Vir Sanghvi

Vir Sanghvi

The journalist feels that his favourite hotel is a ground-breaker when it comes to cuisine

Mridula Mohindra
March 14 , 2014
02 Min Read

OT: Favourite hotel in the world?
Vir Sanghvi: The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower (, Mumbai.

OT: Last visited?
Vir Sanghvi: A few weeks ago. I was on my way to Pune and stayed there for a day and night.


OT: The experience?
Vir Sanghvi: The Taj experience is unique. Like all great hotels — the Oriental in Bangkok, Savoy in London, Westend in Bangalore — it encompasses you in its world, and yet its world is connected to the city outside, to Mumbai. When you stay there, you could be in no other city. Like all great hotels, it has a sense of place.

The Taj is famous for its antiquities. It has collections of art worth hundreds of crores of rupees. You could be staying in a room with a Husain painting that runs into several lakhs and not realise it. The great thing about the art in this hotel is that it’s just there; it doesn’t draw attention to itself. The service is much personalised. I’ve been staying at the Taj all my life and so I know a lot of the staff there, which is nice.

OT: The food?
Vir Sanghvi: Outstanding. The Taj is the hotel that introduced French nouvelle cuisine and Sichuan, and now modern Japanese, so it is a ground-breaker when it comes to cuisine. My favourite restaurant there is the Sea Lounge, which serves bhel-puri with a view of the sea and connects me to the Bombay of my childhood. 

OT: The hotels’ ‘USP’?
Vir Sanghvi: In a city that is full of change and energy, the Taj represents timelessness.

OT: And after 26/11?
Vir Sanghvi: When I went back for the opening, what was surprising was how normal everything was. The shamiana where the manager had been shot had been beautifully renovated, as had the chambers where people had been held hostage. You’d never guess that grenades had been thrown and blood had been shed there. I guess with the Taj, no matter what, it heals itself.

OT: Repeat visit?
Vir Sanghvi: Absolutely. I should be there in a couple of weeks; I’m there every month. 

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