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“worth every rupees”
Review of Ahilya Fort

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Ahilya Fort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Maheshwar
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 22, 2011

from the moment you arrive until when you have to leave this place is pure pleasure. The ambience of the rooms decor, the flowers and plants everywhere, the food is the best I have ever had in any Indian Hotel (and in a different place in the fort every meal), the 4 pug dogs who make you feel you are at home, the pool, the wonderful staff service, the way you can have a drink at the bar and it is not charged, the sunset boat ride with afternoon tea and not to mention THE NGHT DINNER TRIP to the Island which was just incredible. My friends and I could not fault this Fort. The best part is not having to open your wallet for tips, internet or drinks etc, everything is included. Hard to get to but well worth it in the end.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank AmandaKIndia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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141 - 147 of 196 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2011

As I am a Tour Escort , I know so many hotels in India but this one is really something out of the world. Not many know about this hotel , I cannot even call it a hotel , it is a home in a garden with its own charm, situated on the banks of Narmada . Even my own foregin friends would go swim every morning of our stay in this river. I cannot tell you about the evenings in this place . You have to go and live.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Rajainde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2011

This was my fourth trip to India; my first visit to Maheshwar. Ahilya Fort is the first Heritage Hotel I have booked. My wife and I booked a spacious, well-appointed standard room for two nights as a Christmas present to each other. The hotel is luxe in a very charming and understated way. The service is excellent without being intrusive or obsequious, the multi-course meals were some of the best I've had in India, made from family recipes with ingredients grown on the grounds. The location of the fort/palace/hotel on a bluff above the beautiful - and swimmable! - Narmada River is outstanding. The view from the patio at sunset brought tears to my wife's eyes when first viewed the evening of our arrival.

Meals, alcohol, tea included in the tariff. No tipping during the visit. You are encouraged to leave a tip for the entire staff on departure. Am eminently reasonable and congenial policy.

In summary a great place to chill, well worth the expense, and the travel to and from Indore. Not a lot to do in Maheshwar other than chill. Day trips can be arranged to a nearby temple town, which I'm told is terribly crowded, and to Mandu, though there is enough to see in Mandu to warrant spending the evening there. Given the hassle and adventure of travel in India, I found Ahilya Fort to be a welcome respite and would gladly have spent an extra day.

Prince Richard Holkar is a surviving member of the royal family who owns and operates the hotel. His taste is evident. He is also actively involved in the well-being of his former subjects as evidenced by the school he has established and the handloom factory which employs women from the town. The fabric is exquisite and garments can be tailored to your specs.

Room Tip: Purchase the family cookbook.
  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank eheston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2011

Our booking was difficult and no apologies forthcoming. The first night we spent in Looboo's Lodge, a miserable space where the cracks in the door admitted mosquitos, they had sprayed it with some ghastly smelling chemical, but did at our request find bedside lights. There was not even a brochure to inform us of the activities available. Very second rate. The second night we were moved into a lovely room with balcony and all that one would expect of a Relais Chateaux hotel.
There are seven 'luxury' rooms and three others and a couple of tented spaces. Friends occupied the standard rooms and they were dark, uncomfortable, the hotel dogs slept outside their door and barked on and off all night. The ablutions of the Indian staff could clearly be heard in the early mornings, travellers to India will be aware of the hacking, spitting and coughing which goes on.
There is a distinct feel of 'them and us' about Ahilya. If one is 'someone' you are likely to get special treatment, like champagne offered on the tea time boat trip, or dinner also on a boat with other boats carrying food and a bar in attendance. Whilst it is entirely the perogative of the owner to chose his companions from amongst his guests, it does make those left behind feel like second class citizens and appears rude.
It is an expensive hotel which is fine if one gets what one pays for. There seems to be no reason why all the rooms should not be of the same standard. Constant outbreaks of rage could be heard from arriving guests about their accommodation.
We were subjected to a long and tedious concert one night where drinks were not allowed, there seemed to be no choice in this matter.
The swimming pool which is beautifully situated had loungers covered in bird droppings and no one came to ask if we'd like a drink, a towel or anything else.
Lunches were excellent, dinners less so although the pre dinner nibbles were delicious.
The Indian manageress is delightful and tries her best against the odds to sort out problems. She is in charge of grouping people together for meals which in our case worked out very well but this is not always the case.
With reservations one would recommend this hotel but they need to be very sure of the quality of their room before booking.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank jennymakepeace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2011

