Suryagarh

Near Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer & Bikaner, India Book from Book from £144 per night

A gateway to Rajasthan's shimmering Thar Desert: the charm of a boutique hideaway with the superlative comforts of a 5-star hotel
As you wind your way along a sandstone drive just off Jaisalmer’s dusty highway, you'll be forgiven for thinking you're witnessing a mirage. Up ahead, the fortress-like walls of Suryagarh rise up out of the Thar Desert like a vision of a bygone age: it's a spell-binding sight. Translated as the ‘House of Sun’, the hotel is a mixture of ancient and modern delights. Manager Karan (perhaps maître d' is a more accurate epithet) is the perfect host, overseeing every last detail with total finesse. From the sound of babbling fountains as you enter to the rose-scented facial spray and traditional 'mithai' (Indian sweets) that await in your marvellous room, even your arrival is special - and sets the tone for pleasures to come.

There are tranquil grounds to wander, and a surplus of modern comforts can be found near the cavernous courtyard. The Rait spa offers traditional Indian treatments and their own signature ‘sand’ ritual; a comprehensively equipped gym includes an Indian Kushti wrestling ring, and there's an indoor pool decorated in peacock blue tiles. As for the food, it's delicious across 3 restaurants: Nosh (all-day casual), Legends of Marwar (fine dining) and Draksh (a genteel bar). Finely balancing old and new worlds, this desert oasis is mesmerising on the senses.

Highs

  • The service is truly exemplary. (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this is not.)
  • An immersive activities programme tells the history of Jaisalmer better than any tour guide could
  • The 72 rooms are palatial and full of character. Comfy beds ensure an excellent sleep, and the biggest suites have private pools
  • Fantastic value
  • No ‘watered down’ tourist food here - only authentic Rajasthani menus and delicious Western cuisine

Lows

  • Discreet boutique hotel lovers might find the size and grandeur of the place all 'a bit much'
  • Jaisalmer’s recent embracing of wind turbines somewhat spoils the near-perfect desert horizon
  • While the WiFi has decent speed, it drops intermittently

Best time to go

November to February are hot, dry months, though the evenings in December and January get quite chilly. In February the city hosts the annual Desert Festival, when sands come alive with colourfully-robed camel traders. However, if you want to avoid the blistering sun, visit from September to March.

Our top tips

There's no escaping sun, so wear long & light cottons with open-toe sandals - the clothing of choice for Jaisalmer residents. You can purchase these from the city markets, but if you don't like to haggle you can find a few gorgeous pieces in Misri, the on-site boutique.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 72
  • Restaurants & bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Indoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Jacuzzi
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The 72 rooms are spacious and airy, their white-on-cream interiors dashed with vibrant colours and textured fabrics. Carved wood furnishings evoke a bygone decadence while upholstered headboards add a touch of contemporary chic. Large piles of cushions and throws on enormous jute rugs reflect the caravan serais (or resting places) which the Thar Desert is famed for.

The sandstone palette continues into the bathrooms, where you'll find rainfall showers (and Jacuzzi baths in most). All include homegrown and entirely natural Ayca toiletries.

Even the simplest Pavilion Rooms set the bar high and provide everything you might need for a comfortable stay (at excellent value for money), while the Suryagarh Suites include your own dining room as well as a private rooftop pool. The large Heritage Rooms are best for travelling families. As for indulgence, the Thar Haveli is utterly captivating, and feels as though you're sleeping among history - with the addition of a private pool.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Jacuzzi
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Celebrating Jaisalmer’s culinary heritage, Suryagarh eschews typical Indian menu clichés. We dined on Lal Maas (a rich mutton preparation), Gatte ki Sabzi (dumpling flour dumpling curry), Dal Bati Churma (lentil curry) - all as rich and delicious as they sound - in the refined setting of crimson-walled Legends of Marwar restaurant. The same attention to detail is found on their Western menu, too: tapas lunches, rich ragus and indulgent chocolate fondants provide a tasty respite for stomachs in need of a break from spices.

Even breakfast is a grand affair, served on the terrace with fresh juices, French presses, masala chai, eggs to order and flaky pastries, in the company of peacocks and Romeo and Juliet (the rescue donkeys), to the accompaniment of a Rajasthani flautist. It’s difficult to imagine a more enjoyable start to a morning. For an unforgettable evening experience, opt for the Thar dinner and dine beneath the desert stars in a royal caravan-style setting.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take your pick of the hotel’s impeccably curated experiences. From sundowners on the dunes (which includes a folk music accompaniment, and fireworks on request) to the Chudail Trails, a midnight journey through Thar Desert’s most haunted corners. You can even breakfast with flocks of peacocks
  • Yoga, archery lessons, a visit to an animal sanctuary, a walk through the organic vegetable garden - all can be found on-site at Suryagarh.
  • For culture, Jaisalmer Fort is a must - the palace and the Jain temples within its walls are what travellers come to see. You can book a car and a personal guide through the hotel.
  • Fans of the outdoors can head off mountain biking through the dunes or go in search of the Great Indian Bustard, a magnificent and now incredibly rare bird. Plus, you haven't really been to Jaisalmer unless you've been on camel-back. The hotel will be happy to arrange a safari trip in the dunes to ride these ships of the desert.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Archery lessons
  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Safaris
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga
  • Yoga and meditation

Kids

While there are no specific children’s facilities, Suryagarh is a great place for families. Children up to 8 years old stay free of charge; 9+ year olds are charged the same as adults. There's more than enough to keep kids occupied, including an on-site animal sanctuary and an indoor pool. Babysitting is available, but strictly by prior arrangement.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can accommodate 1 baby cot or extra bed except for the Fort Rooms.

Babysitting:

Strictly by prior arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Mountain biking
  • Camel rides
  • Jaisalmer Fort

Families Should Know:

There's no outdoor pool

Distances:

  • Airport: 30-40 minutes (Jaisalmer)
  • Shops: 15 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Suryagarh is located in the heart of the Thar Desert in western Rajasthan. It's 15 minutes by taxi from Jaisalmer city.

By Air
Jaisalmer Airport is only 27km away, reachable on a hopper flight from Jodhpur Airport (285km). Jodhpur is the closest major airport that's open all year round, and Delhi Indira Gandhi serves as the gateway to India for most international flights. The hotel can arrange a transfer from either airport. Click on the links below for more information.

By Train:
Indian Railways offers regular services to Jaisalmer from all the major cities in Rajhastan, including Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Barmer, Jaore and Ahemdabad. The hotel can collect you from the station.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Rajasthan and getting around

Airports:

  • Jaisalmer Airport 27.0 km JSA
  • Jodhpur 285.0 km JDH

Other:

  • Beach 999.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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