Mumbai: As the country brings in India’s 64th Independence Day, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace reopens its doors to the magnificently restored Palace wing in Mumbai.
Ratan Tata’s promise made to the world in 2008 has been a compelling force and a testament to the Taj Group’s commitment to resurrecting India’s original luxury hotel; and, as promised, the hotel will continue to benchmark the best in hospitality and service.
Speaking at a preview press conference, Raymond Bickson, managing director and chief operating officer, Indian Hotels, said, “Today, we have fulfilled our promise of rebuilding the Taj to its former glory. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, has always reinvented itself and its storied past which makes it the icon that it is. The Palace wing has been lovingly and painstakingly restored, and we will now offer our guests an even more customised experience. It is a befitting tribute to the spirit and resilience that is the Taj Mahal Palace, and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the hotel. As India celebrates its 64th year of independence, we warmly welcome our guests, old and new, to the Taj Mahal Palace.”
An extensive restoration by internationally-acclaimed designers, Lissoni Associati, Milan, BAMO, San Francisco, DesignWilkes, Malaysia and James Park Associates, Singapore, was carried out. The Palace accommodations, that is, the Taj Club rooms, Luxury Grande rooms, themed Grand Luxury Suites are graciously appointed spaces filled with precious art, redolent with luxury and state-of-the-art technology befitting the architectural magnificence of the building making it an unforgettable experience that encapsulates a slice of history, legend and romance.
The reinvigorated Palace wing comes with a warm arrival arrangement and stunning stay experiences. All the guests in the Palace wing will experience the highly attentive and personalised 'Palace Butler Service' where the butler will discreetly and efficiently guide guests to the pleasures that lie within and outside the walls. The Palace Lounge will be a private retreat, exclusively for residents of the Palace wing, for a cup of perfectly brewed tea or coffee; an evening cocktail or after-hour chocolate and cognac. Guests can look forward to an indulgent customised bath experience, in the most luxuriously-appointed bathrooms. High-end technology and interactive multimedia systems at the touch of a button ensure that guest’s experiences are wired for efficiency and comfort. Taj Club rooms and suites come with chauffeur-driven luxurious Jaguar transfers.
Even when the hotel was closed, renowned world leaders and prominent dignitaries continued to stay in the Tower wing of the hotel. Through the last couple of years, the hotel has also been the quintessential venue for landmark events and celebrations. The restaurants and eateries which have been renovated, including Sea Lounge, Golden Dragon and the Taj Ballroom (design by LTW) and the Harbour Bar and Wasabi by Morimoto (design by the Rockwell Group), are accompanied by inspired cuisine from a team of acclaimed chefs.
The entire staff of the hotel shared a special moment with Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons and Indian Hotels; RK Krishnakumar, vice chairman, and Raymond Bickson, managing director and chief operating officer, Indian Hotels.
August 15 is a day when India made her tryst with destiny. Echoing the same sentiments, the staff and management of the Taj Mahal Palace make their tryst with destiny and have pledged to reinvent the magic that made the Taj the institution it is.
The staff and management of the Taj Mahal Palace joined hands with the dabbawalas in a spirit of celebration and as a token of giving back to the city, to share a meal with the less-privileged in certain identified institutions. Dabbawalas are intrinsic to the city of Mumbai, and are indeed the nerve center and lifeline of the city, ensuring that in rain, hail, snow or storm — no one goes hungry.
On December 16, 1903, the Taj Mahal Palace opened its doors to its first 17 guests. Over the years, the hotel has played perfect host to maharajas and princes, presidents and legends, performers and world-renowned figures offering them the ultimate in luxury, fine dining and impeccable service.