The entire staff at Surja Hotel is fantastic. Raj and Yogi, the owners, are amazing hosts and made our experience in Jaisalmer memorable. In the last two months backpacking through India, we have been looking to find a hotel that could replicate and live-up to Surja. Hasn't happened yet!!!! We arrived before dawn, straggled into Surja, and immediately we were brought upstairs and given chai after chai until our room was clean from the night's prior guests. We were shown into the Maharajah room and quoted an EXTREMELY reasonable price for their best room which was spacious, immaculate, with charming painted walls and a little window seat/balcony that looked out over the fort wall. It was refreshing after being in India for one month and not feeling like we needed to haggle for the price of the room - the quote was fair and I was surprised at how cheap.The restaurant upstairs has undeniably the best view over the fort and the food served was unparalleled to any we had in Rajasthan. Try the Kaju Curry. Service was prompt and the food was served in a timely manner and could even be brought to your room (although it would be silly to be in your room when you could be sitting on the rooftop overlooking the fort down below and the desert in 360 view, especially atmospheric at dusk). The staff treats you like family here - Munna (a staff member) referred to me as his sister and provided me with a full outfit for HOLI so that I wouldn't ruin my clothes. Another huge perk to this place, which we haven't found ANYWHERE else, is that they provide free wifi. We have a blog that we keep up and it was perfect to be able to sit there on the patio and not rack up the rupees uploading pictures. So if you have a laptop, this is your place. Yogi had mentioned that for next season he was going to get several laptops for customer use on the rooftop, so you might ask about that when you book. Just next door there are high-dollar expensive hotels that have the same views, but they charge 4 times the price as this one. It is already a popular place, and understandably so. You might want to book in advance.
We also, (and I cringingly admit), booked a camel safari. Yes. It IS about as touristy as it gets and we were worried at how cheesy it might be. We decided to book through Surja with Yogi's promise that it wouldn't be touristy. We were still skeptical. Turns out it wasn't. They took us through a stretch of desert where we hardly saw a soul and spent the night under the stars. Munna and our guided cooked us a beautiful meal over open fire, everything made from scratch and then were presented with a breakfast fit for kings. And again, all for a reasonable price.
This is definitely your best pick for Jaisalmer. Don't listen to lonely planet or rough guide when they say you should stay outside the fort. Raj and Yogi treat you like friends and after one week there (which is the longest we've stayed anywhere) we were invited to a complimentary dinner of egg curry made by Yogi himself for our last night in the hotel.
Best location, best value, best service, no hassle.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The famous rooftop view at Surja Hotel & Restaurant has been attracting guests for years. Our relaxed atmosphere and hospitality is what has people always coming back. The restaurant and hotel are housed within the walls of Jasailmer’s 850 year old fort. Our rooftop lounge and jharoka balconies in each room offer some of the cities most impressive views and a free Wi-Fi connection which make you keep in touch with your relatives and friends. Whether you need a room, a meal, a camel trek, or would just like to come see the view and enjoy a free cup of chai, we hope you will visit us when you are in Jaisalmer! ... more less
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