16th December 2017, Mumbai: The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai – the flagship hotel of Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris – celebrates its 114th anniversary today. One of the defining landmarks of Mumbai’s cityscape, ‘The Taj’, as it is fondly called, is the great and lasting legacy of its founder Jamshetji Tata, who envisioned a hotel that would set the benchmark for Indian hospitality. Ever since it opened its doors on the 16th of December 1903, The Taj has blazed a trail of innovation and excellence that continues, even today, to make it India’s most widely-known name in luxury hospitality world over.
In June 2017, The Taj secured image trademark rights for its elegant hotel building and its characteristic dome from the Government of India, making it a part of an elite club of structures around the world to have done so. This development is the latest in many firsts that the hotel is credited with. The Taj was Mumbai’s first clear landmark that could be seen from the sea and unknown to most, the hotel preceded the famous Gateway of India by over 20 years. It was the first hotel in India to have electricity, India’s first 24-hour coffee shop, India’s first Sichuan restaurant and Mumbai’s first licensed bar. It was The Taj that pioneered fine dining cuisine, in-room dining and introduced the butler service in India. And it was from the steps of The Taj Mahal Palace that Lord Mountbatten announced India’s independence.
Over the years, The Taj has hosted the likes of Sarojini Naidu, Ravi Shankar, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Barbara Cartland, Bill Clinton, David Rockefeller, George Bernard Shaw, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Margaret Thatcher, Mick Jagger, Prince Charles, Sir Richard Attenborough, and Barack Obama, to name a few. Be it the lavish Bell Tower or the magnificent Maratha, The Taj’s signature luxury suites, each adorned with rich textures and opulent décor, continue to host stars and statesmen to this day. The history of Shamiana and the legacy of Harbour Bar, India’s oldest bar, charmingly blend with the modern flair of Wasabi by Morimoto, making Taj a destination of choice for bon vivants, captains of industry, and iconoclastic artists. It is the place where the works of Hussain, Sabavala, Ara, and Gaitonde adorn the walls; and the place where the Beatles could have composed a love story.
Commenting on the occasion of the 114th anniversary, Mr. Taljinder Singh, Area Director – Mumbai and General Manager, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, said, “The Taj Mahal Palace was Jamsetji Tata’s vision for the future of Indian hospitality, and his legacy to the city of Mumbai. The hotel has set the bar for service excellence and innovation. The Taj is woven into the lives of generations of Indians and we feel privileged in setting new benchmarks of fine living and serving our treasured guests for years to come.”