On the plus side, exquisitely beautifully restored, peaceful. and they go through the motions of making you feel like royalty...and the "monsoon package" is a fantastic deal. The food at Celeste (the italian restaurant) is excellent, if expensive. The Hyderabadi food at Adaa is good but nothing special -- you could get better food in town at lower prices, but the ambience in the Adaa private room is truly special.
On the minus side, they haven't got some of the most basic issues sorted out. Cannot make a decent cup of filter-press coffee or cappuccino, take twenty minutes to serve a glass of wine when the open bottle is sitting within sight of us, not enough towels in the bathrooms (just one bath towel per head in a grand royal suite), some of the royal suites smell moldy (wet patches on the floor in the corridor outside the suite), not great for asthmatics (ask for a standard room in the new wing rather than a historic or royal suite) -- they keep spraying very strong-smelling pesticides all the tiime -- wish they would use organic alternatives. The first suite we were shown was literally stinking. No one seems to have checked the bathroom before assigning it to a new guest. To be fair, they did move us, but took their own sweet time to do it.
Overall, about half the staff seem to be unclear about who is doing whom a favor, and behave as if they'd rather not have you there, instead of trying to make you feel comfortable. The other half are sweet and do try to please. To make this a truly top ranked hotel with service on par with top hotels in SE Asia (say, Aman resorts) is going to be an uphill task for the Taj with the current levels of training and staff attitudes.
I have also come to value the honest opinions of real travelers on this site much more after our stay at the Falaknuma. We had two very close friends, on a writer for Traveler, and the other a travel blogger for the Taj group, who were both being given the tour and royal treatment when we were there, and believe me, they did not get to experience what we did or see what we saw. I am sorry to say that this is a hotel that cares less about its guests than about its media coverage.
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- Also Known As:
- Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel Hyderabad