INDIA – Taj Falaknuma Palace

INDIA - Taj Falaknuma Palace

Situated on a 32-acre estate on a hillside above the city of Hyderabad, this glorious palace, formerly home to the Nizams of Hyderabad, is nevertheless within earshot of the mosque. It opened as a hotel in 2010, following a multi-million-pound, 10-year refurbishment during which its 60 bedrooms and lavish communal areas were restored to their original, 19th-century splendour. Guests can while away the hours in the billiards room, library, hookah lounge, outdoor pool or Jiva Spa, or by taking afternoon tea in the Jade Room. Adaa, one of the hotel’s two restaurants, serves slow-cooked Hyderabadi specialities.

X-factor ‘What is truly exciting about the restoration of this Italianate Victorian fantasy is that almost everyone involved – architect, engineer, fresco-painter, cabinet-maker and carpet-weaver – was Indian,’ says Gold List contributor Sunil Sethi. ‘What greater tribute could there be to the skill and sophistication acquired over the centuries of the vibrant Indo-European encounter?’