A historic affair: Ancient Indian forts that have been transformed into luxury hotels

Schenelle Dsouza
Luxury hotelier Six Senses is launching its premier project in India- Fort Barwara. Located in the village of Chauth ka Barwara, the beautiful 14th-century fort has taken almost a decade to be restored into a sanctuary of well-being. After much waiting, the luxury resort and spa will finally open its doors in October 2021.
While we anticipate the opening of the splendid Fort Barwara Hotel, check out these glorious Indian forts that have been turned into luxury hotels.
RAAS, Jodhpur
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: RAAS Hotels
Restored from an 18th-century haveli, RAAS is Jodhpur’s first-ever boutique hotel. It comprises four original buildings with three additional contemporary structures. The new buildings are modern and contemporary, yet grounded in tradition. Each structure is adorned with intricate architectural carvings in the iconic haveli style of the 18th century. The entire structure overlooks the Mehrangarh, an awe-inspiring 15th-century fort that stands 400 feet above the Jodhpur skyline.
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: RAAS Hotels
Ahilya Fort, Madhya Pradesh
Ahilya Fort
Photo Courtesy: Ahilya Fort
Located in the central Indian town of Maheshwar, Ahilya is a 250-year-old fort built on the edge of a cliff, above the Narmada River. Previously owned by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, the fort was turned into a hotel in 2000 by Prince Richard Holkar, her descendant and son of the last Maharaja of Indore. The hotel has some beautiful gardens spread throughout the property, designed and planted by Prince Richard himself.
Ahilya Fort
Photo Courtesy: Ahilya Fort
Alila Fort Bishangarh, Rajasthan 
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: Alila Hotels
Named after the village Bishangarh, Alila Fort Bishangarh is a 230-year-old fort turned hotel that stands tall on a hill in the Aravalli range. An example of Jaipur Gharana architecture, the design of the hotel was inspired by both, British and Mughal eras with Tudor-style ogee arches and mirror-mosaic Tikhri art. Glossy corridors with elegant interiors and worn down antiques are what further define the aesthetic of the hotel.
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: Alila Hotels
Fort Jadhavgadh, Pune
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: Orchid Hotel
An 18th-century fort and the only heritage property in Maharashtra, Fort Jadhavgadh in Pune is a 300 years old fort built atop a hillock. With secret passages, dungeons, lush lawns, canons, gun holes, and escape routes, the hotel is full of interesting stories of valour and royalty. Maintaining its glorious heritage, the fort is furnished with artefacts from the Maratha era, while some of the rooms feature a part of the original stone wall of the fort.
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: Orchid Hotel
Fort Rajwada, Jaisalmer
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: Fort Rajwada
A 200-year-old property, Fort Rajwada is one of the most elegant heritage hotels in Rajasthan, located in the heart of the Thar Desert. The hotel is a whimsical blend of modern and classical design with interiors inspired by the soothing shades of sandstone. Each room in the hotel has been adorned with hand-made paintings and murals along with intricate wall carvings which showcase the quintessential architecture of Jaisalmer.
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: Fort Rajwada
Neemrana Fort-Palace, Rajasthan 
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: Neemrana Hotels
Built on a plateau of the two billion-year-old Aravalli ranges, Neemrana Fort-Palace is a heritage hotel in Rajasthan. Restored from a 15th-century fort, the hotel is preserved with authenticity for a royal medieval experience. Being one of the oldest and best heritage resorts near Jaipur, Neermana takes guests on a grand experience to discover the past five centuries while enjoying a few modern comforts. The hotel is a unique example of utter waste turned into a 14-tiered marvel with palace wings, courts and stepped gardens.
Fort Hotels in India
Photo Courtesy: Neemrana Hotels
You may also like:
Live like royalty: 10 lesser-known palace hotels in India
The most adorable boutique hotels in Nainital and Mussoorie for your next vacation