Tag Archives: Jaisalmer

Top 5 luxury locations in India
Top 5 luxury locations in India

India is known for its spirituality and diversity. For being on every backpackers trail because it’s just so, so cheap. Right?

Wrong.

India is also the land of royalty, of opulence, home to dozens of erstwhile rajahs and nawabs. Our thirst for over-the-top-luxury has since been honed to reflect the sleek, subtler undertones of the modern rich. So no matter how you choose to define luxury, India has it all.

I’ve had the good fortune of tasting some of this splendour myself, from glamping in the great outdoors to dining in the halls of palatial forts. Here are my five top recommendations from the most high-end hotels in the country.

Udaipur

A fairytale city set in a bygone era and populated by romantics. Squeeze through the tiny bylanes of the old city and you’ll suddenly find yourself in the shadow of the ancient royal palace, stark white walls delicately moulded into trellissed balconies and awnings overlooking the lake. The Taj Lake Palace was made iconic by James Bond in Octopussy decades ago, and it’s still just as thrilling, though it’s now been converted into one of India’s finest heritage properties. The Oberoi Udaivilas is a sprawling complex of uber-luxe buildings and grounds, the proud winner of the Best Indian Hotel for three years in a row.Each room here comes with it’s own private lagoon outside your door and gorgeous views of both the Lake and City Palaces. All said and done, though, they’re still not my final pick.

The Serai, Jaisalmer

Understated and restrained, yet oozing with lavishness. No expense is spared to provide the absolutely highest quality experience in these luxury tents spread on a hundred acres of shimmering desert. Gourmet food, the best wines, private, heated, candlelit pools, privately guided safaris, a world-class spa, private tours, the list is endless. All this, set in the lap of natures bounty among the shifting sands, glinting golden in the warm summer sun.

Kumaon

Originally a kingdom in it’s own right, these majestic mountains rise up above their misty shrouds in a world of complete and pristine isolation. It’s the perfect getaway if you’re looking to cosy up with someone you love in a world of your own. When you’re up for some adventure, you can explore the history of this regal martial race, their gorgeous architecture and culture. Shakti 360° Leti, Bageshwar

Contemporary design, traditional building methods and locally sourced materials  come together to create these luxurious one-of-a-kind cabin, the pinnacle of privacy. Floor to ceiling windows offer you an exclusive view of the mountains, verandahs with individual fireplaces make for romantic evenings, unless you want to spend them indoors wrapped in one of the many pashminas strewn around. While the cabin offers you acres of nature without another souk for miles around, liveried staff will still arrive daily with gourmet meals, select wines and any other service you can think of to ask of them. Win-win, isn’t it?

Bandhavgarh

Deep valleys, wide grasslands and dense bamboo thickets spread across 437 sq km. The Bandhavgarh National Park is the quintessential rustling Indian midland forest, packed full with the highest density of tigers in the country, and littered in between are the hunting lodges of erstwhile Maharajas of the region. A 2,000 year old fort is worh a trek through the sal forests to be explored.

Mahua Kothi by Taj, Bandhavgarh

A lovingly restored ‘kothi’ r homestead, surrounded by 12 private suites with individual shaded access, sheltered verandahs and traditional mud floors. You can bank on the famous Taj hospitality as you let the history soaked in the hand-finished walls and open rafters take you on a journey. Each morning, coal warmed kettles will be brought to your door for your daily tea, and gift baskets of yoga goodies and traditional Indian games will keep you busy between bicycle rides.

Darjeeling

A colonial paradise of quaint churches and orderly tea plantations, Darjeeling is a slice of heaven on a plate. Ride the adorable toy train to some of the most scenic valleys and cliffs in the country. Stop for a quick momo and thukpa break to fuel up for a lovely walk through the gardens. There is no stress is heaven.

Glenburn Tea Estates

The epitome of sophistication, Glenburn was inspired by the vineyard resorts of Europe, where guests can fully experience and participate in every stage of the wine-making process. But the real draw is the gorgeous accommodation, seven themed suites of delicate British good taste. Hand embroidered linen graces the antique furniture, fresh fruit baskets and flowers adorn the intricate lawn furniture. Mesmerisingly carved wooden panels line the spacious rooms overlooking the green slopes. Pastel shades and soft feathery duvets underline the cosy feel. Hiking trips, fishing, massage therapies, butterfly watching, camping and cooking classes help you unwind at this gorgeous estate.

