The Hotel Mughal is a two-hundred room, five-star hotel accommodating visitors both to the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. Considerable pressure had been exerted by the clients who wanted a multi-storied structure overlooking the Taj. However, the architects, in a courageous rejection of this demand, arranged the rooms around three landscaped courtyards, one of which contains the swimming pool.
A Contemporary Pleasure Garden. The hotel complex is organised into blocks, separated according to function. A central block houses all the public spaces and the administration. Services are grouped in an adjacent block to the west, directly accessible to the service yard. The guest rooms are arranged in two-storey quadrangles which define three garden courts. The guest wings are connected to each other and to the central block by enclosed pedestrian bridges which span the gardens.
The hotel is pulled back from the road, and upon entering the drive one feels at once a sense of lush sanctuary. Thickly planted banks line the approach to the complex. From the entrance canopy, the visitor is led, by a bridge, across a large reflecting pool, past fountains, and on to the lobby beyond. The massing is low, fortress-like, and modest from the exteri· or, as was characteristic of Indian serais (travellers' rest houses). Once inside, it is light and cool, with rooms opening onto the garden courts.
Off the large lobby are a shopping arcade and an open lounge overlooking a formal garden. At the mezzanine level are a tea room and an observation area offering views of the Taj Mahal. The four restaurants are at the garden level, as are conference rooms and a ballroom, where activities can spill out onto the garden terraces. Three enclosed pedestrian bridges lead the visitor from the lobby area to the guest wings, always with a view of the gardens below.