Order yourself a Luxpresso while in Hyderabad, for the city offers the best of the luxuries in the country – from the Grand Royal Suite where the richest person in the world stayed to a chandelier that costs as much as a Hyundai Elantra. By Manju Latha Kalanidhi
If it comes from Coco Chanel, the high priestess of French fashion, you’ve got to believe it. The founder of Chanel brand that wows the world with its haute couture and ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods and fashion accessories puts it subtly: Keep your heels, head and standards high. Hyderabad seems to take her words a tad too seriously to push its limits for luxury a bit higher, with every passing year. If 2015 was about having parties at India’s top luxury hotel that had every visitor walk away with a Swarovski crystal worth `6,000, as a party takeaway, the New Year promises more action for the elite who thrive on luxury.
“Up next is the Bentley furniture store in the upmarket Jubilee Hills. It’s going to be a three-floor showroom, India’s first with limited edition pieces,” announces Karan Bhangay, founder of Jukebox, The Indian Luxury Expo and co-founder at WowsomeApp, “Forget about studies and surveys, one just has to look around to feel the momentum. The Mercedes brand had one showroom five years ago and now they could be selling two or three Mercedes Benz CL Class every month.”
International real estate consultancy firm JLL which is building a 1.2 million square feet luxury residential project in the upmarket Hitec City said in its ‘India Retail Luxury Quotient’ report of 2013 dubbed the city as South India’s hub for luxury cars – A city that has a roaring love affair with high end cars like Maybach and retail brands such as LV. So how luxurious can the city get? We give you a list of the best in the city that merit as the best in the country too.
The Taj Falaknuma Palace’s Grand Presidential Suite is ranked among the top ten in the country by none other than Wall Stree Journal blog. The 1,077 sq ft suite of sheer opulence boasts of 120-year-old Burma teak rafters, a private swimming pool, a private Jacuzzi, ornate furnishings and soothing marble fountain, and Cararra marble floors, was once the Nizam, the richest man in the world’s private chamber. Historian Prabhakar, who has also been a residence manager of the palace, shares, “In 1895, the sixth Nizam took over and stayed over there for 16 years. It was worth `6.8 millions back then! Not much is known about their residence though.” The first VVIP to stay here was Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India. Not surprisingly, it is called the presidential suite! Price: Rs.2,25,000 + taxes per room per night. Details: 66298585
Extra: We hear Reliance Group chariman Anil Ambani paid over Rs.3 lakh for a night and that must’ve been the most luxurious stay anyone has had in the country so far.
Prakash Lights in Gachibowli gets Hyderabad its most luxurious chandeliers. Their top pick is the Flame Chandelier from Iris Bohemia crystal from a 400- year-old factory in heart of Bohemia which specialises in handmade blown crystal glass. “The craftsmen, through their ancestors, have learned to mould glass in an intricate manner to give the flame chandelier the look,” says Bina Mehta of Prakash Lights. Price Rs.7 lakh for 19 lights and up to Rs.15 lakh for 32 lights (available in Crystal Clear, blaze Red and Champagne Finnish).
Extra: Actor Allu Arjun buys his chandeliers from here
Hyderabad has been rated as a favoured destination for education at global level, after New York, and it’s the International School of Business in the city contributes to the fame. Founded in 2001, it ranked 33 by Financial Times in their 2015 Global MBA Rankings. It’s here that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella often finds best entrepreneurs for his projects. With more than 800 students in the campus currently, the Management Programme for Family Business (MFAB) course at the institute is one of the finest streams provided by the college ISB. Says Chittipantulu, director- marketing and communications, “We don’t really position it as the ‘most expensive’ course or on those factors. We provide the best education in the continent.” ISB’s fee is more than twice of IIM Ahmedabad and thrice that of XLRI Mumbai as it attracts international faculty and offers best placements (up to `1 crore annual package). Cost of MFAB Rs.35 lakh for an academic year. Details: 23007000.
Extra: Most ISB-ians are the CEOs where they work
The name is a dead giveaway. Hyderabad’s most expensive and luxurious pan is called the Honeymoon Special and it is in demand during the wedding season at PVS Pan Mahal. “We use Unani herbs (aphrodisiacs with no side-effects) and Ayurvedic ones such as kasturi, kesar along with gold foil to make this one,” says owner K Srinivas. “We also add other special ingredients if the customers asks for. Most newly-weds order for this to mark their nuptial night,” he says. The juicy pan has a predominantly sweet taste intersperesed with a nutty flavour. Price Rs.2,500. Details:9346888123. Extra: The pan has a cooling effect, ideal after for the couple who have had a hectic day.
It’s a piece of jewel that you don’t just adorn, but rather wield and brandish. Krsala’s antique 18th century gold knife that belonged to the Maharaja of Bikaner is special edition one made of 22 karat gold
encrusted with uncut diamonds, rubies and emeralds. “There are many interesting anecdotes about this special knife and my mom (and Krsala owner) Bunty Bajaj will share those secrets only to those who we think can desire this and deserve this,” says Samarth Bajaj, director of Krsala. The knife also comes with a snug fit sheath. Just the weight of the gold is worth Rs.20 lakh, not to mention all other accoutrements, making it a collector’s item. Price on request. Details 09820822271
Extra: There’s a tremendous story of the knife and the Maharaja who owned it.
You know you have arrived, when you leave behind business class and have arrived literally in style in the Citation Bravo, an exclusive seven-seater business jet chartered flight that allows you to land even in small airports. With a speed range of 850 to 1100 kmph, Titan Aviation has a fleet of eight aircrafts in South India including Hyderabad. Your safety is assured as the company also has a Medevac aircraft – an air ambulance – to transport patients either domestically within India or to international destinations during critical medical emergencies, natural calamities and unforeseen mishaps. This jet from Titan Aviation India can fly you out of Hyderabad to Chennai and back in less than two hours. Cost: Rs.2 lakh. Details 9900616175
Extra: Our sources say cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Superstar Amitabh Bachchan use such private jets to get across for events at short notice
Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre’s Bidri promises a royal feast on a carefully crafted seven-course meal. Feast like the royalty and indulge in an array of specials from the royal kitchens of Hyderabad, Kakatiya, Awadh and Kashmir. The meal for two comprises a fine selection of red and white (old and new) wines and Moet & Chandon champagne paired with your meal courses. As soulful ghazals by their in-house artistes is in progress, the seven-course exquisite dinner is served. Other highlights include a pick up from home in a BMW 5 series and chilled champagne on the way to the hotel. Price: Rs.12,000 ++ taxes Details: 27522228
Extra: The hotel offers the best views of the Hussainsagar lake. So plan one when the weather is clear.
Jiva Spa of Taj Falaknuma Palace offers a special spa treatment known as the Nawab-e-Khaas which is inspired from the kind the Nizami royalty would love. The spa holds its daily morning yoga sessions by the well over 100-year-old banyan tree inside the retreat area, next to the restored Nizami pool. The 150-minute signature treatment begins with a soothing foot wash, an exfoliation body scrub of a blend of almonds, rose petals, vettiver, saffron and rich herbs, offered in languid strokes, cleanses and relaxes your body. It ends with a light facial scrub followed by a restorative massage with an exclusive hand-blended oil. A sherbat suffused with the distilled fragrance of flowers, fruits and herbs acts as a good wrap for the therapy. Price Rs.10,600++ Details: 6629 8585
Extra: Celebs who took the spa treatment say the yoga near the tree is an unusual experience that adds to the entire experience.