Staying at Alila Fort Bishangarh in Jaipur, India

A complete view of Alila Fort Bishangarh nestling on top of a hill taken from the foot of the fort.

A former abode and battle encampment of numerous maharajahs, Alila Fort Bishangarh today is an upscale boutique resort situated near Jaipur. Home to 59 exquisite rooms that were cautiously restored and brought to life once again, it is a heritage property that may very well be an epitome of transformation for me.

Surrounded by the beauty of Rajasthan’s tranquil countryside, Alila Fort Bishangarh exudes a blissful atmosphere and royal charisma like no other. Sitting atop a granite hill in a small village that still has its anterior charm intact, one can expect to have an unobstructed 360 degree view from nearly every turret of the fort.

Having visited the property in October last year to celebrate my birthday with my family, I cannot emphasise enough what an ideal staycation destination it really is. With an infinity pool overlooking a magnificent mountain range, an in-house organic farm, a rejuvenating spa, and even a hot air balloon excursion available; I truly couldn’t have asked for a better getaway this close to Jaipur.

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A picture of myself sitting in a white flowy dress and looking at a pigeon at one of the daybeds at Alila Fort Bishangarh.

How to reach Alila Fort Bishangarh?

A drivable distance from both the city of Jaipur (60 km from the airport) and New Delhi (200 km), this 18th century warrior fort is located in a small village of Bishangarh that is 6 km off the Jaipur-Delhi highway. Easily navigated through the help of Google maps and the team at Alila Fort that kindly sent directions a day prior to the visit; my family and I loved driving there from Jaipur.

If you are visiting from further away, you can book a flight to Jaipur or New Delhi and then drive from there. In case you prefer a more hassle-free transfer, the hotel also has its own pick up service for most nearby airports. There are quite a few signs in the Bishangarh village that help guide the arriving guests, but even if someone does miss them, it is nearly impossible to not notice this grand edifice from afar.

Arriving at Alila Fort Bishangarh

Wow! From the moment we entered the village, and I got my very first glimpse of Alila Fort Bishangarh’s tall turrets; a wide smile and excitement took over my face. As we drove closer and watched the fort become grander with every passing turn, I found myself wondering about what an incredible birthday this was going to be. 

Inspired by the region it resides in, every nook of the fort speaks volumes of Mughal and Rajput influences. Located at the foot of the fort is a Haveli tent area that doubles as a beautiful reception and restaurant. Surrounded with fountains and utmost greenery, it is an enormous open space where guests are first greeted and presented with a traditional welcome drink.

A picture of a welcome tent with seating area in the middle, surrounded by trees on one side and a pathway for cars on the other.
The Haveli tent area for welcoming guests

Checking in and First Impressions

This unique concept of no formal front desks, but a lounge area where one can sit down to complete the formalities and take in the vastness of the property at the same time came as a total surprise. After driving to the fort from Jaipur, it really was nice to unwind there for a bit instead of having to rush to the room to get comfortable. 

But being the curious soul that I am, I barely sat still for long and started ambling around the beautiful infinity pool and recreational rooms that call this area home. Soon after, we thrillingly hopped on a jeep. An encircling ride with the rural landscape rising behind us took us through the Pehla Darwaza and then to the main fort. The fort is where the rooms, the remaining restaurants and bar, a library, and a luxurious spa are housed.

A view of the rural landscape consisting of houses and temples scattered around a vast landscape and mountains at the back, taken with the sun setting behind them.
View from the drop-off point for the jeep

Reflecting back on the experience of making my way in and uncovering the interiors, I am not entirely sure what captured my attention the most. From the original metres-thick walls and rugged granite pieces that are still present throughout the fort, to the newly added elements such as rustic utensils and keys that are brilliantly placed near the entrance; every façade of the fort felt like it belonged in a history book.

Once inside the main fort, we were greeted by the general manager, Mr. Ginny, who very kindly wished me a happy birthday and offered a warm welcome. Having celebrated my birthday in a few different places over the years, never before have I had such a personal experience where nearly every member of the staff knew that I was there for a special occasion and wished me for the same. Little things like this truly made staying there so much more memorable!

