Soho House Mumbai (SHM) is the newest property for the Soho House group, which owns 23 private clubs across the UK, Europe, North America and now, India. Designed to be a home away from home for people working in the creative industries, non-members are also welcome to book hotel rooms. The group's properties are located in top-notch locations and SHM is no exception: the 10-storey beachside property in North Mumbai is in the heart of upmarket Juhu, home to wealthy Mumbaikers and Bollywood celebrities.
SHM is a 15-20 minute taxi ride from the international airport (off-peak) and neighbours Versova, Pali Hill and Santa Cruz West. At least an hour by taxi from South Mumbai, the oldest part of the city and the site of many Mumbai tourist attractions, you'll need to factor in significant travel time for any excursions south.
SHM has 38 guest rooms, as well as a library, members/guests floor with bar and restaurant, a gym with daily yoga classes, rooftop pool with bar, a 32-seat cinema, and two public restaurants. The Soho House brand is famous for its award-winning style and excels in in seemingly effortless casual luxury translated into bespoke local design. In Mumbai that translates to the detailed use of Indian textiles and tiles, a moody colour palette, and cane and brass furniture and fittings – a nod to colonial and tropical interiors.
Uninterrupted views from our balcony of Juhu Beach, the Arabian Sea and soaring kites (birds) almost upstage the interior of our sea view room, which is arranged with every comfort including, eccentrically, a hot water bottle. Thick sisal carpets, a high and bouncy bed, soft cushions, perfect lighting, muted colours and antique timber furniture croon understated luxury. In the bathroom, green and pink patterned tiles add a boho touch and I'm delighted by the complete suite of full-size toiletries (no tiny bottles) by organic English brand Cowshed, and the obligatory plush bathrobes and slippers. A dial-up phone, a Marshall radio/speaker and a weighty set of door keys add a cute retro touch. In the mini bar, huge handmade choc-chip cookies are complimentary.
The House Kitchen, which caters to the members dining room, room service and rooftop bar, offers a mix of Indian flavours and on trend healthy cuisine: think cold press juice blends, Bircher muesli and wild rice salad. But the menu highlights are the spice-infused cocktails, Indian wines and robust curries served with charred Indian breads and house-made chutneys. If you want a change from spicy food, Cecconi's is the club's popular and well-reviewed Italian restaurant and has a terrace overlooking the beach. The Allis, SHM's foyer cafe, offers all day European-style casual dining.
On weekends Juhu is packed with locals enjoying the beach. Nearby you'll find boutiques, spas, fine dining and more rooftop bars. Just 15 minutes in a taxi (off-peak) is Bandra West, Mumbai's hippest suburb and home to the city's craft beer scene, funky cafes, street art and the historic Bandra Fort. Forty minutes' drive north is the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, where you can explore the impressive Kanheri Caves, carved from rock by Buddhists from around the 1st century BC to the 11th century AD.
There's nothing cookie cutter about the SHM experience, every detail of the rooms, menus and service has been thoughtfully designed to make members and guests feel pampered, relaxed and totally at home. Australia is yet to see a Soho House property, but for frequent travellers to the US, UK and Europe, global membership allowing access to every club is a tempting proposition.
Our small seaview room cost 16,000 rupees ($A330) including taxes. Soho House Mumbai, 16 Juhu Tara Road, Santa Cruz West, India. See sohohousemumbai.com
The plush, Art Deco-inspired in-house cinema offers screenings of new and newish films most nights of the week.
While its interior is soothingly quiet, SHM is under a flight path so expect any balcony or the pool time to be regularly interrupted by the roar of aircraft.
Our rating: 4/5
Justine Costigan travelled at her own expense