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Stuck in the city

Friday, October 16, 2015

With the festive season upon us, the next few months are going to see a series of long weekends. If you’re going be in the city and are wondering what to do to make the most of short breaks, Dev Goswami & Yamini Walia have a few ideas

For many of us, the festive season means planning trips to visit our family or heading to an exotic locale for our yearly vacations. But, some of us will be spending the festive months in the city. Whether work or airling ticket prices are holding you back, remember that there is a lot you can do over a long weekend in the city too. From hotels offering special deals for short stays to forgotten attractions of the
city, here are a few things that will keep you busy over the next few months.

There are several hotels across the city that often serve as just landmarks, or places where we can celebrate special occasions. But, most of these hotels also offer special staycation or weekend packages that make a luxurious stay affordable and within your reach. Here are a few options. 

Grand Hyatt
Spend two serene days away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Book The Grand Weekender package at The Grand Hyatt, where you pay for a night’s stay and get the second one free.
Where Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz (e)
Price From Rs 11,000 to Rs 14,000 for two nights

Grand Escape Offer
If you want to explore the city while enjoying your stay at the hotel, we recommend The Grand Escape Offer at Grand Hyatt. The package includes luxury accommodation, daily breakfast and transportation if you want to get around the city. They offer a vehicle for eight hours or 80 kilometers, included in the package cost. The deal also includes a 20% discount on food and soft drinks, 30% discount on spa and salon services along with access to children’s areas. However, make your reservations now to enjoy a stay from November 6 to January 10!
Where Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz (e)
Price Rs 8,500 onwards

Hotel Aureole
Hotel Aureole has introduced two interesting packages for the festive season. You can choose from a one-day or two-day stay, which includes breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. The experience promises to be truly relaxing, with all your meals served by the pool!
Where Sir Mathuradas Vasanji Rd, Bima Nagar, Andheri (e)
Price Rs 4,500 and Rs 8,000, for one and two days, respectively

The festive package at Sofitel brings you a sumptuous buffet breakfast, a lavish lunch or dinner spread, a 30-minute head or foot massage for two adults and sweets on arrival. The package also includes Wi-Fi connectivity, and two buffet meals at Pondichery Café.
Where C-57, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (e)
Price Rs 8,500 onwards

Hotel Trident
Relax and unwind over the weekend — book a stay at Hotel Trident. The offer includes a sumptuous breakfast spread, spa sessions and an opportunity to discover the history of the city. Whether you’re planning a holiday with your family or your friends, these offers are curated to give you the best value.
Where C-56, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex
Price Rs 16,900, for two nights

The Westin Mumbai Garden City
The Westin offers spectacular views of the city with their floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious rooms. Their weekend package includes a buffet breakfast at Seasonal Tastes with extended breakfast hours all weekend, a 20% discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages including the Sunday Brunch, a 20% discount on Spa therapies at the Heavenly Spa by Westin and late checkout time of 3pm.
Where International Business Park, Oberoi Garden City, Goregaon
Price Rs 8,600 for two, excluding taxes

Four Seasons
Make it a weekend to remember at Four Seasons! Their special package includes a 15% off on the room rate, daily breakfast for two guests, and complimentary internet access for up to four devices.
Where 1/136, Dr. E. Moses Road, Worli
Price Rs 9,775 per night

The Orchid
Get set to unwind over the weekend by booking a stay at The Orchid. They have a special offer for their deluxe and club rooms, which includes daily breakfast and lunch or dinner. So, hurry up and make your reservations before it gets too late.
Where 70/C, Nehru Road, Adjacent to Domestic Airport, Vile Parle (e)
Price Rs 6,499 and Rs 7,499 per day, for Deluxe and Club rooms, respectively

Hotel Sahara Star
The weekend getaway offer at Hotel Sahara Star is something that you just can’t afford to miss! You can avail of 20% discounts on spa treatments, indulge in an appetising breakfast at Earthplate, and get complimentary internet access.
Where Hotel Sahara Star, Opposite Domestic Airport, Vile Parle (e)
Price Rs 8,000 onwards

The weekend package at Novotel offers the perfect escape. The package includes 30% discount on the room, complimentary buffet breakfast and Wi-Fi during your weekend stay. We don’t need to say that it’s definitely a steal!
Where Balraj Sahani Marg, near Juhu Beach, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu
Price Rs 2,201 per night

Sleepless in Mumbai
Staying at a hotel and indulging in some TLC is one way to spend a weekend in the city – but exploring the city has its own charm. Old hats will probably know of all the attractions in the city. However, busy schedules rarely permit us to slow down and take in everything that Mumbai has to offer. Here are a few places worth checking out over a long weekend.

A museum tour
When it comes to attractions in Mumbai, the Prince of Wales Museum, as it was formerly known, is perhaps one of the most underappreciated ones. If you’re in your 20s, you will remember it as a place that your school organised a day trip to. Those who are older will barely remember visiting the place, but a long weekend is the perfect time to revisit the paintings, ancient artefacts and figurines that the museum is known for. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya also organises workshops and exhibitions routinely, all worth checking out.

Explore the art and culture
Apart from a range of performing arts, the NCPA, located on the southern tip of Mumbai, also boasts of a picturesque location. From comedy shows to dance performances, the NCPA has several events that you can enjoy over the weekend. Of course, the best of what it has to offer are the plays and classical concerts that give you a happy break from the stress of daily life. Later this month, NCPA will host the Tata Lit Live festival — spread over four days — which can be a getaway of sorts for those with a literary bent of mind.

For nature lovers
Okay, this is not a place that you can go to in the city, but the several treks, camps and natural trails that are organised by Bombay Natural History Society will make planning a weekend break much easier. The trips planned by BNHS may not be in tune with the idea of the relaxation for some of us, but if you enjoy being surrounded by nature, then there is no better option than BNHS. They have events planned for every month that are usually spread out through the four weeks. You can check their website to find the one that interests you the most.

A picnic with the family
If you’re the sort to complain about the lack of open spaces in the city, you need to visit Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). The park is a beautiful place that really is  worth exploring. Trekking and rock climbing enthusiasts prefer the monsoon months to visit the park, but for family outings, the colder climate during the festive season is the perfect time. A trip here will use up your entire day — the park offers a lion and tiger safari, and is also known for the Kanheri caves located deep inside the park. If you’re planning a trip with your friends, we recommend hiring bicycles at the entrance and exploring the park at leisure. However, remember to reach early — the bicycles are usually occupied by around 9am.

For the beach bums
Anyone who’s been staying in the city for more than a few years will know that the beaches in Mumbai are anything but an attraction. From the overcrowded stretch from Juhu beach to Manori-Gorai stretch that is more suited for drunken, weekend parties, Mumbai really lacks good beaches for a city surrounded by water. However, head a 100km or so to the north or south and you can escape the crowds for a relaxing, quiet getaway. Avoid touristy destinations such as Daman and Aligbaug and instead pick locations such as Ganapatipule, Tarkarli and Murud. They are perfect for a weekend trip with your family or friends. And, the best part is that you can drive there for just a day too!

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