Killa Bhawan

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Date of travel

December, 2016

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Culture / Sightseeing

“Killa Bhawan”: is located in Jaisalmer’s Fort complex and to reach it, we swapped jeep for tuk tuk to climb the narrow road leading up to the fort perched high on a hill. There are only 8 en suite rooms and a couple of others with shared bathroom.

It’s hard to describe the hotel which is part of the fort with lots of golden sandstone, turrets and walls. Our room was part of a turret with a semi-circular format. It had a stone floor with rugs and big double bed with wooden bottom, which caught my husband’s knees on his nightly excursions to the bathroom.

It was simply furnished with an antique wooden wardrobe, safe, two chairs and small table. It was well lit with both a central light, bedside lights and a table lamp. The cream walls were decorated with photos of hunting tigers, portraits of elegantly dressed Indians and embroidered hangings. There were two cotton robes in bright colours and although water was provided, we were shown a fridge in the communal area where we could help ourselves to supplies.

The bathroom was compact with shower, loo and basin but was surprisingly well lit. We were shown the switch to heat water which took 20 minutes and promised a bucket of hot water if the electricity went off.

Manu, the manager, showed us to the terrace and we ordered green tea whilst organising a dinner reservation as the hotel didn’t provide evening meals during our stay. He also helpfully arranged a tuk tuk, which could be charged to our room as, because of India’s demonetisation, we were struggling to get rupees.

Manu was full of anecdotes about former guests, including Molly Parkin and Bette Middler, and when Roy said he’d worked in Parliament prior to retirement, he mentioned a previous guest who’d also worked there. He found his visitors’ book which are all filed in strict chronological order and immaculately maintained, and we discovered it was Shirley Williams (now Baroness Williams of Trafford).

In good weather, breakfast was served on the terrace with splendid views of the town. On our first day, we had a light breakfast of fruit (papaya and banana), toast and jam, and green tea but on the second morning, it was cold and damp so we had masala omelettes in a small dining room.

On leaving, we ensured we signed Manu’s visitors book and in return, was given a clay Ganesh as a gift.

Helen Jackson

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