Lonely Planet Writer

India's newest five-star resort is a former fortress high on a hill commanding 360-degree views of the desert

India’s newest boutique resort is due to open in April, and it’s stunning, both in terms of it location and also its history.

Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Fort Bishangarth
Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Hotels

Alila Fort Bishangarth has been built in a former warrior fortress that stands high on a granite hill, commanding 360-degree views of the Rajasthani desert.

Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Fort Bishangarth
Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Hotels

The original 230-year-old fort has been left intact, complete with turrets and arched windows, and a new structure was added to house the guestrooms and public area. The fortified seven-foot-deep walls still retain their openings for cannons and guns.

Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Fort Bishangarth
Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Hotels

The new construction was designed to complement what is considered to be a remarkable example of Jaipur Gharana architecture, and it has marble floors and stone walls.

Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Fort Bishangarth
Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Hotels

Located at Bishangarh Village in the Jaipur District, the hotel is 6 km off the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway and easily accessible from both Delhi and Jaipur.

Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Fort Bishangarth
Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Hotels

Guests can stay in its 59 suites, each of which is designed to capture the incredible landscape views through large jharokha-style windows.

Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Fort Bishangarth
Alila Fort Bishangarth is a former fortress that commands 360-degree views of the desert. Image: Alila Hotels

As a special touch, the hotel will offer cigars and cognac served in a turret, and it has a luxurious spa situated in what was once the fortress’s dungeon.

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