I arrived in Jaisalmer at about 5:00 a.m. on the train from Jodhpur, and as promised there was a rickshaw waiting at the station for me, no charge. When I arrived at the hotel just a short time later, I was immediately given a room and told to get some sleep, and then register after I got up.
The room was one of the basic ones, with a private bathroom but no tv or other fancy extras. But the bed was comfortable, the plumbing worked, there was plenty of shelf space, and the hot water never ran cold. It is my understanding that some of the upstair rooms are a little fancier, but this one was fine for my needs.
Later that day when I registered, I paid 800 rupees for two nights. That afternoon and evening I went on a camel ride, and when I got back Guru, one of the two brothers who run the Renuka (and the Ratan Palace right down the block), came up to me and said that it wasn't right to charge me for that day since I hadn't gotten there until 5:00 a.m. I thought it was fair, since I used their bed and hot water, but he insisted, and refunded 400 rupees.
I left the next day on a bus back to Jodhpur to catch a train to Ahmedabad. Guru arranged my bus ticket, and everything went smoothly. I checked out about 10:00 am (an hour late, with again no extra charge), and they let me hang around the lobby, using their electricity to write a bunch of emails on my netbook. I also had the use of the rooftop restaurant and a bathroom on the second floor.
Sunny and Guru run both hotels, along with their father. They are all exceptionally honest and helpful, and the two sons in particular have good English skills. The staff is cheerful and helpful, especially a young lad named Amin, and the food in the restaurant is well-prepared and the menu expansive.
The Renuka is a budget hotel, and does not have some of the unnecessary amenities that some places do, but you get more than your money's worth and you leave feeling that you have been treated very well and very honestly. What more could you want?
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