The Taj Group of Hotels Resorts and Palaces opened a new heritage five-star hotel in Hyderabad, India on 1 November 2010. The Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel is the first phase redevelopment of parts of the historical Falaknuma Palace.
Built in 1884, the palace underwent extensive refurbishment and restoration for 10 years. The palace hotel has 60 guestrooms and suites. It is operated under the Arteh Hotel brand.
Taj Falaknuma Palace is an addition to the chain of hotels operated by the Taj Group in Hyderabad, which include Taj Banjara, Taj Krishna and Taj Deccan.
Taj Falaknuma history
Designed by the Italian architect William Ward Marret, the Falaknuma Palace was constructed from March 1884 to 1893. It was commissioned by the Paigah noble Sir Nawab Viqar Ul-Umra, then prime minister of Hyderabad State, who used the palace as his residence.
During 1897, the Falaknuma Palace was purchased by the VI Nizam Mir Mahboob Ali Khan for use as a royal guest house.
The palace served several dignitaries and noble guests including the King and Queen of England, the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II, and the Governor-General of India. It has been passed on for generations and was occasionally opened to public.
The Taj Falaknuma Palace’s layout resembles the shape of a scorpion. It is spread over 32 acres with manicured gardens.
It has a proper blend of Tudor and Italian architecture. Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo was contracted for the sensitive restoration and refurbishment of the palace.
Restoration of the palace for conversion into a hotel was started in 2000. The restoration works included recreation of old artefacts and art works. It is being refurbished by the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces of the Tata Group.
The palace hotel retains the 101-seater dining table room, the original Japanese, Rajasthani and Mughal gardens created by the Nizam and the original suite of Nizam.
The Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel has four well appointed luxury rooms equipped with contemporary facilities. The hotel has 41 palace rooms overlooking the central courtyard and the city. The heritage hotel also boasts three historical suites which have exquisite artwork and fabrics, wooden floors and antique furniture.
The Zenana section of the palace has been restored to eight Royal suites which have opulent décor and a beautiful architecture. They were once part of the rooms reserved for Muslim women of the palace.
There are three Grand Royal suites in the hotel which have traditional flourishes and dramatic views. The historical Begum suite located in the Zenana Wing, is one of the grand royal suites which retain its architecture and original character.
The palace hotel also has a stately duplex suite called the Grand Presidential suite. The suite overlooking the manicured gardens has a private pool and exclusive access to the spa. The guests in the suite are served by a personal butler.
The hotel has two restaurants with several state Banquet Menus. The Celeste serves Italian and Mediterranean cuisines and Adá and Hyderabadi cuisines.
The Jade Verandah offers a comprehensive a la carte menu, Turkish, South Indian and traditional Hyderabadi dishes for breakfast.
The Celeste has Mediterranean and Italian cuisines with Asia Pacific and South East Asian flavours. The hotel also offers in-room dining.
The Rotunda, a pool side venue offers a light snack menu. The Jade room offers afternoon tea with a large variety of selections.
The hotel bar collection includes the rarest whiskies, single malts, luxury vodkas, wines, cognacs including Louis XIII, and handmade cigars imported from across the world. It also has a hookah lounge offering various flavours.
The Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel will have the group’s Jiva Grande spa. It offers royal treatments and signature ancient Indian therapies. Several exclusive treatments with ancient Indian therapy rooms are located near the cascading gardens of the spa.
The Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel has the Jade room, Durbar hall, 101-seat dining hall, and gardens and terraces. The 17-seat Board Room has the latest facilities such as LCD projectors, an electronic copy board, a conference calling system, a 52in TV and video conferencing along with precious French woodwork and artefacts.
The 2,000ft² Durbar hall can accommodate hundreds of guests, while the billiards room can accommodate about 60 guests. The Jade room with Belgian cut-glass chandeliers and Victorian style paintings offers a tea venue for 40 people.
The outdoor meeting venues at the hotel include the Rajasthani garden which accommodates 80 people for banquet style seating and 150 for cocktails. The hotel is also close to the airport and several corporate venues.
Other facilities include a heritage walk, a palace library, smoking rooms, private gardens, ballrooms and croquet lawns and champagne palace.