The Taj Mahal Palace – Iconic, historic, and majestic: there’s so much to adore.
Revered across the city, this hotel was the site of a major terrorist attack in 2008, but recovered fully to become even better less than two years later. Both wings occupy an entire block facing the harbor in an inner-city suburb which is packed with tourist facilities. Rooms in the 115-year-old building exude so much history and charm, and feature bay windows, elegant furniture, and marble bathrooms. Those in the towering newer wing are more modern but equally refined, and many directly face the sea and the famous Gateway of India monument. All the usual five-star amenities are offered, from the resort-style pool and gardens to the arcades of swanky boutiques. Among a poor choice across Mumbai, it’s also perfect for families. This is one place worthy of a splurge; otherwise, maybe, book a signature High Tea in the afternoon.
The Taj Mahal Palace – The Location
- Address: Apollo Bandar, Colaba. Everyone in Mumbai knows it. The main entrance is within the lofty new tower on the corner facing the esplanade. Also, access on foot through the older wing.
- Area: In a fabulous southern section of the city called Apollo Bunder. Packed with places to eat, drink, and shop. Directly over the road from the sea.
- How to Get There: From the airport, get a taxi at a pre-paid counter (30 km; 1-hour drive, longer during peak times). The iconic CSMT train station is 10 minutes (3 km) away.
- Handy to: Gateway of India. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.
The Taj Mahal Palace – The Basics
- Guests: Equally divided among business people, government officials, and affluent tourists.
- Kids Club: Kids at Taj offers a few engaging activities, but there’s no dedicated room with toys or games.
- Views: Rooms and suites in the newer wing face the sea and Gateway of India or the city streets to the back. Many in the older wing face inwards and overlook the pool and gardens, while a few face the sea but at a lower level, and hence views are more likely to be obstructed.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at this historic inner-city hotel.
- Extras: Some guests have access to the Palace Lounge and butler service. Heritage Walk through the hotel for guests.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +91 (0)22 6665 3333
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: tajhotels.com
The Taj Mahal Palace – Amenities
- Pool: Gorgeous and surrounded by sections of the older wing. With plenty of shade and sunbeds, it resembles a tropical island resort.
- Spa: The Jiva Spa is extremely sumptuous and spacious. Offers more than just massages, including signature therapies and traditional treatments. Yoga and meditation also available.
- Fitness Center: Open 24/7, it’s superbly equipped.
- For Families: Baby-sitting.
- Other Facilities: Travel desk. Moneychanger. Laundry. Business Center (open 24 hours). Art Gallery. Arcades of boutiques.
The Taj Mahal Palace – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: Masala Kraft – Traditional Indian cuisine with a modern twist. Specially-created spices, fascinating old photos, and highly attentive staff. • Wasabi by Morimoto – Renowned contemporary Japanese food. Imported chefs and ingredients make the menu very authentic. • Souk – Stylish rooftop setting for Mediterranean dishes. Popular for Sunday brunch. • Golden Dragon – For award-winning Chinese fare created in the open-plan kitchen. • Shamiana – Open 24/7 for all sorts of Western and Asian food. Casual; more like a coffee shop. • La Patisserie – One of the city’s finest for coffees, cheeses, cakes, and wines. • Aquarius – Alongside the pool for light meals and tropical drinks. For hotel guests only. • Sea Lounge – Exquisite setting overlooking the harbor. Book for the signature High Teas in the afternoon.
- Bar: Harbour Bar – Very stylish, offering cigars, cocktails, whiskeys, tapas, and snacks, and overlooking the esplanade and sea.
- Breakfast: Not normally included, but this depends on the room and how it was booked.
- Room Service: Available 24 hours.
The Taj Mahal Palace – Rooms
- Room Types: Luxury Rooms • Luxury Grande Rooms (with City Views or Sea Views) • Taj Club Rooms (with City Views or Sea Views) • Executive Suites 1 Bedroom City View • Luxury Suites 1 Bedroom City View • Grande Luxury Suites 1 Bedroom Sea View • Signature Suites • Tata Suite (1-only) • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Some floors in the newer wings have smoking rooms.
- Best Room: The 1-only Tata Suite is three times the size of the next largest suite. Almost a museum of old art and furniture, it also offers unparalleled elegance.
- For Families: Many rooms and suites can easily fit an extra single bed each, while some standard rooms have connecting doors.
The Taj Mahal Palace – Local Transport
- Walking: Fascinating area for walking, with so many cafés, bars, and shops nearby – often upmarket and in colonial-era buildings. Comparatively quiet and shady streets, and extended footpath along the esplanade which the hotel faces.
- Public Transport: Nothing of any use to tourists. The Mumbai Metro probably won’t reach this far until about 2023.
- Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Plenty of taxis. Use the black-and-yellow ones and insist on using the meter. Rides can also be booked using Uber and Ola apps. No auto-rickshaws in this area.
The Taj Mahal Palace – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants & Bars
Fabulous choices within 350m in all directions.
- Le15 Café – Light meals (mostly Western) and world-class coffee and pastries. Up Lansdowne Street from the corner with the tower, away from the sea.
- Leopold Café +91 (0)22 2282 8185 – 150-year-old institution featuring adorable décor, fascinating photos, and clunky fans. Very popular, but slightly overpriced. Entrance easy to miss among market stalls along the main road. One block behind the hotel.
- Indigo Delicatessen – Chic bistro with wooden tables. Ever-changing menu includes sandwiches, ribs, and pizzas, as well as take-away breads and cheeses. One block from the tower, away from the Gateway to India monument.
- Pizza Express +91 (0)22 6656 2633 – Opposite Indigo Delicatessen. Renowned across the city, so it’s always busy. Lovely setting on two levels.
- The Table – Award-winning and very swish, with extended communal tables on the ground floor and more intimate seating upstairs. Haute cuisine and no curries. Just past the Indigo Delicatessen.
Nearby Shops & Markets
- As a popular tourist area, there are plenty of shops in the neighborhood. The best range is along the backstreet behind the hotel and along arcades inside the Taj. Tailors and jewelers are a specialty. Sidewalks along Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, one block behind the old wing, are full of market stalls. Especially busy around Leopold Café (see above).
- Directly opposite the hotel, the majestic Gateway of India was built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of the English king. More iconic than interesting, there’s little to see, but the harborside setting is pleasant and the people-watching, fascinating. Boat tours also available. Free entry, and open 24/7.
The Taj Mahal Palace – The Hotel
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