The legendary vision of Jamsetji N.Tata, the founder of the Tata Group stands behind this iconic hotel that opened its doors in 1903.
What’s it like?
A stay at the hotel is a date with heritage of old-world ‘Bombay’. Colloquially called the “Grand Dame of Mumbai”, the Taj is steeped in centuries worth of legacy with its art and architecture including Belgian chandeliers, Goan Christian artefacts and its magnificent 240-feet high central dome. Divided into the Tower and Palace Wings, it has a total of 560 rooms and suites. The renovated Palace Wing opened to guests in August 2010, with refreshed rooms and restored antiquated corridors. Those interested in the hotel’s history should walk down the Hall of Fame on level one that exhibits portraits of its eminent guests and significant landmarks. There is also an art gallery and several nooks where you’ll stumble upon art dating back to the colonial era.
Where is it?
By the Gateway of India in Colaba, overlooking the Arabian Sea.
I stayed in the Luxury Grand Sea-View room in the Palace Wing. This room is defined by the Rajput-style windows that offer views of the sea and the Gateway. Its elegant decor embodies pastel shades, palatial architecture and modern equipment. The marble bathroom with a bathtub and separate rain shower features Forest Essentials bath amenities. The workstation is well equipped with multiple power sockets and ports. I loved the little touches that upped the luxury quotient of my stay – Forest Essentials pillow mist, rose petals delicately decorated across my room and a serve of macarons post turndown. Each suite of the hotel is different from one another and prides itself on interesting backstories; for example the Bell suite in the Palace Wing sits inside the dome and houses the original “Colaba Bell” that was used for maritime protocols in the 1900s.
Food and drink
There’s definitely a lot of nostalgia value in all the F&B outlets of the hotel. I enjoyed a sumptuous Chinese meal at the Golden Dragon where the warm staff spoilt me with an array of dim sum, starters, mains and dessert. The dishes that stood out include — truffle edamame dim sum, stuffed shiitake with five-spiced honey, truffle-scented mushroom rice, dry-cooked haricot beans and chocolate toffee dessert. For breakfast and lunch, I dined at Sea Lounge, where its powder-blue walls and soft piano music create a tranquil setting. Breakfast was avocado on toast, fresh pastries, a spread of cheese and hot chocolate. Lunch was a light tomato soup with some bread. Harbour Bar for drinks; Wasabi by Morimoto, ‘India’s first Japanese restaurant’; Aquarius, the poolside restaurant; Souk for Mediterranean flavours; and Casablanca (Middle Eastern cuisine) in the Tower Wing are its other F&B outlets.
These include 11 banquet rooms including the grand Crystal and Princess Room and the tastefully designed Ballroom.
The swimming pool was shut during my stay due to pandemic. I did however enjoy a 60-minute aromatherapy treatment at Jiva Spa that offers a relaxing ambience and a host of wellness therapies. The masseur mentioned that tests for the spa staff are conducted on a bi-weekly basis and stringent sanitisation procedures are followed — ensuring I entered my treatment room with peace of mind. I also embarked on a morning sailing experience curated by the hotel where I caught a sparkling sunrise whilst cruising on the Arabian Sea. A light breakfast was
Verdict: A marriage between luxury, heritage, comfort and gastronomical indulgence.
Price: Upwards of ₹18,000
Contact: The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India