Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel

Heritage Mansion in Lucknow

The hotel driver, the escort and their refurbished old Ambassador car met us to take us to the Heritage Mansion in Lucknow, now converted into Lebua Lucknow Luxury Boutique Heritage hotel.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel.
Grand view of Lebua Lucknow from its lawns

As we make our way to the hotel, a lot of heads turned. That gave us a thrill which a celebrity feels on having been recognized in a strange place. However soon we realized it was not us (sigh!) but our distinctive yellow car that was causing so many turns of heads. It was always the same, a look at the car and a glance at us to see who in the world are travelling in this. Anyway we felt quite distinguished.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel , Roomi Darwaza
Roomi Darwaza, Lucknow. In the foreground our bright yellow car.

After negotiating a few lanes, which gives us the indication that we are perhaps in the central part Lucknow, we enter The Mall Road and into a huge wrought iron gates which gives us the first hint as to the age of the building ahead.

The Hotel

This 2-storyed art-deco building was originally named Saraca Estate, due to the abundance of Saraca Indica, commonly called the Ashoka trees, in its 1.5 acre plot. These trees are supposed to be more than 100 years old! The mansion was built in the year 1936 by an officer of the British-Indian Army. The original owners were already running a sort of a boarding house when this property was acquired by a Lucknow born Abdullah and his wife Nayab, recently.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Lucknow Lebua Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel at night

The couple transformed this weather beaten bungalow into a luxury heritage hotel with a perfect blend of the modern comforts with the original opulence and partnered with Lebua group of Thailand to bring to us this unique experience called Lebua Lucknow, Saraca Estate. The words of Mr Faisal, General Manager, India, that Lebua is a combination of the French word Le meaning “The” and Thai word Bua meaning “Lotus”, resonates in our minds while we check into our suite on the first floor.

lebua lucknow luxury boutique heritage hotel
The well at Lebua , Lucknow
Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel , Roomi Darwaza
A vintage car almost as old as the Saraca Estate built in the year 1936, if not older. Lebua Lucknow.

While it took 2 minutes for us to reach the room duly escorted, it took 5 on the way back as we got lost in the maze of staircases. Was the architect inspired by Bhul-Bhulaiyan (Labyrinth) , a well known tourist spot on top of Bara Imambara, I wonder. Hahaha!

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
One the many stairs at the hotel.
Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel , Roomi Darwaza
Badha Imambara, Main entrance façade, Lucknow

Rooms

There are 41 rooms and suites and no two of them have the same dimensions. However the underlying theme of the décor is always the same, reminding us of this land of Chikan and Zardozi.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Elegant room with designs from the bygone era of Nawabs,

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block

We were guided by smartly liveried staff to the first floor suite, facing the front lawn. It was not a suite as per the classic sense of the word in that, it was a huge hall divided into useful spaces by intelligent placement of furniture. Of course there was a huge private balcony overlooking the lush green lawns.

The old fashioned bedstead on which a modern high quality mattress to address the comfort shows how the old and the modern have been seamlessly mixed. The green cushions providing the contrast in the other white bed seems to match the emerald of the lawn outside.

The colored glass panes gave it a look of the yester years. I remember some of the very old houses belong to our relatives had them. In fact similar panes were mounted on a wooden bracket to hide the incongruous air conditioner!
While high quality amenities are provided in the room, what caught our eye was the electric tea kettle made of ceramic. That was new to us and somehow accentuated the character of the room.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel.
Tea Service at Lebua Lucknow

The bathroom was quite roomy with her and him wash basins, which alongwith high quality bath products meant that we could look forward to refreshing bath or shower after or forays into the city of Nawabs.

We were lucky to move into the biggest suite after a couple of days. Access to the room was from a large covered sit-out with comfortable chairs and old fashioned recliner too. The room was well furnished and so was the bathroom. The handles of doors and wardrobes were made of Chikankari wooden blocks.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Chikan Block handles and colored glass panes reminding us of the years gone by.

Dining

About dining experiences at Lebua Lucknow, the words won’t do any justice. I wish our tongues could speak!

Azrak, the signature restaurant, served traditional cuisine from the erstwhile princely states (including Awadhi) and served exotically named dishes fit for the royalty. Meal after meal the likes of Papad Mangodi ki Subzi, Diwani Handi, Paneer Khatta Pyaz and a variety of rice, dal and rotis kept us licking our fingers and drooling for more! In Urdu Azrak means blue, perhaps named so because of the blue floor tiles!

At Azrak Chinese or more correctly Pan Asian cuisine is also served. We particularly relished the Crispy Veg Mongolian style. In Urdu Azrak means blue, perhaps named so because of the blue floor tiles!

luxury boutique heritage hotel lucknow
An old Lambretta scooter depicting India’s Italian connection.

