Newly resplendent after 10 years of sensitive renovation, Taj Falaknuma Palace or "Mirror of the Sky" opens its ornate doors November 1 in Hyderabad, offering guests a glimpse of the regal lifestyle of the Nizams who governed the legendry city that gave birth to the Hope and Koh-i-noor diamonds.
Once the royal residence of Nizam Mehboob Ali Khan and passed from generation to generation of Nizams like a precious jewel, Taj has infused new life into this celebrated home under the guidance of Princess Ezra, wife of the eighth Nizam. Falaknuma Palace is ready to resume its status as Hyderabad's most exclusive address in keeping with its storied heritage of hosting visiting royalty, such as King Edward VIII and Russia's Tsar Nicholas II.
"Look around the world. One rarely finds a city such as Hyderabad that so effortlessly fuses the old with the new, and tradition with modernity. The legendary rulers of this city embellished it with architectural marvels, of which Falaknuma Palace is an original and magnificent landmark," said Raymond N. Bickson, Managing Director & CEO of Taj Hotels. "We are proud to have added another splendid historic palace to our grand portfolio. We're especially delighted that we were able to painstakingly restore every aspect of the Palace, retaining its architectural and historical magnificence while also creating a state-of-the-art luxury hotel."
Taj Falaknuma Palace is an architectural gem set amidst 32 acres of cascading gardens with outdoor terraces and pool. Built entirely of Italian marble in the shape of a scorpion, this fabled guest house set on a hill overlooking the city was the private preserve of the city's wealthy NIzam rulers, who filled its ornate Baroque-inspired spaces with museum-quality furnishings and art worthy of their elite guests.
"For 10 years, we have worked on preserving the priceless art and artifacts. We are very proud today to welcome our guests to the Taj Falaknuma Palace - restored, renewed and reinstated to its former glory. Guests can experience enchanting moments of luxury while reliving chapters from the lives of the Nizams," said Ranjit Phillipose, General Manager, Taj Falaknuma Palace.
Private and public spaces once again showcase ornate inlaid furniture, the finest collection of Jade, the rich handcrafted tapestries and brocades from France, and intricate frescos with English as well as Indian influences. A walk through the palace at sunset with the Palace Historian brings the past vividly to life, with a chance to ask questions about specific events, artworks and furnishings, including the Imperial Library, a teak-and rose-wood room lined with bookcases that is a replica of the library at Windsor Castle and is filled with rare books and manuscripts.
Guests may select from 60 exquisite rooms and suites, including a Grand Presidential Suite, which were once the private chambers of the Nizam, royal family and state guests, and include the services of a personal butler.
The Palace offers two restaurants that reflect its European and Indian design influences: Celeste, serving Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, and Ada, featuring fine Indian dining, including a series of dishes taken from past palace banquet menus prepared in the Hyderabadi tradition of slow-cooking. Guests may also enjoy breakfast on the Jade Verandah or take Afternoon Tea in the exquisite Jade Room beneath Victorian-style hand-painted ceilings and Venetian chandeliers. Poolside relaxation includes inventive food and drink in The Rotunda, or guests may adjourn to the unique Hookah Lounge that recreates the romantic ambience of princely India, or opt for a sporting game in the Billiards Room with the Nizam's personal bespoke billiards table and adjoining room for cards and chess.
The signature Royal Jiva Spa offers holistic spa treatments with a philosophy rooted in traditional Indian approaches to wellness and includes a menu of spa cuisine based on Ayurvedic cooking principles.
Situated on the banks of the Musi River, the 400-year-old city of Hyderabad is now a burgeoning IT hub but still offers its distinctive Hyderabadi "tehzeeb" or hospitality that is as refined today as it was in the days of the first Nizam.
To reserve your own regal getaway at Falaknuma Palace, with nightly rates that begin at approximately US$810, please contact your travel planner, call 1-866-969-1825 or visit www.tajhotels.com.