HOTEL BUZZ: Falaknuma Palace Hyderabad

Following a decade-long restoration, Taj Hotels Resorts and palaces opened the legendary Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, India as a palatial 60-room hotel that offers guests a taste of the royal life. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Nizam Mehboob Ali Khan presided over the southern Indian city of Hyderabad from his extravagant Falaknuma Palace. Following India’s independence from Great Britain in 1947, the palaces luster faded, but now guests of the hotel are greeted with museum-quality reception rooms furnished in late-Victorian style, glittering chandeliers, and an expansive garden with peacocks that roam freely through Mughal, Rajasthani, and Japanese gardens originally planted during the Nizam’s reign.

Standing alone on the hilltop, just 20 minutes by car from Hyderabad’s new airport, Taj Falaknuma Palace offers sweeping views of the thriving metropolis and IT hub. Cars aren’t permitted beyond the front gate, so visitors arrive at reception in a golf cart or, for VIPs, a horse carriage. Located next to the terrace, the Jade Room features soaring Victorian ceilings and glimmering Venetian-glass chandeliers. Live the high life and splurge on  the the Grand Presidential Suite, set in the Nizam’s former sleeping quarters. The opulent palace also includes a library that is a replica of the one at Windsor Castle.

Guests can dine at the Mediterranean restaurant, Celeste, or Adá, featuring refined Hyderabadi cuisine. Activities include a game of billiards on the Nizam’s custom-made snooker table, palace walks at sunset, or a relaxing treatment in the Jiva Spa.

Taj Falaknuma Palace, +91.40.243.88.888, www.tajhotels.com

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