Beneath the imposing facade of ITC Kakatiya lies a gracious opulence that is fit for kings. And that is just as well, for you have to be heir to a royal fortune to stay here anyway. But isn't that the whole point of a getaway from home, even if under the garb of business? Kakatiya is about indulgences, and it delivers.
Hyderabad's most expensive hotel with the Taj Krishna
, Kakatiya is perhaps even better. As you have all those swipes of your credit card made, you look for the 'finicky' extras that warrant all the 5-digit figures, and there's a lot of those that Kakatiya throws in for good measure.
The decor recreates a little bit of history as it draws inspiration from the culture of the mighty Kakatiya dynasty which reigned over these regions long years ago. The murals all around the hotel capture the spirit of the period, and the hospitality gives you a taste of royalty. That probably explains why it is the preferred choice of all visiting heads of state, and why the state government recommends it to national and international dignitaries - Bill Clinton stayed here during the visit to Hyderabad of his Presidential denouement.
With its 188 rooms, Kakatiya offers a plushly comfortable living experience. Its 30 Sheraton Tower rooms and 20 Club suites are equipped to pamper. The exclusive privileges include round-the-clock butler service, complimentary club hour, use of the exclusive Tower Club Lounge facility (with its own library, bar, restaurant and tea/coffee service), complimentary use of the office & meeting room at the Towers Club, and complimentary American breakfast. The toileteries provided take care of most things that your kit might have forgotten to carry. The Executive Club rooms also come with an impressive line-up of privileges. The Luxury and Presidential suites are, of course, about complete abandon. And the hotel is regarded as the most secure hotel in the city, which the ISO 14001 certification is testimony to.
Kakatiya's dining facilities leave little to be desired. Its 24 hour coffee shop, Deccan Pavilion
, is extremely popular for its Midnight Biryani, and Dum Pukht is a connoisseur's delight. The food here is cooked over deghs
, and is characterised by its tantalising, wafting aroma. Peshawri is where you must find your way to for a bare-hands kind of an eating experience. Dakshin
place in town for a South-Indian meal, and Rani Rudrama's Court is as regal a place as you will find for high tea. And its watering holes Dublin
and Marco Polo
are a great way to unwind.
Something or the other is always happening at ITC Kakatiya Sheraton. Hyder Mahal downstairs is a convention hall that plays host to many corporate and social/cultural events. There is almost always some food festival happening at one of the restaurants. Some live band is playing at Dublin or Marco Polo almost all the time. Then, of course, there's the Kakatiya Ladies' Club.
But what set the hotel apart are not the umpteen awards that it continues to win, but the little gestures that it makes. It extends a host of privileges to the ladies traveling alone, it has its own effluent treatment unit, and it has a range of facilities that make it extremely amenable for people with physical limitations.
All of this comes at a price, of course. ITC Sheraton is part of the ITC group of hotels that include the Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi and the Park Sheraton in Chennai. If you know anything about those, you know that in some places money is weighed, not counted.
Like a Guns 'N' Roses song goes, "If you want it you're gonna bleed / But it's the price you pay."