BrijRama Palace
Condé Nast Traveller India|December 2016 - January 2017
BrijRama Palace

A 200-year-old castle on a ghat in Varanasi is now a luxury hotel.

Priyanka Agarwal
I was puzzled. After an hour-long car ride from the airport, my driver pulled over at Bhaisasur Ghat and asked me to alight. He deposited my luggage in a boat,where a uniformed man was waiting for me, and told me to hop on. I later understood why BrijRama Palace, the latest luxe address in this ancient city, had sent a private motorboat for me. Varanasi’s narrow lanes make it difficult to reach the property by car. Cycle rickshaws are the obvious option, but when you’re arriving at a royal address, why not do it in style?

The original structure of the BrijRama Palace, built as a fort by a Maratha minister, dates back to 1812 and is one of Varanasi’s oldest buildings. An elevator (I’m told South Asia’s first was installed here back in the early 20th century) ride up to the lobby from the ghats leads to a traditional welcome and a chilled glass of thandai.

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December 2016 - January 2017