9
/10
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Location
Accommodation
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Review of The Taj Mahal Palace

It is not often that a hotel becomes so closely linked to a country but in the case of the magnificently domed Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, it is somewhat difficult to differentiate the history of the hotel from that of the history of India, particularly given its close proximity to the symbolic Gateway to India. 

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai (with its sister property Taj Mahal Tower Mumbai next door) enjoys views over the eastern Arabian Sea. 

A favourite waterfront haunt of maharajas, princes and kings rubbing shoulders alongside visiting dignitaries and those from the silver screen, this impressive Victorian Gothic property boasts 285 rooms and suites, each still bearing a nostalgic elegance and rich history whilst offering every modern convenience. There are nine restaurants and bars, a luxury shopping arcade, a Kids’ programme for younger guests and overnight valet parking. On the wellness side, there is a 24-hour fitness centre with a range of Technogym equipment and a yoga studio with personal trainers on request, a temperature-controlled Olympic-sized outdoor pool and the 604 square metre Jiva Spa complete with one couple’s suite and five individual treatment rooms with private showers and steam. The spa also features a luxurious relaxation lounge, a magnesium soak pod, an ultra-luxurious hammam and the ultra-chic Taj Salon to help guests look their best. The property even has its own on call doctor and nurse. 

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai is the flagship property of Taj Hotels, part of The Indian Hotels Company Limited.

10 / 10
Location

Strategically located in Mumbai’s prime historical and commercial hub, The Taj Mahal Palace is within walking distance of Colaba Causeway, known for its touristy tiny roadside shops, pubs and restaurants for a taste of old Bombay. The city’s financial hub, parliament, stadium, offices and shopping districts are all located in close proximity as is a flourishing art and heritage precinct with must visit museums, art galleries, churches and synagogues. Take a tour of and learn about the history and architecture of the city with a Government of India appointed and trained guide, walking past Gothic buildings and through narrow streets. 

The magnificent Gateway to India is less than two minutes’ walk from the main hotel gates. 

Both domestic and international airports are up to an hour’s drive away with Mumbai International Airport (BOM) being around 23 kilometres / 14 miles distance away from the hotel. 

For local drivers, overnight valet parking is available.

9 / 10
Accommodation

There are 285 rooms and suites at The Taj Mahal Palace, revitalised and restored by some of the world’s most acclaimed interior designers. Offering a choice of rooms with views overlooking the city, the pool or the Gateway to India and the Arabian Sea, guest rooms range from the luxury rooms which are windowless and designed with jet-setting business travellers in mind to the Luxury Grand Room City and Sea View rooms which radiate old-school charm and elegance with Rajput bay-windows and butler service. Room guests enjoy complimentary newspapers, tea and coffee makers, choice of smoking and non-smoking rooms, a well-stocked minibar, a 40-inch flat screen television with satellite programmes and bottled mineral water. The next category up, the Sea View and City View Club rooms on the higher floors, enjoy an exclusive range of extras such as access to 50% discounts on airport transfers, ironing of up to two garments per stay and High Tea at a specified dining venue. Suite guests also enjoy the use of a meeting room for up to two hours.

The Executive Suites meanwhile enjoy all these facilities plus a stunning Italian marble bathroom with dressing area, a living room, dining room, study and bedroom. Amenities include lit makeup mirrors, pillow menus, Cypress waffle bathrobes and slippers, a bath menu and bath salts, softer or harder beds and a Sony Bravia Home Theatre System with surround sound and larger televisions.

Each suite enjoys a different design choice with rich textures, hues and an opulent décor in keeping with the age of the property plus access to the Palace Lounge. The lavish Bell Tower Suite for example evokes the romance of a seafaring sojourn whilst the Maratha and Lotus Suites have their own motifs, paying home to the great warrior tribe and the national flower of the land respectively. The Lotus and Aquarius Suites also enjoy views of the Grand Central Dome of the hotel. The Ravi Shankar Suite is dedicated to the acclaimed musician. The Seagull Suite is up in the eaves of the property with stunning vaulted ceilings

The Presidential Suite meanwhile makes reference to the founder of the Taj. The Tata Suite is designed to celebrate the legend of the Tata family with white Makrana marble floors, intricate marquetry, Indian hand-knotted carpets, a range of colonial furniture and glittering crystal chandeliers overhead. Guests here enjoy complimentary breakfast at Shamiana, complimentary afternoon tea, evening cocktails, post-dinner cognac & chocolate service and 24-hour beverages at the Palace Lounge.

