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Alila Fort Bishangarh, Jaipur RAJASTHAN, INDIA

“On a photography trip to Rajasthan, I had the opportunity to stay at the spectacular Alila Fort Bishangarh, an amazing five-star hotel near Jaipur. It was extravagant and lavish and an experience that will stay with me forever.”

The spectacular fort is built on the top of a granite hill in the Aravalli Mountain area. The beautiful form of the fort is reminiscent of the fairytales of our childhood; it stimulates the imagination and conjures up stories of romance and adventure.

Alila Fort Bishangarh defines what heritage hotels are all about, a 230-year- old castle in a dramatic setting and converted into an outstanding luxury hotel. The extensive renovation process took seven long years to complete and resulted in a magical place of magnificence and beauty.

The renovation of the Fort retained all the original exterior structure preserving the beautiful form of its architectural design and features. All the windows, entrance portals, arches, columns, railings, jaali screens (latticed windows), turrets and walls have been kept true to their original design.

Internally fifty nine luxury suites have been created; each is spacious and fitted out with all the comforts of modern living. Most of the rooms feature a large bathtub designed to suit the fort’s ambience and romantic feel. Fort Bishangarh is a historic landmark and a unique example of Jaipur Gharana architecture, a fusion of Mughal and British architectural influences. It is also probably the only warrior fort to be converted into a heritage resort. The hill of the fort houses a restaurant, a courtyard, terraces, banqueting lawns, a play club and a gymnasium. On the lower slopes, guests can enjoy a swim in the beautiful infinity pool, and enjoy Mediterranean cuisine and a drink at the Haveli restaurant while enjoying the peace and quiet of the area. From the pool, you get the stunning views of the fort and the Aravalli hills. The fort is not the only stunning attraction – the food was spectacular. At Alila Fort Bishangarh, sustainability is very important. There is an organic garden, a fruit orchard and a greenhouse established amongst the ravines. The foundation of the cuisine is based in its simplicity and its freshness, a “straight from the garden” concept that is directly reflected in the taste of every meal. I was amazed by the phenomenal tastes of Rajasthan cuisine prepared using techniques inspired by traditional methods of cooking food in clay pots that are buried in hot sand.

There are a number of dining options to choose from. Outdoor on the terrace, there is Nazara offering dining from the grill with spectacular landscape views. Indoor, there’s Amarsar, a spectacular restaurant and by far my favourite room for its aesthetic and ambience. The restaurant serves international cuisine. Amarsar was where I had my breakfast each morning and a great place to start your day. Other dining options include the Madhuveni Bar, which has a cigar lounge, a unique selection of whisky and cognac and you can sample India’s red and white wines.

Several times each day, musicians play showcasing Rajasthan’s traditional musical instruments. Guests can also enjoy performances by dancers while dining on the terrace in the evenings.

The resort offers various activities including camel rides, hiking in the Aravalli Hills and visits to the village of Bishangarh to experience local life, culture and craft traditions. After a busy day, guests can relax and refresh in the resort’s unique spa.

Throughout my stay, I was impressed by the wonderful service and hospitality of the staff, attentive and professional they ensure that you have the best stay possible.

How to reach to Alila Fort

Bishangarh Alila Fort Bishangarh is in rural Rajasthan, between Delhi and Jaipur. The resort is a one hour drive from the closest airport at Jaipur and three hours drive from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport. You can book a hotel transfer from the resort.

Rajasthan is one of the most visited states in India. Alila Fort Bishangarh is a very special place which, with its unique heritage, offers an experience you will always remember. It is well worth a visit and a place I certainly look forward to seeing again.