Nearly 21 months after the palace wing of the Taj Mahal Palace was destroyed in the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, the restored heritage suites opened their doors to guests Sunday - much grander than ever.
Paying a befitting tribute to the spirit and resilience of the nation, the iconic Taj chose Independence Day to begin a new chapter in its history.
Complete with multimedia systems and an emergency escape route, the wing has now upped its luxury quotient.
Occupying the sixth floor, the property is spread across 5,000-odd square feet. The palace wing will also feature a couple of new accommodation offerings in the form of duplex suites.
Guests in the palace wing will get to experience the attentive and personalised 'Palace Butler Service' where the butler will discreetly and efficiently guide them in the hotel.
The Palace Lounge will be a private retreat, exclusively for residents of the palace wing, for a cup of perfectly brewed tea or coffee; an evening cocktail or after hour chocolate and cognac.
High-end technology and interactive multimedia systems at the touch of a button ensure that the guest's experiences are wired for efficiency and comfort. Taj Club rooms and suites come with chauffeur-driven luxurious Jaguar transfers.
The restaurants have also been renovated, including Sea Lounge and Golden Dragon. The Taj Ballroom, the Harbour Bar and Wasabi by Morimoto are accompanied by inspired cuisine from a team of acclaimed chefs.
Another added feature to the rooms and suites are the special levers that allow guests to open the window in an emergency. Upping the security quotient, special access control elevators are installed on the premises, allowing only guests to operate them with a valid key.
Internationally acclaimed designers like Lissoni Associati from Milan, BAMO from San Francisco, DesignWilkes from Malaysia and James Park Associates from Singapore carried out the extensive restoration of the heritage wing of the hotel.
On December 16, 1903, the Taj opened its doors to its first 17 guests. Over the years, the hotel has played perfect host to maharajas and princes, presidents and legends, performers and world figures, offering them the ultimate in luxury, fine dining and impeccable service.
While the adjacent tower wing was left unscathed in the 26/11 attack, the heritage wing was extensively damaged. It has been repaired at an estimated cost of Rs 175 crore.