Less than a quarter of a kilometre away from the busy Navi Mumbai station, Four Points by Sheraton sits quietly settled in a routine of its own. Surrounded by three of the biggest malls in Mumbai, the hotel-part of the 15-year-old Four Points by Sheraton global chain that's a sister brand of Sheraton Hotels and part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts-just about manages to hold its own. The year-old hotel feels even smaller when one enters the lobby, which appears to end almost as soon as it starts and has just a small waiting area for guests and visitors.
But that's a small price to pay for the hospitality to come. The staff here is really warm, not just to guests but even to each other. Watching the managers chatting and joking with each other is disconcerting initially-isn't this bad etiquette for hoteliers?-but then, dazzled by the genuine smiles, one gets used to the amiability.
Away from the friendly staff, in the room, a luxurious queen-sized bed welcomes me. Bright lamps illuminate the bed while an armchair a few feet away offers a great view of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Vashi Creek beyond it. I sit in my peaceful room and watch the cars whizzing by in the distance and imagine the racket being made by them and the local trains at the railway station, just a stone's throw away.
Address: Plot 39/1, 6-15 Sector 30A Vashi, Navi Mumbai Mumbai 400701 Maharashtra
Website: www.starwoodhotels. com/fourpoints/index.html
Tariff: (floating rates for all 150 rooms)
Comfort Room: Rs 9000 onwards
Comfort Club Room: Rs 13,000 onwards
Comfort Premier Suite: Rs 17,000 onwards
Four Points' Comfort Rooms are well-sized by Mumbai standards; but I don't see everyone being happy with rooms that are sized 350 square feet. The rooms look spacious though, probably because of the large glass window dividing the bathroom from the room. The Premium Suites, at 900 square feet, are significantly larger.
The hotel targets both business and leisure travellers giving them, in its own words, "what they need, when they need it, at a price that's right." This is a casual hotel with a young (aged 25 to 40) but welltrained staff. It caters to the same market segment as ITC's Fortune Hotels (there's one right here in Navi Mumbai) but it's less formal, though definitely not as pared down as Taj's Ginger properties. The Four Points merely believes in providing the urban traveller with little moments of happiness and plenty of god-is-in-the-details moments.
So, you may not get room service but you're never far away from free high-speed internet access, distress kits (a set of essentials provided by the hotel in case of lost baggage), warm towels, quick appointments at the spa on the premises, and some of the best beers from around the world. At Four Points, your evening cannot end without a chilled Hoegaarden! The hotel is built in a no-nonsense fashion. The ten floors house 150 guest rooms that are done up in a classic style. The no-nonsense approach is also seen in the restaurants, of which Four Points has two: Wrapped, a 24-hour coffee shop serving Indian and Continental delights along with items from the delicatessen, and Asian Kitchen, a Pan-Asian restaurant with a large, interactive kitchen. There are also two lounges. Tippler's Lounge, which can be entered from Asian Kitchen and is accessible only to Starwood Privileged Guests; and the Club Lounge-which also boasts a library-and is open to everyone. With the monsoon over, the hotel has also reopened the poolside Sky Grill, a barbecue restaurant and a bar. This is open for dinners and Sunday brunches.
On the same level as the pool and jacuzzi is a gym designed by fitness expert Leena Mogre and the Chavana Spa that offers the hotel's signature Balinese treatments. I paid a visit and came back satiated after a session with the Indonesian therapists who run it.
Spend a couple of days at this property, and you'll realise why the hotel's occupancy is always high. Much like the staff and facilities, a stay in this hotel is uncomplicated and comfortable.