The Taj West End – Bangalore
Welcome to Heritage and History. Next to the Golf Club and across from the Turf Club track stands. The Taj West End, a lush, 20-acre garden in the middle of Bangalore, a bustling city. The Taj West End is a sanctuary for today’s discerning business traveler and offers up an array of cutting edge business technology, and a 24-hour Business Centre.
For the leisure seeker, there is plenty to do. Sip drinks under a 125-years old Banyan tree. Laze in the sun. Linger over high tea and let us demonstrate that even though the old days certainly had plenty going for them, the present is even better.
Each one of the 91 rooms and 26 suites are the perfect blend of luxurious amenities, rich history and modern conveniences.
In 1887 Mrs. Bronson opened a boarding house with ten beds. Bronson’s West End, as it came to be known was very successful and eventually took over a second building that belonged to the Secretary of the Race Club and then third building which belonged to the Grenadier Guards, an elite regiment that was stationed in Bangalore at the time. Today’s visitors can still see the regiment’s faded firecracker emblem on the side of the building.
By 1912, the success of Bronson’s West End had made it an attractive investment for the Spencer empire. The Spencers first found success as wine merchants and then expanded into department stores and hotels as they built their business catering to the need of the English upper classes trying to adjust to life in India.
Under the Spencers’ care, the West End truly came into its country club atmosphere. A large dining room and billiards room was added along with a stable, racquet courts, croquet and nearby golf course. Some of the inherently charming features of the architecture were the tiled roofs, distinctive gables, dormers, monkey-tops, trelliswork and intricately carved fascias.
The West End staff was just as colourful as the hotel’s notable clientele. Iris Clark, who worked at the hotel long after her official retirement, started in 1957. She recalls working under the fabled Mr. Louis who ran such a tight ship that he knew exactly how many teaspoons he should be getting from a pound of sugar. The Goan cooks created their own brand of fame with their revered Roast Duck, Noisette of Lamb and Orange Soufflé served in orange baskets. People would just show up for Sunday Dinner begging for Roast Duck.
Other traditions of the West End are not man made, but natural. Some of the most valuable heritage tress in the city can be found on the hotel property. The massive rain tree on the south side of the property, an ancient Peepal tree, a Cluster Fig tree and Sheesham and Jamun trees are stately long-term residences of West End. Four grand 150-year-old Cycads guard the hotel entrance and stunning Ficus elastica (rubber tree) can be found adjacent to the fitness centre. So pervasive is the influence of the surrounding flora that all the residential blocks have been named after flowers. Guests can stay in the Gardenia, Magnolia, Frangipani and Lotus blocks, just to name a few.
By 1984, (no time at all as far as the Cycad trees were concerned) the Spencers called upon the Taj Hotels Resort and Palaces with its legacy of hospitality to carry on the old world charm of the luxurious West End, while bringing fresh life and modern ideas of hospitality to Bangalore’s most beloved country club.