A new documentary goes behind the scenes of India’s most iconic hotel; The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai.

The first episode of ‘Hotel India’ will air on Wednesday, 27 August on BBC 2.

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai is India’s oldest and most famous hotel. 

Over the decades it has played host to heads of state and celebrities, kings and queens, as well as Hollywood and Bollywood royalty. In a city that is home to the country’s wealthiest man, but where half the population still lives in poverty, The Taj is where the super-rich come to be treated like the Maharajahs of India’s past.

Located opposite The Gateway of India, when it opened in 1903, it was the first luxury hotel in India and the first to have air conditioning, electricity and a licensed bar.  

Celebrating its 110th year, the hotel has grown to become an integral part of Mumbai’s history.

‘Hotel India’ has been produced by The Garden Productions Ltd - the production company behind the BBC series ‘Inside Claridge’s’. 

The filmmakers spent six months behind the scenes at the Taj following the hotel’s 1500 strong staff as they responded to every whim and demand with the mantra ‘Guest is God’. With rooms costing up to £9000 a night, the first programme follows General Manager Gaurav and his team as they spend days making checks upon checks for VIP visits to the hotel’s most luxurious suite.

Also featuring in the first programme is long-term resident Maria Mooers who spends six months of the year living in the hotel; oil trader Captain Bhasin as he hosts a cocktail party in his suite served by his English-style butler Melville; and Mr Chaskar, who has been in charge of the hotel’s mini-bar service for 42 years.

Later episodes cover Christie’s first ever auction of Indian art in India and the hope is that Mumbai’s super-rich will break a world sales record, and the preparations for a traditional Indian wedding. 

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel has played host to some of Mumbai’s grandest and most expensive weddings and for generations, Indian families have met and married there.

The series portrays daily activity at The Taj Mahal Palace, as well as the vibrancy and colour of Mumbai. 

Visits to the staff members' own homes offers contrast between life at the hotel and elsewhere in the Indian capital, and provide insight into Indian family culture.

‘Hotel India’ is a four-part series with the first episode showing on Wednesday, 27 August at 8 p.m on BBC 2.