Our Room: The Royal Suite at Alila Fort Bishangarh

Guided along picturesque passageways beholding stories of yesteryear, we hopped in a lift and reached our suite on one of the higher floors of Alila Fort. As we took a moment before going in, the traditional wooden door fitted with two lion faced knockers caught my eye with its intricate details and I couldn’t wait any longer to see what extravagance awaited us behind it.

Adorned with muted interiors, natural teak furniture, neutral walls, and beautifully handcrafted ancient accents was our luxurious suite overlooking the village of Bishangarh. Consisting of numerous large windows, gorgeous curtains, hand block printed fabrics was our humongous sitting area perfect for relaxing.

A landscape picture of Alila Fort Bishangarh's public sitting area with neutral coloured cushions and 3 beautiful jharoka style windows.
Lounge area overlooking the Aravalli Hills outside our room

Soaking it all in, I sat on one of the large daybeds and gazed at the rural landscape on one side and the dreamlike interior of our suite on the other. The antique water pots placed by the bed then caught my attention and I loved how they gave a befitting impression of living in a fort in India’s desert state, especially in ancient times.

Fitted with a huge marble bathtub, his and her sinks with fine-looking faucets, a toilet and a shower was our spacious bathroom. If you have read my hotel reviews before, then you might know how much I love big bathrooms and why this unquestionably checked all the right boxes for me.

The inclusion of eco-friendly products such as bamboo toothbrushes and other toiletries didn’t go unnoticed as well. Nonetheless, the soothing bath prepared with pleasant fragrances and candles after dinner is what remains my favourite thing about having stayed in this beautiful room with a marble tub.

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A picture of myself standing in Alila fort Bishangarh's passageway, framed by an arch on the other side.

Dining at Alila Fort Bishangarh

Lunch by the pool:

Ideal for food connoisseurs coming from all over the world, Alila Fort Bishangarh has five F&B outlets spread throughout the property. From the Madhuveni restaurant and bar offering cocktails with tapas, to the Kachhawa Lounge serving various refreshments from chai to champagne; there is a lot that captures the interest of visiting guests.

We started our staycation with a light lunch at the Haveli restaurant. Serving Mediterranean delights using produce from their own organic garden and seasonal, local ingredients only; it without a doubt was a palatable lunch spot that we enjoyed a lot. The delicious risotto made with local Rajasthani grains that we had there leaves me craving for more, even today.

Dinner under the stars:

My most anticipated restaurant, however, was Nazaara. Open only in the evening, Nazaara is where guests can have a multi-course, dining under the stars experience with Rajasthani food that has been slow cooked in traditional sandpits and fire grills. All of us got the vegetarian selection of the day and started our meal with a Samosa Chaat, Paneer Tikka and Hara Bara Kebab each.

Listening to live folk singers, we devoured our appetizers and asked for seconds of the Samosa Chaat in no time. Soon after, an extensive variety of Indian mains consisting of Bishnoi Kadhi, Dal Bishangarh, Khade Masala ka Paneer, Aloo Seasonal, Gatta Curry, Subz Biryani and more made our way and pleased each of us with our own gastronomical extravaganza.

Including breads of our choice, I particularly loved how everything in this set menu could be refilled multiple times. Watching the folk artists dance under the star ignited sky, we finished our unbelievable dinner with a plate of Beetroot Halwa, Gur aur Kajoor ki Kheer and a Homemade Ice-cream.

A landscape picture of the village of Bishangarh where plenty of green trees are visible followed by a range of mountains and an orange sky due to sunset.
View from Nazaara at sunset

Breakfast in the former royal chambers:

Our last meal at the fort was a breakfast at their all-day dining restaurant, Amarsar. From organic fruits to freshly baked goods to made to order hot Indian and continental delicacies, this again was a meal fit for royalty. Offering a wide variety of traditional Rajasthani breakfast thali, South Indian platter consisting of a Masala Dosa and Uttapam, Delhi Poori Bhaji, Palak Methi Poori with Kala Chana and more; saying that we left here well fed would be an understatement.

A picture of two plates of Indian Pooris (puffed bread) with curries, potato and pickle on the side.

