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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Opulence at the Gateway......In as much as I am tempted to put this under the Hotels heading...this place is a landmark and a tourist destination. George Bernard Shaw once mentioned that seeing this monument was enough to not see the Taj at Agra. That is overrated though! Great Architecture.
Location :The Taj Mahal hotel, situated on the waterfront, is a beautiful building and a gracious landmark facing the Gateway of India. 32 km from the airport, and minutes away from the commercial, shopping and banking districts.
A visit to the shops on the ground floor is an experience. Particularly the book shop is worth having a look at. You'll get a lot of interesting, books, CDs etc about India.
The restaurants are also worth a visit. Depending on your budget, you could just have a coffee or a whole meal. The rates are much more than normal - you are paying for the ambience & service.