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Reviewed 10 August 2013

When you walk into the Neemrana Fort, a certificate hangs on one of the walls letting guests know about how the fort has been transformed from "utter ruins" to what it is now - a heritage hotel. There is a sense of pride in how this "national dustbin" was not let to lay as a bygone but was restored to its deserved grandeur, and rightly so!

A job well done perhaps on all those counts! But that's about it. Neemrana presents itself as a small luxury non-hotel hotel but fails to deliver on luxury or even very basic standards expected from a hotel. It might prove to be a nice experience for tourists who are looking to snap some nice pictures and experience a gorgeous view from the fort (which it really is) but definitely not for a seasoned traveller. Here's why –

1. Room expectations and the reality.
I think the Neemrana team should reassess their website, especially their gallery which is not well populated and has pictures that I think are slightly misleading. We had booked Panna Mahal at INR 8000 a night (approx USD 130) after spending an hour or two on the website trying to get our research right to find the best room within this price category.

The room we walked into, was a bit of a shock - given its size and the fact that it had very little moving space. It had a balcony and a room upfront with a single bed. Due to the rains, we couldn’t hang out in the balcony (which was a pity, because it did have a great view and would have been a lovely private sit-out for breakfast) The room with the single bed was completely useless given that it was flooded and I had to wade through water to go in and out of Panna Mahal at all. We asked for a change and were moved to Manak Mahal which did some justice to what Neemrana promises. This room had connectivity issues - we were hardly able to get in touch with the reception and had to walk down quite a bit to ask a simple question or place a request.

Also, the beds in our rooms were so bad that we spent two very sleepless nights with terrible back aches through our stay.

So my expectation wasn't met. However, I could still have made peace with these inconveniences. I cannot, however, make peace with floating turds across toilets in the fort because none of them had a strong enough flush that would do what they were meant to do! I couldn’t use the toilets in my room so I had to run to the public washroom downstairs next to the reception which too was invariably not clean and could not be used.

Besides this, the property has poor signage - for a fort so big, it's very easy for guests to get lost and while that isn't always a bad thing it is important that when someone wants to find their way back to their room or to the pool or reception, they should be able to. We had some help every time we bumped into a staff member, but some of them were rude and would just point in the general direction of nowhere.

2. Food, oh the bitter sweet symphony!
Terrifyingly bad! The Indian food was doused with copious amounts of oil. Just looking at the layer of oil on the surface of every dish in the buffet across meals gave me a heartache, which inevitably turned to heartburn within minutes of leaving the restaurant area. ). Also, dear team at Neemrana if you do not know what Gnocchi is, DO NOT make it. The staff also got some of the signs wrong and were blissfully unaware of this (so were the guests it seems!) - the terrible looking and tasting spinach toast was labelled gnocchi and vice versa.

If the quality of the food is bad, its pricing is atrocious. The meals were very expensive and do not do justice to what Neemrana apparently stands for in terms of quality. The saving grace is that the food is so bad, if there is anyone who wants to go on a diet or fast can start all of it at the Neemrana Fort!

3. Help? Huh, what's that?
We decided to leave for dinner on our second night and were headed to Daikichi for some authentic Japanese food. The restaurant is part of Days Hotel which is very close to the toll on the highway. We requested the reception to send us a driver (they had three of them available) so that we could take our own car, only to be flatly rejected. I thought our request for a driver should have been given some heed since traffic is terrible around Neemrana with roadwork everywhere and the highway choc-a-bloc with trucks, making it unsafe to drive - especially for people who are new to the area.
We left Daikichi around 10 PM to head back and not only got stuck in traffic but also got diverted with no idea of where we were headed and how to get back on the highway. Given the state of security in northern India, as a woman I felt extremely uncomfortable being on the road at that hour. We somehow managed to find our way back to a very desolate and rather street light-less Neemrana village at 1130PM.