9 / 10
Service & Facilities

For those wishing to keep active and well whilst travelling, the hotel offers a range of facilities under the Jiva brand, Taj’s wellness marque. Covering a space of 604 square metres, the Jiva Spa offers a wide range of signature holistic wellness treatments and therapies. Situated amidst the serene calm of the pool terrace, the Jiva Spa offers a couple’s massage suite with a luxurious soaking tub, five single treatment pool facing rooms with individual showers and steam along with a luxurious relaxation lounge. It also has a magnesium soak pod, an ultra-luxurious hammam and The Salon inspired by the chic French boutiques of the Champs Elysées and dedicated to making everyone look their best including a full-service Bridal Room for the bride and her bridesmaids, Mani-Pedis and luxurious organic hair spa rituals. The spas’ product lines – Thalgo, Moroccan Oil and Naturica and a Guerlain skin care boutique are also on display and available. 

An “Ayurveda Pavilion” delivers authentic Ayurveda treatments with two specialised Ayurveda rooms and a lobby area for guest consultations. Each of the Ayurveda rooms has their own steam and shower room along with the Shirodhara equipment. 

The 24-hour contemporary fitness centre features a yoga and Pilates studio and a complete range of Technogym cardiovascular and strength training equipment with free weights, certified personal trainers on request. Other facilities include male and female lockers with individual showers and steam. Mineral water, hand towels and headsets are available together with music players and air pods. 

The Olympic sized pool lies in the heart of the hotel with the temperature carefully controlled and certified lifeguards on duty. Surrounded by lush green vegetation and verdant lawns, there are 44 loungers serviced with chilled face sprays, cold face towels and fruit kebabs. Guests can enjoy a daily morning yoga class by the pool. 

For history buffs, the hotel’s butlers will take guests on a heritage trail around the property, past the sepia photo lined corridors, entertaining with rich and varied stories about both the hotel and its past guests. 

Alongside an extensive shopping arcade, the hotel offers The Taj Art Gallery, one of the most important venues for Indian artists to display their work. Major names to have shown in the gallery include S H Raza, Ram Kumar, V S Gaitonde, Jehangir Sabavala and Laxman Shreshtha. 

Families are welcomed with Kids@Taj programmes and baby-sitting services for younger guests. Professional day-care facilities are available for little guests. 

During yachting season, the hotel offers world-class sailing and cruising facilities from sunrise cruises to speed boat rides.

10 / 10
Style

It was Jamsetji Tata’s dream to give Bombay, now Mumbai, a landmark that would stand the test of time: The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai.

Named after the Taj Mahal in Agra, this venerable grand hotel opened its doors in 1903 and has played host to just about every well-known celebrity, royal and politician since then. Built in the “Saracenic Revival style”, the exterior style to an inexperienced eye is simply a heady mix of numerous architectural styles from European Florentine Renaissance to the oriental and Islamic to flamboyant British high Gothic romance – a complex balancing act that somehow strikingly works. It is topped by a 73 metre high central red brick red dome which still today acts as a navigational aid for the Indian Navy coming into port.

Predating the Gateway to India by two decades, it was the Taj that welcomed visitors to Bombay and to mark its importance, in 2017, was the first building in the country to secure intellectual property right protection for its famous architectural image. It was therefore fitting that it was at the Taj that the last Viceroy to India, Lord Mountbatten, the first Governor-General of independent India, gave his farewell speech from the hotel’s Ballroom and from there, exited for England.

Inside, there are Edwardian galleries with pillars, trellises, vaulted ceilings, and balustrades a-plenty – the eye pleasing and Instagram-friendly repetition of long corridors, crystal chandeliers, antiques, onyx columns and intricate fretwork evident everywhere. Above all however, there is a loyal and dedicated staff – some second and third generation employees - whose strong service ethic is as renowned as its style. 

Today, the property is known as one of the world’s most luxurious and famous hotels, coming back stronger than ever after the events of 26/11, bloodied but unbowed. The Taj Mahal Palace has perhaps become even more important to Mumbai, to India and to its enormous worldwide fan club ever since, a global symbol of resilience, of inspiration, of continuity, of humanity and just, it has to be said, pure unstinting courage.

9 / 10
Restaurants & Bars

The Taj Mahal Palace and its sister neighbouring property, The Taj Mahal Tower, share nine restaurants and bars between them, guests being able to dine and bill back to their rooms at both properties. 

Souk located at the top of the tower, offers a selection of authentic, light Eastern Mediterranean cuisine along with panoramic views out over the Arabian Sea and the city skyline. Sunset cocktails at this rooftop restaurant are unsurprisingly popular as is the Sunday brunch with champagne. 

Masala Kraft is the speciality Indian restaurant blending culinary innovations with traditional methods. Hand ground spices and authentic recipes cater to varying palates with a range of menus including the Masala Mumbai Tiffin, Wine Paired Menu and the Health Menu. 

Wasabi by Morimoto offers an authentic Japanese culinary journey using authentic ingredients that are specially flown down from Japan. Recognised by San Pelligrino as one of Asia’s 50 Top Restaurants 2018, the ever-popular signature dishes like White fish carpaccio, Black cod miso, Wasabi crème brûlée keep guests returning to try Iron Chef Morimoto’s latest creations.

