Asilo, which apparently means refuge or shelter in Spanish, does indeed provide a refreshing reprieve from the noisy chaos of Mumbai. This hot new bar, located on the 38th floor rooftop of the luxurious Palladium Hotel, has the honor of being Mumbai's highest bar (the Palladium hotel has another highest bar, Li Bai, on the 37th floor too). If you're not coming for the sunset, expect to pay a full cover charge of 2,500 rupees (redeemable on food and beverages) after 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. There's a DJ and the bar fills up fast with an elite crowd.
- Address: Palladium Hotel, 462 Tulsi Pipe Rd, Phoenix High Street mall complex, Lower Parel. Ph: (22) 6162-8422 .
- Opening Hours: 5.30 p.m. until 1.30 a.m.
Although it's been knocked off its pedestal of being Mumbai's highest bar, Aer remains one of the best places to enjoy a sunset cocktail in Mumbai. The bar's rooftop location on the 34th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel is open air, breezy, and provides panoramic views of the city. If this isn't enticing enough, champagne and cocktails are available for approximately half price from 5.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. A DJ spins later in the night.
- Address: 114 Dr. E. Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai, Ph: (22) 2202-8700.
- Opening Hours: Daily, from 5.30 p.m. until 1.30 a.m.
View, views, and more views are what you'll get at this sensuous and seductive rooftop bar. Come here to watch the sun set over Marine Drive (affectionately known as the Queen's Necklace for its sparkling row of lights) and linger on as stars and candles replace the fading sunlight in the open air lounge. Few places get to boast of such a beautiful setting. You'll enjoy the impressive selection of cocktails, wines, and cigars too. This bar is definitely for chilling out!
- Address: Level 11, InterContinental Hotel, 135 Marine Drive, Mumbai. Ph: (22)3987-9999.
- Opening Hours: 6 p.m. until 1.30 a.m.
Classy and hidden away, Aurus opens out onto a deck right on Juhu beach. It's difficult to find, but well worth the effort. This bar is high on romance with seductive candles and mood lighting. Should you need further encouragement to get in the right mood, there's even a canopied four poster bed to drink and dine on. Inside, crystal chandeliers complete the picture. The world cuisine here is also worth trying. Friday night is party night, with top national and international DJs playing.
- Address: Ground Floor Nichani House, Juhu Tara Rd (next to Anita Dongre Showroom), Juhu, Mumbai. Ph: (22)6710-6666.
- Opening Hours: 8.30 p.m. until 1.30 a.m.
If you want to blend with the beautiful people of Mumbai, don't miss Thursday's Bar Nights at iconic Olive (which has been in the business for over 10 years now!). Mediterranean themed and and beautifully decorated in white, it's part outdoor courtyard and part indoor dining. (Note: Olive is also one of the best places in Mumbai for Sunday brunch!).
- Address: Pali Hill Hotel, 14 Union Park, Khar West, Mumbai. (Behind Cafe Coffee Day, off Carter Road). Phone: (22) 4340-8228.
- Opening Hours: 7.30 p.m. to 1.30 a.m.
Named after an endangered ape that lives in the heart of the Congo, this laid back but hip jungle themed bar has a fabulous cocktail list, outdoor rooftop dining area, and indoor air conditioned lounge area where a DJ spins tunes. It's one of the most popular bars in fashionable Bandra, and attracts an eclectic arty crowd that's a blend of locals and foreigners.
- Address: Behind KFC, off Linking Road, Bandra, Mumbai. Ph:(22) 2605-5050, 2605-5353.
- Opening Hours: Noon until 1.30 a.m.