“A lovely, quirky art hotel tucked away in a leafy lane of a vibrant Mumbai suburb. Good food, great location”
The rooms at Le Sutra are spread across 3 floors, each themed according to the 3 gunas of Hindu philosophy - Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. Gunas are a person's personality traits and these have been translated by the hotel’s designers into every feature of the room, from colour palette to painting. And each room has a unique carved wooden chair; perhaps a swan or a yoga pose.
Every room tells a story and art is everywhere, from the inlaid flooring to the door handles, even the bathroom mirrors. And look out for surprise design features such as a pair of brightly coloured fibreglass parrots on the tree outside your window.
Tamas is associated with opulence and excessiveness, so the rooms on this floor are elaborate. Maya (illusion) is the only single; a heavily mirrored room with a low sunken bed. Vaasna (sensuality) is designed for romance with erotic art and a see-through bathroom.
The Rajas floor is centred on action and passion, and the rooms here are more 'Indian' with their colourful kitsch. Kathak, named for the classical Indian dance form, is decorated in rich blues and reds, and has a lovely window seat. Shrinagar (adornment) has a funky mirror installation representing self love.
Sattva implies austerity and the rooms on this floor are my favourite, for their relative minimalism. Shuddhi (purity) is a haven of cool whites and blues, with a fascinating floor inlay that represents an ancient water purification system. The Nirvan (ultimate consciousness) room comes with a stunning frescoed wall depicting Buddha’s journey to self actualisation.
Contemporary bathrooms are more basic in design, but still swanky with hairdryers and toiletries from all-natural Indian brand Khadi. Bathtubs are found in Maya, Vaasna, Taal and Ashoka; other rooms are shower only.
All rooms have plasma TVs, cupboards and minibars (sadly with no alcohol, although it can be ordered in). The beds are queensized and comfortable. A pillow menu was promised but none was made available.
Urban legend (happily perpetuated by the hotel’s owners) has it that any couple who comes to Out of the Blue on their first dinner date, ends up getting married. But that’s not the only reason the restaurant attached to Le Sutra is so popular. With its alfresco dining and the happy marriage of Indian and western flavours, it is packed most nights. Famous for its Indianised fondues and well-priced cocktails, the atmosphere is always convivial.
Breakfast (included) is also served at the restaurant. It is a simple affair, with fresh fruit, cereal, breads, cold cuts and a small à la carte menu of omelettes and French toast. The all-day room service menu is identical to that of Out of the Blue so if you’d prefer to eat in your room, order away.
If you feel like something more extravagant, try Olive next door. Its Ibiza-style setting and Mediterranean fare has always drawn in the crowds and Thursday nights are when the neighbourhood’s best lookers come out to play. Adjoining Out of the Blue is Deliciae, an all-day semi-outdoor dessert cafe where any time of day you will find groups of men and women grabbing a quick coffee or a pick-me-up tiramisu. Also available is standard bakery fare like breads, cakes and buns.
For a little local flavour, the choices are almost confusing. Street food is available aplenty down the road on the Carter Road Promenade, which also houses a creperie, frozen yoghurt bar and several coffee shops. But if you want something special try Pali Village café, a charming bistro that’s a 10-minute taxi away. Escobar, a terrace bar and restaurant (it has a 77-foot bar) is also a 10-minute taxi, as is Salt Water café, an all-day delicatessen.