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Old 04-05-2018, 06:54 AM   #1
stellarfun
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The Taj hotel

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A San Francisco-based private equity firm [Iconiq] is investing in the Taj Boston hotel and plans a “major capital improvement project” to renovate the classic but faded Arlington Street landmark....

[the firm] bought a $190 million interest in the hotel, and then took out a $160 million mortgage on it.
.....
[a group of investors led by Steve Karp] bought the hotel in 2016 for $125 million in 2016 and] that group will retain an ownership stake and work with Iconiq on “a comprehensive renovation of the guestrooms, public areas, and food and beverage outlets”
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...JjI/story.html

(I searched for an existing Taj thread and didn't find one.)
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:30 AM   #2
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Re: The Taj hotel

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Originally Posted by stellarfun View Post
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...JjI/story.html

(I searched for an existing Taj thread and didn't find one.)
The Ritz went from one of the most prestigious places to stay in the Backbay to the one place I avoid.
Must be the Oil money that made this place obnoxious.
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: The Taj hotel

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The Ritz went from one of the most prestigious places to stay in the Backbay to the one place I avoid.
Must be the Oil money that made this place obnoxious.
I think if you could afford the Ritz or the Taj you would know that the Taj is managed by an Indian family, named Tata. This family gave Harvard Business School a generous gift to build Tata Hall, which opened a few years ago.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business...NUL/story.html
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:19 AM   #4
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Re: The Taj hotel

I am guessing "oil money" is a euphemism in this case, not coming from some sort of fact about that owners business or investment strategies. Grain of salt taken.

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Old 04-05-2018, 10:24 AM   #5
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Re: The Taj hotel

Regardless of the Tata family's successes and philanthropy the Taj name has become synonymous with the property's decline. They would do well to consider a rebranding, perhaps under the Dorchester Collection flag if they want to keep it independent of a major chain, otherwise Edition or St. Regis would seem logical.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:34 AM   #6
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Re: The Taj hotel

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Regardless of the Tata family's successes and philanthropy the Taj name has become synonymous with the property's decline. They would do well to consider a rebranding, perhaps under the Dorchester Collection flag if they want to keep it independent of a major chain, otherwise Edition or St. Regis would seem logical.
I agree a rebranding would be welcome, but, the property has been in decline even when it was a Ritz (dinning room closure, botched renovations, etc).
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:23 PM   #7
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Re: The Taj hotel

There are only three Taj hotels in the U.S., and the hotels in NYC and San Francisco retain their original name, e.g., Pierre in NYC, in the branding. The hotel in London is the only one in Europe. So a far too unfamiliar name for most high-end travelers.
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:33 PM   #8
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Re: The Taj hotel

I'm not sure how the Taj has done financially vs the Ritz but I personally don't like the rebranding from the Ritz to the Taj. I'm a local citizen so when a local name that you recognize growing up changes to an international brand it sort of takes the local spirit out of what is known as in a small local city Boston.
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:44 PM   #9
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Re: The Taj hotel

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Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
I'm not sure how the Taj has done financially vs the Ritz but I personally don't like the rebranding from the Ritz to the Taj. I'm a local citizen so when a local name that you recognize growing up changes to an international brand it sort of takes the local spirit out of what is known as in a small local city Boston.
The Ritz isn't a local thing, though. I get what you're saying about disliking the name-change from something you'd known since childhood, but Ritz-Carlton neither started here, was HQd, here, nor was the Boston hotel the only Ritz-Carlton in the world. Far from it.
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:49 PM   #10
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Re: The Taj hotel

According to Wikipedia apparently there was a point when the Boston Ritz was the only Ritz in the US.

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The Philadelphia location was converted to an office building after only a few years in operation. The Atlantic City hotel was sold to Schine Hotels in the late 1940s, and later Sheraton Hotels in 1959. The New York hotel was demolished in 1951, leaving only the Boston location.
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Old 04-05-2018, 02:30 PM   #11
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Re: The Taj hotel

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According to Wikipedia apparently there was a point when the Boston Ritz was the only Ritz in the US.
that's absolutely true, but doesn't negate any of my points.

not that any of this is super germane to the current topic re: the upkeep of the taj, so...
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:49 PM   #12
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Re: The Taj hotel

St Regis would be cool...also always wondered why Boston doesn’t have a Gansevoort.

