A visit to Jaisalmer had been on our wish-list for several years, ever since we moved to Gurgaon. It demands more than a long weekend though. And with a child who hates car rides, it wasn’t an easy trip to pull off.
When the Jodhpur – Jaisalmer – Bikaner road trip did get planned for December last year, I was delighted. We wanted to stay at Suryagarh, a plush boutique hotel about 15 kilometers outside the Jaisalmer city. December is the start of the peak season for Rajasthan, and there were no rooms available with the hotel directly. Luxury Escapes – a boutique travel services firm – came to rescue. They pulled some magic, got us 2 rooms of our choice and promptly did the bookings for us.
Jaisalmer is a dream destination not just for foreign tourists visiting India for its exotic charms, but even for a Rajasthani as I. Its fort is worth a visit, despite being commercialized and touristy. The numerous havelis inside the old town with their detailed carvings, built in yellow sandstone as the fort, give a glimpse into the glorious past of the city. Spend a night in the Thar Desert under a thousand stars, and let the weariness of living in loud urban areas wash away.
Stay at Suryagarh, Jaisalmer
A bit weary from the road trip from Jodhpur, and looking to reach the hotel room after crossing Jaisalmer city, we were delighted by the first sight of the fort-like property looming large on a hilltop. The warm welcome in the guest area – the refreshing drink, the cold towel to wipe away the grime, the artifacts of a bygone era – took away the travel fatigue. And after the quick check-in process, while seated in the guest area, we were shown to our room.
The property offers 72 accommodations on 2 floors, and there are rooms, suites and havelis to choose from. Suites and rooms both are available in 3 categories each, differing in size and amenities. Havelis are stand-alone suites created around courtyards to give an intimate, private experience. We had chosen the fort room for our stay.
The hotel has beautiful public spaces on each floor, done up in Rajasthani style, and sitting areas that provide endless nooks and corners to read a book.
Do read – Magical music festival in Rajasthan at the stunning Mehrangarh Fort
Food at Suryagarh, Jaisalmer
Nosh is the all-day-open dining area that serves both Indian and International cuisine. Legend of Marwad is their speciality restaurant and serves food made by authentic recipes handed over the past generations. Draksh, the bar at one end of the central courtyard, is done up very tastefully. But it did not stock the traditional Rajasthani liqueur I was hoping to try.
The food here is made special by the dining experience in the central courtyard. Make sure you book a table for dinner in the courtyard in advance, as it gets filled quickly each evening.
The breakfast spread is good. There is a large buffet, with Rajasthani, Indian and International selection. You can start your day with the healthy continental selection – fruits, juices, muesli, eggs or have Indian regional options that change on a daily basis.
The staff got us to indulge in delectable Indian treats – parathas, kachoris, even jalebis prepared fresh. I stopped counting calories completely! The hospitality here – the manager chatting with guests each morning, the staff gently pressing upon us to try newer treats, to have another cup of masala chai or their artisanal coffee – made our stay welcoming and personal.
For my daughter, the best part of each morning was the gaggle of domestic animals that the hotel brings to the courtyard – a peacock strutting about, a baby donkey trying to chew the stuffed pillow from the kids’ hands, a tortoise sunning itself in the courtyard and some white masakalis shying away from the guests under the charpai.
Also, read – Weekend getaways from Delhi: Escape to the hills
Activities in and around Suryagarh, Jaisalmer
There is an indoor pool, fitness centre and spa on the hotel premises. The indoor pool, though is not heated and when we visited in December, was too cold for us to use. Foreign guests who are used to cooler water did make use of the pool. The hotel offers several activities on their premises like cooking classes, yoga and meditation sessions, and one can be easily occupied in the hotel itself for a couple of days.
Do step out to see the beauty that is Jaisalmer. The hotel can arrange a visit to all popular local attractions like the Jaisalmer Fort, historic mansions in the old city, Sam dunes, Bada Bagh and more. It also offers some unique experiences – excursions that take you into the Thar Desert – like camel safari trail, midnight haunted trail and the historic temple trail for the adventurous.
