Luxury Hotels

INDIA – 15

What IS luxury? One of the endless attributes could be that a roomservice breakfast came with six newspapers. At Taj Mahal Palace in Bombay, in its Rajput Suite’s circular office, under a concave mirrored ceiling from which hangs a swing-for-two.

Rajput, like many of the 565-total rooms and suites, looks across 200m to the Gateway of India, erected 1924 to commemorate King George V’s 1911 landing to be crowned Emperor of India. There’s a buzz of tourists, a kaleidoscope of saris. Little boats bobbing at sea, thousands of black birds whirling overhead.

Luxury is also heritage, and the Taj Mahal’s 120th birthday last year was celebrated with a mammoth gala to benefit the hotel’s Foundation. In addition 12 experiences are being offered, one per month.

But there are experiences the whole time. VIPs of the calibre of Sting are escorted to their suites by a male flautist and a trio of subtly-swaying ladies. Dine poolside and as well as a casual barbeque grill you have 360° feeling of theatre, thanks to Hollywood-style lighting. See the video below. Girlahead actually had the thrill of being invited to dine on the outside terrace of the hotel’s The Chambers invitation-only members club. Ritesh Sharma, GM of this iconic hotel, looked across at the Gateway and proposed a toast to honour the birthday of George V’s grandson, King Charles III. It all felt so appropriate. Taj Mahal Bombay IS royalty.