ArranNumerous forts and palaces belonging to the erstwhile royal families now serve as luxury hotels. This allows the Indian hospitality industry to give a glimpse of the luxurious lives of the royal families had in the past. People can now book their stay at top hotels and experience royalty in the modern era. The Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad is one of the best places to get a glimpse of how the royals lived.
The term Falaknuma means ‘mirror of the sky’ and the palace was the former residence of the Nizams. The construction was completed in the year 1894. This palace has lush green gardens around it.
Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel is spread over 32 acres in the heart of Hyderabad. It has 60 spectacular rooms and suites. Princess Esra, the wife of Prince Mukarram Jah of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty too active part in its restoration. She actively took part in the transformation of the palace into a five-star hotel.
How Did the Nizam Acquire it?
Sir Nawab Vikar-Ul-Umra, the then Prime Minister of the Hyderabad state ordered the construction of this palace; he was also a nobleman of the Paigah family. When Sir Vikar invited the 7th Nizam to stay at the palace, he liked it very much and even extended his visit by a month. Sir Vikar offered the Falaknuma Palace as a gift to the Nizam but he did not accept it. He bought the palace and made it his residence.
Myth About the Taj Falaknuma Palace
It is a popular belief that the palace was unlucky for the Prime Minister Sir Vikar, as he faced a lot of financial difficulties after its construction. This is the reason he sold it to the 7th Nizam. Later, the Nizam also realized that his new palace wasn’t good for his rule, hence, he shifted his residence back to the Chowmahalla Palace. He then used it as a guest house for loyal guests visiting the state. Some of these special guests include Queen Mary, King George V, Tsar Nicholas II and Edward VIII.
Renovation into a 5-Star Luxury Hotel
The Taj Group of Hotels, Resorts and Palaces acquired the building on lease in the year 2000. The process of restoration and renovation took nearly 10 years and the palace opened for business in November 2010. The authorities were very careful about adding new decoration pieces so as to not lose the old-world charm of the Nizam’s era. The new and delicate frescos, stunning Venetian chandeliers, ornate furniture, handpicked tapestries, did justice to the grandeur of the palace, intricately-carved statues and paintings adorn the outdoor terrace areas. The Durbar Hall has carved ceilings, parquet flooring, handcrafted mirrors, and furniture made of walnut wood.
What to Expect at the Taj Falaknuma Palace?
A Grand Welcome
Once you arrive at the hotel, a horse-drawn carriage is present to take you inside. The butlers are going to accompany you inside and give you details about the history of the magnificent palace. The staff showers the guests with flower petals.
A Palace Tour
No matter if you plan to stay at the hotel, opt for high tea or dine at any of its restaurants, you’ll receive a complete palace tour. Walking through the well-built hallways, you will get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the Hyderabadi Nizams.
Fine Dining Experience
You can taste decadent cuisine here. Celeste has a wide variety of breakfast options and multi-cuisine specialties. Adaa is perfect for a romantic dinner at Taj Falaknuma. Gol Bungalow is another good pick for a breakfast date. Or you can opt for high tea at the Jade Terrace and enjoy the serene view while sipping your hot beverage.
Huge chandeliers enhance the look of the halls and rooms at the palace. These were especially bought from Belgium to add to the palace’s palatial décor. Apart from these, there’s also a massive 101-seater dining table that can be used on special occasions.
Rejuvenate with Holistic Treatments & Morning Yoga Sessions
During your stay at the Taj Falaknuma Palace, you can opt to get a spa treatment in traditional Indian style. The wellness menu is a perfect example of the followings of the finest principles of Ayurveda. Towards the end of the treatment; a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation will fill your mind and body. Special arrangements for morning yoga sessions is a facility that the resident guests love. They are a great option for fitness enthusiasts.
Attend the Qawwali Program
Every evening a qawwali performance is organized for the guests. You will be treated to some of the popular qawwali singers in the country to make your evenings even more delightful.
Amenities Provided at the Taj Falaknuma Palace
Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel offers a wide range of amenities such as currency exchanges, safe deposit lockers, car rentals, etc. You may find these in other hotels too but the quality and hospitality you find here has no match to standard services available elsewhere. You can inquire about these services before you make your bookings.
Complimentary Wi-Fi services and 24-hour in-room dining
Enjoy unlimited internet access when you stay at the hotel. You can also enjoy your meals indoors as the hotel has an excellent in-room dining facility.
24/7 on-call doctor and nurse
In case of any health emergency, you can inform the staff as the hotel also has a doctor and nurse available to treat the guests. For any further treatment, you do not have to worry as some of the top hospitals in the city are less than 30 minutes away.
A travel desk and car rental services
If you have any travel related query, you can always reach out to the travel desk and get solutions. The hotel also offers car rental services for your sightseeing and commuting within the city.
Currency exchange and safe deposit lockers
You can exchange your currency right in the hotel and keep your valuables in safe deposit lockers inside the premises.