Christmas Specials in Mumbai Restaurants

Merry Christmas to all of you! Thinking about celebrating X’Mas in style at an exotic restaurant? Here’s all you need to know about the Christmas specials in Mumbai restaurants:

Christmas Brunch at Vista, Taj Lands End, Mumbai
December 25, 2009: A special menu comprising roast turkey, caviars, cheeses, ham, seafood, mouthwatering desserts and more awaits you on the Christmas day. Price : Rs 3500 plus taxes.
Taj Lands End Band Stand, Bandra (West), Mumbai 400 050, India Tel No. : (91-22) 6668 1234      

IRCTC Hotels – Book select hotels across India

I really did not know that the IRCTC website also offers hotel bookings across India. And when I did discover it, I couldn’t help but share it with you.

With the rail tourism India website, you can book over 400 properties across 450 cities! The best part is the holiday and rail tour packages they provide. So whether you wish to take darshan at the Vaishno Devi Mandir or explore the beauty of Kerala backwaters, whether you wish to take a historical trip to Rajasthan or enjoy Shillong’s lovely waterfalls, is the site that offers very reasonable packages with well-planned itinerary. To add to your experience, they have even added tripadvisor reviews of the hotels!

The site is quite extensive and I can fill pages about what it has to offer. But I would suggest you visit IRCTC’s rail tourism site yourself and explore India like you had never thought you could!

Taj Savoy Hotel Ooty review – Ideal for honeymoon

We went to Ooty for our honeymoon. And we are glad that we chose to stay at Taj Savoy Hotel. They made our honeymoon all the more special and memorable.

To start with, when we checked into the room, a special honeymoon decoration was in place. The fresh rose petals and elegantly designed swans left us speechless. When we returned to the room after a sumptuous dinner, we were surprised by a lovely cake placed in our room.

When it is Taj, we need not mention that the staff is amazingly nice and helpful. They connect with you so well you think you have known them for ages. They arrange for your Ooty sightseeing in the best possible way.

The rooms are very spacious with the best of fittings and amenities. We particularly loved the fireplace, the dressing table and the super spacious bathroom with bathtub.

The food is the best I’ve ever had. We could not stop complimenting the chef at Taj Savoy Hotel. The buffet is very elaborate. Since the hotel sprawls over landscaped gardens, you see beautiful never-seen-before flowers all around.

Taj Savoy Hotel has a recreation hall too where you can play some basketball, badminton, foosball, carrom and volleyball. They also have many bicycles you can ride on. And on evenings, they arrange for some indoor games like housie where you can have lots of fun.

All in all, Taj Savoy is one of the best hotels for honeymooning couples as well as families. I would rate it 5 on 5 and would love to visit the hotel again.

Official website of Taj Savoy Hotel, Ooty

O’Pescador Dona Paula Beach Resort, Goa – Website, Review, Location, Rooms, Service

I stayed at O’Pescador Dona Paula Beach Resort during my first-ever Goa trip. I was a bit apprehensive about staying at O’Pescador initially. But I was surprised when I reached the hotel. Here’s all that you want to know about the hotel.

O’Pescador location:
The resort is located in North Goa and Dona Paula beach is just 2 minutes away. O’Pescador has a private access to the Dona Paula creek's beach. If it’s not off season, you can enjoy water sports at the Dona Paula beach.

O’Pescador is also located very close to the National Oceanography Institute.

O’Pescador reception area:
The reception itself gives an amazing view of the sea on two (opposite) sides. After all it’s located almost on the Dona Paula jetty. You step out of the hotel and Goa’s famous Dona Paula point is just a 2-minute walk!

O’Pescador Ambience:
Trust me, the hotel has much better ambience than what appears on their website. I’ll post the photos soon (PS - have uploaded O Pescador photos here). The rooms, the pool, the lawn are all super clean. There’s this lady you’ll see cleaning the lawn / garden area at all times! Their pool is the highlight of the hotel.

O’Pescador Rooms:
The resort has many sea-facing villas and rooms. The rooms are pretty spacious, well-ventilated and amazingly clean. The bathrooms are very big and neat as well. Our room offered the pool and sea view! The room (I know about the AC one) has a television, huge balcony, extra chairs, tables, blankets, sheets, towels et al, paintings, wardrobe and other basic amenities.

Room Rates:
Well, that depends whether it’s off-season or on-season in Goa. We went in September and I think it was around Rs 2000 per night. It didn’t have pick-up/drop from airport or any other facility, except the ‘complimentary’ breakfast.

Well, this is one thing the resort needs to improve upon. Food is just okay though there’s quite some variety. What made us feel offended was the breakfast that comes as ‘complimentary’ with the room booking. The breakfast was – 3 slices of toasted bread and very little butter/jam, one tangy juice / cut watermelon, tea/coffee as per your choice. Obviously, the next day, we preferred to have breakfast elsewhere.

Hotel Staff:
The staff is very nice and helpful. They know what hospitality is all about!

CLICK HERE FOR O'Pescador Dona Paula Beach resort photos.

All in all, it’s worth staying at O’Pescador Dona Paula Beach Resort. A truly relaxing and comfortable experience! I’d give it a rating of three out of five.

Shikara Restaurant in Sanpada - Houseboat Theme Restaurant

Shikara Restaurant in Sanpada stands true to its name. When I first heard that the restaurant has some houseboat theme, I wondered if the ambience was really interesting. And my first visit to Shikara was truly amazing.

Yes, you guessed it right - the seating arrangement is on houseboat structures created over a manmade pool. So you actually get the feeling that you are dining on a houseboat. If there are two or four of you, you can easily occupy tables on the ‘houseboat’. If there are more of you, the restaurant staff is generous enough to arrange the tables to accommodate the gang. Traditional baithak arrangements and the regular sofa and chair arrangements are also available.

And then there are these ducks, fountains and beautiful fish tanks. A bar and a barbeque area on one side add to the ambience.

There’s live ghazal performance too and the singer and musicians are really good performers. You can even request a song. Though I think there's some issue with their sound system. Also, for some reason our song request was never entertained.

The cuisine that includes Kashmiri, Indian and Chinese specialties is just perfect. Starters are great and the quantity is more than enough. There’s a wide array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to choose from. Trust me on Blue Lagoon and Jeera Nimbu Paani.

Sometimes the waiting time before the food reaches your table could be a bit long, but it’s worth the wait.

The washrooms, separate for ladies and gentlemen, are very clean too.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Address: SHIKARA RESTAURANT, Hotel Highway View, Plot No. 3, Opposite Sanpada Railway Station, Mumbai-Pune Road, 91-22-27832196/97 - INDIA

Vrindavan restaurant in Vashi

Vrindavan restaurant in Vashi is really cool. The food is good and the ambiance is decent. It has a lounge area too. What's best, Vrindavan restaurant is located right opposite Vashi station. Worth visiting and revisiting.

My rating: 4 out of 5

Looking for a good restaurant in Koparkhairne

I love to be aware of all the possible restaurants and cafes in an area. However, ever since we shifted, I hardly got any time to explore good restaurants in Koparkhairne (Navi Mumbai). The one I visited close to our house was a nightmare. Now, I dread trying out a new restaurant out here sans finding a good review about it.

So we end up going to food courts or all the way to Vashi. If you have come across a restaurant serving delicious food in Koparkhairne, do let me know.