This superb “Fortress of the Sun” overlooks the Thar desert, right in the heart of Rajasthan. It has been named the most extraordinary hotel in the world by Lonely Planet. “Few hotels are created without compromise, Mihir Garh is a rare example. This is not just a unique place to stay, it’s a shrine to the artistic and architectural traditions of Rajasthan in general and Jodhpur in particular,” says Lonely Planet writer James Kay.
Mihir Garh was born out of the creator’s desire to share this heaven on earth. The fortress mirrors the architecture of the local villages, with its rounded edges, open fireplaces and alcoves, and the color of the stone merges seamlessly with the surrounding sand.
Mihir Garh has been designed as an eco-friendly hotel. Over 100 local craftsmen and carpenters worked for two years to create nine 1,700sq ft suites, each with its own plunge pool, fireplace (made in the local style, from cow dung) and decorated in furnishings from Jodhpur. The very look of the Fort has been designed and conceived using as much of natural materials as possible. Use of chemicals were avoided at several stages to keep the look, and feel of the fort as close to Rural Rajasthan as possible.
Every drop of rainwater that falls upon the Fort is collected in a massive cistern and filtered using ago old techniques. Traditionally, this process of rain water harvesting not only minimized water wastage, but also, provided pure water which was good enough to drink, for the entire year.
There is an advanced system of sewage treatment at Mihir Garh through which drainage water has been re-cycled and put to effective use.
They make use of solar heating to provide warm/hot water to the guests so that use of electricity for heating purposes is curtailed.
And finally, the land around Mihir Garh has been left to nature so that local indigenous flora can thrive, and subsequently attract fauna around it as well. They take care while organizing all their outdoor activities like Royal picnics, Shikar dinners and Mobile Camps, to ensure that they do not disturb or pollute the nature in any way.
Each suite provides a unique place to relax, where luxurious appointments act as a foil to the mineral sand of the surrounding desert. The suites are bright and spacious, with bold color themes (brick-red, olive, gold), mirrored open-fire chimneys, ochre-stone bathrooms and little plunge or spa pools on each private veranda.
Riding safaris are amazing here. Horses feature in decorative motifs throughout, and you are free to ride whenever you want. Finish up in the infinity pool and soothe muscles in the Ayurvedic spa.
A different color scheme here means that this city is known as ‘The Blue City’. A huge metropolis, it’s best to head for the historic parts, winding medieval streets that conceal markets and cafes. The main attractions are Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace, the latter containing one of the region’s best museums.