Rajasthan, India

Rohet Garh

Rates per night from$137.81

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (INR9,900.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Fabled family fort

Setting

Riding paradise Rajasthan

Just outside Jodhpur, Rohet Garh is a family-owned fort in a rural Rajasthani village. Towering terracotta walls, narrow corridors and shade-providing verandahs surround a central garden, inhabited by posing peacocks and passing birds. Murals and miniature paintings tell the tale of the days of the Raj, as do assorted family artefacts and antique silver furniture. The hotel is a haven for horse lovers – improve on your saddle skills by day, before enjoying elaborate Indian feasts to the sound of local folk musicians after dark.

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A cooking lesson

Facilities

Photos Rohet Garh facilities

Need to know

Rooms

30, including six suites.

Check–Out

10am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 11pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $137.81 (INR9,900), excluding tax at 18 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Brush up on two life skills – horse riding and cooking – at Rohet Garh’s equestrian centre and cooking school. They also host free folk music performances and magic shows.

Hotel closed

1 to 30 June.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, equestrian centre, gardens, laundry, valet parking. In rooms: free bottled water, tea and coffee, and a minibar.

Our favourite rooms

For the most serene view, book a room overlooking the lake to enjoy the tranquil water from your terrace. For more space, opt for a suite, which pack in traditional Indian flourishes of frescoes, murals and columns – as well as cosy, cushioned alcoves that make peaceful reading spots.

Poolside

There is an unheated, family-friendly pool in a courtyard, surrounded by dusky-pink tiles for sunbathing on.

Spa

The Tattva Spa offers impressive aromatherapy and Ayurvedic massages.

Packing tips

Don’t forget your jodhpurs for showcasing the sartorial riding staple in its birthplace; crops and hats optional.

Also

The hotel’s communal areas are accessible for wheelchair users, as is one of the bedrooms.

Children

All ages welcome. Extra beds and breakfast cost 2,500 rupees (about £30) a night for under sixes; and 3,400 rupees (about £40) for children aged six and up. Babysitting is not available.

Best for

Teenagers.

Recommended rooms

Book one of the bigger rooms, which have space for an extra bed; there are also rooms that are close to each other in their own area of the grounds.

Activities

Playing in the gardens, walks into the village, bird-watching, cycling and horse-riding for over-eights.

Swimming pool

The unheated outdoor pool is family-friendly.

Eco‐friendly

The food served at the hotel is all bought from local farmers’ markets and grey water is used in the gardens.

Food and Drink

Photos Rohet Garh food and drink

Top Table

Dine under a canopy in the garden for respite from the heat during the day, or sit out under the stars on a candlelit table by night.

Dress Code

Fit for a king – this is the land of the Raj after all.

Hotel restaurant

Colourful murals grace the pool-facing dining room, where lunch is served (if it’s too hot or wet to head outside). Upstairs, the dining tent, with its saffron shades, low-hanging lanterns and embroidered ceiling, awaits come supper time. Expect to eat classic Rajasthani curries, including ones made with green tomatoes, gram-flour dumplings and gravy, and cashew and almond paste. All ingredients have a local seal of approval – they are bought at nearby farmers’ markets. Lunch is lighter, with salads and grilled fish more likely to make an appearance.

Hotel bar

Don’t forget to look up in the Dari Khana bar – the carved wooden ceiling is more than 300 years old. The walls are pretty interesting, too: old family portraits and photographs tell the story of the ruling clan who owns Rohet Garh. Bar snacks such as kathi rolls and a Rohet club sandwich are served here all day.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 6.30am until 11am; lunch is between noon and 2.30pm; and dinner is available from 6pm until 11pm. The bar is open between 10am and midnight.

Location

Photos Rohet Garh location
Address
Rohet Garh
Rohet Garh, Village- Rohat, Dist. Pali Pin - 306421
Jodhpur
306 421
India

Planes

The closest airport is Jodhpur, a 45-minute drive away. Hotel transfers can be arranged; prices start at about £25 (2,000 rupees) each way. From London, British Airways flies to Mumbai; from there, Air India has 90-minute services onwards to Jodhpur.

Trains

The nearest train station is also in Jodhpur; allow 40 minutes to make the car journey. Hotel transfers cost about £25 (2,000 rupees) each way. Indian Railways runs services from across the country.

Automobiles

Rohet Garh is just off the NH64, near the local village of the same name; pick up this road after taking the NH62 out of Jodhpur. There’s free valet parking when you arrive.

Worth getting out of bed for

Head into Jodhpur – the walled ‘Blue City’ of the Thar Desert, named for the sky-colour shade that many of its buildings are painted with – to see the majestic Mehrangarh, a 15th-century fort that is one of the largest in India; the maharaja-commissioned Jaswant Thada cenotaph; and the Om Banna shrine, which honours a deity with a motorcycle. At Rohet Garh, learn how to create traditional Rajasthani cuisine, ride the indigenous Marwari horses, be waited on by liveried servants on a royal picnic, or set off on a ‘village safari’ to learn about local life.

Local restaurants

A half-hour drive away, Mihir Garh is an intricate sandcastle formation brought to life, surrounded by desert and dunes of the same shade of beige. Its restaurant offers both Indian and international dishes, and some (chicken-tikka pizza) that are a mix of the two. Settle in for delicious Rajasthani dishes that come with a view of the Umaid Bhawan Palace at Hanwant Mahal in Jodhpur’s Umaid Hills.

Local cafés

Sweet-tooths should not miss a visit to the sugar-devoted emporium that is Jodhpur Sweets in the city to stockpile classic Indian confections for the journey home.

