A Thousand Splendid Smiles
Femina|June 9, 2018

It’s a place you must visit—for the craft, for the palate, for the soul, but mostly to discover the GangaJamuni tehzeeb that exists despite the surround sound of politics. It’s Lucknow, the city that wakes up to the muezzin’s call, trundles at its own unique pace unhurried by the din and surrenders to the night under the clanging of temple bells

You do it when you see a mural of the man who looks suspiciously like Sir Cliff Richard; you do it when you devour a sweetand-sour combination of chickpea patties dunked in yoghurt (chaat) along with the basket it’s presented in; you do it when you are told about street fights laden with utter finesse in language (Sample: ‘Sahab, aap ko sharam nahin aati galat side pe parking karne mein’ loosely translated to ‘Sir, you should be ashamed about parking on the wrong side of the road.’).

You smile.

As you should; you’re in the land that was Cliff Richard’s birthplace, the best-chaat-in-any-city competition winner and the land that lives up to its tagline: ‘Muskuraiye ki aap Lucknow mein hain’.

For a first-timer, the capital of Uttar Pradesh offers a plethora of tourist-y options. We work out a three-day time-travel itinerary for you to soak in the old-world charm of Oudh, mixed with a few modern must-dos.

Culture call

Excited about being in a land that prides itself on the cultural renaissance it experienced a few centuries ago, we check in at the city’s latest five-star property Hyatt Regency Lucknow in Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar. Kumar Shobhan, the general manager, a Lucknow boy himself, gives us a quick take on how through the launch they wanted to keep the stay experience contemporary while focussing on service as the hallmark for the property. “Our passionate, caring and well-trained team, along with the inherent style associated with our brands, will set the stage for dynamic interactions—from a quick coffee meeting to shared culinary experiences, our guests can come together to socialise, collaborate or celebrate.” With 206 guestrooms, including 19 suites, the hotel offers elegantly decorated, bright and spacious accommodations.

We chose to take a suite, which came prepped with the essentials, plus the bells and whistles.

From the 43-inch LED HD television, multi-functional workspace, comfortable seating zone and well-appointed bathroom to the awesome Regency Club access, our stay was what they call ‘Nawabi’ with an edge. This, when the sightseeing is yet to begin.

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