They say that unplanned vacations are the best. True, but partially true. What I say if you plan the right way, planned vacations can also become an amazing memory of your life, in fact, worth remembering. That’s why I also decided to go on a planned trip and guess what, this time I chose history and old fort over luxury and high-end buildings. So, we (two people) made our way to one of the oldest forts called Hill Fort Kesroli. This 14th-century old palace is renovated in such a marvelous way that you won’t feel like its decades old.
The fort is an absolutely terrific treat one can gift themselves and if I have to describe my experience with Hill Fort Kesroli, I would call it relaxing and blissful. A captivating place to stay with old mahals transformed into modern rooms, various activities, charming gardens, and greenery where I simply couldn’t stop clicking pictures certainly made my week sorted. Now, when I am back, I feel like it’s my duty to share my experience and side-by-side make you aware of the property. So, if you ever plan to visit the fabulous place, this would help you out.
Also read: Our travel experience to Neemrana Fort Palace.
How to reach Hill Fort Kesroli
You must have heard about ‘The Golden Triangle’, Hill Fort Kesroli is situated in the same. 150km long drive from Delhi, the fort becomes an idyllic weekend destination for all the Delhites out there. Well, there’s no other direct way to reach your destination, so just hop on to your car and enjoy a 3-hour drive to Alwar. The beautiful vast roads will let you see greenery on both your sides and make it an absolute bliss.
Day 1 – Great view, helpful staff and a feel of Royalty.
We reached the Hill Fort Kesroli around 2:00 pm and directly met Mr. Vipul, talked to him for a while and got the keys of our room. And the moment you enter the palace, you’ll be welcomed by big trees, beautiful courtyard, and amazing lightings (if you’re visiting the palace during evening time).
So, we stayed in the Sitara Mahal that was the only room on our side of the room, thus total privacy. We had our lunch where we were served a mix of Indian, Continental, and Rajasthani food. Trust me, the food was next level and we ate to our heart’s fulfillment.
Then, we had some rest and around 5:30 pm we decided to explore the palace, especially the poolside as we were told that you can see the best sunset view ever from there. We made our way to the swimming pool, dip ourselves in the cold water, and enjoyed a never-seen-before kind of view.
The first day passed by at a very normal and calm pace. We took some beautiful pictures of the property and one thing I must tell you that you should not expect much pampering from the hill fort like you would get in a 5-start hotel. But you can definitely expect a relaxing weekend with the most peaceful environment while staying connected to the roots of the city. After a few hours of exploring the place, we had our dinner and went back to our room for the beauty sleep with excitement for the next day.
Also read: Best time to visit Rajasthan
Day 2 – Tour of Mahals
So, our second day got started with lots of zing and spark because this was the day we were going to learn every bit of the palace. We got freshen up, had our breakfast and left out with our camera, go pro, and a notebook to make notes of a few interesting things.
First of all, Hill Fort Kesroli is not a very huge property and you can take a tour of the property in a day. And if you’re here for more than 2 days, you can visit one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan, Alwar, which is around 15km from the hill fort. Okay, coming back to the point how we spent our day at Hill Fort Kesroli. We started out with exploring the beautiful mahals of the fort and one of the staff members helped us out in the same. Thus, I will be beginning with those outstanding mahals and other things we discovered and found worth seeing or visiting.
Let’s get started with the Darbar Mahal or you can say the sitting area of Kesroli. The place where the guests can wait around in case of any situation, where the authorities have made arrangements for their entertainment if by chance they have wait to for long. So, you can either play indoor games like carom or read a magazine or just watch the television.
What we loved the most about Darbar Mahal that this mahal has a threshold for 3 other different rooms namely Mubarak Mahal, Raunak Mahal, and Neelkanth Mahal. All the rooms have arrangements for your stay that includes single and double beds, separate bathrooms, and a little study table. Also, from the windows of all the rooms, you can catch a glimpse of beautiful village views. In fact, one of the rooms has kept the old-style toilet (not for the use by the way).
Mahals for Families
If you’re a family or a group of maximum of 7 people, Hill Fort Kesroli has taken care of them as well while considering their privacy and comfort. So, if you ever plan for a family get together or you want to celebrate with your group of friends, you can select any of these pair of rooms: Bhawani Mahal and Shankar Mahal, Sitara Mahal (we were staying in the same) and Hindola Mahal, or Nirmal Mahal and Mangal Mahal.
All these rooms are adjacent or in front of the other but have a connecting terrace, thus gives you freedom from interference yet keeps all the members connected. Shri Mahal and Pitambar Mahal is another set where a total of 5 people can stay the same way, but the terrace area of this set is quite big and mind-blowing from where you can have the view of the entire village.
Mahals for Couples
Hill Fort Kesroli has one floor dedicated for around 6 couples namely Rajhans Mahal, Maina Mahal, Koyal Mahal, Narendra Burj, and Mann Burj. The floor is perfect for a big crowd who doesn’t want to stay far from the other. Every room is absolutely different from the other and is uniquely designed. And hey! Since I have mentioned the section as Mahals for Couples, it doesn’t mean that they are only designed for them. A group of 12 can easily grab all these rooms and have a gala time together.
Here comes the biggest mahal of the hill fort. Fawn Mahal is usually preferred by those who want luxury and big enough room that includes a really big sitting area, uniquely styled furniture, some magazines for your entertainment, two separate washrooms, two single beds, one double bed, and a semi-circled shape balcony from where you see their organic farms.
I mean what else would anyone need when they have some much comfort in one place? All in all, if you’re a total number of 4 people, do not miss this excellent Mahal and enjoy a great experience.
