When it comes to family travel, I usually lean towards budget friendly accommodations. But sometimes, I admit, it’s nice to pamper yourself once in awhile. We recently splurged on a stay in India at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, India. All I can say is that it was well worth the extra rupees we spent. From arrival to departure, we were treated like royalty. It was a good way to cap off a fun, though somewhat challenging, trip for our family.
The Taj Mahal Palace sits in the historic part of Mumbai, known as the Fort neighborhood. It is situated right near the water, across the street from the Gateway of India monument. The hotel was built in 1903, and has been a popular place to stay for royal dignitaries and celebrities visiting Mumbai. The hotel itself consists of two buildings: the Taj Mahal Palace building from the early 1900’s, and the newer Taj Mahal Tower from 1973.
Staying at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai
We stayed at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai (although technically, we were in the Tower), for one night in early June. Our family had such a lovely time. After spending a week in the heat in Delhi, a stay at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai was a cool retreat!
Walking through the grounds of the hotel, transports you back in time to British Colonial India. Without the colonialism bit, of course. The location of the hotel is within walking distance from sights like the Gateway of India and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum (formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum). Plus, there are a number of great restaurants and shopping nearby. The historic Leopold Cafe is a traveler favorite. Had our budget allowed, we probably would have stayed there for several nights!
If you’re planning a trip to Mumbai in the near future, consider splurging on a stay at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. Here’s a look at what the Taj has to offer:
The check-in process at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai is quite unlike any other hotel. After going through the usual formalities of registering and receiving our keys, you are treated to a small ceremony. Red dots of kumkuma powder are placed on our foreheads, and a tulsi necklace is placed around your necks. These are supposed to bring us protection throughout your stay. I thought it was a nice cultural touch to the whole hotel experience. Even my young kids were part of the ceremony.
During our check-in, our desk clerk informed us that she had taken the liberty of upgrading our room to an ocean view room. This gave us a beautiful view of the Gateway of India and the water. I was pleasantly surprised by the thoughtfulness of the desk clerk.
Since the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai was a bit above our budget, we only ended up reserving one of the more basic rooms rather than a suite. But even these basic rooms had some nice amenities. The basic room has a king size bed, and a beautiful western-style bathroom. And of course, the room has a small balcony that opens out into views of the ocean.
Upon arriving at our room, we were treated to welcome drinks from the hotel, and the kids also received a welcome package that included some activity booklets and a stuffed animal. Additionally, the hotel gave us some child-specific toiletries such as baby powder, wipes, baby soap, and baby shampoo. They certainly put a lot of effort into making families seem welcome!
After settling in to our room, my husband met up with us at the hotel. We decided to take a stroll through the hotel grounds and get a feel for the place. The design and decor of the hotel is impressive. I love historical buildings, and the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai does not disappoint. Every hallway, courtyard, and room is beautifully decorated in colonial style furnishings and decor.
The pool area is landscaped with lush plants. Although the water was warm, it was refreshing to dip into after experiencing the hot mugginess that is Mumbai in the middle of June. The hotel also has a spa, fitness center, and a salon. However, e didn’t use any of those facilities while we were there. Part of the ground level of the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai was filled with high end shops and boutiques. The hotel restaurant options included one owned by popular chef, Morimoto.
My favorite part of the grounds was the grand staircase. This is part of the original building and is well-preserved. There is so much to see and learn about the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai. The hotel even offers historical tours every evening to their guests. We unfortunately were not able to take part in the tours, though we would have loved to do it.
It is obvious that the hotel prides itself on their service. For the most part, we were quite happy with the welcoming nature of many of the staff we interacted with. From the desk clerk, to the elevator man, and even the servers during breakfast, they were quite friendly and loved interacting with our kids.
The only annoying instance was in the evening when my husband went out to get dinner for us. Our kids were tired after a long day of sightseeing and playing. It would have been a whole ordeal to drag them out to look for a restaurant to eat. We also didn’t feel like eating at any of the hotel restaurants or ordering room service. So I sent my husband out to buy some food at a nearby restaurant and bring back to the hotel.
Little did we know, the hotel actually has a “no outside food” policy. As soon as my husband got to the doors leading into the lobby, he was asked to throw the food away. This was quite annoying, to say the least. We were also very peeved at the fact that we had to order from the room service menu. My daughter settled on pizza, and I ordered saag paneer that tasted like it was pulled straight from a can and heated in the microwave! It was the only non-pleasant experience we had during our stay.
On the whole, though, our stay at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai was a amazing one. We’re glad we had an opportunity to stay at such a historic and well-known hotel. It really did feel like we were spoiled with their pampered hospitality.
Sometimes in family travel, it’s nice to let go of the budget reins for a bit and splurge on fancy. Whether it’s eating out at a famous five star restaurant, or staying the night at a luxury hotel, part of the joy of travel is indulging in these special treats.
What treats have you indulged in during your family travels? Share them in the comments below!
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