While Lumbini Jewel has something of everything, and something for everyone, the average consumer would perhaps gain more by shopping at destinations which offer a still wider choice (there is no dearth of malls in the vicinity) and better ambience.
The only exception is Brand Factory, which eats up three whole levels inside the mall, and delivers on all three counts - variety, value and service - especially for the lower middle class consumer. Level 3 is loaded with men's wear and a small electronics bazaar (there is a separate TMC outlet too, which can cater to your electronic needs). Level 2 is mainly youth wear and footwear, while level one displays women's wear, kid's wear, accessories and cosmetics. And all of this is ALWAYS available at 20-50 percent discount, sometimes coupled with other good deals like 'buy one, get one free'.
Level 1 also shares space with Shanti Exclusive, which sells mostly formal ethnics - saris, salwar kameezes, ghagra cholis - for women, at rates steeper than even Mebaz, located on the gound floor. The racks and shelves at this particular Mebaz outlet, spacious and inviting, are lined with ethnic party and evening wear for women. Mebaz also has a fairly extensive selection of dress material; the inhouse designers are surprisingly quite affordable, and would be more than happy to tailor a new salwar kameez or sari blouse for you.
Apart from Mebaz, the ground floor houses The Euro Shop (selling decorative items for your personal spaces), a Mangatrai Pearls showroom, Linen Club (selling men's designer wear), Cool Club (selling youth wear for cheap) and Revolution (selling plus-size women's clothing and lingerie; it's very well-stocked).
Two eateries are located here, too - a rather deserted-looking Barista and Ice Station. The latter is the better chill station; the interiors are family-friendly, and the aroma of all things sugary that welcomes you also whets your appetite.
The ground floor of Lumbini Jewel is striking for an unusual reason - its lack of windows and sunlight. Indeed, the absence of these makes you long for the airy and bustling City Center
. The semi-darkness also plays on your subconscious, if not conscious, and induces listlessness, a feeling downright alarming for a mall shopper.
The gloominess is also heightened by the general lack of people and activity - no one seems to be hanging around Lumbini Jewel Mall (as we write this in July 2007), although its wide doors open on to the dynamic Banjara Hills.
Further, the dreariness of the ground floor returns to haunt you on the 4th floor (should you choose to go there), where three restaurants (Malgudi, Basil and Zaffran Laguna) and the F Bar operate.
Lumbini Jewel Mall, sitting pretty on Road No. 2, creates a world of its own for the consumer, and unfortunately, it's not a very appealing one. Which makes this mall no jewel in the crown called Banjara Hills.