My first suggestion is that you never make our mistake of booking a standard room as the three rooms that are put in that category are not even fit for staff to sleep in. Having changed rooms twice, the final room overlooking the courtyard by the village entrance had an old dressing gown used as a curtain. We had very little sleep as the nightstaff and others were on duty outside our window and the noise went on all night. One couple who were offered the first room we moved from had such a row, they left the hotel instead of staying there. The food was delicious and we loved the different locations for each meal. We were rather surprised, however, by the host, Mr. Richard Holkar, choosing half of the guests to go to dinner on his boat while leaving the others feeling like second class citizens dining around the pool. As all the guests pay to stay at this hotel, this lack of courtesy does not become the owner . Sadly we left the hotel with a bad taste in our mouths but if you make sure you have a de luxe room it is a good place to be.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank keentravellerSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2011

See the earlier review dated March 26, 2010. It strikes the right balance. Expect a rustic, rough-hewn place with character and charm. This ia a beautiful place but do not expect polish or luxury. The location above the town and the river is very nice, and so was the view from our roughly $500 "Royal" room. I thought the food was exceptionally good. One downside is that as I sit here typing, our "Royal" room is literally swarming with gnat-like bugs, and I did just see a cockroach scuttle along the floor. Bugs keep landing on my arms and chest even though the lights are off and the fan is blasting on the highest setting. Many people would have a difficult time with the bug situation but I'm trying to ignore it. My willingness to try to ignore the bugs says a lot about how much I like this place overall.

Our other quibble is that the manager asked us to vacate the room by 9am tomorrow (we said "no") This is the first time we've ever been asked to checkout early from a $600 room. The request was weird and rude.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Jackjacksonville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2010

Stayed one night (family of 5 including 2 teenage girls in 2 rooms). Arrived 5PM as planned and everything was great until next morning when we were told that we will have to pay for lunch since we didn't show up until evening and they had prepared lunch for us. I told them and showed itinerary that we had planned to arrive late. Hotel said they had it in writing from my travel agent and travel agent said he told hotel to contact our driver regarding on the ground realities. In this "he says, she says" situation, we had to leave without lunch since lunch for 5 would have cost Rs. 6000! Informed Mr. Richard Holkar about this and the response was that they in future will try to handle this in the spirit of customer service.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank msagar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ahilya Fort

Address: Ahilya Wada, Maheshwar 451224, India
Location: India > Madhya Pradesh > Khargone District > Maheshwar
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Maheshwar
Price Range: $452 - $481 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ahilya Fort 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The majestic 250 years old Ahilya Fort sits on the edge of a cliff, high above the sacred Narmada River, surrounded by the beautiful and unexploited town of Maheshwar. The views over the river and ghats are exceptional. Replete with myths and legend, Ahilya Fort offers guests a rare chance to get off the tourist trail and an abundance of things to see and do. With the fabulous, deserted city of Mandu nearby and the famed island temple of Omkareshwar even closer, this is a place at which to spend time and relax but from which you can also explore the area, undisturbed by the other tourists – a stroll down through the town to the ghats is a must. The food is delicious and it’s all-inclusive so, once here, you pay for nothing – be it food, excursions or e-mail! The pool is lovely; terraces and shady areas abound; meals are taken in different areas of the fort; the charming rooms and tents have superb views, balconies & gardens; the weaving center here is famous nationwide. A boat trip at sundown is something you will never forget. Truly a memorable place where you could spend days or weeks!There are 10 bedrooms scattered around the premises and the rates include full board and all excursions. It is the most perfect base for visiting Mandu (1 hour away) and is just a 2-hour drive from Indore. It makes the perfect place to end or start a holiday, as there is so much to do. From here you may also visit Dhar, Baneshwar and Omkareshwar. Being a gourmet himself, your host Prince Richard Holkar has the highest standards and the food here is delicious. Staying here is like a time wrap as the village is still enclosed within the fort itself and is truly wonderful to explore in your own time. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ahilya Fort Hotel Maheshwar
Ahilya Fort Madhya Pradesh

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