Surrounded by the enchanting Aravalli Hills, perched atop a granite hill, discover a 230 year old fort— the only warrior fort in the country renovated into a magnificent retreat. Alila Fort Bishangarh redefines luxury in a way that no heritage property has done — far from the trappings of decadence, paraphernalia and adornment that are associated with “palace and fort” hotels across the breadth and length of India. This resort is designed for quiet indulgence, for those who appreciate minimalist luxury and tranquility.
Refreshingly unique, you will see no ostentatious décor, no gilded ceilings, vintage pictures or crystal chandeliers. There’s none of that. But what you will find is décor which ranges from oversized urns and pots used at one time to feed an army of Rajputs.
Dimly lit hidden escape routes serve as corridors leading to stark-luxury. Protruding granite chunks and exposed rock face meet you at different turns, while a dungeon discreetly moonlights as a spa. The staff are most pleasant and their uniforms are far from the common parody of yesteryear livery. They wear contemporary designer styles. This stunning new hotel is a work of both passion and patience. The all-suite resort might be one of Alila’s most ambitious projects to date, having taken a decade to renovate; one ancient rock at a time.
So what makes Alila Fort Bishangarh so impressive? For one its bold, striking architecture appears seamlessly sculpted from the surrounding rustic terrain, and as far as the eye can behold it’s just open expanse. The 360-degree views at the rooftop are the closest to sky you can get while your feet stay firmly planted on the ground. The 59 stately suites (incomparable in size) are individually created to capture the views, the atmosphere and the tranquility befitting a fort. Committed to historical preservation, this landmarked property can give any heritage resort a run for its money. The decade-long conservation project has been designed by Jaipur based architects, Sthapatya with a focus on the ecological restoration as well. It still features the fort’s original two-meter-thick walls, its battlement turrets and arches.
When it comes to its history Fort Bishangarh is a unique example of Jaipur Gharana architecture, influenced by both by the Mughals and the British. In a quaint village in the Shahpura district, the premises belong to the Royal Shahpura Gharana, established by Rao Manohar Singh in 1584. The Shahpura thikana had been a part of the Jaipur Darbar, ruled by the Suryavanshi rulers from Amber Fort. Fort Bishangarh was built by Rao Bishan Singh, the ruler of Shahpura district from 1793 to1810 as a warrior fortress in the last few years of the eighteenth century. Over the duration of its transformation, the soul of the fort has been passionately brought to life, recreating the courtly style of royalty while retaining its inherent simplicity.
The royal residences are a hallmark of Alila’s innovative design and luxury ethos, set apart by an unprecedented level of private space. Each room is fitted out with artisanal impeccability, luxurious amenities and privileged sizes. This basically means if you can resist the surroundings and the views, there’s absolutely no reason why you would want to leave the luxuries of your room. Each suite features a thick mattress which makes you feel like royalty, a day bed, a writing desk, a dining table, sunken bathtubs etc etc… (Yes it’s all just enviable).
Some of the best hunter cuisine served in the North of India can be found on its rooftop restaurant Naazara with authentic Rajasthani sand cooking methods. Dine under the stars or then enjoy a Mediterranean menu by the pool modeled on the farm to table concept with produce grown in the resorts organic garden. One of the key features of the resort is the crafted artisanship, personalised hospitality, and bespoke experiences it has to offer. There are a variety of half day or full day excursions and activities to explore. Alila Experience comprise of five themes: Cultural Learning (love of history & artisanship), Conscious Living (wellness, environs & community), Active Spirits (outdoor sporting pursuits), Culinary Arts (Cooking School & Food Trails) and Couple Celebrations. Guests choose from various journeys specifically curated to suit thier preferences.
If that isn’t enough Alila Fort Bishangarh serves as one of the most breathtaking settings for a wedding or any milestone celebrations. What are you waiting for?