The Oberoi Mumbai Reopens: First Look at the Renovation
The Oberoi Mumbai will officially re-open on Saturday, April 24th, after an extensive remodel following the terrorist attacks of November 26th, 2008. The hotel was one of two luxury properties targeted by gunmen -- the other was the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower -- and hotel guests were among the 163 lives lost in the siege.
The new hotel seeks to banish dark memories with extensive use of white Thassos marble, technology updates in guest rooms, and, naturally, security enhancements throughout the hotel. (See photos below.) The return of these 287 guest rooms (rates start at $700 a night) will be welcome -- The New York Times reports that tourism to India is on the rebound -- in the first quarter of 2010, the number of visitors increased 13 percent compared with the 2009.
I stayed at the Taj Palace and Tower in Mumbai just a few months before the attack, in the heritage wing which has not yet re-opened. It was definitely a strange feeling to watch the very room I stayed in ablaze on CNN, and I've often wondered what it would be like to stay in that room again, now that the exact sequence of horrible events is known. (In case you missed it, the Virginia Quarterly Review ran a masterful series piecing the story together.)
I'm not superstitious about these things -- my theory is that bad things and good things can happen everywhere and that the structure itself is innocent -- but I wonder how future guests will react.
What do you think?
Gallery: The Oberoi Mumbai, Remodeled