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MUMBAI: The Twitter tag of TajHotels — "Discover the Taj difference" — is bang on! Taj Hotels pampers guests with state-of-the art facilities, luxurious accommodation, sumptuous cuisine and most hospitable management. So, although I'm a Marriott loyalist, I decided to stay in Taj Lands End to experience the difference. Its location in Bandstand — with dramatic sea views, Sea Link and historical Bandra Fort — makes it ideal for tourists- foodies- shopaholics and business travellers!


The location allows for more space than a city hotel with its mammoth lobby | all-hours restaurant The Vista where I relished the sumptuous Bun Kebab [minced lamb patty in the softest buns] and TLE Farm Salad [shaved carrots, fennel and beetroot served with orange, arugula, figs and flaxseed textured with vinaigrette] | fine dining restaurant Masala Bay where I dined on Kadhai Jhinga and steamed rice on my first night and Bombil Fry accompanied by the most sumptuous non-vegetarian kebab platter on the second | Tropics Bar flanked by coconut trees where the bartender whipped up "Mexican Fantasy" — delicious cocktail of Tequila, coffee, honey, milk, cream, cinnamon and grated chocolate served with a mixed pakoda platter | spa, salon, state-of-the-art gym and magnificent pool!


Coming to my stay, I was quickly checked-in and escorted to a sea-facing room on the eighteenth floor. What impressed me on walking in was — it was almost the size of a suite! I loved the sofa sets and huge windows with magnificent views of Bandstand and the roaring sea- the softest bed with an assortment of body pillows- television and mood lighting- huge walk-in closet, floor-length mirrors and h-u-g-e shower stall! Pretty soon, I got a welcome note and pastries followed by camaraderie with the hotel team who gave me thoughtful pointers on shopping, streetfood and Joggers Park just a minutes walk from the hotel — and before I had freshened up, I got a SMS that their car was at the porch. Impressive! On my return, I made an appointment at the chic salon quickly freshened up for dinner with friends.


Well, the day passed too fast, and I went up to my room and tucked myself into bed as I had to check out the following morning to catch my flight to Delhi… only I missed it!! In consultation with the hotel team, I extended my stay another day and headed to the famed Jiva Spa where I indulged in 60-min "Prishta Mardana" which comprised massage, deep cleansing, exfoliation steam and herbal masque. I was deeply relaxed and strolled down to Tropics for cocktails astride the stunning poolside, just chilling and taking in the sunset. Late evening, a walk down Bandstand, Joggers Park and streetfood in Bandra pretty much summed up my day! Returning to my room, I decided to go in for room service — tandoori broccoli and murgh malai tikka accompanied by butter naan [hey I am on vacation!!] and called it a night. And that brings me to the last thoughts on check-out at 3 a.m. — the warm hospitality, the competitive pricing, personalised service and discreet luxury ensure guests will not want to check out—I know I will be back real soon!! [24,25.8.2017]


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Taj Lands End, Bandstand, Bandra, Mumbai

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