There are a number of distinctive properties that are former palaces or fort/palaces that haven’t made the full transition to modern hotel standards, but which are enjoyable places to stay because they retain an authentic charm sometimes lost in the designer make-overs. Guests forgive the hotel the faults, the minor discomforts, the lack of professional service and the unreliable hot water or unreliable wi-fi because they make up in atmosphere what they lack in five star standards.
Roopangarh Fort Hotel fits this profile. Those intending to stay should have modest expectations and read the reviews with care.
The best point about the property is that it is absolutely full of character.
It is a palace/fort with large terraces and spaces. Wide galleries overlook the interior of the palace grounds and surrounding village from the second floor. There is a striking white mausoleum-like temple on a raised dais at the end of the tennis-court/football ground main terrace.
The rooms are all different and some (such as the Maharani’s Suite and Room 3) are enormous. Among the family heirlooms that decorate the palace there are some charming items as well as decaying vitrines of Victorian tobacco tins, mediaeval weapons, and rusty padlocks. Some parts of the property are well restored and others are ramshackle. The surrounding grounds are neglected on the whole.
Bathrooms are generally modern and well appointed with hot-water immersion heaters but eccentric flow. The beds have clean linen and are fine if firm. The staff are local men who are untrained and not very fluent in English (or French or German) but who are willing and try to please and satisfy the needs of guests. They have had considerable experience and can generally work out what it is that guests need.
We stayed four years ago and wrote an enthusiastic review for TripAdvisor. The guest book is full of fulsome praise for the property and the staff. Some aspects of the property are truly splendid.
As another previous reviewer wrote, there is not a lot to do or see at Roopangarh. The tour of the village was very interesting in 2011, with its artisans making jewelry for the pricy shops of Jaipur. We found that rarest of things – Rajasthani bargains on our last stay here. Alas, no more. That cottage industry has vanished from the village and moved to more profitable pastures. You can have a village visit but it hardly differs from the hundreds of similar visits on offer throughout the country. We found our village tour unremarkable - some children asking for pens and everyone wanting their photographs taken. The villagers are not rapacious or pestering but neither are they unaware of tourists.
The region is noted for its marble quarries and factories. If marble is your thing you can visit the marble factories though you cannot avoid seeing them on the ten kilometers or so from the highway as you drive to the village.
As for the down-side of the stay at the fort, the food is okay. Breakfast is uninspired. The new wi-fi introduced in 2014 didn’t work for us at all. The property is a maze of high stairs and steps so it is not for the less than nimble.
We were pleased to be remembered by the staff who looked after us four years ago. They did their best to make us feel at home.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Roopangarh Fort is a vast war Fort and has been over 350 years in the making. It has been painstakingly restored and renovated as a heritage hotel, especially for those who enjoy a sense of history and seek a story from the silent walls. Surprisingly large guest rooms, four poster beds, colonial Indian furniture, open log fires in winter all assure you of a warm welcome. Combined atmosphere of splendid views from the massive terrace and magical evenings under the clear sky with piercing desert music is intoxicating. Add to this modern day facilities and your holiday is truly memorable. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Roopangarh Fort Kishangarh, Rajasthan