Thursday, 3 December 2009

Aer bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai

I first heard about Aer bar when I did a hotel tour of Mumbai's superlative Four Seasons hotel in Worli back in June. Then, with monsoon bearing down on the city, it was muggy as hell and there was sweat dripping down my back even inside the air-conditioned confines of the hotel. The PR girl took me up to the rooftop, 34 flights up, delicately stepping through the rubble in her stilettos. Despite the rooftop being little more than a building site, I could already see it taking shape: 360° views, a cool breeze, nary a whiff of Eau de Mumbai (sewage, fish, salty sea air, pollution, heady anticipation).

Now, Aer Bar has opened, and last week I got sent the first publicity images:

Is this Mumbai, seriously? It could be Hong Kong, or Shanghai. Sure, there's undoubtedly a lot of Photoshop liberty - and you can't photograph a smell, but this is way at odds with Mumbai's reputation. And, decor-wise, not a touch of anything Indian: no Devanagari script, no paisley motifs, no lotus flowers, no turbanned waiters, nothing to set this bar apart from bars in modern cities in booming economies.

Very excited about going there.