Hotels

A Boutique Hotel in a 230-Year-Old Fortress

Cognac in the Gun Turret, Yoga in the Old Dungeon

By Hadley Tomicki
0821e60b42a0e3bca96a5531d0728aa19 PhotosAlila Fort Bishangarh
Here’s the thing about 230-year-old fortresses nestled in granite hills in India.

Turns out, they really make better boutique hotels these days.

Not to downplay the threat of raiding hordes or anything.

But all is well at Alila Fort Bishangarh, an imposing 59-suite hotel set among the restored glory of Jaipur’s hilltop citadel, now open in Shahpura, India.

Seven years were spent turning this beautiful fort perched atop a granite hill into a dream hotel of respectable lavishness and indulgent leisure. So you’d better appreciate every generously pillowed window seat, heavy wooden door, footed bathtub and restored gun turret you see. And you will see many.

That is, when you’re not off-property looking at India. Or nestled in your room ignoring the 42-inch TV for stunning 360 views of temples through the ornate jharokha window. And you’ll be doing other things, too. Presumably.

Like taking yoga classes at the spa that’s where a dungeon used to be. And traipsing past the property’s banquet lawns and greenhouse on your way to the pool veranda. Or chasing a meal at one of the many restaurants here at a bar called Madhuveni, which has its own hidden cognac and cigar bar inside one of the turrets.

It’d be foolish to waste a good turret.

Hadley Tomicki lives in Los Angeles. He is probably going nowhere on the 10 Freeway this very second.

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