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Weekend Stay in Hyderabad Fit for Royalty—Taj Falaknuma Palace

front view of the taj falaknuma palace

Once in a while, it’s good to indulge yourself, and there’s no better place for that than Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. From the moment you enter the gates, you feel the attention to detail and care at every step. The lavish palace and grounds, the gorgeous views, and the exquisite food selection pamper your senses. The Taj Falaknuma Palace truly redefines luxury and stands as a testament to the grandeur of a bygone era.

A Royal Welcome

Winding through the chaotic streets of Hyderabad’s old city, passing the iconic Charminar, you might almost miss the discreet entrance to the Taj Falaknuma Palace. Once you enter the gates (only by prior booking), it is a different world altogether. 

You hear the call of peacocks and other birds chirping away. A serene forested path leads you to the Palace gates. If you stay at the palace, a horse-drawn carriage takes you up the cobbled path to the palace steps (a golf cart awaits guests visiting only the restaurants). The palace staff greets you with a welcome photo. Our young son was gifted a toy sword. The ‘Little Nawab’ was thrilled, and it didn’t leave his side for the duration of our stay.

We were offered a gajra (small floral garland made of mogra flowers) for our wrists or hair, and its beautiful fragrance lingered with us throughout the hot summer day. The refreshing drinks on arrival and a framed photo of us upon our departure were thoughtful touches.

From the moment we stepped foot into the palace, we were greeted with warm smiles and impeccable hospitality, so typical of all Taj properties. Since we had planned our stay on the occasion of Mother’s Day, the housekeeping staff made a special effort to decorate the room with rose petals.

Taj Falaknuma Palace

Nestled in the enchanting city of Hyderabad, the Taj Falaknuma Palace stands as a testament to timeless elegance and indulgence. A weekend stay at this magnificent palace is an experience that transcends ordinary luxury. 

The palace, perched atop a hill, commands breathtaking views of the surrounding city. The sheer beauty of its architecture, the intricate detailing, the exquisite chandeliers, the marble staircases, and the sprawling gardens all remind you of an era long gone but preserved with utmost care.

Our suite was spacious and tastefully decorated with all modern amenities. The marble bathroom, complete with a clawfoot bathtub, his and her sinks, and premium toiletries, was a delight. Our son couldn’t get enough of playing in the bathtub and had another soak with rose petals before bed. 

Day & Night

Exploring Taj Falaknuma Palace

We arrived at the palace in the late afternoon, but even the heat was no deterrent to our exploring the palace grounds. The gardens are absolutely breathtaking, with lush greenery, fountains, and sculptures. The views from the balconies overlook the city, and on a clear day, you can see the other end of town. 

Even those like me who are not keen on photographing themselves at every turn will be tempted to take multiple pictures. Guards and other staff members are only too happy to help you take pictures and will suggest the best places and poses to make your picture Instagram-worthy!

In the evening, the in-house historian takes guests for a guided heritage walk, where you explore the palace’s stunning architecture and hear about its intriguing past. Every room fills you with awe. During the tour, we were served some cool, refreshing drinks, which helped us beat the oppressive heat. 

At the end of the tour, we were treated to a lively Qawwali performance. It was an exceptional show made even more outstanding by the fact that none of them used any microphones. Their sublime voices and the acoustics of the palace were enough to carry their voices across the garden.

A lively musical performance

In the evenings, in front of the restaurants, you’ll usually find a small display of items on sale. Early evening there were pearls, and later on, there was a stall of itar (traditional perfumed oils). We found these very reasonably priced and of superb quality. 

Sunsets and sunrises are magnificent from here. Early morning is also the best time to take a dip in the pool, which is hidden away among the lush gardens. In the early afternoon, we lounged under the mango tree, heavy with fruit, till it was time to check out.

Dining at the Taj Falaknuma Palace

We were treated to an array of culinary delights prepared by skilled chefs. From our welcome chocolate cake in our room to the evening pakoras and meals at the restaurant, we wished we could take a bite of everything twice!

There are two restaurants at the palace: Celeste, a multi-cuisine restaurant, and Adaa, serving traditional Hyderabadi cuisine. If you’re looking to over-indulge, you can also book a private dining experience on the balcony overlooking the city under the stars.

We had been to Adaa previously and loved the delicious kebabs and biryani. It is a luxurious meal as it would have been savoured by royalty in their heydays. 

We chose to dine at Celeste during our stay. One sip of the mango basil soup, and our son was in heaven (as per his own words). We ensured we left some space for desserts and were not disappointed with the tiramisu and sorbets. We needed a walk after that meal! 

Breakfast the next morning was also at Celeste. The delectable spread had everything you could ask for (including sparkling wine—talk about indulgence!). We took our time and spent a luxurious two hours savouring the delicious buffet.

The kitchen staff were kind enough to invite our son for a quick baking class in the kitchen. Our son enjoyed that experience, and we enjoyed the cupcakes which we took home with us.

The Difference in Visiting and Staying

You don’t need to spend a full day here to enjoy the palace’s luxuries. We had previously been to the restaurants here for lunch and dinner. It is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. 

If you are just visiting for a meal, your access to the palace grounds would be limited, obviously. They do take all guests on a palace tour (they have fixed timings you can confirm at the time of reservation), but it won’t be as detailed, and you won’t be allowed to take pictures inside the palace rooms.

If you’re there to dine, a cover charge is applicable in both restaurants, whereas if you’re staying there, you will be billed as per what you order.

Our weekend stay at the Taj Falaknuma Palace was nothing short of extraordinary. The unparalleled luxury, the attention to detail, and the seamless blend of heritage and modern comforts made it an experience of a lifetime. 

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