We chose to explore the local attractions ourselves since we had access to our car. After the sightseeing during the day, lounging in the hotel’s organic garden with rows of neat herbs, flowering plants, trees and watching the sun go down, was a wonderful way to relax. The evening cultural program – open only to hotel guests – is a good introduction to Rajasthani folk singing and dancing, and a delightful way to cap the night.
Tel: (+91) – 78271 51151
Pin it for later!
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. We paid for our stay at Suryagarh in full. As always, all opinions are my own.
What has been your favourite boutique hotel stay in Rajasthan?
Subscribe to Zest In A Tote Digest, my monthly newsletter, for travel tips and inspiration.
Join me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook as I share my travel experiences.
Oh my gosh, you’re not kidding. This is a reason enough to visit. I’m planning on going to India in March for Holi but we’re going to be there for an entire month so I have a lot to see and visit. Jaisalmer’s exoticness sounds like the perfect place for us to visit. We love to see the new to us and this looks like the most beautiful place to get a little luxury too!
Do put Jaisalmer on your India itinerary, Paige. Where else are you planning to go? Give me a shout if you any info on other parts of the country. I have travelled extensively in India except for the north-east.
Wow, I’ve never heard of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, or Bikaner! Perhaps because I haven’t been to India yet so I haven’t done much research. The evening cultural program at your hotel sounds like a real treat – as does the garden!
Fransesca – you must come visit India. It is quite an experience.
I love Luxury Escapes – they always have the best travel deals. Suryagarh looks stunning – guessing it’s a heritage hotel? If not, it definitely looks like one! The live flute performance in the mornings sounds beautiful – definitely seems like a stay here would be a unique cultural experience in itself. I haven’t yet visited Jaisalmer, but can absolutely see how the hotel would be reason enough to visit in itself.
Thanks for the review!
Meg, it’s not a heritage hotel. I was surprised to note that its a newly built property, because it definitely looks like a fort palace built decades ago. As to Luxury Escapes, this is a small boutique travel firm in Delhi, not the international travel house that you might be familiar with (confusing, now that you mention it!).
This really looks like a place to stay. I haven’t ever stayed at a Heritage Hotel, but would love to. And only Rajasthan can pull of the great hospitality like this. And, did you let the bird drink the whole water?
Yes, I could always ask for another glass :-), and that bird was thirsty!!
The resort seems fabulous. Loved reading the descriptions of the breakfast with birds and animals 🙂 With Spicejet starting a direct flight from Delhi to Jaisalmer, traveling to the golden city will become easier. Hopefully next winters..
Oh, this is good news – the direct flight option to Jaisalmer. The road trip from Jodhpur is not that convenient. You must plan it soon!
Such a lovely place. It not only accommodates the adults but the kids also. I like that there is a top-notch customer service and the staff are friendly. Ive never though if boutique stay but I’d like to try out Suryagarh.
This place sounds beyond incredible. Plus, your writeup is so vivid – between that and the photos, I felt like I was there! I’ve wanted to visit India for a long time, but wasn’t sure where to start – this sounds like a great, great place. Love all the extra touches, and the fully preserved fortified city is a lovely draw, as well. Thank for sharing, and saving this for later!
So happy that you are inspired to come visit India. Jaisalmer / Rajasthan is indeed a great place to start. Do reach out as and when you plan your trip in future.
Wow, that place looks exquisite! Sounds like it would be an incredible experience to stay there.
Yes I too enjoyed my Suryagarh stay! The food is unforgettable… I want to go back there just to experience all that once more.
Indrani, wasn’t the central courtyard just out of the world!
Jaisalmer looks like an incredible destination, and like you a stay in Suryagarh would be perfect! I love the luxurious touches, I’m so glad you got a chance to stay and managed to book rooms. The fort looks vast and beautiful so for that reason alone I’d brave the tourists to go!
Samantha, you need a certain attitude to brave most tourist destinations in India. But if you do, I assure you, it is an experience to remember!