They should turn the roofdeck space into a high end restaurant/bar...place would absolutely kill it year round.
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:57 PM   #13
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Re: The Taj hotel

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St Regis would be cool...also always wondered why Boston doesn’t have a Gansevoort.
Boston's too sedate.

The Gansevoort you're provably thinking of, the Park Ave location, isn't even a Gansevoort anymore.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:45 AM   #14
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Re: The Taj hotel

I've stayed at the Taj Boston and the Taj in Alipore (Kolkata). The one in Boston is still nice, but dated. It is nice to have a working fireplace in your suite, though.
The one in Alipore is like a cross between the airport terminal in Dubai and Copley Place. But the all you can eat Sunday brunch is amazing, and it is all you can drink champagne (Moet Chandon) too.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:04 AM   #15
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Re: The Taj hotel

I walked into a Ritz lobby once.

They didn't immediately throw me out, so that was nice!
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:56 PM   #16
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Re: The Taj hotel

Whatever. All i know is that the bathroom in this place is totally clutch, and has provided me with welcome relief many, many times.

(Pro tip: the one in Restoration Hardware is also pretty comfortable ...)
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:51 AM   #17
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Re: The Taj hotel

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Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
I'm not sure how the Taj has done financially vs the Ritz but I personally don't like the rebranding from the Ritz to the Taj. I'm a local citizen so when a local name that you recognize growing up changes to an international brand it sort of takes the local spirit out of what is known as in a small local city Boston.
$7.3m loss on $34m in revenue in fy16.

https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/r...ements-to.html
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:17 PM   #18
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Re: The Taj hotel

Even if the Ritz was never HQ'd/founded/etc., in Boston, I'll give Rifleman that the Ritz was a name generations of Bostonians knew as one of the city's fanciest hotels. I assume when the re-branding to Taj happened, many Bostonians (myself included) felt the prestige and heritage of the property took a hit -- and it's reasonable to hypothesize that would hit revenues generated by locals (weddings, celebratory and business dinners, occasional hotel stays in town).

For travelers to Boston, you can divide the world into two buckets: Those who stayed previously at the Ritz (and felt an attachment to it) and those who didn't. At the margins, some of the former are likely to have been impacted in the same way locals were (feeling a well-known institution had changed, that sentimental ties were lost, and, whether that change was for the better or worse, taking their business elsewhere next time around).

Among the latter, the Ritz name is simply much better known than Taj. Perhaps the Tata family could have - and still can - build a strong brand; but per Stellarfun's point, they haven't done so yet. So travelers looking for a luxury property in Boston who weren't formerly familiar with the Ritz would be relatively less likely to choose the Taj for a stay.

I'm sure the new Ritz property is nice. But there is something to be said for a luxury hotel having a classic, heritage property (like the Regis or Peninsula in New York). Miami is a nice place for a glassy Ritz. Boston less so.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:17 PM   #19
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Re: The Taj hotel

I've stayed at this place when it was both the Taj and Ritz. I think things got better when it became a Taj. The Ritz/Taj bar off the lobby is one of my favorite places for a drink on the planet. But, as others have said, the Taj name is not as well known. Perhaps they need to spruce things up like the Fairmont did with the Oak Bar / Oak Room and turning the place into something completely now with the Oak Long bar or whatever.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:53 PM   #20
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Re: The Taj hotel

Having worked there - again, it went down hill when the dining room closed (and Stormn' Norman retired). The final nail in the coffin was the botched multi-million dollar reno that was basically slapping a coat of paint on it and then the opening of the new Ritz as it was just not worth it anymore with the failed modernization attempt, it was time to cut loses. The old Ritz, though, was very well known and just one of those spots that embodied the Brahmin.
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