 

Since every single one of these locations is at the top of the exclusivity list, you may have some trouble making a reservation. don’t hesitate to drop us a line, we’ll get the job done!


Jaisalmer: The Golden city in the Desert
Jaisalmer: The Golden city in the Desert

India Thar Desert, Jaisalmer India’s Thar Desert, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is a beautiful city near the Thar desert. The border to Pakistan is 100 kilometres away. After our arrival at the train station a car from the hotel picked us up and brought us to our accommodation. On the way I saw Fort Jaisalmer for the first time. I felt like Aladdin in Disneyland. The fort is amazing and I felt like I was a part of former times when kings ruled the country. The havelis in the city are also beautiful.

Things we did in Jaisalmer

Sanddunes in India, Desert Jaisalmer Sand dunes in India, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Fort

In 1156 the fort was built by the Rajputana ruler Jaisal. I would recommend visiting the Fort Palace. The audio-guide is included in the ticket and we learned a lot about the history of the city. The various rooms inside the palace were beautiful. We walked into the fort and the gates and the havelis were amazing. It all reminded me very much of a fairy tale.

Jain Temple

We also saw two nice Jain temples inside the fort when we walked around. The entry for this monument was quite expensive. We walked around in two temples and especially the reliefs made of sandstone are very detailed and therefore interesting.

Camel Safari
Camel safari in India, Jaisalmer Camel safari in India, Jaisalmer

The Camel Safari was the most exciting, romantic and spectacular part in Jaisalmer. We started the trip at 3 pm with a Spanish couple and one guy from Canada. We went to an empty village by car which took us about ½ hour. After that we made a short stop at a village in a rural area with nice inhabitants and children. At 5 pm our camel safari in the Thar desert at the Khuri Sand Dunes Resort started. It was a bit scary when the camel stood up because I was shaking in both directions. To sit on a camel is not really comfortable and it’s very high. We were going in a row, one camel after the other. The view was amazing. After 10 minutes some sheep crossed our way. Two of the small sheep “attacked” two camels. One of the sheep was under my camel and the animal got really nervous and aggressive. It was really hard to stay in the saddle. I don’t really know how I managed the situation but in the end I jumped off the camel. This was a really dangerous situation for me and the Spanish guy. I had to be calmed down for a long time. Marlene was shocked too. After a while everyone was better and we continued our journey through the desert. After about 1 hour of camel riding we arrived at our camp in the sand dunes. It was amazing. There were no people around us and we enjoyed the sunset together. We took some great pictures. After a delicious dinner, the cameleers sang ussome folk-songs. We had a lot of fun together—it was great. We were sleeping outside in very comfortable “beds” with nice big blankets. It was amazing to sleep outside under soooooo many stars and the moon.

In the morning we enjoyed the beautiful sunrise and a delicious breakfast. After that we rode the camels back through the sand dunes to the main street where a car picked us up.

Our accommodation:

Mystic Jaisalmer

This is a beautiful hotel with an amazing roof top terrace and a good view of the Golden Fort. Our room was clean, the beds were comfortable and the room itself had a nice furniture. The staff, especially the boss, was really friendly and informed us about the camel safari.

Mystic jaisalmer rooftop, image from hostelbookers Mystic jaisalmer rooftop, image from hostelbookers

Restaurants

Mystic Jaisalmer

On the roof-top terrace I enjoyed very good Rajasthani special food with naan and vegetables from the desert. The staff is very friendly and fast. The ambience was very nice with the view of the fort.

Sunset

This restaurant is located inside the fort. Here you can enjoy very good Indian food on a roof-top terrace. And again everything is about the view of Jaisalmer fort.

Jaisal Italy

This restaurant offers very good Italian pasta. It was quite close to international standards. I also ordered one orange-juice. This one was already unfit for consumption but it was no problem to give it back and order another drink. Marlene’s ice tea was very good.

The Bhang Shop

Well this was very interesting, crushed marijuana leaves mixed with milk and served legally. This is a traditional drink in India and lets just say it left us craving a lot of food and parts of the day we cannot remember.

he bhang shop Jaisalmer, India (photo courtesy tripadvisor) The bhang shop Jaisalmer, India (photo courtesy tripadvisor)