Once the residence of the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Falaknuma Palace is an extravagant medley of 19th- century European design, with Renaissance, Art Deco, and Baroque elements woven in. Set on a stony knoll overlooking Hyderabad, the sprawling white palace was derelict and falling apart before undergoing a meticulous decade-long restoration at the hands of Indiaâ€™s Taj hotel group.
Guests now arrive by horse-drawn carriage, sleep in one of 60 period-furnished guest rooms, and in the evenings, watch tribal dances on the elaborately canopied Gole Terrace. But the real star of the show here is the ornate main palace building, which guests are free to use as their private living quarters, taking high tea in the Jade Roomâ€”a dazzling sweep of geometric parquet floors and lime-green wallsâ€”or flipping through antiquarian books in the carved-walnut library.
Ask to sit in King George Vâ€™s favorite chairâ€”the British monarch was one of many royals who bunked here in Falaknumaâ€™s heyday.
Engine Bowli; 91-40/6629-8585; tajhotels.com; doubles from US$765
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