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“Great introduction to the ecology of the Thar desert!”

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Vinayak Guest House
Ranked #2 of 50 Bikaner B&B and Inns
Hilo, Hawaii
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great introduction to the ecology of the Thar desert!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

I made a special trip out to Bikaner when I heard of Jitu’s research into the critters of the Thar desert, and I was duly impressed by his knowledge of the local animals, plants, and ecology -- as well as related conservation topics. I highly recommend going on a camel tour arranged by him; if you don’t have a lot of time, however, at the very least I would try to arrange an afternoon jeep tour through the desert just outside of Bikaner guided by Jitu himself. This prelude to the camel ride turned out to be the highlight of the whole trip.
As far as the guest house itself, it’s a friendly, economical place to stay, but what impressed me most was Jitu’s candid, honest interactions with all the guests. Up front about his (very reasonable) fees for services offered (e.g., picking up bus tickets for you), I interacted with no other businessman in all of India that was this honest, helpful, and easy to deal with. He also gave very honest descriptions and warnings about the camel tour (e.g., what sorts of comforts to expect [and not to expect]), which I found extremely useful. Camel tours are not for everyone, and his accurate descriptions are very helpful for one deciding whether or not to commit.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank anonymous a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
62 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

I stayed at Vinayak Guest House and would say it is average. The rooms were nice and relatively clean but extremely stuffy and hot, even with the fan going at full speed. You can see that Jitu gives attention to the rooms with their fresh color, paintings and little decoration.

I even booked a morning wildlife safari with Jitu and am amazed by his knowledge and ability to spot the animals.

The only experience that teinted my stay there was the fact that however nice Jitu tried to be, there is an ultimate motive behind it, which is to make you spend as much as possible at his guesthouse.

When asked if a certain cafe was good, he put it down and suggested to dine at his place. He gave some words of advice (don't talk to touts etc) and now it seems logical why, as he was trying to avoid you finding out that his prices were indeed higher than the others in town. He would try to our you off going for dinner saying it was not the safest to walk around and then suggest you eat at the guesthouse.

Whereas I do understand the tourism is part of the livelihood, I have also experienced genuine friendliness and think it is sad that things would be run like this at Vinayak Guesthouse.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Dromomaniac85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

This is a family home with basic but nice rooms, hot water and food. I booked 1 night but stayed 3. I was never forced to book any tours with them or to eat at home. Jitu even explained me how to find some restaurants I wanted to try.

In my opinion, his knowledge of the area and the nature around can't be found anywhere else, he is specialized in environmental and nature issues so its very interesting touring with him! I told him I'm more interested in people and culture so he took me to some villages where I took some good portraits (I'm a photographer)

This is probably the only guesthouse/hotel where I wasn't rip off when buying bus tickets, this guy is very honest. If a rickshaw or taxi driver tells you not to go there, its because he doesn't pay commissions to them.

Room Tip: Ask for Thali some hours in advance if you want to try homemade good food for lunch/dinner
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank jfquintero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
48 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

To start with we arrived at 3am and were still collected by Jitu from the coach station. After a bit of sleep we ate very well and the food on all occasions was delicious, as cooked by his lovely wife. Having the kids running around and Jitu's Dad sleeping in the garden added a family atmosphere that made us feel very much at home. Our room was cosy and nicely decorated with a fresh bathroom. The jeep safari was brilliant and Jitu's knowledge as a zoologist gave us a deep insight into the local flora and fauna. We got very lucky and saw everything Jitu had mentioned we might see, we then waited for the 200 strong camel caravan to arrive and had camel milk tea with the herders. Our camel safari was amazing and a sleep under the stars with our very friendly camel herder/chef is something both myself and partner will never forget. We stayed for one night before the safari as Jitu said it's best to do so to gauge if the May heat was too much for us or not, even though it peaked at 47 degrees we were determined to go out and I am very glad we did. I seriously recommend staying at Vinayak and going on the camel safari and will be back in the future to do so again myself.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Ed T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here in May 2013 and had the perfect stay. All of our activities and plans were organised very efficiently, leaving time to enjoy resting at the lovely guesthouse in between. Binu's knowledge of Bikaner, it's people and wildlife is extremely impressive (he is a zoologist) and he is a delight to be around. Sunrise on the sand dunes, a camel ride and night in the desert just the two of us, and some of the best Indian home cooking we had (after 5 months in India) amongst many other things make this the choice for Bikaner. He really gave us a refreshing insight into Rajasthani culture and the environment. A lovely family... plus, his pug dog 'The Duke' is hilarious!

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Bell1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

My partner and I stayed here in July for four nights and took advantage of all Jitu, his wife and family had to offer.
Clean and quiet rooms, great homemade cooking, very obliging with all our requests.
Jitu organised a great day for us to visit the Fort, the Camel Research Institute and the Karni Mata Rat Temple. We also decided to go on a Wildlife discovery tour with him through the area surronding Bikaner and we were blessed to see heaps of animals, birds and reptiles (Jitus Specialty). This was followed up with an overnight camel safari also arranged by Jitu. I had previously done an overnight safari from Jaisalmer, but I found this more interesting as we passed through small villages and saw families farming their land. His men even organised for my thirsty travelling companion to stop his Camel outside a shop to enable him to purchase a cool beer!! The food was simple but tasty and cooked over an open fire in the desert night... Anything you need Jitu will try to help and is honest and upfront about what to expect and prices (very reasonable)...
Thank you for a very memorable stay.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Helen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2013

I have never written a review on tripadvisor before but this hostel deserves it. I literally owe my life to this warm and loving family. When I was in Bikaner for two days I got extremely ill and had to go back from the camel trip I was on at the moment. Once I got back to the hostel I tried to sleep it out for a day but eventualy the family convinced me to go to the hospital. I ended up staying there on the IC for a little under a week. The family brought me food every day until and made sure I could reach my family with their personal phone. There was some one in the room with me the whole time I was there, they made me feel safe.

This is the guesthouse you want to be staying at when you get the chance.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Casette92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vinayak Guest House

Property: Vinayak Guest House
Address: near Junagarh Fort, Bikaner 334001, India
Location: India > Rajasthan > Bikaner
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 50 B&Bs / Inns in Bikaner
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vinayak guest house is a peaceful guest house in Bikaner. It is located near Junargarh Fort in a quiet street. It provides rooms for all kind of travelers. There is a restaurant serving Indian and continental food. The management also organizes several tours in the Thar desert (ranging from jeep/camel safaris to village tours). Pick up from the bus station or train station can easily be arranged. Come and visit us and relax! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vinayak Guest House Hotel Bikaner

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