The Presidential suite at the Taj Mahal, Mumbai, renovated after the terror attacks in Mumbai two years ago opened its doors to the public last year. In its new avatar, it welcomed its first guest—Barack Obama, President of the United States.
The Taj Mahal in Mumbai is not just a hotel. An iconic landmark , in the 108 years of its existence it has borne witness to the glorious and turbulent phases of Mumbai’s chequered history as the financial capital of India.
On the second anniversary of the Mumbai terrorist attacks that set the Taj Mahal aflame, we chose to feature the Tata Suite which stands out as a symbol of the indomitable spirit of Mumbai, and rose from the ashes more resplendent than before.
The 5000 sft luxury suite is part of the heritage wing and a tribute to Jamshedji Tata’s vision as the founder of the Taj Group. The suite, located on the 6th floor of the Palace wing alongside the famous wooden trellis, gives you a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India. Designed by a Malaysian firm— Design Wilkes, it has 15 rooms with state of the art technology and the most luxurious interiors.
Defining luxury using modern technology coupled with Indian heritage and design influences, the suite is a tribute to art and architecture over millennia, as viewed from the Indian perspective. Paintings from the Taj collection adorn the walls and artefacts sourced from all over the world can be found on exquisite furniture, all in an atmosphere of luxury with great attention to detail.
The suite welcomes you with clear white marble walls, two marble elephants and gold inlaid teak wood doors. The dome of the grand living room is embellished with intricate gold stencil artwork and the room has elegant ‘mother of pearl’ tables, silver framed mirrors, and sparkling royal chandeliers along with intricate marquetry timber complemented with regal patterned carpets. The private study has a sit-out overlooking the Gateway of India and the busy Mumbai harbour.
The spectacular ten seater dining hall has delicate cut glass stencil and mosaic ceilings, crystal chandeliers, sterling silver metal furniture clad in sun bleached white ash tapestry and an imposing painting of Jamshedji Tata watching wisely over his discerning guests.
The Taj Mahal is representative of a unique spirit—that of Mumbai. Having witnessed one of the most destructive examples of terror, at least insofar as the hospitality industry is concerned, what lingers in collective memory is the indomitable spirit of the staff at the hotel.
When the Taj Mahal Palace was being given a renewed form, one of the first modifications was the unification of the Palace and Tower and renaming it Taj Mahal Palace, signifying a meeting of two worlds- pre-Independence and modern India. The hotel also has a history of being a trend setter in the hospitality industry in India, being the first to introduce several features. Artwork and furniture damaged during the terrorist attack were restored by LTW Design Works, Lissoni Associati and James Park Associates.
The design elements bring together Florentine architectural features with Oriental detailing and Colonial influences with Mughal craft. Its form shaped in a mould set deep inside the heart of India’s heritage. Within the framework of contemporary definitions. Keeping time and memories within its walls as a memory not to be lost or forgotten.
It is without doubt, a monument of elegance and tradition built with the bricks of impeccable service and hospitality.
The Tata Suite will continue in the footsteps of its earlier avatar, hosting royalty, world leaders, industrialists, and celebrities from all over the world. Placed against the backdrop of Mumbai and welcoming the world with its arms stretched out towards the sea.
Blending the old world with contemporary styles, the interiors of the Taj Presidential Suite are a statement of royal opulence. It is adorned with splendid crystal chandeliers, rich and plush tapestry, rare art, antiques and artefacts and transports guests into a world of imperial luxury and grandeur. The suite is a symbol of the Tata legacy and their immense contributions to Indian industry as well as being representative of the glorious art and architecture of India over millennia, absorbing various cultural influences.
Luxury is etched into every square inch of the visual with a great attention of detail and craftsmanship. The regal mahogany floors, champagne wallpapers and solid marble bath fixtures create a luxurious ambience while multi-functional entertainment units by Bang and Olufsen and Bose, combined with other technology, cater to modern day requirements. The composition is complemented with luxurious furnishings and design details that trace the heritage of India using motifs and traditional patterns. Influences— from colonial to oriental— are evident throughout the space but each aspect is well synchronised with the rest of the decor to create a space where visual harmony retains prime focus.
The suite has a 12 seat business centre, complete with state of the art technology, and a swanky plasma and speaker system by Bang and Olufsen. It is decorated with art from the Taj collection and creates the perfect setting for high profile business meetings.
The in-suite Jiva spa and gymnasium draws on the rich ancient wellness heritage of India, reminiscent of the culture of Indian royalty, placed in a modern setting.
Read the full feature on Prismma Magazine