About a year ago, my friend Archi and I had managed to take a 10 day trip to what we call our own modified Golden Triangle visit in North India i.e. we visited Amritsar – New Delhi – Alwar instead of the typical Agra – New Delhi – Jaipur. While I’ll write about New Delhi and Amritsar in separate posts, this post is about our visit to Neemrana’s Hill Fort Resort Kesroli in Alwar.
We had quite a full Delhi and Amritsar visit, hence had decided to end our trip with a nice relaxing 2 nights 3 day visit to this property and booked everything in advance from Mumbai. Before the actual booking we had come across several negative reviews online and were pretty apprehensive about the place, but then just decided to give the place a chance and went ahead with it.
We had booked a car for the duration of our stay in Delhi and took it for this trip. However, extremely intelligently, we just told the driver that we want to go to the Neemrana Hotel and forgot that there are 2 Neemrana Hotel’s in this area. Also as luck would have it the driver took us to the Neemrana Fort-Palace Hotel which is closer to Delhi on the Delhi – Jaipur Highway. We very nicely went up to reception to check-in; only to be told that we did not have any booking there. At this we were quite enraged and showed them the booking confirmation. Upon seeing that the hotel staff very politely told us that we were in the wrong property. Well this caused us quite a bit of embarrassment and we then decided to leave for our “actual” hotel. Fortunately some of our friends were staying in this hotel so we met with them and had a nice break with coffee and cookies before we left for our long drive to Hill Fort Kesroli.
Because of this detour, the time taken to reach our Hotel was much longer. Added to this was the fact that there were no signages on the roads once we were near this place and had to ask quite a few people how to reach the hotel. However once we reached the Hotel and were checked-in (after saying that yes this is the correct hotel) we forgot all our adventures of the morning and fell in love with “Neemrana Hill Fort Kesroli”. We were also glad that we made the earlier mistake in the morning as with that we realised that we had made the correct choice in selecting this property over the other one.
We checked in into our room in which everything was beautifully done up in Rajasthani prints in blue including blue cupboards. We then started exploring the hotel property.
This place seems like an extremely old haveli “sort of private mansion” which has now been converted to a hotel. And they have everything of old havelis – there are domes, turrets, courtyards etc which have been turned into nice seating areas. The rooms are quite spacious with small windows with views of the village and fields outside. Since this haveli is very old it’s of a slight brown green musty color and to add color they have planted pink Bougainvilleas all over the walls. This whole pink brown green combination just adds to the innate charm and beauty of this place. They also light up the whole place at night with numerous small bulbs and lanterns giving the place a very quaint look.
The booking price for this place includes all meals i.e breakfast, mid-morning tea, lunch, evening tea and dinner (and there is nothing else around the property). The meals are laid out in buffet style but there is an ample variety and choice. And the food is just amazing. The meals look simple but they are one of the most tasty meals that I have ever eaten.
In terms of things to do, there is nothing much around here. You can either go for a village walk / bicycle in the local village / fields or just relax at the hotel. They organize traditional Rajasthani folk singers to perform every evening. I have also heard that they are now working on adding a swimming pool and a spa too. There is no TV in the rooms but that worked for us and added to the feel of the place. They also have a small gift shop which everyone can check out and has some nice bits and pieces.
We just took it easy and relaxed for 2 days. We explored every nook and corner of the hotel, ate to our hearts content, watched sunrises and sunsets, photographed numerous variety of birds, and then just talked and talked. To think of it till date, Archi and I can’t figure what we spoke about for so long but I guess that’s what a relaxing holiday is all about.
You can check out additional info on this property at http://the-hill-fort-kesroli.neemranahotels.com/. To sum it up –
Good Things –
- Beautiful Property with an old world charm. They have restored the property while keeping a lot of its original work intact.
- Awesome food both in terms of variety and taste
- Amazing hospitality and service by the staff
- Fantastic Toiletries.
Not So Good Things –
- Difficult to reach as there are no signages on the road and you end up asking for directions in the last mile. Hence try to reach here before sunset.
- Booking has to be made in advance from a central booking office but it’s not very easy as the response time is quite slow.
- There is nothing around to do or eat and you are majorly within the property. So be sure to bring a book, a loaded iPod and an open mind.