Located on the bank of River Gomti, Clarks Avadh lets you experience the world of nawabs and enjoy royal hospitality in the heart of Lucknow. By Bayar Jain
I was often reminded of my Uttar Pradesh origins while growing up. Though my family hails from the northern state, it has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. So, when I planned my visit to Lucknow, I was determined to change things around. Staying at Clarks Avadh in the heart of the Nawabo ka Shahar (city of royals)—Hazratganj (now known as Atal Chowk)—was the first step. The location is quite convenient to visit all the must-see sites of the city.
The first thing to strike me about Clarks Avadh is its quiet disposition, a departure from the bustling main road outside. A huge, airy hall with yellow couches, fresh flowers, and a low-hanging chandelier make the property warm and welcoming. There is a modesty, which is a rarity in an industry where five- star properties vie for opulence.
As I step out of a wooden elevator into the corridor, I spot images of the city’s bygone days on the walls and dummy ornate wooden jharokhas. By now, I have let the mood of Lucknow wash over me. My room’s view takes this up a notch. I open the drapes to be confronted by the hotel’s plush green lawn below, and the River Gomti beyond it. Inside the room, the design is minimalistic. All the rooms of the hotel—Executive, Club, and Suite—offer the same view. While the Executive Rooms have an undercurrent of tradition, the Club Rooms blend comfort and luxury. The Suites have a wonderful mix of both, and come with a living room and a jacuzzi to boot.
My mornings begin with a breakfast spread at Le Bougainvillea, the all-day diner at the property. Beyond the glass doors of the restaurant, an eye-catching black and white chequered floor is occupied by couches and tables. As I bite into my croissant, I see freshly made parathas being whizzed out of the kitchen.
The hotel has six indoor conference spaces, each heavily booked throughout the year. While Anarkali, their smallest conference hall, dons a corporate avatar suitable for round-table meetings of up to 20 people, the fully carpeted Rang Mahal I and II reflect the regality of
the city with their Mughal-style decor. Mehtab, 32 Steps, and Aftab Manzil are the other indoor halls, each of which can be customised.
At Clarks Avadh, guidelines given by the World Health Organization have been implemented to ensure a safe and hygienic stay. Anyone who enters the premises is screened, and body temperatures are noted.
Once the sun goes into hiding, I head to Falaknuma, the rooftop Awadhi restaurant at the hotel, for dinner. A romantic vibe envelops me as soon as I enter. The restaurant is done up with candlelit tables, delicate ornamentation, and intimate seating. A live ghazal performance silences the rumbling of my stomach. As I’m lost in the music, the chef comes
by to recommend the Falaknuma dal and roomali roti. I am a little skeptical at first, as it is very difficult to Awadhi flavours just right, but my fears are quickly assuaged—the food is delicious and authentic. The Nawabi mushroom is as an apt starter, and ghazals, the perfect dinner playlist.
As I stare out of the window, tucking into my gulab jamun and watching the city quietly trod along, the Lucknawi inside me is finally realised.
The nearest airport is Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport (13 km), which is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
Clarks Avadh, 8, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Narpatkhera, Hazratganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Starts at INR 4,999.
Between October and March.
Families and MICE travellers.
Visit the retail hub of Hazratganj (now known as Atal Chowk), which is lined with shopping complexes, restaurants, theatres, and offices. Shop for chikan, garments with the intricate, traditional embroidery style of Lucknow. You can also visit nearby tourist attractions
like the Imambara Complex, Chhatar Manzil, and The Residency.