Mumbai’s Taj Hotel is back in business 21 months after it was stormed by gunmen in an attack by Pakistani militants in November 2008.
The hotel suffered extensive damage from a siege laid by four heavily armed gunmen. It was one of several prominent landmarks targeted by Pakistan-based militants, in an attack that lasted over 60 hours and killed over 166 people.
Holding balloons and flowers and tossing rose petals into the air, employees pledged to re-dedicate themselves to the hotel.
Architects, designers and restoration experts from India and around the world spent nearly two years assessing the damage and restoring the hotel.
The company spent some $38 million on repairs and restoration, and lost more than that in the time that the hotel was shut for business.
But it has received several reservations, including from guests who were present during the attack.
[Ajoy K. Misra, Tata Group Sales & Marketing]: (English)
"We are extremely overwhelmed and humbled by the response that we are getting from our customers. Many of whom have been asking and over the next few weeks most of them, most I would say of our guest whoever have stayed here in the last couple of months are finding an opportunity or other to visit Mumbai and stay with us."
Even when the heritage wing of the hotel was under renovations, world leaders and CEOs of major companies came to the hotel to lend their support to the iconic structure.
The hotel combines Oriental, Florentine and Moorish architectural styles in its vaulted alabaster ceilings, graceful archways and marble floors. It houses fine examples of modern and contemporary Indian art, and now, modern security systems, too.
While the Taj has retained its priceless Belgian chandeliers, antique chests and sacred icons, it has completely refurbished its luxurious suites.