Luxury Stay at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai

It's not everyday you get to sleep in a palace.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel



I personally have never stayed in one, medieval castles yes but palaces no.

Outside the Taj Mahal Palace


Needless to say I was beyond excited to check out the world famous Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, which is consistently voted as Mumbai's number one hotel and is one of the top ten hotels in India.

The Lobby

The Taj Mahal Palace was Mumbai's first harbour landmark, having been built 15 years before the Gateway of India.


Interestingly, there is an air of mystery and scandal swirling around this palace hotel due to a potentially murky past. One version of the tale is that wealthy Indian business man Mr. Jamsetji Tata decided to build the hotel after he was denied entry into the Watson Hotel - the leading hotel in Mumbai at the time - simply because he was not European.

Christmas Decorations

After swearing to build a hotel far better than any British hotel, Mr. Tata hired two architects to complete the job. Unfortunately, due to the untimely death of one of the architects the job was then assigned to W.A. Chambers who had worked on the Watson Hotel and the Victoria Terminus.

Victoria Terminus 

Now here is where the controversy kicks in, some believe that Chambers submitted the blue prints then headed off back to England for a holiday only to return and find that his workers had built the Taj Mahal Palace the wrong way around so that it's entrance faced the city instead of the sea. Chambers was said to be so horrified by the mistake that he committed suicide right inside the hotel and he is now the resident ghost of the Taj Mahal Palace.

Sea Side - Current Entrance

Pool Side
What do you think? Is the entrance on the wrong side?

I for one did not see a ghost but several guests have reported sights of a ghostly WA Chambers....
Palace Wing

Of course every element of this story is strongly disputed but I think the mystery only adds to the place!

My room in the Tower Wing

The Taj Mahal Palace has two distinct wings, we stayed in the Tower Wing which is the newer part of the hotel.


My room was lovely and spacious, and I really liked the homey decor. The only downside was that they were doing works right outside the window so I couldn't keep my blinds open.

View from my room, sorry about the black squares it was a protective net and the rope is for the repairmen 

The bathroom was modest in size and in toiletries.


The bathroom and shower were combined and perhaps could have looked slightly fresher... I know I am being very fussy but it is after all meant to be Mumbai's finest hotel and it has room rates to match.... Can't a girl get some Acqua Di Parma and a decent hairdryer anymore?

No rain forrest shower or stand alone bath - sad times

Where this hotel wins points is that pool area is fabulous and so is the older palace wing of the hotel.

Palace Wing

It was honestly like two entirely different hotels between the Tower Wing and the Palace Wing. The Palace Wing had all the old school glamour and various remnants of India's colonial past.

Hidden Treasures in the Palace Wing

Equally impressive was the long list of restaurants and cafes you had to choose from, many of which are ranked amongst the top eateries in Mumbai.


On our first night we opted for the casual Shamina coffee shop restaurant, as we were all tired from a long day of travel.
Feasting at Shamina

We ordered a selection of curries, rice, and naan, all were delicious!


Breakfast the next morning was also served in the Shamina, which was little too chaotic for my liking but I was impressed with their large spread.

Attempts at Health

They also had a whole area dedicated to healthy food such as green juices and gluten-free baked goods.

Not part of the healthy section obviously, this is the Taj's in-house patisserie

The healthiness for me ended there as despite bringing all my gym clothes I did not make it the gym once... and yes I had all 24 hours of the day to go as it was always open..oops, I did however do the odd sit up in my room, very effective workout of course!

Gym photos are boring so here is a photo of Afternoon Tea in the Sea Lounge at Taj
Moving swiftly away from sweet treats and indulgence to a much more meaningful topic, I was very touched by the beautiful waterfall in the lobby of the Taj, a memorial to all those who lost their lives in the deadly 2008 terrorist attacks.

Memorial for those who lost their lives in the 2008 terror attacks


Next to the water feature is a plaque with the names of 31 people and dog Lucy who were killed. Many of those who were gunned down were hotel staff who formed human shields against the terrorists in order to protect the guests.

If you are interested the Harvard Business Review published a great article about the unsung heroes of the Taj attack: https://hbr.org/2011/12/the-ordinary-heroes-of-the-taj

Barack Obama was the first Head of State to stay at the Taj after the attacks photo credit: whitehousegov

During the day the Taj Mahal Palace was in the perfect position for exploring the major tourists spots. It is located in the Colaba, which is the old British Quarter, and you literally could not stay any closer to the Gateway of India.

Wandering around the neighbourhood

We went out most evenings but we did celebrate the New Years at the hotel. I was going to add that in here but it was such a fun night and I have so many photos from it that I promise to share it in the next post!



As for my overall opinion on the Taj Mahal Palace ,it is 100% worth a visit if you are in Mumbai even if you just go for tea! In terms of staying in the hotel I liked it, I thought the restaurants and  the pool area were fantastic, but I wasn't bowled over with my room and bathroom in the Tower Wing. If your wallet allows I would say that the Palace Wing is worth the extra as it looked beautiful.

Happy Travels!



Liakada

22 comments:

  1. Just when I think you can't shock me with all these amazing places you stay in, you go and stay here!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. Haha! I did get extra lucky with this one :)

      Ash

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  2. Wow, this is incredible! every little detail and room look absolutely amazing, you must have felt like a princess walking around in those magical rooms!
    Xx Agnes | AgnesLowerot

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  3. That's such a fascinating story about the entrance! I love it whichever way round it is

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    1. Me too! Such a beautiful building!

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  4. Wow what an interesting mystery!!! And it's a beautiful hotel, despite which direction the entrance faces. :P

    Samantha Series

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  5. love to visit this someday
    Great photos

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

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  6. Amazing pics as ever doll, love your style!

    Alice Cerea,
    Alice Cerea blogger

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  7. Amazing place!
    http://priscillaeliodoro.blogspot.com

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  8. The Taj Mahal Palace is stunning; I really love the sea side view. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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  9. Your hotel room looks lovely and WOW to the architecture shown throughout this post! The afternoon tea look sublime too :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x

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  10. I have only stayed in one palace and that was in Abu Dhabi which was beautiful. The hotel looks lovely and I love that they have remembered those who died trying to protect others Lucy x

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  11. Love everything about the Taj Mahal Hotel. Such a beautiful piece of architecture. I got a chance to visit almost 10 yeasr ago and it was just breath taking. Loved the atmosphere and all the grandeur. Thank you for this post. It brought back some lovely memories. x

    Nazira | Love Hijab Girl | Bloglovin

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