4. Pamper me silly? Not…exactly!
The spa pricing was so high, that after everything we encountered we decided to pass on it. The pool, while it looks gorgeous is just about that. The service around the pool was mostly appalling with the staff telling us that no alcohol would be served at the pool even though the hotel policy allows for it. Some of the staff members however were very helpful in answering our questions and serving us at the pool but they were definitely hard to find.

Date of stay: August 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Charanya_Cici
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana Fort-Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Dear Guest,

We are sorry to learn that your stay at Neemrana did not work out as expected. We are writing to apologise and to offer an explanation.

The Neemrana philosophy is different from hotels where modern- day amenities are given priority over ambience and old-world charm. At Neemrana, we try and strike a balance between the two so that the past is not completely obliterated. We have never claimed to be a luxury hotel. Nevertheless we have conveyed your feedback to the operations team at the property and shall do our best to improve the same at the earliest. The website includes recent photographs that have been clicked by our team. Please do let us know what the discrepancy was. Do inform our Sales team about your requirements and they shall gladly assist you in finding a suitable room whenever you stay with us next.

With reference to your feedback about Panna Mahal, please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused. The monsoon has been extremely severe this year and there are certain limitations because of the architecture of the heritage structures. The front office team upgraded you to Manak Mahal which was the best that the hotel team could have done in the circumstances. However, we are surprised to receive your feedback as the mattresses are new, and the maintenance team has confirmed that the plumbing is in good working condition too.

All guests are given a map of the property along with the welcome letter which has other information. We do have signage for public areas and meals. However, guests are requested to view the map which helps them discover various nooks and corners of the Fort.

As you may be aware, Neemrana tries to employ as many local people who are often not educated. We put them through a training program and then try to empower them to run their local heritage with pride. Although the service staff is not fluent in English, they strive hard to deliver warm and efficient service. Your feedback about the incorrect signage has been conveyed to the F&B Manager.

We are disappointed to read your feedback about the food. Please note that the lunch and dinner buffet includes approximately 15 dishes with a mixture of Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisine including vegetarian and non-vegetarian soups, salads, starters, main courses, and various Indian and Continental breads and desserts. Do give our Chefs an opportunity and they will try and please you whenever you choose to visit next.

With reference to your feedback about the driver service, please note that hotel drivers are not allowed to drive guest vehicles outside the hotel as a Company policy. This is in keeping with the risks associated with taking responsibility for personal cars of guests that are not owned by the hotel. Thus we always recommend booking a local taxi from the nearby village for guests that would like to discover nearby areas.

We do hope that you will give us a fair chance to overlay your past experience with a fresh and memorable one.

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

I stay in Delhi and this trip to Neemrana was worth the weekend. The hotel is well equipped, has an attentive staff, good facilities (2 pools, a spa , a game room and some adventure sports for the daring). The rooms are very comfortable and some of them quite spacious! Each room has its own privacy and feels quite royal! Definitely worth coming back to!

Room tip: All rooms are carefully designed, you wont be disappointed!
Date of stay: August 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Aditi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana Fort-Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your valuable review about the Neemrana Fort-Palace heritage resort near Delhi.

We are pleased to learn that you had a comfortable stay at the property and thoroughly enjoyed the facilities as well.

The 28 Neemrana 'non- hotel' Hotels across India are instrumental in and custodians of much of India's restored and revitalised architectural heritage. Seven hundred years of history, await humbly for you to extract all the joys of travelling and living out the essence of India in all its nobility and simplicity.

We thank you for your patronage to the Neemrana brand across India.

