In early October 2023, one of the largest hotels in India went live, and this was not a hotel owned or operated by one of the more well-known names in the industry, such as the Taj or Marriott. It is Aurika, a luxury hotel brand owned by Lemon Tree Hotels. Aurika, Mumbai Skycity is the third hotel under the Aurika brand by Lemon Tree Hotels, with the other two being Aurika, Udaipur and Aurika, Coorg. The brand was launched in 2019 and adds roughly one new property every two years.
Aurika, Mumbai Skycity is close to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport’s Terminal 2. The hotel is India’s largest hotel by room inventory, with 669 guest rooms and suites. So naturally, it piqued my attention enough to make a trip to check it out. Fortunately, my first opportunity was not far off, although it was a brief stay.
Arriving at the Aurika Mumbai Skycity
Given that I would land in Mumbai to attend the Air India Express reveal and depart the same night, I could have easily skipped a hotel for this trip. However, I was coming off a long meeting the evening before this event and would be on a red-eye flight later in the night, and I had to get a full day of work the next day. So, a few hours of sleep or comfort would not be a bad idea on this hectic travel day.
I landed at Mumbai Airport, and I had a car from the hotel come and pick me up. The path of least resistance when you are on a short timeline. However, I think the hotel concierge called me and confirmed my arrival, and then they dispatched a car from the hotel after they’d talked to me rather than have a car wait for me at the airport. That meant a brief 10-minute wait at the airport when I was melting in the sultry Mumbai heat in the parking lot, waiting for the car. A Swift Dzire pulled up eventually, and I was on my way to the hotel. It is a ten-minute drive to the hotel, located a little beyond the ITC Grand Maratha on the same road.
The hotel had the brand new smell still going for it, as I arrived roughly ten days after it opened. The lobby is massive, although only two counters were working to check people in.
The front desk associates were all still going through the motions of learning more about the systems they had to use to check me in and shuffling a lot of paper. Eventually, they found my reservation, told me about the room inclusions and checked me in. Someone from the hotel’s front desk team also brought a nice welcome drink, a Kokum sharbat on cue.
As you can see, the hotel lobby and public spots are all full of Indian movies, nostalgia and posters. The front desk staff then walked me to my room, which was nice. I did not have my Platinum status at Lemon Tree Hotels on file, so they really did not know anything about me as a guest apart from what they needed to know. No upgrades hence, and I was brought to my room on the first floor.
Aurika Mumbai’s Deluxe Room
The Aurika Hotel has about three kinds of rooms and three kinds of suites. I was in a basic entry-level room today. The room was compact but would do the job for my 10 hours or so in town. It was all done in green and violet hues.
There was a daybed by the window side along with a small table for dining on while watching television, perhaps.
And there was another table, doubling up as a work desk. A round table beat me about its utility as a work desk, but there must be another purpose it could serve in today’s world of dual-use cases for furniture.
A massive television occupied the wall, with all sorts of connectivity features to enable your own content on the television or pick from the content being beamed on cable television.
In a slightly surprising move I’d appreciate later, the hotel also installed a ceiling fan in the room, which most luxury hotels abstain from nowadays.
There were also USB-A ports around the room, including the bedside. What beat me was what stopped the hotel from installing a USB-C power port, especially since many smartphone and personal electronic device manufacturers are moving to USB-C as their power supply standards.
I was glad to note that the hotel chose to go with sustainable drinking water solutions on day one, with purified drinking water being placed in the room in sealed glass bottles.
I saw a french press in the room, but I noticed no coffee to go with it. Only Nescafe freeze-dried sticks in the room.
The rest of the minibar was, as usual, empty.
A big mirror was placed on one of the walls.
The shower area was not too shabby as well.
There was the usual shower chamber, with big shampoo and soap bottles on the wall.
Aurika uses the Kimirica range of toilet amenities.
The scale of the hotel only comes through when you note the emergency exit map on your room or walk through the alleyways of the hotel. It took me almost the whole day to memorise the route to my room, which was far from the elevators.
I needed the help of the hotel to get my blazer ironed for the evening, so I called them. They were able to quickly collect it and send it back as well within the desired timeline.
The only problem with the room was the air conditioning, which apparently needs to be switched on manually every time you enter the room, unlike other hotels where it comes on as soon as you dip the key card in the port.
Aurika Mumbai Dining
The hotel has four restaurants/cafes, but I was able to check out one called Mirasa. Mirasa is their all-day dining restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. I went over for lunch and decided to partake in the buffet. It was a massive layout for the restaurant, perhaps keeping with the large size of the guest volume at full occupancy.
The buffet was pretty good, and I got chatting with some other guests, forgetting to take too many pictures of the offering. But service was very attentive, and they would bring fresh bread to your table, and there were Indian regional and western options for lunch. I’ll leave you with just the pictures I have for lunch.
Aurika Mumbai Other Amenities
The hotel had a massive fitness centre, a pool on the first level, and a spa. The fitness centre was occupied but had a good assortment of treadmills, fitness bikes and so on. The pool looked nice and had some tables and daybeds around it. The pool bar was not operational yet, it seemed.
Overall, Aurika is a nice property, and I hope it holds up in the times to come with the attention of guests that it showed in the initial days of opening. The hotel is on the pricier side, with INR 15K being the benchmark rate, but it is also trying to build a big convention and airline crew business that will get lower rates. The rooms are well appointed, and the crew is attentive, mostly at least. As with any other hotel, I think they were still working out some kinks, but there is a good shot for this hotel to survive, especially with the Hyatt Regency Mumbai next to the airport having been shut for a long time. I wouldn’t hesitate to come back.
Have you been to the Aurika Mumbai SkyCity? What has been your experience with this hotel?
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