Taj Mahal – Bombay
The history of Mumbai and The Taj Mahal Palace are dramatically intertwined. The hotel is Mumbai’s first harbour landmark (built 21 years before the Gateway of India) and the site of the first licensed bar in the city. For more than a century, the Taj has played an intrinsic part in the life of the city, hosting Maharajas, dignitaries and eminent personalities from across the globe. To it is an world leader in hospitality and a favourite destination for discerning business travellers.
A treasure-trove of invaluable memorabilia, there is a story to tell behind every pillar, a landmark deal in every boardroom, and a storied celebration under every awning. Come be a part of the legend.
Built in 1903, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai is the flagship hotel of the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces. Our 560 rooms including 44 suites are situated on the sea front and overlook the majestic Gateway of India or Mumbai’s prime historical and commercial hub. Whether you choose a room in the Palace or Tower, your accommodation is assured to be a remarkable blend of old-world elegance and modern facilities. Every aspect of your stay will be infused with the trademark hospitality that has received world wide acclaim.
A bit of history from the hotel by the hotel…
Jamsetji Tata built The Taj Mahal Palace just in time. In the late 19th century, the hotels in Mumbai left much to be desired. They were run down, overcrowded and the one decent hotel in Mumbai Watson’s Esplanade Hotel – was years past its prime. In the late 1890s, Mr. Tata suddenly announced his plans to build a grand hotel that would help restore the image of Mumbai and attract visitors from around the world.
His partners were surprised and his sisters, critical. One of them is said to have replied in Gujarati, “You are building an institute of science in Bangalore, a great iron and steel factory and a hydro-electric project – and now you tell us you are going to put up a bhatarkhana (boarding house)!” Luckily, Mr. Tata stayed true to his vision and in 1898 the foundation for the Taj Mahal Palace was started. Construction would be completed in 1903. From the day it opened, the hotel was a leader in the city scene. The Maharajas considered it a second home because it was a welcome break from their formal routines, yet maintained the palatial standards of living to which they were accustomed.
This playground of Princes was also a home to the Indian Freedom movement. Jinnah, the future first leader of Pakistan and Naidu, the President of the Indian National Congress, both held court here. In 1947, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai played host to the legends and architects of Independence and one of first major speeches representing Independent India was given at the hotel.
Eventually the Palace needed some extra room to grow and so the Tower wing was added in 1973. Architecturally different, but in synch with the spirit of the Palace, the Tower added 20 storeys of arches and balconies and began a new chapter in the hotel’s rich history. Now there was even more room to accommodate the endless parade of global who’s who.
A few of their extraordinary guests include: various Kings, Presidents, legends, performers, religious figures and entertainers such as George Bernard Shaw, Irving Stone, Barbara Cartland, Douglas Fairbanks, Sir Richard Attenborough, Baz Luhrmann, Yehudi Menuhin, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Mick Jagger, Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles, Jacqueline Onassis, William Jefferson Clinton, David Rockefeller, Robert McNamara and Lord Wedgwood, just to name a few.
The only thing that can rival the hotel’s collection of events and memories is perhaps its artifacts. Over the past century, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai has amassed a diverse collection of paintings and works of art. From massive Belgian chandeliers to the finest in Bastar tribal art, from Anglo-Indian inlaid chairs and tables to Goan Christian artifacts, from Mughal-inspired Jali designs to contemporary sculpture, the hotel manages to incorporate a myriad of artistic styles and tastes.
In the late 1990’s, in preparation for its 100th birthday, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai put in place a complete renovation and refurbishment programme. International architects worked hand in hand with the hotel staff and local artisans to begin a loving restoration.
At the completion of its Centenary year, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai sported a rejuvenated look, with new restaurants, beautifully restored guest rooms and a charming new lobby lounge, and was ready to begin a graceful journey toward its next hundred years.