Once Upon a Time
Jamsetji Tata built The Taj Mahal Palace just in time. In the late 19th century, the hotels in Mumbai left much to be desired. They were run down, overcrowded and the one decent hotel in Mumbai Watson’s Esplanade Hotel – was years past its prime. In the late 1890s, Mr. Tata suddenly announced his plans to build a grand hotel that would help restore the image of Mumbai and attract visitors from around the world.
His partners were surprised and his sisters, critical. One of them is said to have replied in Gujarati, “You are building an institute of science in Bangalore, a great iron and steel factory and a hydro-electric project – and now you tell us you are going to put up a bhatarkhana (boarding house)!”
Luckily, Mr. Tata stayed true to his vision and in 1898 the foundation for the Taj Mahal Palace was started. Construction would be completed in 1903. From the day it opened, the hotel was a leader in the city scene. The Maharajas considered it a second home because it was a welcome break from their formal routines, yet maintained the palatial standards of living to which they were accustomed.
This playground of Princes was also a home to the Indian Freedom movement. Jinnah, the future first leader of Pakistan and Naidu, the President of the Indian National Congress, both held court here. In 1947, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai played host to the legends and architects of Independence and one of first major speeches representing Independent India was given at the hotel.
Eventually the Palace needed some extra room to grow and so the Tower wing was added in 1973. Architecturally different, but in synch with the spirit of the Palace, the Tower added 20 storeys of arches and balconies and began a new chapter in the hotel’s rich history. Now there was even more room to accommodate the endless parade of global who’s who.
A few of our extraordinary guests include: various Kings, Presidents, legends, performers, religious figures and entertainers such as George Bernard Shaw, Irving Stone, Barbara Cartland, Douglas Fairbanks, Sir Richard Attenborough, Baz Luhrmann, Yehudi Menuhin, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Mick Jagger, Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles, Jacqueline Onassis, William Jefferson Clinton, David Rockefeller, Robert McNamara and Lord Wedgwood, just to name a few.
The only thing that can rival the hotel’s collection of events and memories is perhaps its artifacts. Over the past century, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai has amassed a diverse collection of paintings and works of art. From massive Belgian chandeliers to the finest in Bastar tribal art, from Anglo-Indian inlaid chairs and tables to Goan Christian artifacts, from Mughal-inspired Jali designs to contemporary sculpture, the hotel manages to incorporate a myriad of artistic styles and tastes.
In the late 1990’s, in preparation for its 100th birthday, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai put in place a complete renovation and refurbishment programme. International architects worked hand in hand with the hotel staff and local artisans to begin a loving restoration.
At the completion of its Centenary year, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai sported a rejuvenated look, with new restaurants, beautifully restored guest rooms and a charming new lobby lounge, and was ready to begin a graceful journey toward its next hundred years.
The Taj Group has been active in converting former royal palaces in India into world class luxury hotels such as the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur and Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. In 1974, the Taj Group opened India's first international five star deluxe beach resort, the Fort Aguada Beach Resort in Goa. The Taj Group also began its business in metropolitan hotels in the 1970s, opening the five-star deluxe hotel Taj Coromandel in Chennai in 1974, acquiring an equity interest and operating contract for the Taj President, a business hotel in Mumbai, in 1977, and opening the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi in 1978.
In 1980, the Taj Group took its first step internationally by opening its first hotel outside India, the Taj Sheba Hotel in Sana'a, Yemen and in the late 1980s, acquired interests in the Crown Plaza - James Court, London and 51 Buckingham Gate Luxury Suites and Apartments in London.
In 1984, the Taj Group acquired under a license agreement each of The Taj West End, Bangalore, Taj Connemara, Chennai and Savoy Hotel, Ooty, with which the Taj Group made its foray into Bangalore.
With the opening of the five star deluxe hotel Taj Bengal in Kolkata in 1989; the Taj Group became the only hotel chain with a presence in the five major metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Bangalore and Chennai. Concurrently with the expansion of its luxury hotel chain in the major metropolitan cities, the Taj Group also expanded its business hotels division in the major metropolitan and large secondary cities in India.
