Sahara Star – Extraordinary resort-style hotel, yet remarkably on the edge of a mega airport.
A cross between a Bali resort (without the beach) and Vegas casino/hotel (without the gambling), the Sahara Star is truly massive. Much, much more than just a transit hotel, rooms are spread across terraced tiers facing colossal gardens not remotely possible at downtown rivals. The standard rooms are colorful and well-appointed, but not overly spacious, while some suites (named after planets) are sumptuous enough to feature jacuzzis or glass roofs. The best are those featuring balconies overlooking the incredible layout within. As expected, the amenities – from the tropical-style pool dotted with ‘islands’ to the outdoor fitness center overlooking the ‘lagoon’ – are world-class. There’s even more: a private dining room inside an aquarium! Incredibly, all of this is within a suburban area walkable to the domestic airport, and yet it’s so quiet.
Sahara Star – The Location
- Address: Nehru Road, just off the Western Express Highway, in the northern suburb of Vile Parle East. Adjacent to the domestic airport Terminal 1B (Santa Cruz).
- Area: Comparatively quieter and cleaner area of Mumbai packed with transit hotels and high-rise office blocks. Most domestic flights actually leave from the international terminal, so the area is rarely affected by plane noise.
- How to Get There: Less than 15 minutes by car/taxi from the international airport Terminal 2 (which also handles most domestic flights, 5km), and even closer to Terminal 1B (Santa Cruz), which caters to some budget domestic airlines. Get a taxi at a pre-paid counter from either terminal, or arrange a pickup through the hotel. The Andheri train station and connected metro station are 15 minutes (3km) away.
- Handy to: Domestic and International airport terminals.
Sahara Star – The Basics
- Guests: So close to both airport terminals, it attracts not only transit passengers, but also business people who appreciate the space and gardens not found in the city center.
- Views: Rooms facing inwards are quieter and feature balconies. These overlook the gardens, ‘lagoon’, and all the cafés/bars lined along the circular path within the grounds. Other rooms face the airport and streets, but windows are soundproofed.
- Kitchen: The 1-only Saturn Suite and Sahara Suite feature a kitchenette each.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Some of the more expensive suites feature jacuzzis.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +91 (0)22 3989 5000
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: saharastar.com
Sahara Star – Amenities
- Pool: Surprisingly, not within the internal gardens, but adjacent to the whole building. Narrow and dotted with ‘islands’ of palm trees, reminiscent of a tropical beach resort, but becomes crowded quickly. Bar and jacuzzi attached.
- Spa: Juvana Spa is as massive and opulent as the entire hotel. Traditional treatments and highly-trained staff.
- Fitness Center: Uniquely positioned along the circular path within the hotel grounds, and facing the ‘lagoon’ and gardens. Fully equipped.
- Other Facilities: Business Center. Laundry. Travel desk. Money-changing. Boutiques.
Sahara Star – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: The Earth Plate – Eclectic selection includes Italian, Mexican, and French cuisine. Famous for its teppanyaki ice-cream(!). Massive area, with bar attached. Open 24 hours. Where buffet breakfast is served. • Namak – Contemporary Indian in both cuisine and décor, with attentive service and impressive layout. • Manuhaar – Bright and cheerful setting, it’s renowned for authentic thalis (set meals in steel plates). • EAST – Cuisine from across Asia, including a teppanyaki station, and intriguing décor. Open until after midnight. • Mabruk – Casual setting alongside the ‘lagoon’ within the extraordinary gardens. Award-winning Lebanese cuisine, and live music on most nights. Outside bar. Dinner only. • The Bakery Shop – Extensive selection of tasty treats, including pies and pastries.
- Bars: The Lagoon Lounge – Remarkable setting next to the manmade ‘lagoon’. Coffees, beers, and light meals. • Diwine – Chic lounge (and shop) claiming to offer the largest wine collection in Mumbai.
- Breakfast: Not normally included, but this may depend on the type of room and how it was booked.
- Room Service: Available 24/7.
Sahara Star – Rooms
- Room Types: Mercury City Facing Rooms • Earth Rooms • Mercury Lagoon Facing Rooms • Venus Premier Rooms • Venus Premier Suites • Uranus Suites • Neptune Suites • Saturn Suite (1 only) • Sahara Suite (1 only) • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Some rooms allow smoking. Check when booking.
- Best Room: The signature 1-only Sahara Suite is indescribable: spread over 3 floors, with a private elevator, it offers more luxury than most could even dream about.
- For Families: Some of the more expensive suites feature two bedrooms, while many standard rooms have connecting doors.
Sahara Star – Local Transport
- Walking: Comparatively pleasant area for walking, but little of interest nearby for tourists. The hotel gates face a lane packed with stalls and other facilities for local workers. Crowded, but a fascinating slice of city life.
- Public Transport: Nothing of any use to tourists. The nearest Mumbai Metro station is Western Express Highway (3km), but has limited connectivity till about 2023 when several other routes open.
- Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: The usual black-and-yellow taxis are oddly rare in the immediate area. Plenty of auto-rickshaws along the road, and they usually use their meters too. Rides can also be booked using Uber and Ola apps.
Sahara Star – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants & Bars
Not a great variety – mostly stalls selling street food. The only other options are in nearby transit hotels. The premier selection is at The Orchid (250m away). From the main gates of the Sahara Star, veer left and look for the turnoff. The Orchid offers:
- Boulevard – 24-hour casual dining in the atrium with an unusual décor of canvas and carpets.
- Mostly Grills – Mouth-watering kebabs and a colorful setting on the rooftop. Dinner only.
- South of Vindhyas – Traditional vegetarian cuisine in a stylish setting with fascinating murals.
- The Gourmet Shop – Coffee shop for tasty breads, cakes, and other pastries.
- Merlin’s Karaoke Bar – Also live music, and extended happy hours. Open until 3am.
- A few shops for locals along the lane that faces the hotel gates, but nothing much else.
Sahara Star – The Hotel
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