Six Senses Fort Barwara is a beautiful 14th-century fort that has been sensitively converted to become a destination for history lovers, adventure seekers and wellness enthusiasts. Thirty minutes from the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, it celebrates its highly anticipated arrival on October 15.
Originally owned by a Rajasthani Royal Family, the fort offers sensational views of the Chauth ka Barwara Mandir (temple) and the Barwara lake. The significant conservation effort has taken more than a decade to complete and incorporates two original palaces and two temples within the walled fort. The property is designed to reinterpret the gracious and regal ambiance of a bygone era dating back 700 years.
A Brief History
The original Barwara Fort was constructed in the 14th century by the Chauhans (Indian Rajput caste) and was conquered by the Rajawat dynasty from the Hadas in 1734. During World War II, Raja Man Singh from the noble family of Barwara along with Jaipur state armed forces fought alongside the British. In appreciation of his services, he was bestowed with the title of Rao Bahadur. Panika, under the leadership of late Nimish Patel and Parul Zaveri, led the architectural design with a team of conservation experts, including landscape designer Savita Punde and horticulturist Pradeep Kishen.
Reinterpreted Experience of Royal, Ancient India
There are 48 newly designed one-bedroom suites, including five specialty suites, housed within the historic fort’s walls. Sizes range from 753 square feet (70 square metres) to 3,014 square feet (280 square metres). Suites in the East Wing overlook the countryside and those in the West Wing offer views to Barwara village and beyond. Each suite is designed in a contemporary Rajasthani style to complement the historic backdrop of the fort while subtly incorporating state-of-the-art in-room technology along with the groundbreaking Sleep With Six Senses standards. These include handmade mattresses, cotton bedding, and additional sleep amenities to promote a good night’s sleep.
For example, guests can request a sleep tracker, the results of which are interpreted during a short consultation with a wellness expert, who may recommend a personalized program of lifestyle changes and treatments.
A Sanctuary of Well-Being
Fort Barwara has now been transformed into a 48-suite resort while retaining its medieval features. The resort has three restaurants that serve modern and traditional cuisine using locally sourced ingredients, together with a bar and lounge. The 30,000 square foot (2,800 square metres) Six Senses Spa and fitness centre are located within the original women’s palace and will feature Ayurvedic and personalized wellness programs. There are two swimming pools, banqueting areas, a lifestyle boutique and a children’s club. Daily safari drives to the Ranthambore National Park will also be on offer.
The brand’s Six Senses Integrated Wellness plays a pivotal role at all resorts and spas. At Barwara, guests will discover a menu of signature massages, Ayurvedic treatments, nurturing facials, mindfulness practices, and personalized wellness programs based on the preventative principles of Eastern medicine and result-oriented Western influences. The aim is to enhance every aspect of each wellness experience so guests feel immediate, real benefits however long they stay.
Indigenous essential oils, muds, clays, gels, and vegetable oils are blended to create an energy-boosting signature range of scrubs and spa potions at the Alchemy Bar. Using fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients from the garden, the concept behind this offering is to turn ordinary ingredients into something extraordinary as part of a highly personalized experience to address the guests’ needs in the present moment.
Locally Sourced and Inspired Culinary Journeys
Six Senses chooses a cleaner and simpler approach to food preparation, focusing on quality, balance, and fresh whole food made from scratch. The Eat With Six Senses pillar of the Six Senses Integrated Wellness philosophy is based on the guiding principles of natural ingredients, local and sustainable menus and less is more.
It is essential to know what’s in food and where it’s from, and each resort reinforces its relationships with local farmers, producers, and suppliers, who are committed to responsible sourcing and seasonality. By working closely with local producers, it assures that ethical practices in raising animals and avoiding at-risk species are adhered to.
Led by Matthew Cropp, the resort’s flagship dining destination, Roohani, showcases the power of local produce from the resort’s organic garden and farms in the nearby village in innovative ways. The overarching theme is Rajasthani-inspired fresh, sustainable cuisine highlighting Indian elements and flavours while embracing the Eat With Six Senses approach.
Known for private and intimate dining spaces, the all-day dining destination, The Cortile, will cater to a wide range of palettes. Seasonal menus from freshly picked produce will be created while using local techniques and methods that have been handed down as best-kept secrets for generations.
The Viewing Gallery and The Rajawat Room are perfect options to enjoy signature cocktails after a safari or before dinner. Guests can savour flame-to-table cooking using seasonal ingredients by the poolside at Rani Bagh, which will serve innovative finger food and light menus.
Fort Barwara allows their guests’ imagination to run wild with offering of Destination Dining. Guests can climb to the highest terrace for a panoramic bird’s eye view or choose their spot to create their own recipe for romance under a blanket of stars.
Suitable for any special occasion and mindful of the palace’s original beauty, The Barwara State Room can be transformed to suit guests’ requirements for both formal and informal events. From weddings and family celebrations to cultural gatherings and product launches, the resort’s experienced chefs add a touch of showmanship to the service to make any big day a truly memorable one. Situated next to the fort’s original step well, Zenana Bagh lawns offer spectacular views of The Zenana Mahal (Ladies Palace) in the backdrop. This venue is perfect for larger gatherings to mark milestone celebrations.
A Royal Base for Exploring Regional Delights
The resort offers activities to suit energetic guests and those who prefer to simply sit back and relax, taking in all that the dazzling destination has to offer. Guests can join heritage walks to discover Fort Barwara and nearby Rajasthan attractions and villages. Inquisitive and enthusiastic guests can learn about healthy cuisine by touring the resort’s organic garden, water bottling plant, and local markets. There are also daily fitness classes and group activities on offer.
From the responsible restoration of the palace to the wider Barwara community, lake and landscape, the resort takes good care of its surroundings. It’s not just about minimizing negative impacts, but also about pioneering positive ones. The Six Senses Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy focuses on energy efficiency, water and waste management, social commitment, protecting natural surroundings, air quality and noise control.
At the property the energy footprint of importing branded drinking water has been eliminated with the resort having its own reverse osmosis plant to produce top quality still and sparkling mineralized water, which is provided to guests in reusable glass bottles. The key focus of the landscape concept by Savita Punde of Design Cell and horticulturist Pradeep Kishen is to reinterpret the regal setting experienced at Rajasthan’s royal forts and palaces. Rooted in the rich history of the fort, the design has retained traditional gardens and water features, local native flora and fauna. Age- old water harvesting techniques have also been modernized in a way to not only celebrate rain in this area but also make the observer acutely aware of this precious resource through spiral structures across the resort. Shekhavati art curated by Natasha Jeyasingh of Carpe Art will be used to depict the rich history of the fort in the landscape.
The landscaping team is also working on Barwara Lake’s restoration project, which will remove invasive species of plants that lower the water table and re-introduce endemic plant species to bring back balance. This alongside working hand in hand with the community on water management will allow the water table to rise again and the village will have easy access to fresh water.
Introductory Booking Offers to celebrate the first Six Senses Resort in India is available at Rs 65,000 plus applicable taxes per night. This rate includes breakfast, lunch and dinner for two and a special Six Senses activity designed to engage guests and their loved ones. Bookable on sixsenses.com.
How to Get There
- Jaipur: 2.5 hours from Jaipur Airport by car
- Delhi: 6 to 7 hours from Delhi by car or 3.5 hours by train to Sawai Madhopur and then 30 minutes by car to Six Senses Fort Barwara. The drive from Delhi is expected to be halved once the Delhi Mumbai expressway is completed later this year.
- Ranthambore National Park: A 30-minute drive from the resort.