Behind the scenes at the Taj...

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Storm behind the calm: Series “Hotel By The Bay” unveils interesting stories at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Tower in Mumbai.
Storm behind the calm: Series “Hotel By The Bay” unveils interesting stories at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Tower in Mumbai.

Madhur Tankha

A peep into the challenges of housekeeping at India’s famous hotel

NEW DELHI: Revealing the frustrations, excitement, tears and joys of the staff of one of the world’s famous hotels will be Discovery Travel and Living’s brand new reality series beginning this coming Sunday.

Titled “Hotel By The Bay”, the ten-part series will look at the human side of the establishment beyond the glamorous facade. The channel will go behind the smooth glossy façade of the more than 100 years old Taj Mahal Palace and Tower in Mumbai to uncover the real story of the unseen “Storm behind the calm”. Encompassing staff from all departments including chefs, chauffeurs, butlers and housekeeping and room service, the series offers a peep into their meticulous planning and attention to minute details while serving irate and challenging customers. At the same time it also showcases the unseen chaos and goof-ups that happen in the process.

Stating that the series juxtaposes two contrasting worlds that co-exist in a hotel, Discovery Network’s Rahul Johri says it focuses on the guests and their employees. “We have covered Indian lifestyles and its various manifestations like marriages, travel, cuisine and fashion in the past. We are now focusing on the backstage drama that routinely takes place in one of the most frequented and recognised lifestyle destinations – luxury hotels,” he adds.

Unlike films where there are retakes, in this special series the cameras follow the key characters as they go about addressing their daily challenges, portraying their true emotions. To make the series entertaining, it is interspersed with insightful anecdotes of customers ranging from royalty to politicians to film stars and corporate honchos.

The series also offers glimpses of the hotel’s senior management including the executive grand chef Hemant Oberoi as he motivates his dream to strive for excellence. The trainee chefs have to undergo gruelling tests under his watchful eyes.

It took one and a half years of production, including a 12-week shooting schedule, at the The Taj to complete the 26-episode reality series. It tells stories of people who represent different levels in the well-defined hierarchy, from front office manager to a new recruit in the laundry, with each episode being a complete story in itself. The show brings something about each one that jumps off the screen.




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