Great place to stay! When looking for a place to stay, I hesitated between the town with a view of the fort, and staying in the fort itself. Some people say one should avoid the fort because it is crumbling and tourism will speed up its demise, but we were OK with it. We took very short showers and besides, tourists are greatly outnumbered by the locals!
We had the round room (if I remember correctly it was room 2, but I'm not 100% sure) - the only one with a tiny balcony you could sit in, filled with lovely colourful pillows. Whilst we were in Jaisalmer, the temps were in the mid-forties (centigrade) so we only sat there in the early morning, enjoying the view over the town and surrounding desert. Right above the room is the terrace, actually, and you get the same view. We had breakfast there in the mornings - fruit, toast and jam, lovely banana pancakes, coffee and tea - with the friends we travelled with. During the 3 nights we were there, the owner was absent, but the Nepalese boys he has working for him took care of us perfectly. They did some of our laundry and we had Thalis on the rooftop terrace as well one evening, plus sundowners (the boys ran down to the shops to get us local gin, tonic, cold Kingfishers and lime) - and we weren't charged for any of it!! Moreover, the owner called us twice from Delhi to inquire if our stay was going well, which we really appreciated.
The Victoria is decorated really tastefully in Rajasthani style, each of the 7 rooms differently. The only problem I can mention is that the bathroom of the room we had - the most expensive of his rooms - was very small, with a sink so tiny you couldn't even wash a pair of socks in it - and a shower that wasn't in its own stall, but in the same space as the toilet and 'baby' sink. The room below ours which our friends had, had a bigger bathroom. It didn't really bother us, though, since we took very short showers anyway. The air conditioning was excellent - although there was a general power outage a few times throughout the fort, which of course no one had any control over. Amazingly, in the midst of this heat, we had a rain /hail storm one late afternoon, which flooded the room somewhat. The boys had to lug the rug out later, but they did a great job cleaning things up.
The only recommendation I have for Pancaj, the owner, is that he replace all the cushion covers on the rooftop terrace - they are rather worn and faded. perhaps he should protect his outside furniture a little better at night too, or it will soon all need to be replaced.
From the fort parking lot, a tuk-tuk will take you to a tiny square inside the fort that's a stone's thrown from the Victoria.
Jaiselmer itself is well worth two full days, we felt. With a late afternoon camel safari, visits to all the beautiful havelis, the city Palace, the busy town and markets and the cenotaph, there's plenty to do. It's just a pity that the town doesn't clean up the increduble rubbish on all the ramparts and throughout the fort and town - but that's India's biggest problem, isn't it? The filth and rubbish and neglect everywhere is such a great shame, and overwhelmed us at times.
I wholeheartedly recommend the Victoria, although April, May, June and July are VERY hot!
- Also Known As:
- Victoria Hotel Jaisalmer
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Victoria is the located at the inside the fort and this this a old haveli. It used to be my house before and I started the hotel 9 year ago we provide Rajasthani hospitality and roof top have sun set and city view. ... more less