With its dreamlike persona, Suryagarh Jaisalmer welcomed me on a warm summer evening. I saw the golden light shine upon the fort-like structure from a distance. There began my love affair with Suryagarh. And what followed thereafter only strengthened this emotion.
My first exclamation was when I walked into my room. The Jaisalmer I is a spacious, beautifully done up room. Within my room, the living space adjoined the dining table, and further beyond the intricate mesh work divided the bed chamber. And a walk-in dressing and bath space further inwards.
There was ample light coming in from the numerous windows around the room. Nothing compared to the private, open-to-sky swimming pool—only a flight of stairs away! This was the highlight of my stay.
As I explored Suryagarh more, I admired the play of light-and-shade in each corner of the property, throughout the day. At early mornings, the sun peeked from my window. The hot noon sun made the Central Courtyard shine. In the early evening, the shadows played gorgeously on the first floor corridor. And at night, I saw the moon rising eastwards above the Lake Gardens.
I walked around the property feeling its solitude. It had a distinct capability to make me feel at home and yet I wanted to escape its comfort to see more. In Suryagarh, I could be sitting under the open sky and around ten people, yet felt the spaces come alive in silence.
The service at Suryagarh was a delicate combination of attention without intrusion. There were times even before I turned to ask for anything, the staff was ready to help me with it—as if they read my mind.
It is the small things that go a long way? At breakfast, Yogesh knew how I liked my Masala Chai. In the evenings, Sunil and Kalu Singh knew that vodka concoctions were not for me. And the housekeeping knew that my bedside table always had enough space for a bottle of water and my Kindle. They really go out of their way to adapt to your habits.
If there was one thing I wish I did differently while visiting Suryagarh, it would be running three kilometres between every meal! Rajasthani hospitality at its best also equates to full course meals and each better than the last.
From serving the traditional (and enormous) thalis to local flavoursome breakfast to scrumptious healthy meals, Suryagarh infused its culinary magic into my senses. My most memorable is probably the dinner at Lake Gardens with Jaisalmer’s curries. The spread included Khumb Palak Ke Kebab (mushrooms and spinach patties), Atta Chicken, Jungli Maans (goat meat with chillies) and Nalli Jaisana (goat shank with onion, curd and spices), amongst many others. In a sharp contrast, the Vegetables Stew with Buckwheat Pilaf from their specially designed Staying Well lunch menu was equally flavourful and comforting.
Even with the warm sun during the day, we spent a lot of time outdoors, beyond the hotel and into the lives of the people. Every day we drove out to explore an unknown trail. The villages of Khaba and Kuldhara enticed me with their history, the temple complex of Barahmsar with the oasis became my solace, layered cenotaphs of Bada Bagh glistened under the sun and the silence of the golden sands of Desert National Park resonated with Somar’s voice as I sipped my champagne at sundown.
Within Suryagarh, the revelry at Celebration Garden was alive with shimmering candles, breakfast tables were set in contrasting colours, and peacocks and Golden Retrievers visited us frequently. Whenever I foresaw a chance, I escaped to my private pool. Here I sat in solitude watching the windmills at a distance and golden landscape saturate with the light.
Good to know
-Suryagarh have multiple offers and special discounts through the year. Keep up with their website or their Facebook page.
-Suryagarh is a drive away from Jaisalmer’s main city. It is definitely worth experiencing the property and doing nothing.
-Their award winning spa, Rait, is known for its signature treatments and is highly recommended.
-They have a centralised tipping system. Feel free to leave yours at the front office in an envelope.
Have you had a taste of Suryagarh’s royalty yet?
Note: I was invited by Suryagarh Jaisalmer.