The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, is a heritage, five-star, luxury hotel built in the Saracenic Revival style in the Colaba region of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, situated next to the Gateway of India.Historically it was known as the “Taj Mahal Hotel” or the “Taj Palace Hotel” or simply “the Taj”.
The hotel’s original building was commissioned by Tata and first opened its doors to guests on 16 December 1903.
It is widely believed that Jamsetji Tata decided to build the hotel after he was refused entry to one of the city’s grand hotels of the time, Watson’s Hotel, as it was restricted to “whites only”. However, this story has been challenged by many commentators who suggest that Tata was most unlikely to have been concerned with ‘revenge’ against his British adversaries. Instead, they suggest that the Taj was built at the urging of editor of The Times of India who felt a hotel “worthy of Bombay” was needed.
The original Indian architects were Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya and D. N. Mirza, and the project was completed by an English engineer, W. A. Chambers. The builder was Khansaheb Sorabji Ruttonji Contractor who also designed and built its famous central floating staircase. The cost of construction was £250,000 (£127 million in 2008 prices).