Travel News

Taj celebrates the official opening of Taj Santacruz, Mumbai

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces announced the opening of its luxury hotel Taj Santacruz, Mumbai. Strategically located just off the Western Express Highway, the hotel offers a vantage point of access, with proximity to the city's financial and entertainment centres. The newest addition in Taj's home city, and the 4th group hotel in the financial capital, Taj Santacruz is a tribute to this historic city and its pulsating cosmopolitan spirit.

The hotel comprises 279 rooms and suites which are among the largest in the city and blend contemporary elegance with touches of traditional Indian style. The Taj Club Rooms, located on the dedicated Taj Club Floor, are designed to meet the specific needs of the International business traveller, with a 24 hour cyber butler, high speed Wi-Fi and private check-in service. The two lavishly appointed grand suites, the Presidential Suite and Grand Luxury Suite, each has its own separate living spaces and kitchenette.

Farhat Jamal, Senior Vice President – Operations (West-India) and Africa, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, said, "Taj Santacruz will set a benchmark for luxury in North Mumbai, with its unparalleled Taj service, elegantly appointed rooms and contemporary restaurants. It will be an oasis for business and leisure travellers alike. It is the new jewel in the Taj crown."

The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest reopens doors to guests

The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest, located at the edge of the world-renowned Gir Forest is now open for guests. The hotel, set in an idyllic environment is perfect for a relaxing holiday.

The Gateway Hotel GirForest, is the nature lover's getaway. With its rich surroundings of dry deciduous and tropical thorn forests, the hotel faces the Hiran River to offer a picturesque and serene setting, away from the bustle of the city. Home to the Asiatic lion, the Sasan Gir Forest is one of the only two natural habitats of this subspecies around the world. The latest census recorded the lion count in Gir at 411. The leopard, jungle cat, rusty spotted cat, cheetal, sambhar, four-horned antelope, wild boar and hare are also easy to spot here, along with over 200 species of avifauna.

Also integral to the experience will be the jungle safaris the hotel will provide in an open Gypsy. For those who prefer a cultural expedition instead, the hotel is also close to various temples such as the Somnath, Banej and Kankai Temple, and historical destinations such as Junagadh, Gondal and Rajkot.

GoAir, the Indian low-cost carrier, has embarked on a major expansion of its domestic operations, with four new routes and a series of additional flight frequencies.

The four new routes will connect Mumbai with Leh, the mountain city in Jammu and Kashmir, and Bengaluru with three cities: Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Patna in Bihar, and Ranchi in Jharkhand. The Mumbai-Leh and Bengaluru-Port Blair routes, both of which commence on 27 March, are not currently served by any airline.

Additional frequencies will also be introduced on the routes from Delhi to Ranchi, Lucknow and Patna, and there will also be an extra flight between Mumbai and Srinagar.

All the new flights will be operated using GoAir's fleet of 180-seat, all-economy Airbus A320 aircraft.

Delhi's Oberoi hotel to take 2 years off for facelift

The iconic Oberoi hotel — a landmark in the heart of Delhi for the last 50 years — will be shut down for major renovation from April 1. East India Hotels (EIH), the parent company of Oberoi Hotels, has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that the property is expected to reopen by April 1, 2018.

"The existing building will undergo thorough renovation. Its guest rooms, public areas and 'back of the house' will be completely renovated," said an EIH official. The group clarified that the existing structure wouldn't be razed to make way for a brand new building in its place.

The capital's Oberoi was the first hotel to be built by the late M S Oberoi, who founded the group in 1934. The first two hotels that he had acquired, one each in Shimla and Kolkata, were existing properties.

The iconic building on Dr Zakir Hussain Marg is one of India's first luxury hotels and has many other firsts to its credit. It was the first hotel in the country to offer 24-hour in-room dining service, butler service and round-theclock laundry service. "The Oberoi introduced the concept of a 24 hour coffee shop — Cafe Espresso — in 1965," said the EIH official.

The property is an important contributor to the revenue generation of the Oberoi Group which currently operates 30 luxury hotels globally, two luxury Nile Cruisers and a motor vessel in the backwaters of Kerala under the luxury Oberoi brand. The group is also into flight catering, airport restaurants, travel and tour services, car rentals, project management and corporate air charters.