Taj Mahal Palace
Taj Mahal Palace is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Lux City Hotels.
Located in prime position on Mumbai's waterfront, this landmark hotel overlooks – and even predates – the iconic Gateway of India. Throwing open the curtains at dawn to be met by the phenomenal views over the Arabian Sea and watch the city of Mumbai wake up outside is a sight to behold.
The first luxury hotel in India to welcome local guests, the Taj Mahal Palace opened its doors in 1903 to Bombay. The pioneer industrialist behind its creation, Jamsetji Tata, made it his mission to design a five-star heritage hotel that catered for well-heeled locals as well as international visitors and it quickly became the city’s most exciting and glamorous hotspot. Since it’s opening this Palace hotel has had a rich and interesting history; during World War One it was converted into a military hospital housing 600 beds, and it was the first hotel to integrate electricity, fans, elevators and baths from around Europe – not to mention, English butlers!
Undoubtedly Mumbai's most iconic hotel, the Victorian property has been sensitively refurbished over the years to ensure it stays heralded as the city's Grand Dame. The original hotel accommodation is in the Palace wing with elegant décor and dark-wood furniture, whereas more contemporary rooms are located in the Tower Wing, with their spacious feel and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. All 285 rooms and suites are beautifully equipped with marble en-suites and modern amenities, so guests are bound to feel comfortable wherever they stay.
A sizeable outdoor swimming pool is at the back of the hotel and makes for a wonderful place to relax, and many of the shaded sun loungers have views of the hotel's magnificent façade. During the day we recommend taking a seat at the Sea Lounge overlooking the harbour to enjoy coffee and ‘chaats’ (Bombay street food), while soaking up the atmosphere. Come evening, sip on a cocktail at the hotel bar before choosing between the nine on-site restaurants, which offer a variety of acclaimed cuisine including Indian, European, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Japanese. An array of designer shops can also be found throughout the hotel.
Thanks to its convenient location in South Mumbai, you can easily pass through the historic Gateway and take a boat to the Elephanta Caves during a stay here. Plus, Khala Ghoda and its trendy boutiques and art galleries can be reached in a short 10-minute stroll. If you need to unwind after a busy day exploring the colourful chaos of this city, visit the Jiva Spa and indulge in some traditional Indian therapies.
We highly recommend staying at the beautiful Taj Mahal Palace while visiting Mumbai, as it has a strong sense of place and is conveniently located – in the middle of the action but also just under an hour's drive away from the airport – ideal.
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