This is one hell of an Indian experience. It's really the ultimate 1-star and 5-star experience. I'll settle for four, since I still vividly remember every detail one year and a half later.
You must stay here, for the good, the bad, and the ugly!...and the wife!! If possible, come for the camel festival in January.
I came for the festival in 2011, run coincidentally by Vijay. It's really tough to review Vijay Guest House, given the extreme positives and negatives that accompanied my visit.
- Vijay knows everyone in the city. I mean, literally, everyone. He can make anything happen, at any time of day or night. Vijay is the typical Rajasthani man - powerful, funny, and eccentric! Once you meet Vijay, you will never, ever forget him! Unfortunately, neither will you his wife...but more on that below
- Vijay's guesthouse has an assortment of rooms, and really attracts the best travellers that you'll meet in India. Meals are served family style, and are authentic and home-cooked.
- If you're in Bikaner for the camel festival, then you must stay at Vijays. It will be over-booked, but find a way to do it. Vijay runs the festival, and will ensure that you get the best experience.
- Vijay has some great stories (and whiskey) to share. His father was head of the army's camel brigade that protected the border with Pakistan.
- Vijay's wife is equally unforgettable. And awful. Evil & awful. That about sums it up. She almost never leaves her bed, except for to eat, boss the servants around, and overbook rooms. She managed to guarantee me a small room for one night over the phone, and also a room for my 4 friends who would arrive the next day. I confirmed the room before arriving. Sure enough, they were out, forcing me to spend the night in a larger room. The next day, I found out that my friends were meant to sleep in a TENT outside! So much for their room... When I protested, they were put up in the neighbors house. Ah India.... Vijay's wife then proceeded to give away my room as well, leaving me with no option except the massive master room. Rather than complain, I offered to share it with a couple from Northern Ireland that were also given a tent out back. Turned into one hell of a good night!
- The rooms run the gambit. Some are tastefully decorated, while others are big disasters.
- When overbooked, you'll spend the night in the neighbor's house
- Vijay's wife really screwed up my bill. I complained to Vijay, and he sorted things out right away.