If you're planning on being in Mumbai for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, you can make it easier for yourself by staying at a hotel that's close to the celebrations -- particularly where the statues are immersed in the sea -- as the crowds can be formidable. Most of the famous Ganesh statues in Mumbai get immersed at Girgaum Chowpatty (beach), on Marine Drive in south Mumbai. Juhu beach is another popular immersion point, along with Versova beach, in the western suburbs. These five hotels in south Mumbai are the best picks around Girgaum Chowpatty for all budgets.
1. Marine Plaza
The Marine Plaza is a relatively small hotel that has 40 suites and 28 sea facing rooms, and a fabulous location right on Marine Drive only 10 minutes walk from where the immersions take place. Renowned features are the rooftop glass bottom swimming pool, Geoffry's English Pub and The Bayview 24 hour cafe (with midnight buffet, and as to be expected, panoramic views of the bay). Double rooms cost around $200 per night.
The InterContinental Marine Drive is, as its name suggests, also on Marine Drive. However, it's located further down towards Colaba than the Marine Plaza. It's a boutique luxury hotel with 57 guest rooms, three restaurants, and one of Mumbai's most unforgettable bars, Dome. Expect to pay around $230 per night for a double.
Read more about the InterContinental Marine Drive.
The West End Hotel is a cheaper option, with rooms going for around $100 for a double. It's located in between the Marine Plaza and InterContinental, but a couple of streets back from Marine Drive. The hotel has 80 rooms in an old style building, constructed in 1948. It's a little tired looking but is excellent value for a budget hotel in that area. Rooms are big and clean, food is great, and staff are really friendly.
The Krishna Palace Residency is located near Grant Road East Railway Station, less than a kilometer from Girgaum Chowpatty. It's a modern hotel, with 68 rooms and two specialty restaurants (one fine dining and the other vegetarian). The great thing about staying at this hotel is that it's close to Khetwadi so you'll be able to see the Ganesh statues in all the lanes, including the Khetwadi Ganraj, and join in the processions. Rooms are priced at around $120 per night for a double.
5. Hotel Grant
If you're really on a budget, then your best option is Hotel Grant. It's located not far from the Krishna Palace Residency, very close to Khetwadi. Hence it's in an excellent spot for following the street processions to Girgaum Chowpatty. There are 36 simply furnished rooms, with rates starting from 1,370 rupees ($30) for a double.