“A gorgeous, 9-suite fantasy fort in the Thar desert with private plunge pools, Royal Picnics and Marwar horse-riding”
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.
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.
Children are welcome (though charged as extra adults) and the hotel can provide extra beds and arrange babysitting, but there are no baby cots. There are no special facilities for children but painting and drawing materials are available and Rajni, one half of the couple who run Mihirgarh, is artistic and will help keep little ones creatively amused.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The Mihirgarh and adjoining Black Buck suite is ideal for families to share.
Older children will love the horse-riding expeditions and Jeep safaris