Neemrana | Restored Boutique Hotels
Way back in 2011, when I used to walk my dog diligently, admiring houses that were fastidious with respect to design, pertaining to a different era was one of my favourite things to do. These houses are in a state of grace. Tall pillars, courtyards, backyards, vintage window panes, spiral staircases, dressed stone walls, expensive wood that’s aged gracefully and patio’s accessed through the bougainvillea strewn alleyways are so dreamy. Luckily, to this day certain pockets of Bangalore are full of them.
On one such evening, I discovered Neemrana. A colonial bungalow, perched on the corner of 8th cross in Malleshwaram, Bangalore. It is guarded by two gigantic gates and thatched walls erected over the compound walls. Through which you can see a beautiful garden café. It was obviously not a house and looked too snobbish to be a restaurant. A quick google search later that day, opened up a history chapter.
Aman Nath and Francis Wacziarg, a post grad in medieval history and a French diplomat were researching wall frescos when they encountered a 15th century Neemrana fort in Rajasthan. The fort had been a ruin for 40 years. The duo bought the fort, restored it and re-opened it as a modern day heritage hotel. This activity laid the foundation to restore 27 such heritage properties across India.
I’ve stayed at the Neemrana Fort in Rajasthan. Spent an entire day at the Neemrana hotel in Pondicherry, admiring the gorgeous furniture while sipping on mulled wine, and have spent hours at the garden café of Neemrana in Bangalore. And it is now safe to say that, Neemrana is one of my best discoveries to date, and I am heart over mind about it. If you are currently planning a trip, first check for Neemrana hotels in the area before everything else. Surprisingly, they do not pinch your budget either.
Photographs below are that of Neemrana in Pondicherry.
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