Do you know about Taj Hotels? I knew of them before this year but I didn’t KNOW OF THEM. Now that I have been to three Taj Hotels properties in India, something about my life will never be the same again. Read on to find out why….
I was a guest of Taj Hotels for the stays referenced here. I was not compensated for sharing this information with you nor was I required to & all opinions plus images are my own.
I think ‘Luxury Travel’ is a term that has within it a sort of sliding scale in terms of what that really is and what it is not. Most days I am not even sure I could securely define it. I just know most of my travel experience of the last few years is more luxury than not and I know it’s what I prefer. So that’s why I was so honored and excited to be asked by Taj Hotels to be a guest on a trip that would visit three of their properties in India. They’re known for having in their portfolio TRUE ‘luxury hotels.’
Taj Hotels Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai
Arrival at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai
We traveled in Business Class with KLM and Jet Airways from New York City and arrived to Mumbai during the middle of the night. Immediately, Taj Hotels had a chance to shine with regards to service because the staff at our first stop were all ready to see to every need we might have so that we could get to sleep and start our visit on the right note, despite the late hour.
…a face pack was waiting, the bed was ready, champagne and water were both poured and the lights were dim enough to encourage rest and relaxation.
Our Stay at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
We woke the next morning well rested and enthusiastic to explore the city of Mumbai outside the walls of Taj Mahal Palace. Jet lag wasn’t an issue because of how splendidly we were taken care of upon arrival. And that depth of service carried through the rest of our stay up until the very last minute.
History of Taj Mahal Palace
Built in 1903 by Jamsetji Tata, which was 21 years before the nearby Gateway of India, it has welcomed maharajas and dignitaries for over a century. Taj Mahal Palace Hotel was the first true luxury hotel in Mumbai and the only hotel to have electricity in India at the time it opened. The hotel was also the first to let in Indian citizens who were not white (aka British). And it holds four of the first licenses to serve alcohol ever granted in India. This grand dame watches over the causeway that hugs the Arabian Sea and is near to the city’s financial hub, parliament, stadium and shopping districts. In 2015 when I first visited India, I remember driving by and thinking what a stunning building this was from the outside. Now that I had the chance to be inside, I’m happy to report that it lives up to the hype and then some.
Details at Taj Mahal Palace
Like a landmark from a bygone era, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel has all the grandeur and the elegance you’d expect. However, it’s in the kindness and generosity of the staff that I found to be the most comforting and truly luxurious. And it’s that level of service, even more than the design, that to me earns this hotel its luxury status.
We also had quite possibly the best croissants I’ve ever had outside of France at this property!! There was no request too big, no need too great (like the need for croissants still warm from the oven) that they couldn’t find a way to make happen. In casual interviews with quite a few staff members, I discovered that at least all those I talked to, genuinely love their jobs at the hotel and feel it’s an honor to work for Taj Hotels.
It’s easy to see why once you have been a guest, even more so if you take the time to do a historical tour of the property. Movies have been made here and a documentary was filming even while we were guests. It is an architectural marvel bringing together Moorish, Oriental and Florentine styles. But it is the service and the individual staff who looked after us so kindly that I will remember most. That all too elusive element, difficult to quantity in photos or videos, which makes all the difference in the world when you’re visiting a city that is as full on as Mumbai.
for Part 2 in this series about Taj Hotels Rambagh Palace in Jaipur.
I use the term ‘to die for’ in relation to these properties not because that’s a phrase that I think should be used lightly. Rather, I use it because that’s the phrase that kept popping into my head every day that we were guests of Taj Hotels in India.