Golden Dragon has a 40-year history of serving fine Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine in Mumbai. Known for specialities including the Sunday Dim Sum Brunch buffet with extensive varieties of succulent dim sums and live kitchen plating of delicacies such as Peking Duck and Beggar’s Chicken. 

Shamiana, the original coffee shop of the city, offers all day dining with an international a la carte menu. There is an elaborate breakfast buffet daily whilst the sumptuous weekend brunches focus on interactive experiences along with a daily blackboard of curated dishes. 

The Sea Lounge is filled with old, colonial charm with its Art Deco furnishings enhanced by stunning views over the Arabian Sea and offers an elaborate buffet spread of classic English delicacies and local Indian favourites. It is considered to be a city institution for traditional Afternoon Tea featuring an elaborate buffet spread of classic English delicacies and local Indian favourites complemented with a selection of the world’s finest teas and coffees. It is also known for its light lunch and dinner menus and Mumbai Street food. In the evenings, there is live music. 

La Patisserie, the Cake Shop and Delicatessen, is the perfect choice for celebration treats and take-away goodies. This popular shop sells delicious desserts, gourmet cold cuts, a variety of cheeses, freshly baked breads and savoury treats. There is also an exhaustive selection of soft beverages, beers, sparkling water and handpicked wines. 

The Harbour Bar, the first licensed bar in the city, is the stylish lounge bar serving a selection of fine malts, international wines and global tapas. Speakeasy nights from Wednesday to Sunday bring back a prohibition-era vibe. 

The Wine & Malt Lounge is a unique destination for wine and whisky enthusiasts with over 115 rare varieties, all served by the glass. 

Aquarius, the outdoor restaurant of The Taj Mahal Palace, is set amongst lush, green landscapes. With rattan furnishings and dedicated smoking cabanas, residents may order light bites and desserts accompanied by a large range of mocktails and alcoholic beverages. 

For exclusive private dining, the hotel offers The Chef’s Studio and Casablanca.

Sustainability

The Indian Hotels Company is committed to giving back to society by enabling livelihoods for less privileged target groups through skilling and leveraging their business value chain to support traditional art & heritage and social purpose organisations. 

IHCL has trained and certified over 20,000 youth from under-served communities and support over 60 traditional silk weavers and six social impact organisations through the Taj value chain. They currently run 14 Taj-Tata STRIVE skill training centres and 15 hotels offering Golden Threshold Programme in partnership with Tata Institute of Social Sciences – offering pro-bono vocational training to target communities; three heritage sites being supported; 1,600+ kgs of used soaps donated to Diversey’s recycling initiative.

IHCL supports local neighbourhoods by maintaining and promoting public spaces, tourism spots and heritage sites. They persistently work towards optimising energy and water usage and responsible waste management and regularly communicate their sustainability performance through United Nations Global Compact and Business Responsibility Reporting.

Sustainability is a prerequisite for the operations of all hotels belonging to The Indian Hotels Company whose teams work behind the scenes of each hotel ensuring that water and energy are used judiciously and waste is reduced. To enable guests to enjoy their stay while limiting their carbon footprint, they maximise their use of renewable energy, invest in water efficient infrastructure and constantly work towards ambitious targets for emissions reduction.

Their hotels within environmentally sensitive areas near natural parks, forests and fragile coastlines are constructed using local materials and eco-friendly design. Through projects for turtle conservation and coral reef restoration, the company gives their guests the opportunity to participate in preserving the natural beauty of the locations they visit. In the last year alone, all these efforts have resulted in more than 58,000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided and more than 3.2 million kilolitres of water reused and recycled.

The Taj Public Service Welfare Trust (TPSWT) was set up in December 2008 in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks. Inspired by the resilience of survivors and the courage of those who came to their aid, the purpose is to reach out to people affected by disasters, both man-made and natural, with support to rebuild their lives. Their mandate is to extend relief, rehabilitation and other assistance to victims of terror, natural calamities and other tragic events that inflict damage to life and property. In this endeavour, they partner with NGO’s, institutions and other Tata Group companies and Trusts.

What We Love

  • History: Taking part in history by staying at one of the most legendary hotels in the world, complete with butlers that invite guests on a historic trip down memory lane. The Taj itself was built in 1903 – a full decade before the Gateway to India was completed!

  • Facilities: The Olympic sized pool and its lush garden - providing a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai. The Jiva Spa also adds a lovely oasis …

  • Architecture: Grand and impressive on the outside, a treasure chest of beautiful details on the inside - waiting to be discovered. There are few hotels in the world in which you can spend days exploring … discovering … and admiring – The Taj Mahal Mumbai is one such hotel. Amazing.

 

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