Famed Taj Mahal Reopens Historic Heritage Wing

Famed Taj Mahal Reopens Historic Heritage Wing

Vacation News » Vacation & Leisure Real Estate Edition | By Scott Kauffman | August 16, 2010 8:30 AM ET

(MUMBAI, INDIA) -- The historic heritage wing of Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palace's 1903 flagship in Mumbai overlooking the Gateway to India and the Arabian Sea will reopen on August 15, India's Independence Day, bearing the name, "The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai."

Tata and Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. chairman Ratan Tata, Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. vice chairman R. K. Krishna Kumar, and managing director and chief executive of Taj Hotels Raymond Bickson commemorated the rebirth of this historic property in a preview press conference.

"Today, we have fulfilled our promise of rebuilding The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai to its former glory, Bickson said. "The palace wing has been lovingly and painstakingly restored, and we will now offer our guests an even more customized experience. It is a fitting tribute to the spirit and resilience that is our company's flagship, 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 Hotel."

The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai now features 285 newly restored luxury guestrooms and suites, including 161 Grand Rooms, 82 Taj Club rooms and 42 Luxury Suites, and newly restored signature restaurants and bars, elegant ballrooms and grand public spaces, all ready to welcome guests.

In keeping with its iconic status as an authentic palace of hospitality, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai has introduced an array of new Palace services for all Palace Wing guests. Offered at every touch point from the traditional Indian welcome on arrival to in-room check-out upon departure, these new services and amenities include daily access to a new ground floor Palace Lounge adjacent to the Grand Staircase with complimentary beverage and food services for all guests, and cocktails and wine for Taj Club and Suite guests, as well as Internet work stations and dedicated concierge service.

Other guest services being offered: 24-hour butler service; complimentary use of fitness center, steam and Jacuzzi; complimentary breakfast and high tea in the Sea Lounge, and one-way airport transfers for Taj Club and Suite guests; concierge printing of boarding passes prior to hotel departure and at-airport butler assistance

Structwel Designers& Consultants Pvt Ltd, whose restoration portfolio includes the Gateway of India, served as conservation consultants to assess the historic building's needs and protect and restore the hotel's significant architectural heritage. Paintings were meticulously refurbished by Delhi-based Art Life Restoration Trust.

Guestrooms and luxury suites were redesigned by teams of acclaimed designers, including BAMO Spain, Lissoni Associati Milano, LTW Designworks of Kuala Lumpur and James Parks Associates Singapore. Among the hotel's highlighted renovations are 161 newly restored Luxury Grand Rooms with residential-style interiors adorned with delicate Rajput bay-windows that frame views of the Gateway of India and the Arabian Sea, the courtyard pool or the bustling city

Other renovations are 82 newly restored Taj Club Rooms feature interiors by BAMO Spain with richly polished rosewood floors, white wainscoting that echo the exterior balconies, soaring ceilings with beams and arches reminiscent of the hotel's atriums, and a generous mahogany bed with a dramatic arched headboard.

Lastly, among the 15 themed Grand Luxury Suites is the Maratha Suite by LTW Designworks, Kuala Lampur, which offers a new guest experience at the Taj. Named after the Great Maratha Empire, it conveys an image of brave men who stand strong in the face of adversity and serves as a poignant tribute to the brave staff and guests at the hotel. Styled in the warm colors of the Maratha flag, including turmeric, ochre, crimson and sand, the two-bedroom suite features highly ornate Thanjavur paintings representing India as well as the Warli paintings of the tribal north.

The award-winning restaurants, bars and special event spaces were also reinvented by noted designers. The legendary Harbour Bar, Mumbai's first licensed bar, and India's first contemporary Japanese restaurant, Wasabi by Morimoto, were redesigned by Madrid-based Rockwell Group Europe. Sea Lounge, Mumbai's favorite social gathering spot, and The Ballroom, celebrated site of many fashionable parties, were re-imagined by LTW Designworks.

The art on display at the hotel during the events of 2008, part of an extensive collection acquired over 100 years, was covered by thick glass and so was saved from critical damage; however, they still required painstaking restoration. The paintings were meticulously refurbished by Delhi-based Art Life Restoration Trust, whose team of seasoned conservationists set up a workshop at the hotel to restore these works. Many are now displayed throughout the Taj Mahal Palace's corridors and public areas, resplendent with new designs by James Park Associates.


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