During the 1990s, the Taj Group continued to expand its geographic and market coverage in India. It developed specialized operations (such as wildlife lodges) and consolidated its position in established markets through the upgrading of existing properties and development of new properties. Taj Kerala Hotels & Resorts Limited was set up in the early 1990s along with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. In 1998 the Taj Group opened the Taj
In 2000, the Taj Group entered into a partnership with the GVK Reddy Group to set up Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts Limited and thereby obtained a prominent position in the market in the southern business city of Hyderabad, holding three hotels and a major share of the market. In 2001, the Taj Group took on the management contract of Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai, and has established itself as an up-market hotel in the Middle East region. The Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives launched the Taj Group into the premium luxury hotel market and since its opening in July 2002, has won several international awards. The Taj Group also obtained licenses to manage and operate two leisure hotels; the Rawal-Kot, Jaisalmer and Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior in October 2002.
In September 2002, the Taj Group acquired an equity interest in the former Regent Hotel in Bandra which gave the Taj Group access to the midtown and North Mumbai market. The hotel has since been renamed as the Taj Lands End, Mumbai.
In 2003, the Company celebrated the centenary of the opening of its Flagship hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai.
In 2004 the Taj Group opened Wellington Mews, its first luxury serviced apartment in Mumbai. In the same year, the Taj Group also launched the first of its "value-for-money" hotels in Bangalore branded 'Ginger', which division has 11 hotels in various locations in India and is owned through its wholly owned subsidiary.
In 2005 the Company acquired on lease The Pierre, a renowned hotel in New York City, to enter the luxury end of the developed hotel markets internationally. The Company entered into a management contract for Taj Exotica in Palm Island Jumeirah in Dubai to expand its existing presence in the United Arab Emirates.
The Company enhanced its position as an operator of converted palaces by entering into a management contract for Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur in the princely state of Rajasthan in India. The Company, through a subsidiary, acquired the erstwhile 'W' hotel in Sydney, Australia in February 2006 and renamed it as 'Blue, Woolloomooloo Bay'. To expand its presence in the US market, the Company acquired in early 2007 Ritz Carlton in Boston and Taj Campton Place in San Francisco.
Hotels operated by the Taj Group internationally are located in US, Australia, Dubai, Maldives, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Yemen and Zambia.
Scheme of Amalgamation ("Scheme")
Rationale for the Scheme of Amalgamation
The Transferor Companies and the Company were engaged in the leisure and business hotels as part of the Taj group of hotels. A consolidation of the Transferor Companies and the Company was therefore expected to lead to greater synergy in operations, a more efficient utilisation of capital and create a stronger base for future growth of business in general and the Company in particular. The amalgamation was expected to result in administrative rationalization, organizational efficiencies, and optimal utilization of various resources.
Milestones achieved by the Company since incorporation are listed below:
The Company opens its first hotel, the "Taj Mahal Palace" in Mumbai, India.
The Company opens its first five star deluxe beach resort, the "Fort Aguada Beach Resort" in Goa.
The Company begins business in metropolitan hotels by opening the five star deluxe hotel, the "Taj Coramandel" in Chennai.
The Company opens its first hotel outside India, the "Taj Sheba Hotel" in Sana'a, Yemen.
The Company entered into a licence agreement to operate the "Taj West End" in Bangalore, "Taj Connemara" in Chennai and the "Savoy" in Ooty.
The Company opens a five star deluxe hotel in Calcutta, the "Taj Bengal".
The Company establishes the Taj Kerala Hotels and Resorts Limited with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
The Company opens the "Taj Exotica" in Bentota, Sri Lanka.
The Company establishes Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts Limited with the GVK group to operate three hotels in Hyderabad.
The Company is awarded the management contract for the "Taj Palace", Dubai.
