After a lot of thought and exploring multiple options for a long weekend in India, we finalized Jodhpur. Two reasons that drove us there, the historic feel to the city we have never explored and the hunger to experience a stay in a desert resort.
I evaluated multiple options for stay in a desert camp near Jodhpur, as I did not have enough days to add Jaisalmer to my agenda. A lot of research and extremely positive tripadvisor feedback we finalized The Samsara Luxury Desert Camp and Resort, and I am glad I made this choice.
After a delayed flight from Mumbai (which I am getting used to now), we arrived at Jodhpur airport by 2pm. We had booked a car online to be with us for our 3 days and the driver was waiting to receive us at the airport. We immediately set out for Samsara, about 2 hours drive from the airport and en-route halted for some yummy parathas at a local Dhaba. Once we reached Samsara, after our check in formalities with were quickly escorted to the Desert Camp (about 10 min drive from the resort) and we were happy to have made in before sunset. Our tent was ready and the Resort manager - Karan graciously welcomed us. The set up was lovely - 24 tents amidst the desert in a semi circle formation, an amphitheater set up for folk singers and dancers to perform in the evening entertainment program and the sand dunes as an amazing view from all tents. The set up completely blew my mind away. We joined the guests for some tea, cookies, cakes and biscuits as the sun set behind the dunes. The weather started to cool and we drew out our jackets as we settled for the cultural show. It was a low seating with a candlelit small table in front, where we watched the show over barbecue.
Since it was my birthday, I had requested for a special dinner setup atop the dune. The resort definitely went beyond the call of duty to make it a memorable experience. We were strictly asked to layer up as the temperature dips to 4 degrees at night. My husband and I were determined to complete our entire dinner on the dune and we were well layered up for the set up. When we climbed up to the Dune, I was awestruck - transported to another world in a few seconds. The wind was chill, it was fortunately a full moon night and the sand beneath us gleaming, a desert camp lit up with oil lanterns. We were served the traditional Rajasthani meal and had a butler to our service. Despite the distance from the restaurant and our dining location being secluded, the staff ensured our meals were piping hot! It was the most memorable birthday I had ever celebrated!!
The next day, after breakfast, we headed to the resort to dip into the swimming pool and grab our lunch. The resort was a complete contrast to the desert camp but extremely lovely. The pool was crystal clear and inviting us to dip in the moment we reached. After a swim and light lunch, we headed for the desert safari through the local village and sand dunes. It was certainly a nice experience to think of something of the sorts in India. We reached the Desert camp in time for sunset and our Camel ride.
The two days we spent at Samsara have left me wanting to go back again and again. Their service was impeccable and made us feel royal. Hats off to the training and management of the resort.
On our third day, we headed to the Jodhpur city to explore the history. We visited the Mehrangarh Fort, which is one of the few well maintained forts I have seen. Extremely clean and well organized. The structure leaves you awestruck and transports you to the historic days when the kings actually lived their life in luxury. From the top viewpoint at the fort, you can see the view of the entire city with blue roof houses, which led to Jodhpur being called the 'blue city'. The view of Umaid Bhavan (Kings residence) from the fort was excellent.
After we explored the fort, we proceeded to Umaid Bhavan to visit the Kings' museum and vintage car collection. The museum left me disappointed, but it was quickly covered as we checked into Taj Umaid Palace for high-tea and sipped our drinks watching the sunset over the lush green gardens.
We retired to our hotel with sweet memories from the trip and left the city the following morning to return home with a heavy heart and a promise to be back.