Meet the characters of Hotel India

Peek behind the scenes of India's most famous and historic hotel – The Taj Mahal Palace. meets three stars of the show


With help from BBC2, India’s most illustrious hotel opens its doors to the public, and lets us look behind the scenes and see what it takes to keep this institution running. Situated in busy Mumbai, this is where the mega-rich come to relax, and spend upto £9,000 a night for the privilege. The Hotel India crew was allowed to film for six months to capture the inner workings of, possibly, the most elaborate place to stay in the country. We speak to The Taj Mahal Palace’s star staff ahead of the show:


Indrani Gupta

Job title: Executive housekeeper

Time at The Taj Mahal Palace: Seven years

Why did you want to work for the Taj? It is an Iconic hotel with international fame. It is the best in terms of hospitality and is an institution of great learning. I like the expression of awe we receive when we say we work with The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai. The name is enough.

Why did you want to be Housekeeper? The Taj embodies a passion for excellence with a drive to change things. I have learnt to cultivate an eye for detail, which makes our job the backbone of the hotel. I believe that good housekeeping is imperative to creating a lasting first impression.

Best part of the job? Every moment offers a new challenge, which not only help us to learn but also keeps us on a quest for further knowledge. Every day is different and offers a new story and creates a new memory.

What challenges do you face at work? The hotel industry is changing dynamically and we, being pioneers, need to continue innovating. This presents a challenge but is the most rewarding part of the job.

What’s your best piece of travelling advice? Let the hotel know your preferences, so that we can make your stay extra special.

Most famous guests you’ve served? President Barack Obama, Ms Hillary Clinton, Mr Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and superstar Tom Cruise to name a few.

Visit India with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


Mehrnavaz Avari

Job title: Food and beverage manager

Time employed at The Taj: 12 Years

Why did you want to work for the Taj? As a 5-year-old I remember seeing the grand staircase of the hotel and thinking that someday I will work here and so years later, here I am.

Best part of the job? The wine. And I love the excitement, the ambiguity, the challenge and the ability to constantly do something new. 

What challenges do you face? ‎To continuously reinvent, innovate and be the benchmark of hospitality in Mumbai. I try and create new and interesting experiences and maintain a work-life balance.

Why should people stay at your hotel? ‎There’s no better place in the city than our iconic, landmark hotel. We turn moments into memories.

Visit India with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


Gaurav Pokhariyal

Job title: General Manager

Years at The Taj: 22 years. 

Why did you want to work a The Taj? Since The Taj Mahal Palace opened its grand doors in 1903, founder Jamsetji Tata’s labour of love has taken the best traditions of hospitality and combined them with changing technology. In its lifetime, the Taj has been witness to the passing of a civilisation, to a shifting world order and changing governments. It has been both a spectator to and a participant in the rewriting of Indian and modern history. It’s the flagship of the Taj Group and the most iconic hotel in the country. Working in the first harbor landmark of the city is a matter of great pride and I was delighted to be a part of this hotel. 

Best part of the job? The fact that there is no monotony. Every day at the hotel is different and exciting. 

Best piece of travelling advice? Stay at the Taj, it has the perfect combination of history, heritage and heart.

Most famous guest you’ve ever served? I have had the honour of hosting President Hollande, David Cameron and Oprah Winfrey to name a few.


Visit India with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details