The Company launches the "Taj Exotica Spa and Resort" in Maldives.
The Company obtains licences to manage and operate two leisure hotels: the "Rawal-Kot" in Jaisalmer and the "Usha Kiran Palace", Gwalior.
The Company acquires an equity interest in "Regent Hotel" in Bandra, Mumbai which is later renamed as the "Taj Lands End".
The Company relaunches its flag ship property as the "Taj Mahal Palace and Tower".
The company opens its first Jiva Spa at the Usha Kiran Palace in Gwalior.
The Company launches its first luxury serviced apartments, "Wellington Mews" in Mumbai.
The Company opens its first economy hotel under the brand "Ginger" in Bangalore.
The Company obtains a management contract to operate "The Pierre" in New York, USA.
The Company entered into a management contract to operate the "Taj Exotica" in Palm Island, Jumeirah, Dubai.
The Company obtained the operating agreement for the "Umaid Bhawan Palace" in Jodhpur.
The Company acquires the "W" hotel in Sydney, Australia which is later renamed as the "Blue Sydney".
The Company commences operation of its first wildlife lodge at Mahua Kothi, Bandhavgarh.
The Company acquires the "Ritz-Carlton" in Boston, USA which is later renamed as the "Taj Boston".
The Company commences operation of its second wildlife lodge at Baghvan, Pench.
Taj's flagship property in the United Kingdom, 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residence's South Indian restaurant, Quilon has received the ultimate culinary accolade - a Michelin star.
Taj Hotels Partner with Saraya Islands to Operate Taj Exotica Hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
Taj Hotels and the Tashi Group join hands to create the new benchmark for premium hotels in Bhutan - Taj Tashi Bhutan.
ALDAR Hotels and Hospitality and Taj Hotels enter into an exclusive agreement involving a number of hotel projects. The first hotel to be developed by ALDAR Hotels and Hospitality under the agreement is a five-star, 500 room luxury resort hotel which will be in a spectacular waterfront location on ALDAR's mega entertainment destination, YAS Island.
The Taj Safaris circuit will be complete in Madhya Pradesh with the addition of two more luxury lodges in Panna, Pashan Garh and Kanha, Banjaar Tola.
The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi unveils Delhi's first contemporary Japanese restaurant 'WASABI by Morimoto'.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces won 2 prestigious awards at The 2008 World Travel Awards: 1) Rajput Suite at The The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai won India's Leading Suite. 2) Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur awarded India's Leading Castle & Palace.
Taj Boston celebrates the 120th season of summer polo matches at the Myopia Polo Club in Hamilton, MA sponsoring the 2nd annual Taj Boston Cup.
Taj International Hong Kong Ltd, signed a management contract with Cuiting Hotspring Hotel Management Company Ltd. Taj will operate the latter's Temple of Heaven Park property in Beijing and the Hainan Hotel project.
Taj Safaris unveiled two new luxury lodges: Pashan Garh and Banjaar Tola which will be the third and fourth lodges added to the Taj Safari circuit.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces Introduces Telepresence Services in Collaboration with Tata Communications.
Graze, the Modern European dining restaurant at Taj Residency, the only restaurant in Bangalore to be honoured the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2008 from America's leading wine appreciation magazine Wine Spectator.
The Taj Mahal Hotel launches VARQ.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces have won the CondÃ© Nast Traveller UK in 10th Readers' Travel Awards. Taj's luxury properties have been recognised within the following categories: Overseas Business Hotel, the World's Top 100 and Overseas Leisure Hotel in Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces unveiled a premium business hotel - Taj Residency Trivandrum. Enters into a Management contract with Dodla Intenational Limited.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, launched a new brand "The Gateway Hotel".
Taj Hotels Resorts and Places has ranked No. 1 in the Best Hotel Chain in India category at the Business Traveller Awards 2008. The spas at the Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior and the Rambagh Palace, Jaipur have been included among The 101 Best Spas in The World - Tatler Spa Guide 2008.