This was one of the mahals I found really interesting that eventually became one of my favorites as well. The reason being, the interior and décor, the space, and the way to wonderful ‘Surya Ast Bagh’ attached to it. This huge garden-like area is not just the right place to watch the sunset but is also used as an area where one can ask the officials to make the arrangements for wedding ceremonies.
The place can host around 100-120 guests at a time. Also, during winters facilities of tea and snacks is made for all the visitors. And getting the keys of this mahal means moving to different places in the fort like the swimming pool and the dining area will become a breeze.
Quietest Mahals of Kesroli
Yes, you heard that right? There are two amazing mahals in the hill fort, which are highly preferred by those who don’t want any kind of disturbance and only pin drop silence.
The mahals are present deep down the fort and you can actually hear the echo while talking and walking down the way to the mahals. Both the couple mahals namely Jai Mahal and Rawal Mahal sit very close to each other. Another interesting thing about the mahals is that they remain naturally cool during summers and winters as well.
Hey, another way you can stay with your group or family and yet rejoice in together. Hill Fort Kesroli has 5 stunning duplex mahals, which are quirky and contrasting from the other.
Separate bedrooms, washrooms, and a small study table make these duplex mahals a perfect choice for a small group. You can make a choice from Pratap Mahal, Sultan Mahal, Sugni Mahal, Abhaneri Mahal, and Bawri Mahal. Also, for the information, except Sultan Mahal, all the four mahals have double beds for both the rooms, thus a right choice for a group of 4.
Aina (Mirror) Mahal
Next in the line comes this really eye-catching mahal of the fort i.e. the Aina Mahal where unfortunately cannot stay, but can enjoy to the fullest. The Mahal is covered by big mirrors on all the three sides and mesmerizing marble staircase in the middle where you can have a seat, play small games, have musical nights, or simply have a chit-chat session with your partner or group.
The mahal even has a vintage car-styled couch. Go and sit like a boss and get a picture clicked to post on your Instagram handle. And did I mention that the room doesn’t have an air-conditioner and not even a fan? Relax, the room stays relaxing and cool naturally. So, the more heat outside the more chilly inside. Isn’t that so amazing?
Here I end up with a piece of knowledge about some recommended and fantastic mahals of Hill Fort Kesroli. There are many other rooms you can select according to your needs and budget. All I would say is that each and room is unique in its own way and though you may not find them very luxurious, but they can let you have a real feel of history and old-styled décor.
Also read: Our Kasol Travel Experience.
Things to try when in Hill Fort Kesroli
What do you need after two hours of climbing and coming down the stairs, and tolerating scorching heat of the sun? Well, everyone has their own preferences, but what would if I say that go and get a relaxing spa treatment? Or if I ask would you like to swim like a fish in the giant swimming pool? Or what about going for a workout? Well, the hill fort comes up with a lot of options for your entertainment and here’s the detail of everything we tried.
Food: Go anywhere and you cannot ignore good food, and when somewhere in the city of Rajasthan, it is absolutely not possible to neglect Rajasthani food. Well, we feel lucky enough that we got a chance to try the true Rajasthani flavor here at Hill Fort Kesroli.
And not just this, but they also let us try their Continental, Chinese, and Punjabi food. After a talk with their head chef, Mr. Arun, we came to know the secret of the taste and freshness of their food. He told us that a maximum number of fruits and vegetables are grown in their own farm and they take spices from the local.
Well, I have a very long list of what I tried for 2 days, but someone has to ask my recommendation, do not miss trying their gatta curry, laal mass, chicken, pasta, paratha, dal bati churma, and shahi tukda. All in all, I would say, when in Kesroli, do not miss any of their meals and eat till your heart says THAT’S IT.
Spa Treatment: Okay, so this was the best thing that happened to us on our 2-day trip. Before lunch on our day 2, we move towards their spa for the detoxification.
According to me, there’s no other than having a calming spa treatment that works for the wellness of our body, mind, as well as the soul. Before we went for our couple spa, they asked us to fill up a form in order to know prior to how we want our treatment to be done.
And trust me, we totally forgot about everything (where are we going next, what else we should try from the food menu, how should we make our work better etc etc etc.), had a lovely massage, and let ourselves live in the moment. Also, the staff welcomed us with a smile and warm gesture and was really cooperative with our plea.
Swimming Pool: If not a spa treatment then definitely an hour in the swimming pool. And oh my god, what should I say about Kesroli’s swimming pool? I have never seen such gorgeous poolside with a stunning sunset view and a wide sitting area on all the sides.
They have kept sturdy and beautiful chaise lounges on one side, a few sets of tables and chairs on the other, and the other sides are left empty to have a walk along the poolside. Altogether, I can say that this was our favorite spot and definitely the favorite activity to indulge in.
Billiards: Wait, the list has one more thing for you, especially those who are not interested in any of the above activities.
The hotel has made a separate room for this fantastic game called billiards, and I can say it without a doubt that the area was the most pleasing place out there with perfect interior and an elegant balcony where you can simply sit back and enjoy the entire view of the village.
Cycling: You can pay a visit to the small and beautiful villages around Hill Fort Kesroli, and learn more about their simple yet satisfying lifestyle. As the sun goes down, you can hop on to one of the cycles provided by the hotel and explore the outstanding culture of the village.
Workout: To all the fitness freaks out there who cannot miss working out for a single day, here’s something for you as well. The hotel has now started its own gym with top-notch gym machines and other facilities.
Unluckily, we couldn’t try that because they will inaugurate it in a few more days. So, if you have plans for the next month, chances are more that you can try out their gym as well. Thus, no more compromise with your regular routine of workout even when you’re on a vacation.
So, trust me. This is one of the perfect weekend gateways from Delhi. Visit it and I guarantee you won’t regret.
You can Book you room from Neemrana’s Official Website.