An escape to Jaisalmer
After recently visiting Jaipur and Udaipur, Rajasthan hailed me back yet another time. This time to a destination that had remained on my bucket list for too long — Jaisalmer. As the airport here is not in operation, travellers fly to Jodhpur and drive on National Highway 11 towards Jaisalmer for 239km. From Mumbai there is only one flight per day to Jodhpur that is operated by Air India. It arrived at around 11am where my ride to Jaisalmer was waiting for me. The car sent to me by Marriott Resort Jaisalmer
(marriott.com) was equipped with wifi, USB charging points, an iPad loaded with music, neck pillows, eye masks and snacks. This rather long journey of four and a half hours was breezy, thanks to these amenities.
As we approached the outskirts of Jaisalmer, the winding highway got replaced by yellow sandstone buildings that are synonymous with this city — attributing to its title of “Golden City”. Soon we arrived at the gates of Marriott Resort Jaisalmer. A traditional vermilion dot was placed on my forehead and a refreshing drink welcomed me into the white marble lobby. I particularly liked the age-old haveli (mansion) door that embellishes a stark wall, apart from antique curios and elaborate light installations.
The lengthy journey called for a relaxing evening in my Jaisalmer Marriott suite, where a plate of traditional Rajasthani sweets accompanied an espresso from the Nesspreso machine in the living room. The suite’s master bedroom is attached to a large bathroom with a bathtub that was decorated with rose petals.
What I liked about my suite is that while it exudes Rajasthani elegance through elements such as artwork and upholstery, its decor isn’t too over the top. Colours are warm and clean lines add a minimal touch to the space. The windows in the room and the living room overlook Oasis, the hotel’s central courtyard. The property’s layout resembles that of a typical Rajasthani haveli with rooms surrounding a central courtyard.
After my nap and a quick shower, I was invited to experience a spa treatment at Quan Spa, the spa brand of Marriott Hotels and Resorts. My therapist recommended the 90-minute Thar Signature Massage that uses heated bags of white sand and warm oil to relieve tension in the muscles.
The treatment took away the four-hour drive’s stress and built up an appetite. Since I requested for a meal in my suite, the hotel set up a lovely dinner table for one in my living room. What arrived next was a lavish three-course meal. A sumptuous mushroom soup, a Greek salad and grilled chicken satiated me; but there is always room for dessert. A crème brûlèe finished this extravagant in-room dining experience as I called it a day.
Next morning, I woke up refreshed and ready to dive into the magic of this beautiful city. Since winter had not yet departed, the mornings had a nip in the air. For breakfast, I chose to sit in the al fresco dining area of Jaisalmer Kitchen that is located in the courtyard of the hotel. Accompanying my hearty breakfast was the rhythm of traditional Rajasthani folk music performed by a local artiste.
Later, I partook in a masterclass organised for me by Marriott Resort Jaisalmer. Executive chef Ashish Deva took me through the basics of Rajasthani cooking. I learned how to prepare sangri ki shikanpuri, a patty made of sangri — a vegetable that is found only in arid regions, mainly in the
Pictured: Sam Sand Dunes