Ristorante 1936 belts out authentic Italian dishes and is quite popular with the guests and also with Lucknow people. Named after the year of construction of this estate, this ristorante provides indoor and outdoor seating (just like in Europe!). When we had our multi-course dinner one night we found that from Antipasti and Zuppa to Portata Principale , transported us to Italy and reminded us of our time there. We ended our dinner with Chocolate Fondant for Dolce. What an indulgence!

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Lucknow Lebua Culinary Delights
Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Lucknow Lebua Culinary Delights
Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Lucknow Lebua Culinary Delights

Sehen, with old brick floor, is a dining area, open to sky, in the courtyard surrounded by some greenery and overlooked by the many terraces. It is quite the center of attraction literally. The theme of the night’s dinner was Awadhi. Some exquisite creations from the Chef with offerings like Kuti mirch ke paneer tikka, Mawa mewe ki seekh, mushroom ki galawat (true to its name just melted in the mouth) and a glass of red wine kept us warm in the chilly night. We are sure the non veg selections Galawati Kabab, Murg Tikka mirza hasnoo , would have been equally delicious.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
A view of Lebua Hotel from Khema.
Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Shivam  Mishra captured in a wine glass setting the atmosphere at Khema (a tent in Urdu)

The well rounded gastronomic experience ended with a dinner at khema, meaning tent in Arabic and tent it was. The highlight of the evening was live music by the very talented Shivam  Mishra (whom we later saw in Rising Star 2 TV programme too) to the accompaniment of western and Indian fusion cuisine. Moongdal ki Aranchini with salsa for starter and Ravioli of Paneer capsicum bhujia in makhani sauce for main course were just out of this world.
Lebua Lucknow has indeed raised the bar as a veritable culinary must-stop in this city of Nawabs.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
One of the back lawns converted into breakfast place on a sunny day.

Lebua Lucknow is in the process of establishing a terrace dining space too. That would be awesome!

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Terrace Top Bar – being created

Activities

Lebua has in its folds a team of experienced tour operators and guides who know the city and its history very well. It was a great pleasure and beautiful experience when we saw the regular historical sights like Bada Imambara, Chhota Imambara and walk through the Rumi Darwaza, exploring the grounds of La Martiniere and hope to bump into the Ghost of La martiniere and so on.

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
La Martiniere Boys’ School, Lucknow. Are the ghosts still there?

The tours could be customized based on interests. We also tasted some awesome street food.

Other facilities

While our stay inside the room was made comfortable by the decor and furniture, there were enough spaces outide the room to spend quality time, other than dining too!

Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
A compact gym to take care of guests fitness regime, if they ever do get time from exploring the city of Nawabs.

There was a small but reasonably well equipped Gym that helped us shed those extra kilograms assimilated while enjoying the cuisine in the hotel and in Lucknow! There is a swimming pool too but the weather was too cold for a dip. However just sitting by the poolside with a cocktail was refreshing enough.

Baradari is a large banquet hall next to the pool and is apt for meetings and training or even small parties. For larger parties, the lawns provide right ambience.

Location

Lebua Lucknow, the luxury boutique heritage hotel, is located bang in the central part of Lucknow and is next to the sprawling bungalow belonging to Mayawati. It is close to many historic places and also the Gomti River. Many old buildings can be seen to be along the river.
The airport is just 14KM away but may take upto 30 minutes drive owing to traffic delays.

You may also want to read other accommodation reviews.

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Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel. Lebua Lucknow Chikan Block
Printing blocks for Chikan work, a kind of Lakhnavi embroidery, are used as door handles.

Disclaimer: We stayed at Hotel Lebua, Lucknow at their invitation but the opinions, as always, are own.


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41 thoughts on “Lebua Lucknow, A Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel

  1. I experienced the Lebua hospitality at Jaipur and now you have tempted me to plan a trip to Lucknow. A city that I have always visited in a hurry as part of some other work, never really to explore it the way I would want to.

  2. So many things I want to say!
    First, I NEED that ceramic kettle, it’s gorgeous.
    I love historic hotels and that one takes you back in time to a what to us seems a more civilized and genteel era.
    I know what it feels like to drive an antique yellow car and everyone stops to look at you, wave and take pics. You do feel like a celebrity

    1. Oh! I actually checked if they would sell those electric kettle but it seems it is part of custom order 🙁
      Ha Ha .. it surely was fun, being driven around in the Yellow Ambassador. Would have loved to drive the other vintage car.

  3. This resort seems like a dream, but as a Canadian, I wasn’t sure what country it was in. I’m guessing India, but I could likely be wrong. I’d love to know more details on the exact location.

  4. Upon reading the title, I was wondering if this hotel is related to the one in Bangkok. Turned out it actually is! Then my attention was drown to your yellow car. Seriously, to me it’s the cutest car I’ve ever seen! Now about the hotel, it looks like the place I’d really love to stay. I’ve always love vintage buildings with rich of history like Hotel Lebua Lucknow. I would definitely join their customised tour specially because I’m intrigued by the Ghost of La martiniere 😀

    1. Yes . It is part of the Lebua Group from Bangkok. Bua in Thai means Lotus. That’s the connection. Do let us know when you plan to come to India, Debbzie.

