I traveled from Delhi to spend a weekend with my spouse and also catchup on some work locally. Even though i have been traveling to Neemrana for last 3 years, i never fathomed that the fort which is a destination of its own could be so engaging. For new comers, Neemrana Hotels (the company) develops boutique properties with not so hotel feel, which means the opulence of traditional hotels is missing while keeping the uniqueness of the property intact. Neemrana Fort is also on the same line. It is essentially a 14th century fort (left in ruins but brought back) with few additions done in 17th century & major works happened in 21st century (which is in the last decade) including addition of majority of the rooms, pools & other public areas. I wish these were part of the original fort but have to accept they are new built to look like heritage by placing good antiques & giving each room a unique identity. Some of the rooms are better than others so i suggest anyone to call the hotel directly and ask the following questions
a. How far the room is from the main reception, swimming pool & main dining hall? - for mobility constrained & finicky
b. Does the room have a window & outdoor seating? - i like natural light in my room. essential for 1 person room
c. Does the single room have a wider single bed or smaller single bed? - single travellers
Getting to the room is a maze which i simply loved (but to each his own) and was located in between both the pools. Lower pool is shallow and apt for adults & kids and the higher one is strictly for adults. Go half and hour before sunset in the higher pool and enjoy the magnificent views while in the pool . No beverage service at pool so it is worthwhile to carry some water etc. with you. We also tried the Spa & gym which was frankly average although staff was extremely courteous. What is very different about the place is the courtyard inside the spa is lit by small openings in the roof which are essentially the bottom of the pool above. This arrangements makes water sparkles in the entire courtyard which was a pretty 'special' effect.
I had a 3person & a 1person room and both were comfortable cannot really say well appointed which is due to the obvious setting.
1. As close to fort living as possible.
2. Charming property with its small galleys, hidden courtyards & multiplicity of viewing areas. Each room, each corner gives a unique feel.
Could be better-
1. Service - The company has done a brilliant job of training the locals to manage the hotel. Once identified what the customer really wants, the staff did go the extra mile. However, what i found lacking was the 'identification' - it took quite a few calls to get their attention, staff would huddle together to discuss on something while only few tended to tables, incase the dining is full they were not able to tell the incoming guests that its full from outside & the guests had to come inside & float around for free tables, etc.
2. Food - No matter how much they say food does need to be prepped up. Still very average.
3. Warning signs - being what it is, some areas of fort do need warning signs, few areas slopes are very slippery & it rained a little the day we were there which made some slippery slopes more like skating rink. Upper Pool last stair is VERY edgy - scratched my foot (not very deep) & hit a low passage doorway in low light. (being a 6+ footer isn't really a boon)
Important to Note
1. The fort is located on a hill which is accessed via a small twisty lane & up a steep rocky incline (low ground clearance cars beware).
2. Give the property a call to really get to know the room before hand.
3. Saturdays get crowded (weekend). For real peace and better rates try it on a weekday.
4. Carry some of your own beverage (beer, wine...) and find a cosy corner with a view and spend some quality time with your SO. (You might not get beverage service where & when you want it).
5. Book Zip Lining (Flying Fox) in advance while booking your room. For summers do the first round in morning or last one in evening. (20 mins of trek & 1.45 hrs of zipping & waiting for team to zip)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Over the last three decades, the ‘Neemrana’ of the stunningly restored 15th century Fort-Palace, has come to mean many things. For architects it is a unique example of utter waste turned into a 14-tiered marvel with palace wings, courts and stepped gardens, felicitated with national and international awards. For guests, it means discovering over five centuries of history experienced with modern comforts. Only 100 kms from Delhi, just off the main highway NH8 to Jaipur, Neemrana Fort-Palace is a favourite site for celebrations, feasts, conferences, a quiet retreat for yoga and relaxation or India’s first site where you can indulge in five thrilling zip-line tracks that literally fly you in the sky. Built since 1464 CE, on a plateau of the two billion year old Aravalli ranges, this 14-tiered property sprawls across 10 green hectares / 25 acres. For guests, this offers 72 rooms / suites, 3 conference halls (Jazam, Qanat & Kasturi), hanging gardens, arched pavilions and balconies. The upper levels of the northern wing of the Fort-Palace can now be accessed from the car park by a 110 feet high lift which leads by the Saat Bagh to a second box lift. This architectural wonder can now also be enjoyed by the elderly and the less-abled who can be shown the upper parts carried on a palanquin chair by four able men ! Neemrana Fort-Palace has two spectacular pools that lean out to the sun. The upper pool is heated in the winter months to take the enjoyment of sunsets to another level. An intimate play area for young toddlers & the adjacent Neemrana eco-farm have been added recently so that you consume healthy organic food. Try our Maha Burj gold-platter thali for Rajasthani cuisine, or the buffet with a variety of cuisines that suits many palates. Wander the 2.4 hectares/6 acres of Palace with a self-guided multimedia tour. Ride a camel/camel cart or a vintage car. Walk out to the 16th century step well which descends 7 floors into the earth. Feel a new Indian high. To have you here is to share our life’s vision of how ruins can revitalise a whole region. Neemrana not only strive to revive and restore the heritage structure but it also generates jobs and economic opportunities hiring and consuming locally. It is no wonder that Neemrana has been listed in the 100 things you must do on the planet Earth before its time for you to leave it ! But when this list was made, only one Neemrana existed – now there are 23 ! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Neemrana Fort-Palace Hotel Alwar
- Neemrana Fort Palace Rajasthan
- Neemrana Fort-Palace Alwar, India - Rajasthan