June 7, 2017
From Golkonda Fort to mouth-watering biryani and a fascinating old city – Hyderabad in south India offers visitors plenty to see and do.
Often overlooked by travellers on a tour of India, though worthy of inclusion in an itinerary, especially for repeat visitors to India, Hyderabad also boasts another major drawcard away from the sights and the city.
With the extensive and impressive refurbishment of Falaknuma Palace, this lavish palace now welcomes guests as a Taj luxury palace hotel.
Having stayed recently at this grand palace, here are 5 things we love about Falaknuma Palace based on our first-hand, personal experience.
#1 A grand welcome
Ascend the steep road to the palace gates by vehicle where you will be greeted and your bags whisked away for check in. Next, you’ll hear the gentle clip clop of horses’ hooves approaching as a horse-drawn buggy approaches to take you the final way to the main entrance of the palace. Marvel at the city view below you and arrive like a royal of yesteryear in a horse drawn buggy.
#2 Learn the secrets of biryani
The name Hyderabad is synonymous with biryani – a richly spiced meat and rich preparation the city is famous for. Ask for a private cooking demonstration at the hotel and learn the secrets of this classic Indian dish from the palace chef. Take note of the spices, techniques and ingredients used to make lamb biryani and later impress your friends at home with an Indian dinner party. The best way to get the full experience from kitchen to plate is to dine in the palace’s Adaa restaurant afterwards and sample the biryani you’ve learnt to make earlier.
#3 Be pampered like a royal
Take the time to pamper yourself at the hotel’s JIVA spa. The signature treatment at Falaknuma Palace is the Nawab-e-KHAAS, or Regal Splendour package. Inspired by the city’s princely heritage, the treatment includes a foot wash, an exfoliating body scrub, a light facial and a restorative body massage. This two and a half hour royal treatment will shake off any jet lag and is guaranteed to make you truly unwind. Afterwards, you can relax by the pool. Real life will seem a million miles away.
#4 High tea on the Jade Terrace
It’s a well-known fact that we at India Unbound love afternoon tea, high tea or even just a lovely piece of cake and cup of tea (and ok, a glass of champagne at the same time!) in the afternoon.
The high tea served at Falaknuma Palace on the Jade Terrace is a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. With a colourful floral cake stand brimming with delicate finger sandwiches, hot scones, local sweets and savouries – we couldn’t resist ourselves. The palace serves its own blend of tea and a cold sparkling can also be had. Enjoy the panoramic views of Hyderabad below and afterwards spend some time exploring the antiques inside the terrace lounge. The afternoon will very easily slip away as you sip tea and munch on scones, shortbreads and other delicious treats.
#5 Champagne heritage walk
Undoubtedly a key highlight during our stay at Falaknuma Palace was the champagne heritage walk. Hosted by palace historian Prabhakar Mahindrakar at 5 p.m. everyday, discover some of the history behind the palace and the artefacts, and the stories of those that lived within the palace walls. Mr Mahindrakar has worked at the palace for a long time and knows it inside and out. He’ll show you little details you won’t see for yourself walking through the palace and reveal to you knowledge gleamed over many years. Sip chilled champagne and explore this fabulous palace. A true highlight of a stay at Falaknuma Palace.
For more inspiration about what to see and do in Hyderabad – read our Hyderabad City Guide.
A stay at Falaknuma Palace and a visit to Hyderabad can be included in any custom made itinerary of India, and also features in our Four Gems of the South Itinerary. You can start to plan your travel in India here with out trip planner.