(L-R) Palak Methi Poori and Aloo Puri

Amenities and Experiences

Remaining true to the Alila brand, Alila Fort Bishangarh also curates various personalised experiences for visitors. Other than the five F&B restaurants mentioned above, I was surprised to learn that guests can also choose amongst 22 other private dining experiences when staying here. 

From a fresh meal cooked at their in-house organic garden itself, to a sunrise hiking expedition followed by a breakfast on top of the mountain; one can easily have a unique dining experience for every meal during a week here. If you are a food aficionado like I am, you can even book a Rajasthani Rasoda Masterclass and learn to cook a traditional meal from scratch with one of the chefs in a beautiful kitchen dedicated to this art.

Situated in the fort’s old dungeon, Spa Alila is one of the most tranquil spas in Jaipur. Delightfully carved out between granite rocks, it provides an all-around soothing atmosphere that can be felt as soon as you step in. Due to shortage of time, I unfortunately did not get to experience any treatments on my visit. But if you can, then make sure to ask about their scenic, private hot bath experience (It looked so beautiful!).

I did, however, wake up at sunrise and go to the Haveli area for a swim in the beautiful infinity pool overlooking the organic garden and fruit orchards. Having such a serene sight to myself while other guests were most likely waking up or heading to breakfast, there couldn’t have been a better way to start a new year of my life.

Bird's eye perspective of myself in the pool, its lush green surroundings and the Aravali mountain range peeking in the distance.

A landscape orientation picture of myself standing in the hotel's infinity pool and looking at the organic gardens and fruit trees that are visible from it.

Reasons why I loved staying here

I absolutely loved how involved and well connected the Alila team is with the local village. Strongly believing in the concept of sustainable tourism, the hotel organises private tours where guests can visit and support the nearby artisans. Whether it’s a lunch at a local inhabitant’s house or visiting the Krishna temple, the jewellery makers and the carpet weavers at the foot of the fort; there are plenty of opportunities to connect with the people of rural India.

Another thing that stood out to me was how raw the experience of staying here really was. Having visited many palaces and luxury hotels across the globe, I adored how Alila Fort Bishangarh didn’t feel one bit overwhelming. Despite it being a place that boasts luxury everywhere you look, I really valued how it managed to keep us ashore with thoughtful encounters every now and then.

Last but not the least, I have to mention how the careful restoration blew my mind throughout my stay. Reinstating a 230-year-old warrior fort with no floor plans couldn’t have been easy, but I love how their passion and immense hard work managed to provide ordinary people like you and I an insight into the old-world era with present day comfort.

A photo of myself standing at the foot of Alila Fort Bishangarh and admiring its grand scale from below.

Side of the fort, captured from near the spa

I hope that you liked reading about my experience of staying at Alila Fort Bishangarh as much as I did writing it. In case you have any questions for me or want to share your personal experience as well, then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you! 

Until the next staycation,
Charu xx

Want to keep reading? You might like “Staying at Samode Palace: A Luxury Hotel Near Jaipur” and “Staying at Kumarakom Lake Resort in Kerala” too.

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This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Suman

    I remember seeing your stories and posts from here on Instagram when you visited on your bday. It looked beautiful then, but reading about your experience has made me want to put it on my Rajasthan bucketlist even more! Thank you Charu for sharing such a detailed description, and for your stunning photos that make us continuously dream about travel.

    1. Charu Goyal

      Thank you so very much, Suman. I am extremely glad to find out that you remember watching my stories from here in late 2018. Alila Fort Bishangarh truly is one of my favourite properties and I hope that you get to cross it off your Rajasthan bucket list very soon 💗

  2. Ummi Nadrah

    Hey, Charu! What a dreamy place this is. The architecture of the old buildings in Jaipur is just sooo beautiful. I wish I had known about this fort when I went there. Always love unique accommodation like this. I’ll save it for my next visit.

