroom itself was spacious with a sink, a soak tub, a walk-in shower and a toilet.
Bath amenities were local and Four Points branded and worked just fine.
The overhead shower had good pressure and there was ample hot water in the bathroom. For the two of us, there were six full-size towels placed in the racks, though the towels were wearing off from repeated use.
Overall the suite was good. It was spacious and well furnished. The only issues were the wooden flooring that was giving away and the air conditioning vents in the bedroom blew air straight on the bed. So in spite of adjusting the temperature, it did get very cold and uncomfortable in the night. And lastly, there were a number of power cuts, it’s quite unlikely for Mumbai and probably something specific to that locality.
A strange thing happened at in the night while we were fast asleep. The doorbell rang at 1 a.m. and there was a housekeeping staff standing at our room door with a cake for someone else’s birthday. I wonder whether they were able to locate the right room after disturbing us or they chose to wake up other guests sleeping on our floor. Meh!
In the evening I went to the fitness centre and found that it was overcrowded. It was impossible to be discreet and take pictures so I skipped that part (not my workout!). It was a room stacked with machines and people with no place to walk around. The hotel had franchised its gym, therefore non-residents can also buy a membership and use the gym facilities.
Apart from this, there is a spa in the hotel and a pool that was under maintenance. The lobby level also had a lone computer which guests could use to print their boarding passes etc.
The hotel’s Asian Kitchen restaurant served breakfast every morning between 7 am and 10:30 am. The breakfast spread was standard with hot and cold items on the menu. We could order eggs to our preference.
Nothing on the menu really stood out for me though it was a reasonably functional breakfast for a business hotel.
I have to give them the benefit of thinking for their guests though. They had two separate kinds of sambar, both the Andhra (spicy!) version and the Chennai one too. Never seen two Sambars been served in a hotel before.
The one thing I’m still wondering about is that all Four Points by Sheraton hotels we have stayed at run restaurants under the same brand name. For example, breakfast is served at The Eatery and the lounges are called Best Brew. This one though had branded its bar as Tipplers Lounge. No mention of The Eatery here at all.
At the time of check out, while tallying the invoice Ajay noticed that our room had a 28% GST levied for a stay less than INR 7,500/ USD 115. The hotel had a different interpretation for this and wanted to charge us the GST for the suite. Their interpretation, from the old times, is about paying tax for the category of the room occupied, which is a contravention of the law. Having said that, it took them a while to fix it.
The duty manager corrected the invoice once we brought it to his attention. Though I wonder after the new GST slabs have been introduced how many of us carefully go through our hotel invoices.
We stepped out for a quick bite after completing check-out and came back to a waiting car which took us back to our home in Mumbai.
This is an SPG category 1 hotel where a reward night costs 3,000 Starpoints. We had booked a weekend rate for INR 5,350/ USD 82. This included car transfers and buffet breakfast for 2.
In terms of location, the Four Points here is adjacent to the Inorbit mall that has lots eating options in case you want to take a break from eating at the hotel. We had dinner at Potpourri in the mall and the sizzler was really good. The mall also has a Starbucks outlet and a food court and many restaurants.
The staff are warm and courteous though the service was patchy all through. For example, the reception desks on the fitness centre floor were not manned for over an hour and I could not find anyone to request fresh towels. During breakfast when the restaurant got busy the servers looked all worked up and went to tables with wrong food orders multiple numbers of times.
For a business traveller looking for stay options in the Navi Mumbai area, this is a reasonable choice for a hotel. This part of the city only has a select few chain hotel brands: Ramada by Wyndham and Country Inn and Suites by Carlson.
Have you stayed at any Navi Mumbai hotels before?