It has a remarkable presence, sitting up high on a granite hill with staggering 360-degree views of the Rajasthani landscape, surrounded by hills and dotted with havelis, villages and temples. A tiny village skirts its base and adds to the rural charm. This imposing structure is fortified by two-metre thick stone walls and majestic turrets with wonderfully intricate arched windows and jaalis — a perfect example of the Jaipur Gharana architecture influenced by both the Mughals and the British. The use of traditional materials in a contemporary manner is the basic design ethos.
The quest in the preservation of this ancient warrior fort inspired the creation of a world-class boutique resort for guests to appreciate the beauty of the Aravalli hills. The project grew out of a love for the heritage outpost and the surrounding landscape, with sustainability as a core commitment. All residential rooms and public areas are within the fort premises. Guests rooms have been created by strengthening the existing structures and adding on partition walls and picture windows to vantage views.
The Fort comprises of a tall central structure and the low-level podium, all located within the original premises of the property. One block of rooms was built from the central living area within the main structure that existed in the original fort where the King and nobles stayed. The other block of rooms is housed in the contiguous lower level structure where the soldiers stayed. Each of the 59-suites has been custom designed to make the most of the stunning views from the large openable windows, resulting in 22 different layouts. Rooms come with all the modern conveniences, including expansive bathrooms, footed/inbuilt bathtubs and large day-beds.
Within the fort are various exciting F&B options innovatively curated by a renowned chef. There’s Amarsar, an indoor speciality restaurant and Nazara an outdoor grill dining venue on the terrace, with spectacular views. Madhuveni is the hotel’s bar, with a cigar/cognac turret and there is also the Kachhawa Lounge serving the 4 C’s – Champagne, Coffee, Chai and Cakes. The library, amidst old marble pillars is where the Alila journeys begin. Spa Alila, carved out between granite rocks, is located in the dungeon within the main fort. Darbar, a large grand banquet hall, Daawat, the show kitchen cum event dining space and Saheb, the conference room, round off the banqueting experience.
Meanwhile, down the hill is the Haveli where some public areas are housed, comprising the arrival courtyard and tent, luxurious banquet lawns, the pool, pool veranda and terrace, a bar and pantry, fitness centre and the Play Soldiers Club for teenagers and toddlers separately. An organic garden and a greenhouse set up amidst the ravines and various lounging areas located in this rural landscape brings one up close with nature.
Bishangarh Village in the Aravalli hills is in the Jaipur district. It is a three-hour drive from New Delhi and an hour’s drive from Jaipur. It is ideally located to explore the charm and beauty of rural Rajasthan with Alila experiences covering five core themes:
Rates at Alila Fort Bishangarh start from $280 per room per night. Price based on two people sharing, on a room only basis (excluding tax). For more information please visit www.alilahotels.com.