  5. This looks like a great place to stay. I love the architectural details and the bedrooms look both comfortable and attractive. Spacious too. Arriving in the yellow car is a nice touch!

  6. What a luxury treat to be met by a driver from the hotel – especially in such a vintage car. I am always interested in understand the history of older hotels. The rooms and restaurant looked great. It looks like a good spot if we ever find ourselves in Lucknow.

    1. It was a luxury to be met by the hotel driver but just to set the records right. We were ferried in the Yellow Ambassador car you can see in the Roomi Darwaza photo. The vintage car (probably a morris) could not be relied upon for such purposes. It could probably do some short trips.

  7. Such an impressive hotel, great way to convert a mansion. The details and size of the room are impressive. Once they finish their terrace, al fresco dining will be amazing.

  8. Amazing Hotel! I was really stunned with the decoration, the ambiance, the service, and the facilities that they have here to make you feel relaxed and enjoy every minute of your stay here. I love the picture of the old car and the well, they are old but still lovely. Roomi Darwaza is such a perfect piece. Thank for sharing!

  9. The hotel’s set-up for dinner looks pretty romantic! I love how they’ve put up live music to serenade you as you ate dinner! Overall, the hotels sounds pretty impressive. They must be really popular in the area if you got stares when you arrived via the hotel’s car.

  10. Looks like a quaint and charming hotel to stay at. Love the fact there is a gym here (as I am a bit of a fitness freak) so would seriously consider staying here. Have bookmarked this page as I hope to be in this area very soon and hopefully I be staying here.

  11. Lucky car for making those heads turn, sorry passengers. Seriously, the structure’s exterior, as well as its rooms and other facilities, live up to its billing as a heritage hotel. The owner made a fantastic job of transforming it. Lebua has also some interesting sights worth checking out.

  12. It is so funny that everyone was look at the yellow car! Great picture of the guitarist in the wine glass, very creative and it stirred a response from my entire family as they read this article over my shoulder. The hotel sounds wonderful and like a great place to stay.

  13. The Lebua Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel looks like a great place to stay. I love the way they have maintained their traditional decor along with modern comforts. Handles with chikankari work is really nice. I loved your pictures. You have captured the essence of place so well.

  14. Love the history and the intricate decor. That door handle is amazing. Because I’m all about the food, the food look outstanding. That round dish with the small little bowls. Yum…give me some of that right now. I have not been to India yet and I hope when I visit at some point, I get to experience the gastronomy and the Lebua Luxury Boutique Heritage Hotel.

  15. Ahh…what a beautiful hotel — and quite a luxurious experience. I love that no two rooms are the same, yet each has its own distinct taste and amenities. The vintage car escort would also be amazing, as I love old cars! And I just have to say, I laughed when I saw your photo of the guitarist captured in the wine glass! Great photos and a wonderful showcase of the Lebua Lucknow Luxury Boutique hotel!

  16. I love heritage hotels and this seems to be a lovely one! Lebua’s hotels are usually really good, luxurious with excellent service and I love the spacious rooms, the food looks spectacular and the well at the entrance as well as the lambretta scooter is a good artistic add.

  17. It is, I think, that attention to detail which makes Lebua Lucknow so special. Those Chikan Block handles on the cupboards and the ceramic kettle (I’ve never seen one before either, but it is really pretty! What a great recommendation.

  18. What an absolutely beautiful hotel! I love how they have accented the style with antiques such as the car and well. It makes the whole experience so much more authentic.

  19. India has some lovely hotels in historic buildings! This looks and sounds like a beautiful one! And that terrace dining space is definitely going to be a great addition!

  20. This place screams boutique since they put special touches on just about everything it seems. I loved your photos that capture the details of the glass and doors, it shows the history combined with the modern luxury. I had never heard of this part India before I would love to go!

  21. We got to tool around in a car everyone looked at once on holiday – it really is an experience not to be missed. Completely eclipsed by the hotel itself mind you (and the food). Looks like such a fabulous place to stay.

  22. What a lovely hotel in one of my favourite cities in the world! Next time I go there, I am sure to check it out…and that might be pretty soon actually 🙂

    I also love that they have a gym too…it’s something I value a lot these days 🙂

  23. Heritage Mansion in Lucknow is a great place who wants to experience the rich heritage and the royal touch. The blog also describes the other tourist spots of Lucknow and gives a detailed explanation of them. I really loved the writing of the blog. Thanks for taking us into the historical and bygone era of Nawabs.

  24. I’ve been wanting to visit Lucknow since watching Daawat-e-Ishq. I love how many things there are to do here. The hotel looks luxurious. I love the chikan block handles and colored glass panes (so pretty). Also, the restaurants sounds mouthwateringly delicious.

  25. Lebua Lucknow seems to be a new property. I love all the food, we are planning a food-intensive trip when we got to Lucknow, so this inspires me more. The printing bock door handles are so creative.

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