Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata, founder of the Tata Group, opened the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the first Taj property, on December 16, 1903. He was inspired to open the grand luxury hotel after an incident involving racial discrimination at the Watson's Hotel in Mumbai, where he was refused entry as the hotel did not permit Indians. Hotels which accepted only European guests were common across British India. Jamsetji Tata had gone all out to ensure the success of this venture and to make Taj the most impressive jewel in the crown of the Tata Group. He travelled to London, Paris, Berlin and Düsseldorf to get nothing but the best for his hotel to be opened in Bombay (Mumbai). Due to its prime location, traditional architecture and massive size, this hotel soon gained the status of the most iconic hotel in Mumbai. He built this hotel in such a way that its backside is facing the Gateway of India -- which was built to welcome King George to India.
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, a 105-year old heritage hotel, retains its stature as the flagship Taj property. This grand hotel epitomized the group philosophy that still holds true today: provide impeccable service and unparalleled facilities so every stay is a memorable one.
Besides the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, the Taj has many iconic, legendary and award-winning hotels around the world, and in India. These include: The Pierre, New York; Taj Boston, Boston; Campton Place, San Francisco; 51 Buckingham Gate, London; Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives; Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Mauritius and Blue Sydney, Sydney. In India, these include: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur; Rambagh Palace, Jaipur; Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur; The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi; The Taj West End, Bangalore; Taj Malabar, Cochin and Taj Exotica, Goa.