Situated on the Colaba waterfront overlooking the Arabian Sea, The Taj Mahal Palace is a leading hotel of the world and a favorite destination for discerning travelers. Built in 1903, the luxury hotel was Bombay’s first harbor landmark. The hotel’s 240-foot-high Florentine dome is till date the first clear marker of Bombay Harbor that could be seen from the sea.
The Taj, as it is simply called in Mumbai, was badly damaged by fire, shooting and explosions when heavily armed gunmen stormed the building on November 26, 2008. It opened its corridors to the world again on August 15, 2010 (the hotel’s 107th year). Overlooking the Gateway of India with a panoramic view of the bay, every one of the 560 rooms including 44 suites is the perfect blend of old-world elegance, rich history and modern convenience. The palace corridors stand testimony to a century old heritage, with art and artifacts gracing the aisles.
The Rajput Suite is steeped in old Rajasthani opulence. The Sheesh Mahal study with a shamiana shaped roof, studded with pieces of mirror glass, a traditional ‘jhula’, period fans on the wall, a Mother of Pearl inlaid teak desk amalgamate into a private area evokes the sense of bygone era. The entire suite is dotted with balconies overlooking the bay.
The suite features painted dados and wall panels in traditional pattern, the centerpiece of which is a majestic peacock at the heart of the main living salon. A traditional Suryavanshi mirror, shaped like the sun, adorns one wall, while brass banisters, gold and brass chests, lamps, pots, and other objets d’art surround one, bringing to life the majesty and awe-inspiring grandeur of the Rajput king.
The palatial marble floor employs traditional chevron design, while the walls are treated with relief arches, reminiscent of the perimeter colonnades of a traditional palace courtyard. The color scheme expresses richness through a palate of strong contrasts – piano-black lacquer and ebony set against pickled white and ivory, with gold filigree painting and zardozi embroidery adding a further layer of richness, both in pattern and color.
The generous sized bedroom assimilates comfort with convenience, tradition with modernity. The furniture and decorative lighting are intended to reflect the typically eclectic collections that successive generations of royalty accumulated at their palaces.
Taj Mahal Palace focuses on some of the world’s most revered cuisines, from the rich culinary heritage of the Subcontinent to popular Western, Mediterranean, Italian, French or Japanese dishes. Wasabi, The Zodiac Grill, Shamiana are some of the well-known restaurants.
The hotel’s Jiva (meaning ‘Innerforce’) Spa ” is inherently rooted in India’s ancient approach to wellness. It combines Indian herbs, aromatherapy oils and Ayurveda to provide rejuvenating messages and therapies.
Cost: INR 4,00,000 (approx. $6,530) per night
Size: 1,800 square feet
Why should you splurge on it?
From the moment you step inside the brass palace doors, you get a glimpse of the splendor of the royals of Rajputana at the hotel’s Rajput Suite. A virtual repository of history- brass banisters, gold and brass chests, lamps, pots, checkers board inlaid with mother of pearl are just some of the recurring wows. With an emphasis on classic values and echoing an intimate feel, the suite recreates the bygone era in which the hotel’s original building was constructed. That said, with service and in-house amenities as good as this, why would anyone ever want to leave?
Taj Mahal Palace
Mumbai – 400 001