Although I have never reviewed a property on this website, I felt it would have been amiss of me not to do so given the overwhelming experience we are having in this hotel.
The hotel Suryagarh although some fourteen Km. from the small town of Jaiselmer, is easily reached within 10 mts or so from this town as the road leading to this hotel is virtually free of the maddening traffic you find in India. Moreover, this is the road you will inevitably take to reach the sand dunes.
Suryagarh is illuminescent sitting as a fortress in the midst of arid dry terrain. The architecture is awe inspiring with its golden sandy hue. The strength of the Rajputs and the hospitality they offer are clearly depicted within its design.
As we approached the majestic archway of this hotel, we were met by a quintessential security guard sporting a long handled moustache who smartly waved our car in. We then approached the main pathway leading to the front entrance of the hotel. We were welcomed by folded hands by another elegant and unmistakable guard by the name of Sawai Singh. The luggage was promptly unloaded by a crew of porters while we were led up to the threshold of the main entrance door. There we were welcomed by Pandit Sharma who welcomed us with a Vedic mantra and a teeka on our foreheads. The check in was smooth and painless whilst we were offered cold drinks and chilled wet towels to ward away the exhaustion through having undertaken a five hour car drive from Jodhpur.
We were then led by a welcoming member of staff to our room but on our way to our room, we were introduced to the facilities provided by the hotel.
Despite not requesting for one, we were upgraded to a suite on the first floor. As the entrance door of our suite was being opened, we could hear the unmistakable lilt of local Rajasthani music coming from the court yard downstairs. The door of the suite opened into an oasis of sheer luxury which despite being regular luxury tourists, did not fail to overwhelm us. The cool air conditioned ambiance of the suite was a respite much appreciated when you consider the heat outside. To our utmost delight, we found the quality of toiletries, bedding and towels to be world class. There was abundance of complimentary bottled water replenished with utmost generosity every morning and evening. House keeping was top class with its room cleaning and turndown service. The thoughtful presentation of free traditional sweets every night punctuated the day.
There are two restaurants in the hotel and a bar. Although one of the restaurants is undergoing a refurbishment programme, it in no way affected the quality of service and the range of food served up on a daily basis. The food and beverages team headed by the most exuberant and thoughtful of people I have personally encountered is Sachit Jha. Despite his youth, he exhibited an innate sense of understanding of his guests needs. Being a resident manager on the premises, his presence was reassuringly there at all times. The restaurant served traditional Indian and Rajasthani fare along with oriental food. Having said this, there was nothing that Sachits chefs would not cook for you, if requested. Hot Dosas, puris and other Indian breakfast delicacies were to die for. Manjeet at the Nosh restaurant was most attentive to his guests and always insisted that they left the restaurant wonderfully satiated.
Having breakfast in the quad was by itself a novel experience. The hotel let out their pets consisting of two dogs Alex and Simba much loved both by the staff and guests. They also let out their peacocks and duck whilst there sat in its glory of seeming indifference, the hotels pet tortoise. As if this was not enough, we were suddenly subsumed by soft Rajasthani music being played by a musician perched on the top floor of the hotel. A site so uncanny and his position so obscure that you would never have expected anything like this.
In the evenings, there was a regular music programme arranged by the hotel. The Sufi music was mesmerising and the professional dancers accompanying this music left one overwhelmed. The hedonic mix of music, lager and the open starry night serving as a canopy left me fulfilled. It truly was soul affirming!
The spa at the Suryagarh might be considered by some as being expensive but it is not so given that such an array of treatment offered by the spa would cost twice as much in a comparable hotel in major Indian cities. Mahesh ran the spa with the depth of knowledge he shared with us and which is essential when deciding upon the treatment you opt for. The spa rooms and couple rooms were havens of tranquility.
Draksh, the watering hole of the hotel, served up cocktails which you would perhaps expect in a downtown bar in Manhattan. The subdued lights of this bar added to the atmosphere.
The staff at Suryagarh were each cogs of a wheel which makes this hotel into what it is. The General Manager, Karan Singh Vyas is an unassuming person who runs an efficient team. However, in the midst of this well oiled team, some individuals need to be named. Sachit Jha heading the food and beverages dept.is an asset to this hotel and without who we would not have had the level of experience we had. Rajesh Sharma, Nathan, the yoga teacher, Pandit Ji. Sawai Singh, Manjeet and Mahesh are precious stones studded in the armatarium of what is known as Suryagarh.
Ours was not a stay but an experience which will forever abide with me. Today, this is the sanctum you need to rest your head in should you arrive here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fashionably designed with luxurious interiors, the sixty two room hotel is proof that contradictions make for a wonderful hospitality experience. This unique juxtaposition of the modern with the medieval is what makes a stay memorable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Suryagarh Hotel Jaisalmer