Arya Haveli in Jaisalmer is the first house-turned-haveli stay that won’t leave an irreparable dent in our savings account and we can’t tell you how thankful we are to have found this. Apart from the aesthetically done-up rooms, (they have 13 of them), it’s got all the comforts that you could possibly need on a vacation. Think Wi-Fi, rooms with views, AC and clean linen (and the bathrooms aren’t shoddy, yay!) Yes, it’s bang in the middle of the city but it has that cherished quality that shields you from the chaos and lets you sip your freshly-brewed espresso in peace.
If you’re in for a long stay, we’d suggest spending a day or two at least enjoying Arya Haveli's good playlist that celebrates all genres from jazz and blues to reggae and hip-hop. Their Blues Cafe is an ideal spot to unwind and meet fellow travellers over nibbles. They do a simple Indian and Italian menu but the food’s all homemade.
The location of the haveli is perfect for the serial sightsee-er thanks to its proximity to the local spots including Jaisalmer Fort and Gandhi Chowk.
The staff’s a friendly lot and they organise a desert safari on request. Our friends also tell us that they take you to a secret spot that isn’t thronged by a million tourists and lets you enjoy the sand dunes at your own pace. You can choose to do it perched on a camel or in a jeep and from what we hear, it also takes you through some colourful villages that dot the Thar desert. If you are really pressed for time, they offer to take you on a curated city tour (for a price, of course) which includes all the major attractions you gotta see.
One thing we’d really suggest you make time for? A camp night in the desert to end that safari. The Swiss tents look gorgeous and we think they’re a fitting end to an evening of folk music and buffet food.
Tariffs at Arya Haveli start at a meagre INR 200 per night.