Whether it's about the food, the gym or the spa, the swanky new The Trident at Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla Complex leaves one asking for more.
Long-winding traffic jams leading all the way to Bandra had me crawling late to my destination. But the glittering mirror-and-steel facades of Mumbai's rapidly developing Bandra-Kurla Complex dazzled my eyes as my 20-minute drive from the airport brought me to the beige, semi-circular façade of The Trident, Mumbai's spanking new luxury business five star hotel.
Compact yet chic
I catch my breath as I enter the compact yet chic lobby to be amiably welcomed with folded hands. A grand Steiner piano, two bronze sculptures of a couple in conversation and the familiar fragrance of oriental lilium flowers, (a Trident leitmotif that enlivens even the lobby at Nariman Point) are the first impressions of the brand new property.
After relishing a light thali of delightful traditional delicacies at Maya, the Indian restaurant, I am pleasantly surprised with the touching gesture of Chef Gunjit who prepared a traditional kaadha with his grandmother's time-tested digestive recipe, which was instantly refreshing! Time to look up my charming, uber-modern suite with sleek linear, minimalist design, the leitmotif pastel beige and red finish, a sprawling bathing area and a mini-bar with an impressive array of spirits and goodies.
A short nap instantly energises you for a relaxing dip in the infinity pool or a detailed workout at Trident's hi-tech luxury gym with state of the art equipment for both weight-training and cardiovascular exercises by Life Fitness. The gym offers highly advanced and user-friendly machines to target specific muscle groups along with superior quality dumbbells and barbells to beef you up.
After a vigorous workout, it was time to head for the Spa, famous for its Ayurveda-based ‘Sundari' products manufactured in California. Deft Indonesian hands worked on my deltoids, trapezes and hamstrings with the exhilarating aroma of gentle oils… that's Nirvana for any muscle training enthusiast.
The 60-90 minute Balinese massage, which is a rigorous yet fluid deep pressure massage, uses a variety of techniques like skin rolling, deep tissue manipulation, gentle stretching and reflexology where enough time is devoted to each and every muscle for its complete relaxation and the right amount of blood circulation…not forgetting the à la-Arnold look that lasts for days together!
Rashmi, the Spa Manager, explained other sought-after massages like the couples massage, Hot Lava Shell massage, Thai massage and the signature Trident Massage. All are immensely popular with international tourists while special varieties for men like the After Workout massage use exotic aromatherapy oils to ease muscle strain, soreness (after intense weight training) and aching joints, the spa's USP.
They also have an impressive list of Ayurvedic therapies like the ancient padabhyanga massage, shiroabhyanga for vital points of the shoulder, neck and face and the stress-relieving abhyanga massage along with meditative facial varieties that are all-time bliss.
For a foodie like me, The Trident Bandra Kurla offers three diverse gourmet experiences. Maya is the specialty Indian outlet for lovers of desi delicacies like the signature Baingan Bhartha (smoked aubergine mince with onions and tomatoes) and Rajasthani Mirch Ki Kadhi (banana chillies filled with spiced potatoes in a yogurt gravy) served on a traditional thali; while among the desserts, I savoured the most delightful kulfi I had ever eaten, irresistible even for a diet freak like myself!
Botticino offers some exotic cucina italiana with specialties like Gnocchi di pomodoro secchi con verdure alla griglia in purea di asparagi (Sun dried tomato gnocchi with grilled vegetables and asparagus purée), Ravioli di melanzane e taleggio con burro fuso e pinoli(Ravioli of eggplant with taleggio, pine kernels and basil butter) and Lasagna al zaferano con salsa Bolognaise e parmigiano reggiano (Saffron lasagna sheets with Bolognaise sauce and parmesan glaze). Realising my weakness for pastas, Rahul Korgaonkar of Botticino served me the famous Paccheri in salsa di pomodoro con mozzarella e melanzane (Paccheri pasta with mozzarella, eggplant and tomato sauce) meticulously paired with a 2006 Piemonte Gaja Barbaresco red wine, a perfect chemistry! Trident's All-Day Dining hotspot ‘O22' (from Mumbai's city code 022!) serves the finest South Indian veetu sapadu (like home-cooked food).
Good music is always an integral part of any wholesome eclectic experience. Lilting strains of the classic harp or mellifluous piano renditions enliven the evenings at The Trident. Although visually challenged, Shirin Irani makes the masters come alive on the Grand Steiner. “You play beautifully, God bless you” I whispered to her while she was engrossed in a Vivace that danced on the keys. “And God bless you too” she whispered back with a gentle smile as she saw me with ‘the eye of the heart' that the mystics believe is opened through blissful music!