Mumbai: Notes on Nightlife

Courtesy Intercontinental Hotels

As one of the world’s largest producers of alcohol and a former British colony, the Subcontinent has seen its fair share of stiff drinks. But while the InterContinental hotel’s Dome (135 Marine Dr.)—a rooftop bar, lounge, and restaurant with sea views and an extensive bar menu—is ideal for sunset drinks, options are limited for later-night fun. The two hottest spots, though, show that the decadence of India’s most liberal city doesn’t emerge until after midnight. At the sultrily lit Privé (41–44 Mon Repos, Minoo Desai Rd.), on the shores of the Arabian Sea and near the Taj Mahal hotel in Colaba, a VIP seating area hovers over a pool of floating candles and rose petals. The young moneyed crowd dances Bollywood-style, hips gyrating, hands in the air, and the door policy is exclusive. Concierges at top hotels can often arrange entry, however. (An outfit covered in designer logos helps, too.) In a former mill in central Mumbai’s Worli neighborhood, Shiro (Bombay Dyeing Mill Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg) has a huge Buddha Bar–like interior and a relatively lax door policy. Massive stone statues stand guard and small plates and exotic cocktails span the Asian spectrum. On weekends the usually loungy space becomes a full-on club, packed with the new generation of rich, young, and occasionally beautiful people who have turned the city into their playground.