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“Heaven on the Ground”
Review of Ahilya Fort

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Ahilya Fort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Maheshwar
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 January 2014

I was in Maheshwar sourcing textiles from WomenWeave for my fashion company, and I am so happy that I decided to spend a few nights at the Ahilya Fort! It is absolutely beautiful and places you at the heart of Maheshwar's deep history and rich present, as it overlooks the ghat (where the cycle of life and death occurs in plain sight, and where diverse realities intertwine) and is a real historic fort (not like the fake ones in many parts of India!). I was lucky enough to have breakfast with Prince Holkar, who kindly made me a special lunch with a pear dessert that was absolutely delicious. And as someone traveling alone, I loved the communal seating at mealtime and the "drinks before dinner" tradition, since I got a chance to meet other travelers and hear about their experiences. The food was absolutely to die for, the rooms were clean and airy, the pool was a delightful oasis from the Indian heat, and the sunsets took my breath away. Maheshwar is a beautiful gem. I can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are unique, and I had the chance to stay in 3 different rooms! My favorite was by f...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Meg_Partridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 January 2014

Others say you need at least 2 nights to enjoy Ahilya. I say a week! I could not drag myself away. For me this is the perfect blend of Indian and Mediterranean style, giving the feeling of being both in a historic European villa and an Indian fort-palace, a cocoon of calm above the dreamy expanse of the river Narmada and the bustle of the ghats.

Ahilya Fort is the ancestral home of Richard Holkar, son of the late Maharaja of Indore, and a man of great style and taste, who travels regularly to France and the USA. I have stayed in many shabby-chic Indian palace hotels, which have much charm but can lack something on the service/attention to detail/plumbing/comfort front. At Ahilya, however, there is nothing lacking. Every detail is just right, not in an over-designed self-conscious way, but because it has been lovingly thought out and feels very much a living breathing home rather than a hotel.

Just as the style fuses East and West, so does the food, using the freshest ingredients straight from the organic gardens. At lunch, what a delight to feast on salads and Mediterranean flavours instead of the ubiquitous Indian buffet served at many other hotels. As I write this I feel a longing to go back - Ahilya Fort just might be my favourite getaway in the world!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank simetski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

it was just wonderful I want to go back
and take my son to experience this incredible place
I was so well looked after, loved the ambience, the pugs, the fort and how much care the staff showed, visiting the weaving centre sponored by the hotel, the care they displayed to their employees, the organic food was great, would love to experience the monsoon there as discribed by other visitors

Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
1  Thank AustralianTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2013

Spent a recent weekend at Ahilya Fort. Sheer bliss! The all-inclusive pricing concept is a refreshing change, allowing us to enjoy all that the resort offers, without worrying about add-on costs. On arrival, we were taken around the property by Aimee Junker & Kunta bai, who run the place most efficiently. The palace grounds are spread across various levels, from the top ramparts to the tranquil inner courtyards, offering a truely serene experience. And from the upper garden area, sweeping vistas of the Narmata river & ghats below, with all the local colour and hustle-bustle.

Each room is uniquely appointed & done up, with large comfortable beds, excellent linen, large balcony sit-outs and big bathrooms. Good, effective wifi internet (included in the all-inclusive packaging) all over the resort. Television only in the Library, but nobody watched TV during our stay!

There is no fixed dining room. Each meal is served in a different area of the resort, and the cuisine is truely sumptious. Dinners are preceeded by evening cocktails in spectacular sunset settings. Each dish served during our stay was delicious, with subtle local flavours and textures, well complimented by the accompanying wines. All guests eat together at a common table, where we were joined at each meal by our hosts Richard Holkar & Aimee Junker, with the conversations being a highlight of the dining experience.

During the day, visit the local temple & the riverfront ghats, along with the Maheshwar weaving centre, where saris, stoles, scarves, etc are available for a fraction of the price that you would pay for them in Mumbai or Delhi. Each evening the resort offers a sunset boat ride down the Narmada with tea/coffee/buscuits, which should not be missed. The boat stops at the Baneshwar Temple located in the middle of the river, for a darshan and spectacular view of the sunset, before returning back to the bank.

On our last day, made a day-trip to Mandu, with its stunning Hindu-Islamic architecture, en route to Indore airport for our evening flight back.

Two nights are required to adequately cover Maheshwar and Mandu, three nights would be a luxurious plus! Ahilya Fort offers a unique stay-experience that should not be missed!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank noshirm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2013

Real old world pampering. Ancient fort overlooking the river. Cuisine with many flavours. Each meal at a different setting. Breakfast amongst the organic garden complete with chickens. Antique pewter egg cups, you dont find this kind of detail everywhere, maybe anywhere.
Weaving center is at the fort also, along with a school that Prince Richard set up for the children of the weavers.

Everything included , including laundry

Room Tip: My room was called bulbul means the nightengale. Wonderful balcony too
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank rosemary767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2013

And after having spent three nights and two beautiful days I am convinced that all the guests knew that. You don't go there to visit another of the luxury spots in India in former Marajas estates. And what you find there is a different experience that I cannot or don't want to find the words to define. If you want, you need to find it out by yourself. We will go there again...

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Ziottina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2013

Ahilya Fort is an excellent place that is carefully and aesthetically managed. Little patios, flower arrangements, table setting in different locations make the place unique. Boat ride in narmada in the evening is heavenly. The price is steep, so remains unaffordable for extended stay with friends and family.

Room Tip: Rooms with a river view are preferable
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank pallaviashok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ahilya Fort

Address: Ahilya Wada, Maheshwar 451224, India
Region: India > Madhya Pradesh > Khargone District > Maheshwar
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Maheshwar
Price Range: £338 - £362 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ahilya Fort 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The majestic 250 years old Ahilya Fort sits on the edge of a cliff, high above the sacred Narmada River, surrounded by the beautiful and unexploited town of Maheshwar. The views over the river and ghats are exceptional. Replete with myths and legend, Ahilya Fort offers guests a rare chance to get off the tourist trail and an abundance of things to see and do. With the fabulous, deserted city of Mandu nearby and the famed island temple of Omkareshwar even closer, this is a place at which to spend time and relax but from which you can also explore the area, undisturbed by the other tourists – a stroll down through the town to the ghats is a must. The food is delicious and it’s all-inclusive so, once here, you pay for nothing – be it food, excursions or e-mail! The pool is lovely; terraces and shady areas abound; meals are taken in different areas of the fort; the charming rooms and tents have superb views, balconies & gardens; the weaving center here is famous nationwide. A boat trip at sundown is something you will never forget. Truly a memorable place where you could spend days or weeks!There are 10 bedrooms scattered around the premises and the rates include full board and all excursions. It is the most perfect base for visiting Mandu (1 hour away) and is just a 2-hour drive from Indore. It makes the perfect place to end or start a holiday, as there is so much to do. From here you may also visit Dhar, Baneshwar and Omkareshwar. Being a gourmet himself, your host Prince Richard Holkar has the highest standards and the food here is delicious. Staying here is like a time wrap as the village is still enclosed within the fort itself and is truly wonderful to explore in your own time. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ahilya Fort Hotel Maheshwar
Ahilya Fort Madhya Pradesh

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