After endlessly waiting for monsoon and for relief from pandemic, the traveller within us gave in to the temptation of a short break. It was Hill Fort Kesroli for us this time as heritage forts of Rajasthan have always allured us. The heritage hotels, especially in Alwar are a stone’s throw from Gurugram and attract a large chunk of tourists from NCR looking for a weekend getaway.
Since we had explored Rajasthani culture during our stay in the luxurious Dadhikar Fort in 2019, we expected less from Hill Fort Kesroli. (No)Thanks to the pandemic. Social distance, masking up, sanitized premises, vaccination, negative RTPCR report and a lot of other things kept clouding our mind. However, much to our relief, all our worries were taken care of.
Who they are and why we felt safe?
The 14th century Kesroli Fort is a part of the Neemrana group of hotels where quality and safety are highly prioritized. The premises is thoroughly sanitized and checked for hygiene. What amazed us was the “disinfected” tag on the electric kettle, cups and glasses in our room. The staff keeps wearing masks and never take them off. Every room, hall and outer premises has hand sanitizers available. Seating in the dining hall, garden and by the pool is well spaced which leaves you no stress of social distancing.
Facilities and activities in Hill Fort Kesroli
Well, since there is an unceasing list of the facilities mentioned in their brochure and website, we will not bore you with it here. We will talk about what we experienced.
- Durbar hall
Besides being used as a waiting lounge, the durbar hall is a common entertainment room with indoor games, books, TV and ancient artefacts.
A cupboard full of books made so much sense because none of the rooms have a television set. The TV is available only in the Durbar Hall. We borrowed There is something about you which we finished in a couple of hours and photojournal Shades of Kashmir that gave us chills in the spine. The collection of books is incredible.
- Swimming pool
A four feet deep pool along with kids’ pool in the premises allure you for a dip to cool off on hot days. However, the pools are not operational currently to avoid contamination or COVID infection. The cultural program in evenings take place in the pool premises.
- The pretty garden
Lush colorful garden area not only rejuvenates you but also gives you ample photo opportunity; like it gave us 😊
- The spacious rooms
The rustic walls, dim lighting, jharokha, aged paintings and antique finish furniture together create an old world charm in the spacious rooms. Honestly, it did not seem too grand or unique to us. Two separate beds were a turn-off. However, birds chirping outside the window and sighting of rare ones did bring a smile to our faces.
What to not/expect in Kesroli Fort
- This heritage hotel has earned a reputation of a weekend destination near Gurgaon. The premises is not as large as Neemrana Fort hotel or Dadhikar Fort and has the same kind of services and rooms. So, you can expect a royal treatment and a lavish stay.
- The premises is rugged and stony, starting from the steep entryway to the pool area. In conclusion, Hill Fort Kesroli is not wheelchair friendly.
- The most notable thing is its location. Kesroli hotel is not a hillfort, much against its name. It was probably once located in/near the Aravalli range which gradually vanished. It is located flat plains, surrounded by villages and farms. Hence don’t expect a great view or vantage point of hills. The approach road towards the hotel was under construction and we had a tough time reaching there.
- Also known as Neemrana Fort Kesroli, the property has more rooms hence less vacant spaces for events. The garden, terraces and pool area are the only places where you can walk around.
- Birds and artefacts inspired the names of rooms. For instance, Mayur Mahal, Teetar Mahal or Deepak Mahal.
Where and How to reach
Neemrana Hill Fort Kesroli is located in Alwar near MIA Post Office Bahala. Only few local buses ply on the route. So, the best way to reach is to drive. Take NH248A and not the local roads which are in pathetic condition. It takes about 4 hours to from Delhi to reach Hill Fort Kesroli and roughly 3 hours from Gurgaon.
Though we rate our experience in Hill fort Kesroli as average, yet the change was refreshing. Rains made the weather pleasant and made our stay worth it, considering our frustration from summer heat and working from home for months!