Taj Boston is the First United States Hotel and 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences is the First UK Hotel introducing Cisco TelePresence Rooms for Public Use Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in collaboration with Tata Communications and Cisco.
Taj Boston in cooperation with Susan Cole of Boston Assemblies launches Social Style for Children. These etiquette programs for children provide easy access to the social skills essential in daily life.
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai was under siegh during the 26/11 Mumbai Terror attacks.
The Taj Boston was named the best hotel in Boston and for the second year in a row ranked #22 among the world's top 100 hotels in the latest survey of hotels worldwide by Institutional Investor magazine.
The Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces 'No room for the Ordinary' advertising campaign for the print media bagged the 2008 PATA Gold Award in the Marketing - Hospitality category and also won a second award - the 2008 Gold Magellan Award.
The Gateway Hotel Athwa Lines Surat has added a new block of rooms to take up its inventory to 208 making it the largest hotel in Gujarat. It also launches three brand new restaurants - "Flow" the all day dining restaurant, "Spice" an Indian specialty restaurant and "T3" a Tea lounge and Deli.
Taj launches The Jiva Spa Boat at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur.
On December 21st, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower reopens the rooms in the The Taj Mahal Tower.
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces announced the opening of their 'Upper Upscale' brand in Bangalore. The hotel bears a new name and identity: "Vivanta by Taj - Whitefield, Bangalore".
With the announcement of its forthcoming reopening, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower provides further details on the reopening of the Tower Wing. 268 rooms will be available, which include 9 Suites and 26 Taj Club Rooms. Exclusive services to commemorate the special occasion of the hotel's reopening have been introduced with the opening of the Tower Wing.
The Taj Group set up a public service welfare Trust fund named - "Taj Public Service Welfare Trust" (TPS Welfare Trust), In response to the unprecedented attack on Mumbai between November 26 to 29, 2008, where many people from the security forces, the Police, Fire service, hotel employees, guests of the Taj and general public were killed or wounded.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces unveiled a new world-class premium hotel in Chennai - Taj Mount Road.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur voted as the winner of the Editor's Choice Award 2008 for Gallivanter's Guide.
Taj Boston awarded 2009 Mobil Four-Star honors in recognition of its gracious and efficient service and luxurious accommodations and public spaces.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces introduces Kefi - the Mediterranean restaurant at Taj Mount Road.
Taj Safaris open doors of its new luxury lodge, Banjaar Tola at Kanha National Park from February 18, 2009.
The Pierre, re-opens on June 1 following a meticulous $100 million renovation to create new guestroom and bath interiors and to reconfigure first floor public areas to accommodate a new restaurant, Le Caprice at The Pierre, as well as 2 East, a new lobby lounge, and a graciously welcoming reception area.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces announce their new premium hotel, "Vivanta by Taj - Panaji, Goa", slotted in the "upper upscale" segment.
Indian Hotels Company Limited announced that it is going to acquire a controlling stake in ELEL, the company which holds a long term sub-lease for the land on which the Sea Rock Hotel is located in Bandra, Mumbai, for Rs. 680 crores.
The Taj Residency Ummed in Ahmedabad migrated to The Gateway Hotels portfolio, making this its third property in Gujarat and the 31st Gateway hotel in India.
Taj launches Vivanta by Taj in Maldives.
Karambir Singh Kang, General Manager, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai has been awarded the prestigious Virtuoso Hotelier of the Year Award, 2009 at the Virtuoso "Best of the Best" Hotel Awards held in Las Vegas recently during the Virtuoso's 21st Annual Travel Mart Conference.
Taj Lands End introduces 125 new rooms comprising 107 Taj Club rooms and 18 Suites, increasing the inventory to 493 rooms.
The Gateway Hotels has signed a management contract to set up a 125 room hotel on a 16-acre prime location in Shirdi.