    1. Charu Goyal

      Thank you, Ummi. This beautiful hotel opened only a few years ago, so maybe that is why you didn’t know about it when you last visited Jaipur. I hope that you get to return to India someday and experience staying here, it really is one of my favourite hotel stays of all time 😊

  3. Kylie

    What a beautiful place!! Your photos are breathtaking, and I can only imagine what it’s like to be there in person!! One day *fingers crossed* 🙂

    1. Charu Goyal

      One day indeed! Thank you so very much, Kylie. I am glad to read that you like my photos from here 😊

  4. Neha

    Wow! what a great way to experience the royalty. The fort looks grand and such lovely views. Would love to visit someday. Thanks for sharing. Lovely pics.

    1. Charu Goyal

      Thank you so much, Neha. Staying at Alila Fort definitely feels like a wonderful experience fit for royalty. I truly hope that you get to indulge in it yourself one day 😃

  5. galatia savva

    this looks like my kind of place! absolutely stunning photos too! thank you for sharing this, this goes straight into my India mood board!

    1. Charu Goyal

      I had a feeling that you would like this, Galatia. Reading your travel blogposts and catching glimpses of your show have certainly given me an insight into the kind of experiences you would prefer. I hope you get to come to India soon and stay at properties like this in Jaipur. Would love to connect IRL and talk all things Cyprus and India one day 😃

  6. Cosette

    Oh, what a beautiful place and stunning photos. Hopefully I can go here someday.

    1. Charu Goyal

      I hope the very same for you, Cosette! It is one of those bucket list places that I really wish more people get to experience. Keeping my fingers crossed for international travel to get back on its feet in the coming months 😃

  7. Katie

    I stayed here a few years ago! It’s such a brilliant unique property, I loved it!

    1. Charu Goyal

      That is so amazing! I had no idea that you visited India in the last few years, Katie. I am happy to find out that you loved staying here as well 😊

  8. Caroline

    This looks gorgeous (and as if it’s built for an Instagram photoshoot!). I love the views framed by those beautiful windows, and you captured it all perfectly.

    1. Charu Goyal

      Thank you, Caroline. The fort has multiple windows like that (in fact some were even there in our suite) and I too love how they frame the picturesque views. You are absolutely right about it being ideal for a photoshoot- I stayed there only for a night and still managed to come back with hundreds of pictures!

  9. Sophie

    Wow this hotel looks absolutely incredible. I visited Jaipur years ago and would love to go back. I’ll definitely be looking to stay at Alila!

    1. Charu Goyal

      That is great, Sophie. It is a little out of the city so maybe not an ideal base to see Jaipur from, but definitely perfect for a day or two of relaxing and luxurious pampering.

  10. Emma

    Oh my goodness. This hotel looks utterly amazing. Your photos are gorgeous and I love how thorough your review is. Definitely need to add this one to my list when I’m in India next!

    1. Charu Goyal

      Thank you for reading, Emma. I love explaining as much as I can about my travel experiences in the hope of them helping another person on the internet. I am glad to know that you liked my pictures from here, the property is so beautiful that it makes photography look easy. I hope you can visit here on your next trip to the country. Please feel free to let me know if you require any more information when that happens 🙂

  11. Krista

    Wow this must have been such an amazing experience to be able to stay here! This is one for my bucket list.

    1. Charu Goyal

      It really was splendid, Krista. I had heard from a few friends who visited the fort before me and formed opinions, but it still exceeded all my expectations. I would love to go back sometime and stay there for longer to experience all that they have to offer! Hope you can visit it someday as well 🙂

  12. Josy A

    It’s not often you get to have breakfast in royal chambers!! What an amaaaazing place to stay! I have been to Jaipur so now I am sad that I missed seeing this amazing fort!

    1. Charu Goyal

      It really isn’t. I remember when one of the waiters told me about it, it took me a second to grasp what it really meant. The fort is recently restored, so maybe it was not a functioning hotel when you visited before. I hope you can make another trip to India sometime and get to experience it for yourself 😃

  13. Helena

    Your instagram really put this fort on the map for me and what a stunning place for a staycation. Definitely using this guide to plan for whenever I can get back to India.

    1. Charu Goyal

      Thank you so much, Helena. You have introduced me to a lot of new places as well and I am really that we got a chance to connect with each other on Instagram. I hope that you can visit India again sometime, it would be wonderful to meet in person and explore some places together 😊

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