This was our 2nd trip to Rajasthan and this time we avoided the main cities and stayed in small hotels in smaller towns and villages.
As my wife had seen the film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” she jumped at the chance to stay one night in the actual hotel where scenes from the film were shot – the hotel still has the Best Exotic Marigold sign outside the main entrance
A haveli usually describes a private house in India, usually one with historical and architectural significance. Most are what you would describe a ‘Shabby Chic’ i.e. they appear aged, maybe a bit run down and there are signs of wear and tear – Ravla Khempur definitely fits in to this category although when talking to Nitin the manager he told us that they wanted to renovate/improve some of the rooms but the movie company (who are shooting a sequel to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel during December 2013 and March 2014 specifically requested that the rooms remain untouched). We were also told that the movie company previously sprayed dirty water on the exterior walls to make the hotel look more run down in the original film.
Our bedroom and bathroom was definitely showing signs of wear and tear and the mattress on my wifes bed had a nasty lump in it.
However, Ravla Khempur has many redeeming features.
Firstly there is Nitin the manager is great. He personally took us on a very informative and interesting walk round the village with stops at a number of different homes and a visit to the local herbal doctor who explained his work. Nitin is the heart of the Ravla Khempur. As another reviewer pointed out “I think the hotel works because of the efforts of Nithin, his ideas and beliefs introducing guests to the village and encouraging the villagers to embrace the hotel guests, makes the visit truly unique. He has a gentle style and an easy way, that makes you feel you've made a friend”
Secondly the hotel has an old world charm with its wide open courtyard, rooms with beautifully coloured glass windows and old fashioned artifacts and a lovely balcony where you can watch the most sun set and then have dinner by candle light. Just before breakfast I watched green parrots flying around the balcony and one of the local men sweeping up the leaves from the small temple across the road.
This is a very unique place although the rooms could do with improvement.
Please note that the hotel is not open to guests between Mid December 2013 and the end of March 2014 as the filming for the sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will be taking place
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Now reopened with Resaalaa Restaurant. Ravla Khempur used as The BestExotic Marigold Hotel,a british movie. The title ‘Ravla’ in Rajasthan refers to the home of a village chieftain”. In earlier days, the Ravla was the focal point of the entire village. Functions such as village welfare, collection of taxes, administration of law and order, and the initiation of festivals took place in the Ravla. Ravla Khempur exudes historical ambience and is graced with breathtaking surroundings. The lofty terraces, open courtyards, sprawling gardens, domes, arches and canopied balconies transport one back in time. Khempur village developed over the centuries to one side of the Ravla. It comprises a small, random and attractive cluster of typical rural dwellings and shops, and shaded squares where the villagers discuss the affairs of the world or share the local gossip. For the visitor, this is a side of India that has its own fascination; the cheerful welcome and natural hospitality of the village folk who ask nothing more than to enjoy a chat over a cup of tea. ... more less
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