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur has been voted the Best Hotel in the World by CondÃ© Nast Traveller in the Readers Travel Awards for 2009 across travel and industry categories, in the World Top 100. It also tops the list of 'Overseas Leisure Hotels for Asia and the Indian sub-continent'. Scoring an overall 95.62, Rambagh Palace has the 'best ambience/dÃ©cor' (98.12) and 'location' (96.5) of all hotels in the category.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives has been ranked 18th best Overseas Leisure Hotel in Middle East, Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands in the CondÃ© Nast Readers' Awards 2009.
Taj Coromandel relaunches Golden Dragon - The signature Specialty Schezwan restaurant in the city.
The Taj Palace launches Blue Ginger thus introducing Vietnamese cuisine to the Delhi.
Taj Palace introduces 'The Blue Bar'.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives has challenged to protect the natural tropical flora and fauna and surrounding blue waters of Emboodhu Finolhu island.
On 26th of November 2009, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai saw the coming together of employees and families of staff members, for a remembrance meeting that paid respects to those who lost their lives last year. There were multi faith prayers held for peace and harmony.
The standalone hotel, previously known as the Ummeid Jodhpur, was migrated to the brand The Gateway Hotel Jodhpur. This is the third Gateway property in Rajasthan after Jaisalmer and Jaipur and the 33rd property in the country overall.
The Taj celebrates the opening of Taj Khazana at Taj Lands End, its first signature boutique store in Mumbai.
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai announced the reopening of the iconic restaurant Golden Dragon on the 25th of November 2009.
The legendary Wasabi and the historical Harbour Bar at The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai reopened their doors on Dec 3, 2009.
The Indian Hotels Company Ltd announces its foray into Srinagar, in Jammu and Kashmir. A management contract for a hotel under the upper upscale brand Vivanta by Taj was signed on, December, 10, 2009 at Srinagar with SAIFCO Hill Crest Hotels Pvt. Ltd, part of a well-known business house in the state.
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces has been recognised for its excellence and service for its properties - Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives and Taj West End, Bangalore - at the Leading Hotels of the World Annual Convention held in Venice, Italy in November 2009.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur has been voted the Hotel Of The Year by the Gallivanter's Guide Editor's Choice Awards.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, and VICTORIA-JUNGFRAU COLLECTION, an exclusive hotel group comprising four of Switzerland's leading luxury hotels have entered into a strategic joint marketing alliance to develop cross-promotional opportunities for both companies to harness each other's strengths in their respective markets.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces announced the opening of Taj Cape Town. This new luxury hotel in the historic city of Cape Town is a joint venture between Indian Hotels Company Ltd and city centre developers Euro cape, with the investment in the project topping R500 million.
Taj Hari Mahal, Jodhpur won the award in 'Hotel Providing Best Facilities for Differently Abled guest' category. Chef Ananda Solomon, Executive Chef, Taj President Mumbai and Corporate Chef Taj Group of Hotels along with Chef V.K. Chandrassekaran, Executive Chef Taj West End, Bangalore has been awarded as 'Best Chef in India' in the National Tourism Awards 2008-2009 by The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
The Indian Hotels Company Ltd announced a new hotel in North-East India, with the unveiling the foundation stone for Vivanta by Taj - Guwahati, Assam.
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai announced the reopening of the elegant and legendary Ballroom, in the iconic Heritage Wing of the property on the March 30th , 2010.
Indian Hotels Company Limited has been recognised for its employment engagement at the workplace and is one of the 25 organisations to win the 'Gallup Great Workplace 2010' awards announced by The Gallup Organization.
The Indian Hotel Company Limitied was chosen by the Credit Suisse Research Institute as one of the 27 'Great Brands of Tomorrow'.
The Gateway Hotel Beach Road Calicut has been voted India's Best Five Star Hotel in the National Tourism Awards 2008-2009 by The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces launches a new brand "Vivanta by Taj" in the Upper Upscale segment.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces opens a new hotel - Vivanta by Taj - Dal View, Srinagar.