Faletti’s Hotel is the oldest colonial hotel in Lahore. It opened in 1880 in the old walled city. Back then, it claimed to be one of the finest hotels. By modern standards, this is not a big place, but it is certainly one of the most sought after. It retains the colonial architecture along with a matching attitude. One of the reasons that Faletti’s continues to attract so much attention is to do with the famous guests that have stayed there, over the years.
Read about the origins and owner, Giovanni Faletti on Faletti’s website.
A fascinating account in Dawn about the owners changing hand:
According to tales recounted by old hotel employees, Faletti’s Hindu clerk, Oberoi, offered to buy some shares, and Faletti was so impressed and delighted that someone whose job was to haul coal for the rooms had saved enough to buy the shares of his hotel that he allowed him to become his trusted employee. When Faletti finally left Pakistan, he gifted Oberoi all his hotels on the condition that he would not change the name of Faletti’s. Oberoi stayed true to his word and earned so much from just Faletti’s alone that he invested in a hotel in Delhi, the famous Oberoi, following which he established more hotels in India…After the 1965 war, Oberoi decided to move to India and sold majority shares of the hotel to PTDC — again on the condition that the hotel name would not be changed.
Everyone from the great Quaid-i-Azam to Hollywood actors have stayed at the hotel. Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger stayed here for three months during the filming of Bhowani Junction, which took place in 1955. The room in which she stayed is now known as the ‘Ava Gardner Suite.’ Marlon Brando stayed here when he was visiting the country on behalf of UNICEF. One of the Chief Justices of Pakistan, A.R. Cornelius, took up residence at Faletti’s and stayed at the hotel for over 40 years until his death in 1991. Whereas Mohammad Ali Jinnah stayed at Faletti’s when he came to Lahore to argue the appeal of Ghazi Ilm-ud-Din Shaheed before the Lahore High Court in July 1929.
Other guests have included the cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, and Mohammad Rafi.