Reviews

Photos Rohet Garh reviews
Rachel Walker

Anonymous review

By Rachel Walker, Food writer

‘Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,’ says Mr Smith, as he manoeuvres his lounger into the full shade of a parasol. The colonial era turn of phrase seems fitting, given our surroundings at Rohet Garh, an 18th-century family fort an hour’s drive south of Jodhpur.

The truth is that I’m not the only mad dog basking in the dry desert heat. A handful of other guests are stretched out under a high sun. With a cool, courtyard pool to slide into, it’s hard to resist the temptation, as my skin prickles in the warm air and faint memories of British winter melt away.

To stay here is not only to soak-up the climate, but to travel back in time. When we arrive, Mr Smith and I are whisked through a manicured garden, past strutting peacocks and water fountains, to an open-sided lounge. There, a waiter magics chilled glasses of nimbu pani lemonade from behind a mahogany bar and we collapse into low chairs, as a wicker fan lazily clicks overhead.

It’s impossible to shrug this sense of time travel at Rohet Garh, which was built in 1622. ‘We have our share of architectural peculiarities’ a guest letter in our room coyly admits – in case the tiny doorways, winding staircases and arched entrance big enough to fit an elephant through hadn’t already given the game away.

When sun sets, any semblance of the 21st-century fades away, and the hotel starts to resemble the last days of the Raj. A band pitches-up in the garden, and soon sitar music soars above the clink of ice cubes. Sepia images in the bar which capture Jodhpur’s polo team, hunting parties and stern Victorian portraits no longer seem like staring faces from the distant past, but from a far closer age.

Despite the elegant Edwardian setting, dinner is a joyously relaxed affair – no flourishes and fancy garnishes. Instead, it’s top-notch home cooking. The kind which usually comes from a tip-off about an alleyway dive, rather than something you’d expect from a boutique hotel. The creamy tadka dal has simmered away overnight, rogan josh lamb falls apart at the faintest poke of a fork, and the fresh breads are flecked with char and dripping with ghee.

A black labrador brushes against Mr Smith’s leg. It’s owned by a man who shyly introduces himself as a member of the founding family. When the fort was turned into a boutique hotel, he explains how he moved to Switzerland to study hospitality, before returning home to Rajasthan to run Rohet Garh. We ask if there’s anything we shouldn’t miss. He points to the stables of Marwari horses next door, and reminds us that a village safari is included with our stay.

In all honesty, Mr Smith and I had been a bit reluctant – perhaps it’s the fear of voyeurism, or a lingering whiff of colonialism. The fact that the safari would take place in a cool, white Mahindra Jeep was enough to sway us though, and so it was that we found ourselves hurtling along dust tracks the following afternoon, heading out to nearby villages.

‘First of all, we will go to a Bishnoi settlement,’ says our guide, explaining how the families living there are part of a small religious sect, who are at one with the landscape – not even believing in tree felling, certainly not killing animals. ‘There’s a famous Bollywood actor, Salman Khan, who shot two blackbucks here almost twenty years ago, and he is still running away from the law,’ our guide chuckles.

The jeep ahead of us is ferrying a film crew: ‘It’s almost impossible to take a bad picture in Rajasthan,’ they grin as we pull into the village. We’re introduced to the village elder who poses outside his hut, while gaggles of giggling children scamper round him. There are mounds of drying melon seeds from a recent harvest, a doe-eyed calf which has just been born and, in the next village, a potter who uses a stick to flick a stone wheel into action – building up enough momentum to deftly throw balls of clay into pots and platters.

On the way back to Rohet Garh, the Jeep behind us skids to a halt. The film crew clamber out and spin their cameras to capture the silhouette of a lone farmer cycling into a hazy orange sunset. Yet another winning shot.

Later that evening, Mr Smith and I are reading in our room. With no television in the bedrooms, and only a small patch of WiFi in the garden, there’s complete silence. The bedside lamps throw soft light onto the hand-painted walls and block-print curtains, and it strikes me that even in a dark corner of a bedroom in an old family fort, Rajasthan really is picture perfect.

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Rohet Garh’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Rohet Garh is a wonderful place – an oasis in the desert. It is about 40 minutes from the centre of Jodphur, but we much preferred being outside of the city (which is a noisy, hot, dusty, bustling place). The garden is beautiful, as are the rooms, and we loved sitting under the trees in the afternoon, enjoying tea in the shade, and eating dinner there in the evenings, surrounded by fairy lights and listening to traditional Rajasthani music. The staff were very friendly and attentive, and took great care to arrange everything we asked for and to give us tips on where to go and what to do. In the heat of the day, we cooled off in the pool, and then napped in the shade or in our room until it was cool enough to head into Jodphur for some site-seeing. We also did a cookery class with the chef, which was great fun, and we thoroughly enjoyed all of the food at Rohet Garh. The Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur is an absolute must-see. The free audioguide is really interesting, and we thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the Fort, looking at the views of the blue city, and soaking in the atmosphere of this incredible place. We also went across to Mihir Garh (a small boutique hotel owned by the same family) for lunch. It is stunning and we had a lovely meal and swim there. We were taken there by jeep, and on the way we saw plenty of wildlife, including camels and antelopes.

Don’t expect

As Rohet Garh is a fair drive from the city, it is not the most convenient place to stay if you want to spend your days in the city. This was not an issue for us, as we wanted some peace and quiet and only wanted to spend some of our time site-seeing.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Mar 2018

We loved

The grounds are incredibly beautiful, the place oozes atmosphere and the food is delicious. Beautifully lit at night too. Our room overlooked the lake and local temple which added a really nice touch.

Don’t expect

Comfortable beds – a real shame for a place in this price range. Pool area needs some renovation.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Mar 2018

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