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

One of the quickest and the most perfect getaways near Delhi for those in love...quiet and private rooms (mahals) each mahal is located in a specific area of its own in the fort allowing enough privacy..the 15th century fort has been restored and developed for the people to enjoy an amalgamation of history and modernity...the beauty of the fort at night amazes the beholders eyes..its thought provoking to imagine these how these huge structures were made back in the days and for the lovers of ancient times and old fashioned romances this escape is a perfect bliss... the rooms are spacious and well spread usually come with more than just one bed unless you choose the very basic ones...we stayed at the palace of innocence also called the munna mahal..it was right next to the amphitheater and extremely private which we loved...the morning breakfast, lunch, evening tea and dinner are served at different locations of the fort ...in different gardens/lawns and halls which makes meals more enjoyable as u get to be in a new part of the fort and admire it from new height and different angle...what i like is the fact it offers extremely basic amenities which makes ur stay simple and enjoyable... the staff is absolutely heart warming extremely helpful and greatly rendering at their best service... we spent heaps of time sitting by the poolside sipping some wine and at the various terrace under the moonlight , during the sunset etc..peaceful and serene..my partner was visiting from Oz and we had this quick escape in December ever since we both have been in the awe of our epic getaway and planning to go back soon come winter.

Room tip: Rooms in the new wing are better.
Date of stay: December 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mommyinmelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana Fort-Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind words about the Neemrana Fort-Palace heritage resort near Delhi.

We are pleased to learn that you had an enjoyable stay at the Munna Mahal room.

Your compliments about the restoration have been conveyed to the Co-Chairmen and the restoration team.

We have also conveyed your appreciation about the warm service to the entire team.

We thank you for your visit and look forward to welcoming you back for many more 'lovescapes' !

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

Are you bored of your worklife and do you wish to feel better? Are you planning to travel less but would like to be in a place which is peaceful? Do you want a place where you could hear the birds chirp while you lie in a massive Swimming pool?

This is the best place you can ever be to in and around Delhi. Neemrana Fort palace is super peaceful and would give you the best Dinner and Breakfast which you would want to have after reaching back.

One of the most Amazing destinations and a must visit.

Date of stay: August 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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1  Thank Bhavana90
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana Fort-Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2013

Dear Guest,

We are delighted to receive your warm and appreciative review about the Neemrana Fort-Palace heritage resort near Delhi.

It is heartening to learn that you thoroughly enjoyed the ambience of the property and were able to rejuvenate. Your compliments about the cuisine have been conveyed to the Chef and his team.

We thank you for your visit and look forward to welcoming you back for many more memorable getaways !

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Visit dates: July 26-27, 2013

In case you are expecting something royal, be prepared to shed money. Staying at the Neemrana Fort gives you an authentic feel being in an old fort palace. All rooms are unique and different, pay more for a Royal princely suite. Mine was rang mahal, nice view and location but small. Very very basic amenities in the room - but you will find all you must - fridge, tea/coffee maker.

The view from the fort at night is beautiful.

The most unique thing about the fort is finding your way around the fort. It's a maze, and pretty fulfilling finding your way - just like yesteryears :-) Do explore the fort, it's worthwhile.

The fort has various levels i.e. there are many steps you have to climb to get around, and some steep, so not an ideal place for the elderly people. Kids may find themselves out of place, but there's a nice TV room with an old imperial jhoola (swing), carom board, chess, etc.

The conference room is very very basic and the chairs are NOT comfortable for long sitting hours.

For the adventurous kinds, there's a canopy zip line tour (flying fox).

Service and hospitality is excellent, just what one expects in Rajasthan!

Room tip: I stayed at Rang Mahal - two single beds not ideal for a couple and/or with a kid. The view just outside this room is nice.
Date of stay: July 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
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1  Thank Wilson_and_Wanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana Fort-Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind feedback about the Neemrana Fort-Palace heritage resort near Delhi.

Your compliments about the restoration and the ambience have been conveyed to the Co-Chairmen.

We have also conveyed your appreciation about the hospitality and the service to the entire team.

With respect to your feedback about the rooms, please do note that Neemrana has a range of rooms from INR 3000 to INR 25000. The room size, decor, and bathroom amenities are in accordance with the price. The heritage wing has some rooms which are small or quirky in the lower categories while others are rather grand. Do inform our Sales team about your requirements and they shall gladly assist you in finding a suitable room whenever you stay with us next.

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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