Six Senses Fort Barwara: the view from here

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It took a long time to open this place, in a 700-year-old royal fort in the village of Chauth ka Barwara, three hours from Jaipur. But after a decade of breathing new life into its palaces and temples, followed by a pandemic-induced delay, India’s first Six Senses property is finally open.

Like many in the group’s portfolio, it is as much a restoration project as it is a hotel. Prithviraj Singh, a descendant of the Barwara royal family who owns the fort, worked closely with heritage-focused design company Panika (The Oberoi Udaivilas) on a faithful interpretation of royal Rajasthani design.

Opulence abounds in the 48 suites, with columns, elaborately shaped archways and intricate latticework. Many have rooftop hot tubs and small terraces with views through thick exterior walls of the surrounding Aravalli mountain range and the hilltop Chauth Mata temple. The 30,000-square-foot spa is part of the sculpted pillars of the former Women’s Palace, while one of the restaurants is in the former observation tower, overlooking the domed rooftops.

Some corners of the property appear to have been left almost intact, including a grand domed temple with brilliant murals of Shekhawati on peeling, shadow-draped walls. It’s less an escape than an immersion in what it might have felt like to have been royal in the land of kings.

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