Puneet Varma (Editor)

Neemrana Hotels

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New Delhi, India

Area served


Number of locations

Official site

Neemrana Hotels httpswwwcleartripcomplaceshotels400840082

Aman Nath, Francis Wacziarg

Sinclairs Hotels Limited, Hyatt, Lemon Tree Hotels


Mr aman nath founder neemrana hotels

The Neemrana Hotels is an Indian organisation, noted for restoring ruins and turning them into heritage hotels.


It was started in 1991 by Aman Nath and Francis Wacziarg. Aman Nath was a post-graduate in medieval Indian history from Delhi University, and Francis Wacziarg a former French diplomat and resident of India since 1969, and they were researching wall frescoes for writing The Painted Frescoes of Shekhavati, when they encountered the 15th-century Neemrana fort on the Aravalli range in Rajasthan. The fort was built by local chieftain Nimola Meo, and had been a ruin for 40 years. They bought the fort for Rs 700,000 in 1986 and restored it, opening as a hotel in 1991 with 12 rooms. Following this restoration, the hotel has been used as the venue for the International Festival of Indian Literature in 2002, for Mastermind India, and for several Indian weddings.

Preview of tijara fort palace by neemrana hotels

Restoration process

The modifications made to the ruins to retain a consistent design include basic amenities like plumbing and air-conditioning hidden from view, and designing 19th-century rooms in the colonial style They call their hotels "non-hotels", to emphasise this design. The buildings are restored in phases, with revenue from guests of restored parts being used to restore the rest. Along with their practice of using local artisans and materials, this keeps costs low, and their hotels break even in two to three years rather than the industry average of seven to eight.

The Punjab government transferred the Baradari Palace in Patiala to them as a public-private partnership, and the Rajasthan government leased them the Tijari Fort. Similarly, the Pataudi Palace (of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore) was sold to them, and Thakur Mangal Singh sold them the 14th-century Kesroli Palace in Alwar. The Tijari fort at Alwar is not a ruin but a building that had been left unfinished in 1845 because of war; the pair have undertaken completion. Most of their projects have been initiated by the owners of the buildings approaching them, and they have over 2 potential projects on hand.

The company also manufactures jam from the fruit orchards in Ramgarh, and tea from the plantations in Coonoor and Coffee from Coorg. It also runs a "Neemrana Music Foundation". The clientele, which initially consisted mostly of foreign tourists, is now (as of 2010) 70% Indian.

In 2011, Neemrana Hotels had 25 properties in 17 locations and crossed 300 million (US$4.5 million) in revenue.


Ruins and forts restored by them and turned into hotels include:

  • 14th century, Hill Fort Kesroli (Alwar, Rajasthan)
  • 15th century, Neemrana Fort-Palace (Delhi-Jaipur highway, Shekhawati, Rajasthan)
  • 16th century, Le Colonial (Cochin, Kerala)
  • 17th century, The Tower House (Cochin, Kerala)
  • 17th century, The Bungalow on the Beach (Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu)
  • 17th century, The Gate House (Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu)
  • 18th century, Hotel de l’Orient, Puducherry.
  • 19th century, The Verandah in the Forest(British) (Matheran, near Mumbai,
  • 19th century, Darbargadh Palace, Morvi, Gujarat,(opening shortly)
  • 19th century, Villa Pottipati (Malleswaram, Bangalore, Karnataka)
  • 19th century, The Wallwood Garden (Coonoor, Tamil Nadu)
  • 19th century, Green Hills Estate (Kodagu, Karnataka)
  • 19th century, The Baradari Palace (Patiala, Punjab),
  • 19th century, The Ramgarh Bungalows (Ramgarh Kumaon Hills, Uttarakhand),
  • 20th century, Piramal Haveli, (Bagar, Shekhavati, Rajasthan)
  • 20th century, Pataudi Palace (Pataudi, Haryana),
  • 21st century, The Glasshouse on the Ganges (Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, belonging to the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal)
  • Tijara Fort, Alwar district, Rajasthan
  • Books

    Books published as part of the project(?) include:

  • The Painted Frescoes of Shekhavati
  • Jaipur: the Last Destination
  • Arts and Crafts of Rajasthan
  • References

    Neemrana Hotels Wikipedia