The 250 year old Bhainsrorgarh Fort is one of the most spectacular palaces in Rajasthan, built on a 200 foot cliff overlooking the wide River Chambal and set in lovely gardens. In 2007, the palace was opened as a heritage hotel, with just 10 guest rooms providing a wonderfully characterful and unique place to stay, with multiple terraces and verandas. The service is excellent and guests are soon made to feel at home. It is run by the family who still live at the palace and are happy to chat to guests.
All 10 guest suites have balconies, with views over the river and hills. They have ensuite shower rooms and one has a bathtub. Some of the rooms are air conditioned and others have ceiling fans. There are also 4 deluxe rooms, which are slightly smaller. Rooms are supplied with unlimited mineral water and tea and coffee making facilities.
Meals are taken either in the dining room or outside on the terrace. Meals are based on traditonal Rajashtani recipes and is excellent home cooking. Wines, beers and spirits are available. Sundowners are served on the lawn, where barbeques are sometimes arranged.
Bhainsrorgarh itself is a small walled village, and the area around here is unspoilt by mass tourism. Bhainsrorgarh is a great base for exploring the surrounding villages and learning about the local tribal lifestyles. Walking, horse riding and boating are popular activities. Just 15 minutes drive away, the Baroli Temples are an outstanding example of 8th century Hindi architecture in a peaceful setting, while the newly opened Mukund Dara National Park offers the chance of seeing wildlife in a scenic and unspoilt setting.
Few tourists come to this part of Rajasthan at the moment, meaning that you can get off the tourist trail and see an unspoilt and peaceful side of India, very different from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. Transport to the nearby city of Kota, about an hours drive away, is good, and you can travel by road or train from here to Delhi, Jaipur or Ranthambore, making this an ideal addition to a visit to the Golden Triangle or Ranthambore National Park. Travelling east to Udaipur, the roads are very rough and you have to be prepared for a very bumpy ride, but this is compensated by the incredible beauty of the region.
Open: All year.
Location: The fort is located near the village of Bhainsrorgarh in the state of Rajasthan. The nearest railway station is Kota, about a 90 minute drive away, and the nearest airport is Udaipur, about a 3 hour drive away.
Rooms: There are 5 suites, all with balconies overlooking the Chambal river. The suites are all different in design and dÃ©cor and are located on the ground, first and top floor of the fort. They provide spacious and luxurious accommodation and are equipped with mini bars, tea and coffee making facilities, air conditioning and ceiling fans. In early 2013 5 more rooms were added, 1 suite and 4 deluxe rooms. The latter are slightly smaller that the suites and do not have the same views as the suites. The new suite has a balcony overlooking the entrance courtyard and a roof terrace. Unlimited free mineral water is provided. Hot water bottles and heaters are available in the cooler months. There is 24 hour room service.
Activities: Guests are welcome to stroll around the hotelâ€™s gardens and grounds and sit and relax on the terraces and verandas. Fishing, bird watching and horse riding are popular activities. The fort can arrange boat trips on the Chambal river, jeep safaris along the riverbanks and into Mukundara National Park and trips to Bhainsrorgarh village. Excursions to Bundi Fort , Barodi Temples and many other sights of interest near the fort are offered to guests.
Facilities: There are many social areas in the fort as well as numerous terraces and outdoor areas. Meals are served indoors in the dining room or outside on warmer days on the rooftop terrace. The hotel serves home-cooked Indian and Rajasthani meals. Barbecue suppers are popular, too. There is a bar serving a range of drinks including beer, wine and spirits, which can be enjoyed indoors or out on the lawn.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: We recommend malarial prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access. There is mobile â€˜phone coverage.
Notes: Please note that due to the rambling nature of the fort which is situated on many levels and has lots of stairs, this property is not suitable for wheelchairs.
If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking for a royal but local experience then this is the place to be. At Bhainsrorgarh Fort you can enjoy Rajasthani cuisine prepared with delicious local ingredients before being entertained by a cultural dance show put on by local tribes within the regal surroundings of the cliff-top fort.
"Apart from the drive back to Kota station which was far too fast and felt dangerous with no seat belts. Superb place, very relaxed with good service and food. Eating by candlelight on the roof with the Diwali fireworks exploding around us will be a lasting memory."