We loved our staycation at Tijara Fort Palace by Neemrana, an exquisite property in Alwar, Rajasthan. A perfect amalgamation of luxury, quietude and old world charm, where time seems to stand still. This stunning palace dates back to the 19th century and has now been converted into a gorgeous hotel that not only offers verdant views and warm hospitality but has numerous tales to tell of the bygone era.
Hotel and Location
It’s 118 km away from Delhi and takes around 2.5 hours depending upon the traffic, an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the otherwise busy city. I absolutely loved the location, it sits atop a hill offering unobstructed views of the fields all around that instantly calms your senses and that’s exactly what I needed. The approach road to the palace could be improved.
We drove on NH48 before turning on the Alwar highway, meandered through various villages, fruit vendors and flock of sheep before reaching our destination. We could see a grand palace from a distance situated on an uneven hill, the mere sight of it was incredible! We drove uphill for sometime to reach the fort-palace and there we were at the Haathi Pol/elephant gate where we were greeted by the darban. One could only imagine the grandeur of this magnificent palace with expansive views! While we were checking-in, I started with the mandatory photo-ops. The bellboy took our luggage to Rohit Mahal in Mardana Mahal complex which was at the other end of the fort. I loved the stoned pathways, sprawling gardens, fountains as we walked towards our room.
The Room and Amenities
The rooms or Mahals as they call here are designed very tastefully keeping comfort, luxury and sophistication in mind. They currently have around 70 rooms across the fort located in the Rani and Mardana Mahals. The details of each Mahal is mentioned on their website for one to choose. Talk about being spoilt for choice! We stayed at the gorgeous Rohit Mahal in Mardana Mahal which opened to a gorgeous courtyard and had a private balcony. The rooms are huge with high ceilings and beautiful intricate details. The bathroom was quite spacious, had a bathtub, shower and was equipped with hairdryer and other toiletries. All the rooms (mahals) are embellished with the marvellous art of renowned designers and I was smitten by their stupendous work. In fact, the rooms are named after them, how interesting!
The fort is divided into different sections. Mardana Mahal (King’s palace) with gorgeous Darbar Mahal (a place for the meetings), Rani Mahal (Queen’s Palace), Hawa Mahal (Palace of winds) perched on top offering sweeping views of the castle and countryside where the evening tea is mostly served, Kaanch Mahal is where the restaurant is located overlooking the gardens, camel structures and a vintage car. The stunning swimming pool is at the Khajoor Mahal. Every nook and cranny here tells a story!
Pet Friendly Suites
Why should only you have all the fun, isn’t it? If you want to bring your furry baby along, they’ve got you covered! Your pet is allowed everywhere except for the restaurant and the pool, the heritage property is huge and comfortable for your doggo to run up and down, chase squirrels and catch the birds!
Rajasthani food is to die for, don’t you agree? The breakfast buffet consisted of a lavish spread from seasonal fruits to waffles, Chole Bhature, Pyaz Kachori, Aalu parantha, egg, sausages, different kinds of bread, and a whole lot of other dishes along with fresh juice and tea/coffee. The chef and the staff was very courteous, and sure knew how to make lip smacking dishes! For lunch and dinner, they’ve à la carte as well as buffet depending upon the number of guests. Do try their Rajasthani sev curry, it’s divine. Don’t miss the evening tea time, I used to look forward to eating delicious butter cookies, pakoras, sandwiches, chocolate brownies and other yum snacks. You could either have it at the restaurant or outside at the Kaanch Mahal garden, it’s also served at Hawa mahal, I personally loved sipping my tea at the Kaanch Mahal garden while watching the sunset, listening to the mild folk music and chirping of the birds.
The pool views were nothing short of magical, the approach to the pool made it feel like a secret hideaway. It’s next to Rani Mahal, elephant statues and large carved pillars give it a distinctive and resplendent look. Going for the swim every late afternoon had become a ritual for us. The changing rooms, rest rooms and open shower are next to the pool which overlooks the gorgeous alleys of the Rani Mahal. In addition to the swimming, you can go for the self-jungle trek behind Deewar Mahal. After all that delicious food, you definitely need to burn some calories for another scrumptious spread!
History and Folklore
The construction of the Fort-Palace was started by Maharaja Balwant Singh way back in 1800s by the artisans from Kabul and Delhi in the memory of his mother Moosi Maharani who had committed sati. The premature death of the king left the work midway. This project was undertaken by the Neemrana group; there were only three structures before it was leased to Neemrana, the Mardana, Rani and Hawa Mahal. The architecture is a mix of Rajput-Afghan style with pronounced colonial influences. In 2016 Neemrana Group of Non Hotels opened this marvel to the public. They’ve managed to integrate the new structures so seamlessly that one can’t find the difference between the old and new.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Food: 9/10
- Service: 9/10
- Overall experience: Amazing 9/10
We had an amazing time, if you’re a sucker for tranquility, culture, luxury and comfort then this’s the perfect place for you. It’s kind of a hidden gem, not as popular as Neemrana which gives you a chance to have the entire palace to yourself making you feel like a royalty!
Have you been to this hotel or any similar place which is a walking art gallery like breathing life into glorious past, evoking stories of the bygone era? Let me know, would love to visit there!
Keep travelling and romanticising life.