Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
What it is
A 560-room mainstay of Colaba, with 9 (!) famed restaurants and a restorative spa.
What it isn't
Dull. Set along the waterfront, guests are treated to egret-eye views of the Arabian Sea.
What we think
A modern marvel mixing Moorish, Eastern and Florentine aesthetics, the Taj Mahal Palace is a 560-room masterpiece overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India. The original Palace opened in 1903 to worldwide acclaim and hosted boldfaced names like Lord Mountbatten and Duke Ellington. Tongues certainly must have wagged in 1973, when American architect Melton Bekker was hired to expand the property with the Taj Mahal Tower. But they needn’t have worried; Bekker’s deft nods to the local edifices, in the form of Tanjore pillars and vaulted balconies inspired by 1300s Rajasthan, are nothing short of an ode to India's many charms. Rooms are modern and sleek, with cozy Posturepedic mattresses you won’t want to leave and plenty of 24-hour coddling, whether you want to order room service, need a doctor to cure that hangover, or have your shirt pressed for that last-minute meeting tomorrow. Ask for a room with an arched windowed balcony overlooking the cityscape or the glimmering sea, and you'll be forever glad you did.
You're here because
You’re a fervent Japanophile, and one of the hotel’s lauded restaurants is Wasabi by Morimoto—considered one of the top restaurants in Asia. Many ingredients (for dishes like wild unagi shirayaki with truffle kamameshi rice) are imported direct from Japan.
Stepping into the warm respite of the Harbour Bar—the first licensed lounge in the city, since 1933—in the main Taj Mahal Palace, you literally stop in your tracks. You feel, instantly, like Gatsby on an Indian sojourn. You order a “From the Harbour,” and as the literally flaming stream of cognac plunges into a frothy glass of local juice and gin, feel yourself growing woozy with delight—all before you take even one sip.
Restaurants & Bars
Masala Kraft - Indian cuisine
Golden Dragon - Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine
Shamiana - International à la carte menu to suit every mood and palate
Wasabi By Morimoto - Japanese cuisine
Aquarius - Light bites and exotic drinks at this outdoor poolside restaurant
Souk - Rooftop restaurant renowned for Eastern Mediterranean cuisine
Sea Lounge - English delicacies and local Indian favorites with some of the world's finest teas and coffees
Harbour Bar - Fine malts, international wines, Asian spice cocktails and global tapas
Set along the Colaba waterfront, neighboring the 1924 stone marvel, the Gateway of India.