World through my eyes
There is one more International award coming to Indian hotels’ way. A luxurious boutique hotel in Rajasthan, ‘Mihir Garh’ has been crowned as the ‘World’s Best Boutique Hotel’.The property was awarded this honor at the award ceremony organized by the supreme international body that gives away these awards. ‘Mihir Garh’ was competing against a few of the finest hotels from across the world, and has brought home this coveted title. The Boutique Hotel Awards is the world’s first and only prize dedicated exclusively to luxury boutique properties, providing a global arena in which hotels can showcase their unique excellence. Above all, the World Boutique Hotel Awards looks for hotels that are undeniably, irrefutably unique.
Mihir Garh – the ‘Fort of the Sun’, the dream project of husband-and-wife owners – Sidharth and Rashmi Singh, is a palatial boutique fort perched on a single dune amongst the sands of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, around 55 kilometers south west of Jodhpur. Built with a sense of rustic elegance, while tastefully blending the contemporary style, Mihir Garh truly stands out in the midst of the unspoilt desert vistas. The couple also owns the acclaimed Rohet Garh nearby.
Owned by one of the keenest horsemen in Rajasthan, Sidharth Singh, ‘Mihir Garh’ is a fort is made of wattle, mud and wood, and comprises of only nine suites set over two floors. Not surprisingly, Mihir Garh family boasts some of the finest ‘Marwari’ breed of horses in its stables. The flooring of each room has been done using a special plaster technique known to only one man in the entire region of Jodhpur. He along with a helper have put in hours of labor in creating the very exclusive floors that Mihir Garh takes pride in.The workmen (over a hundred of them) come from the region itself bringing in the local lilt. The village women of Khandi and Haji have lovingly created the fireplaces using age old technique of cow dung and clay! From paintings to curtain holders, every little thing has been specially designed for Mihir Garh.
Each suite offers more than 1700 square feet of space, and a private jacuzzi or plunge pool. Numerous alcoves, lounges and common areas commanding a spectacular view have been designed, to allow guests to experience intimacy and romantic privacy during their stay. From the colors used for the interiors, to the careful selection of building material, rich tradition of this land has been maintained, inspiration being the rural village architecture of Western Rajasthan. There are a variety of treatments available at Mihir Garh’s spa, which combined with Al fresco breakfasts, royal picnics and culinary workshops, compliment the stay, giving a true experience of the World’s Best Boutique Hotel. Completed in 2009, this palatial boutique fort is a true retreat!
They offer exceptional horse safaris through the local countryside and into the desert. Furthermore, they offer superb village safaris showcasing the prevalent Bishnoi tribal culture surrounding Mihir Garh. The recipes come from books on traditional Rajasthan cooking authored by the owner’s mother, Late Thakurarni Sahiba Jayendra Kumari. And culinary workshops and demonstrations are held so guests can learn to make the delicacies that they enjoy here. Mihir Garh was also one of the winners in the World’s Best Romantic Retreats category.
Boutique Hotel Awards has quite a big way to decide the winners.The process is started by conducting a thorough interview with a hotel’s manager or owner. The questions are tailored to each hotel, since most (or the good ones at least) are very different. There is a collection of well-traveled judges, often with expertise in a field closely linked to the award category they’re reviewing. It is also believed that each hotel shortlisted for one of awards is reviewed in person, with the judge staying exactly as a guest would do. No matter how detailed any research is, there’s no substitute for personally experiencing what a hotel has to offer and
meeting the people behind it. Elements of design and concept, dining, facilities, location and service are included in the review they perform. Also gauged is the emotional journey, focusing more on the feel achieved by a hotel rather than using strict quotas or standards in judging. Panel then meets once all the hotels have been evaluated to pour over the reviews and other research gathered by team to decide upon the winners.