A gorgeous, 9-suite fantasy fort in the Thar desert with private plunge pools, royal picnics and Marwar horse-riding
One of the jewels in the crown of Rajasthan, Mihir Garh is a brilliant combination of new and old and an oasis in the desert. Classic exterior design meets modern but stylish interiors, authentically Indian in every way. This is one of our top 10 experiences worldwide. Rising majestically from the desert plains in western Rajasthan is this fort palace of unequalled position and design. It provides a combination of stunning views, relaxation, incredible levels of accommodation and some activities around and nearby that will really capture the essence of the area.
The fort is a dream realised for owners Sidarth and Rashmi who started envisaging this unique project many years ago and spent many more formulating it, constructing and decorating the interior with artefacts and hand picked furniture from various high quality artisans around India and beyond.
With only nine suites, the fort affords a level of space and service that is hard to achieve with larger properties. It provides a haven for those seeking solitude as well as adventure with amazing horse rides available over the plains, desert safaris and nearby villages.
The fortress mirrors the architecture of the local villages, with its rounded edges, open fireplaces and alcoves, and the colour of the stone merges seamlessly with the surrounding sand. Mihir Garh stands as a tribute to this land swept by the desert winds and has been designed as an eco-friendly hotel. Each suite provides a unique place to relax, where luxurious appointments act as a foil to the mineral sand of the surrounding desert.
There are 8 large, luxurious suites and 1 smaller, twin-bedded one (Black Buck). Decor is of a similar and very high standard throughout, though each has a different colour scheme.
The 5 Alishaan Suites and Black Buck are on the ground floor. All except Black Buck have private courtyards and infinity plunge pools on their desert-facing verandahs. One Alishaan Suite can be linked to Black Buck, and then becomes the Mihir Suite (great for families). The 3 Shandaar Suites on the floor above have private terraces and infinity spa pools bubbling hot or cold.
All suites have antique teak beds (which are deliciously soft and comfortable thanks to duvets both above and below you), air con, TVs, DVDs, minibars and tea and coffee stations. Bedrooms open into gorgeous sitting rooms with desert views, sofa and armchair, carved chest and cupboard, coffee table and writing desk, and a working fireplace locally made from whitewashed mud and small mirrors. The bathrooms have all the mod cons, with separate showers and freestanding/embedded baths, double basins and a range of toiletries, and are a symphony of mellow sandstone, dappled light and rounded edges.
Social spaces throughout the hotel include peacock-painted and colourful open-sided lounges, a princely drawing room with library, and a mattressed sunset-viewing roof terrace.
Coffee tea making
Knowing that Indian menus are Greek to many Westerners, and wanting guests to feel right at home, staff will discuss your preferences before conjuring a bespoke menu for each meal. Chefs are local rather than cordon bleu, but trained in international cuisine so most dishes are possible. You can also sample, and learn how to cook, traditional Rajasthani recipes with thick, signature gravies dreamed up by Sidarth’s mother.
Breakfast is eaten beside the pool on beautifully laid tables. You can have a Indian kick-start (spicy scrambled eggs, radish, potato or cauliflower parathas, puris, bhajis) or the full Continental – a delicious spread of fruit platters, cereal, yoghurt, toast, eggs any style, or great fry-ups of baby sausages and crispy bacon. Lunch can be anything from room service sandwiches to a ‘Royal Picnic’ – think desert tent, tables and chairs, linens and liveried servants.
Dinner (after poolside armchair aperitifs, accompanied by local musicians), was a tasty Rajasthani feast. Served in the dining room brightened with bold wall paintings by young Rajasthani artists, it featured spicy chicken soup, fish and meat kebabs with rice, vegetables and Indian breads, and finished with creme caramel and dark chocolates.
All meals included
Coffee tea making
Main infinity pool (sunset facing)
Bar and seating area
Local village and school visits
The experiences offered in the surrounding countryside are a feature of staying at this property. The owners are intrinsically linked to all the local villages for miles around since their forefathers were in charge of these villages and looked after them very well. A huge respect is therefore afforded to any guests of Mihir Gar or their sister property Rohet Garh, which makes this all the more awe inspiring.
Map and travel information
Direct flights from the UK to Udaipur
Transfer to Mihir Garh
Transfer by private vehicle from Udaipur airport in approximately 4 hours 45 minutes
1 Market Place Mews,
Henley-on-Thames, OXON RG9 2AH
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