Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai
Even if you can't afford to stay here (and I couldn't) it is worth the trip just to see this famous hotel that has long been considered one of the world's finest. George Bernard Shaw is supposed to have said that once he saw the Taj Hotel he didn't need to se the real Taj Mahal. I did manage to get in for an $18 breakfast.
The Taj is popular for their High Tea in the afternoons. But we decided to go for coffee and sandwiches in the Sea Lounge. We fortunately got a table next to the window overlooking the harbour - what a magnificent view it is! It was a slightly overcast day which made the occasion more significant. What an unforgettable two hours we spent there with soft piano music in the background while overlooking the harbour and the activities of hawkers and locals in the street below.
Taj Mahal is one of the most expensive hotels in Mumbai, so of course I did not stay here. But you can always visit the bathroom or one of the many shops, restaurants and bars (they are quite expensive though). I went to Harbour Bar, which is situated on the ground floor and which is facing the Gateway of India.
This luxurious 5-star hotel was built by the wealthy Indian industrialist Jamsetji N Tata in 1903. It is said he built the hotel because he had not been allowed to enter another hotel in Mumbai because he was a native. This is debated though and many say he built it because he thought Mumbai needed a grand hotel that could enhance the reputation of Mumbai in the world.
The Tower block was added in the 1970s.
In November 2008 the Taj Mahal Palace was attacked by terrorists. The terrorists held the hotel for three days killing many people and holding others as hostage before the military could secure the place. The Taj Mahal Palace was only one of many places that were struck by shooting and bombings in an coordinated attack across Mumbai.
Across the road from the Gateway of India you will not fail to see the elegant and impossing fairytale like structure which is the Taj Mahal Palacce & Tower. It was built in 1903 and suffered a dreadful terrorist attack in 2008 (from which it took a mere 3 weeks to be reconstructed, blessed and reopened!).
If, like me, your budget is not stretching the extra mile for you to stay at this hotel you can pop in and have a snoop around! You can eat here, drink here, or, like me, use the bathroom facilities here (do be sure to have some change about your person if you do this as there WILL be an attendant and he/she WILL help you find an unoccupied cubicle and then help you to wash and dry your hands!)
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, one of the placve under multiple blasts at five star hotels and other crucial places in Mumbai in Nov 2008. A massive fire broke out on the upper portion of the heritage building of the luxury Hotel Taj at Colaba in Mumbai during an encounter between security forces and terrorists holed up inside.
When I visited in Jun 2009, the hotel is in goofd shape and I could go around the ground level. The tea room on the second floor was closed when I intended to visit.
Built in 1903, the hotel is an architectural marvel and brings together Moorish, Oriental and Florentine styles.
Another symbol and landmark of Bombay, the legendary Taj Mahal Palace is India's most famous hotel. It was built and opened in 1903 by Jamshedji Tata, a wealthy local from the Parsi community who decided to build it after being denied entry into the "whites only" Watsons Hotel. Since then, the Taj Mahal Palace has been the city's most luxurious hotel and a source of pride for the city and nation. The beautiful multi-domed building is a breathtaking mix of Renaissance, Gothic and Moorish architectural styles, and was built just as Bombay's Indo-Saracenic architectural style was emerging. In more recent decades, a tower annex (an eyesore, frankly) was added next to the Palace building for additional rooms. Sadly, in November 2008, the hotel, its guests and staff were victims of the attacks on Bombay, suffering casualties and damage. The hotel tower has since reopened, but in February 2009, only the restaurants, pool and shops in the Palace building were functioning, while the rooms were still under renovation.
Taj Mahal Hotel, the name evokes waves of nostalgia in me.
I have visited the Gateway Of India several times since 1955 when I was a mere child. My dad would splurge on us and take us for a cup of tea at the famous Taj Mahal hotel. I have always loved lounging in one of those informal sitting rooms with HUGE glass windows overlooking the harbor, watching the ships. We would order tea and appetizers and spend couple of hours here. The bustle , the oppressive humidity of a summer afternoon, the crowds would vanish and we would be transported into another, enchanted land.
If you want a taste of true Indian hospitality, this is one such place, though the same is also found in the hearts of Indians. You dont have to spend much at all.
I always have bneen appreciative of the staff at the Taj. This time, I am saying a big THANK YOU guys.
Taj Mahal Palace and Tower is an impressive sight. This hotel has a blend of Islamic and Renaissance styles. It is one of Mumbai's most famous landmarks and looks over the harbour.
We didn't get to stay or eat there as it is just a little over our budget!
Mumbai's premier hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace was built in 1903 by a prominent Parsi industralist, Jamshedji Tata who, it is said, decided to construct this beautiful hotel when he was barred from entering the "Whites Only" Watsons Hotel.
Built in 1903 by the Parsi industrialist J. N. Tata following an episode similar to what happened to Gandhi in South Africa (where he was thrown off a train for trying to ride in the First Class section - European only). Tata was refused entry into a nearby European hotel for being a ‘native’. So he built a much bigger and better hotel which has become Mumbai’s social epicenter (the British hotel has disappeared). Tata would also lead India’s greatest industrial family.
If you can't afford to stay here then do take a look inside, as I'm sure that like me, curiosity will get the better of you and you'll want to know what the hotel is like inside.
Verdict - Grand, Classy, Expensive!
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower is a Mumbai landmark on its own. This swanky hotel has rows of designer boutiques, fine dining restaurants, its own nightclub and plenty of bars and cafes. The pool side cafe is a great hang out but prices here are comparatively more expensive than anywhere else in Mumbai especially after they have added 20% tax on top of the total bill. There are staff members in almost every part of the hotel so you will never get lost. Even if you can't afford to stay here, you should have a visit! It is almost surreal the feeling of being inside such an elegant place and then looking at the poverty immediately after you step out of the front door!
The Taj is a beautiful building which sits on the waterfront right opposite the Gateway.
We of course never stayed in the Taj but we did wander around admiring the beautiful architecture of the building. We went inside and admired the sheer class and beauty of it all, there are many expensive shops inside, and the toilets here are an experience in themselves - when I went in I expected just to pee and walk out! Oh no, there is a lady there to turn on the tap for you, give you soap and hand you a towel??!
This is also a land mark of Bombay. This is a super deluxe hotel run by the famous Tata group. Very popular among rich and famous and movie stars. Believe me I saw Pierce Brosnan at 7.00 AM in the morning in front of the hotel taking pictures of Gateway of India. Well our goodluck lasted only for 1-2mts as some media people emerged from nowhere, he spoke to them for a minute, took their photograph and he was whisked away by his security. At first I did not believe it was him as he was taking stroll just like a normal tourist. I was about two feets from him. Despite having a digital camera I made a fool of myself as I was not knowing with whom I was going to Gateway of India. It was a chance in thousand years, I missed!!
The beautiful Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, a part of the Taj Group, is an icon of splendor and grandiose in the heart of Mumbai.
Opened in 1903, the Taj Mahal hotel is overlooking the sea just beside another landmark - the Gateway of India.
Huge lobby, extravagant interiors and furnishings, well-dressed bellhops in Maharajah-era style. Climb up the stairs leading to the dome, splendid architecture, tastefully designed, art collections on walls and crystal chandeliers.
And even if you're not checking in, just get in and check it out.
An art of a hotel.