Shahi Palace was my home in India for almost the entire three months of my trip. I eagerly returned after staying a mere three days a year ago. This is not just a hotel, this is a business run by the most incredible family who will welcome all tourists with open arms.
The hotel is the largest of the three hotels run by the Mali brothers, (the other two are a 30 second walk down the road) It is designed by the brothers replicating the traditional designs of the old Jaisalmer haveli's. The rooms are spacious, clean and having stayed in almost all of them, I know that their charm is found in their unique decorations and comfortable atmosphere. (Number 28 was my home most of the time, there will one day be a photo of me riding a camel in there! :P)
Another of the hotels impressive qualities is it's rooftop terrace. It is a relaxed, comfortable and social environment that hosts one of the best views in town of Jaisalmer's famous 'Golden Fort' and after three months in Jaisalmer, the sunset still managed to take my breath away every night! The food from the rooftop restaurant is also incredible. The extremely capable chefs, Hare and Ramesh specialise in making fantastic, traditional Rajasthani food as well as some amazing Western dishes. And Kheta and Laksmanji are two of the most efficient, friendly and wonderful waiters in India! In fact, the only way the rooftop experience could be even better is if Dev ji starts playing my music! :-)
Over my time in Jaisalmer I did several camel safaris and after researching and checking out the different options around town, I always ended up going with the safari's run by the hotel. Yes, you can find cheaper ones from other companies, but you get what you pay for! The cheaper safari's are inferior, they take you to the most touristy part of the dunes, have limited time actually spent on the camels and they use the blankets from the camels saddle as your bedding. Shahi Palace has a range of safari's, the guides will make traditional food and you will be provided with proper mattresses and bedding from the hotel. In addition, they will take you off the beaten track where very few tourists frequent and will show you three monuments before you start the camel safari. So, if you are not going to be in Jaisalmer every day, why not pay a little bit extra for a second to none experience?!
I could write a book about this hotel, how wonderful and charming the design is, how fantastic and helpful all the staff are but really, all I can say is if you travel to Jaisalmer and do not stay at Shahi Palace you are making a HUGE mistake because you will never find a family as caring, warm, friendly and honest as the four brothers who own Shahi Palace. Bhakra ji, Jora, Dev and Swaroop are four of the most fantastic people I have ever met. I gladly spent three months with their wonderful company, and as a non stop talker travelling by herself, the hours that I spent with these brothers and their extended family was a true gift that I will cherish all my life.
I will always keep coming back to Shahi Palace. This beautiful place is my home away from home and I feel very blessed to have met this family and thank my lucky stars that on my first trip to India a friend recommended this beautiful hotel!
xx Cassie, (aka Kudi, Aussie, total local, Aishwarya) :-D
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated outside the fort near fort gate, Shahi Palace is a welcoming, family-run hotel, built entirely of local sandstone of Jaisalmer with classic Rajasthani decor throughout. It offers a range of comfortable, cool rooms and a relaxed rooftop terrace with magnificent views of the fort. The chilled rooftop restaurant offers a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and is a great place to watch the sun set and meet fellow travelers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shahi Palace Hotel
- Shahi Palace Jaisalmer