Need to know
72, including 32 suites, of which four are standalone havelis.
Noon, but flexible for up to two hours, subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $73.44 (INR5,000), excluding tax at 28 per cent.
Rates usually include a buffet breakfast featuring western dishes and Indian specialities.
Take yoga classes or DIY guided chanting and meditation using a pre-loaded iPod – after all, you’re in the birthplace of Zen thinking. Alternatively, if you’re more into combat than contemplation, take a lesson in the ancient art of dhanur vidya archery.
At the hotel
An akhara (fitness centre), a taash (cards and billiards room) and free WiFi throughout the hotel. In rooms: TV, minibar, bottled water, tea- and coffee- making facilities and air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
Just a short walk from the main hotel, the one and two bedroom Havelis offer couples and families more privacy and freedom. Centred around lantern-lit courtyards, the villas bring traditional Indian living into the 21st century, with intricately carved stone reliefs both inside and out; each has a private pool, too.
When the Indian sun proves too hot to handle, retreat inside to the indoor pool, dubbed neel (Sanskrit for blue). Inspired by the striking sapphire plumes of native peacocks, as the name would suggest, the space is very blue; blue walls, blue ceiling and – naturally – blue pools.
The Rait spa has a sauna, rooftop pool and therapy rooms with private hot tubs. International and Indian therapies cover every part of the body from head to toe. Enrich your hair with an aloe vera and frankincense treatment or have your skin cleansed with a desert-berry scrub and native Acacia tree oil. If you haven’t seen enough sand, treat yourself to a traditional therapy involving an exfoliating spice scrub and an hour-long massage, where heated potlis (pouches) filled with Jaisalmer sand give you loose, laid-back muscles.
With temperatures hitting 40° in the summer, pack lots of loose, light-cotton and linen clothing. Haggle for dupatta scarves in Jaisalmer to keep a cool head in the scorching midday sun.
Children of all ages are welcome. However, the hotel’s better suited to older children who can entertain themselves. A baby cot or extra bed can be added to your room (except Fort Rooms). The restaurant Nosh has highchairs.