Jodhpur – The Warmest Of Welcomes

I normally prefer to be in the thick of things. Right in the heart of all the action of a city center. But I find the tranquility afforded by WelcomHotel Jodhpur – a six month old, ten acre retreat on the edge of the Thar desert – rather appealing.

Access from the airport is quick and the Tikha welcome and check-in even quicker. My luggage arrives through a separate entrance, freeing the lobby from ugly baggage scanning paraphernalia and the usual check-in clutter, which is a nice touch.

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The stark architecture draws inspiration from the desert oasis, with squat, sandstone clad structures deliberately veering away from the ornate haveli aesthetic.  I am guessing the blue in the lobby, the only deviation from the warm rustic colour tones on walls, is the architect’s nod to the blue painted houses of the old city.

My spacious Jodhpur Chamber on the third floor is beautifully kitted out with every conceivable comfort. The bathroom, equally spacious, sports a deliciously large soaking tub and a separate roomy shower. And I appreciate the artful accessories and the full length mirrors in the hallway.

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If I were here on a romantic getaway with hubby however, my choice of accommodation would have been one of two uber luxurious walled-in villas with a dedicated entrance, personal butler service and private pool!

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My journey – from point to point including layovers – has taken a total of nine hours, and I am reluctant to leave the cool confines of my room for the rest of the afternoon. So the chef sends over a bottle of wine, a fabulous smoked salmon Caesar salad and freshly brewed coffee, that more than makes up for the horrid airline meals I have nibbled at all day. A shower and a shut-eye later, it’s time for the half hour drive to Mehrangarh fort for the Flamenco and Gypsy festival.

With the JFG festival being the focus of this stay, I do not get to participate in the interesting desert trails organised by the lovely Yamini Singh, the hotel PR manager. The late hours aren’t exactly conducive to early morning adventures. Besides, I had experienced similar overland excursions on a previous visit.

Neither do I get to dine in too often. Settling instead into a routine of sumptuous breakfasts and late snack lunches at the Welcomcafe Cinkara, and dessert and coffee in-room, on my return from the festival close to midnight.

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But we – Iphone photographer Jack Hollingsworth, his colleague, video editor Muntakhab Jamil, and I – do get treated to chef Akshraj Jodha’s royal repast late one afternoon. An inspired contemporary interpretation of traditional Rajasthani cuisine that merits a whole new post. The romantically inclined can opt to have this exceptional tasting menu served in an intimate courtyard setting, complete with candlelight, flowers and tinkling water bodies. The blue blooded chef is all set to reign over a signature restaurant – the Sholla – that will highlight authentic ‘campfire’ cuisine from the erstwhile royal hunting kitchens of Rajputana.

In conclusion, an amazing stay, even though I regret not having sufficient time to fully experience all that the resort has to offer. Then again, there’s always next time.

Many thanks to WelcomHotel Jodhpur for hosting me. All opinions, as always, are my own.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on instagram.com/theurgetowander

75 thoughts on “Jodhpur – The Warmest Of Welcomes

  1. Great article coupled with wonderful photographs. What is this gypsy festival I am hearing about for quite some time. I’ve been to Jodhpur like umpteen times but never ever heard about it.

  2. So, you were treated like a queen, as it should be 🙂 Fabulous article and pictures, Madhu.

  3. I love the decor of the place… it is clearly a nod to the traditional style without being too obvious or gaudy. The pastel blue/green walls in the lobby are a beautiful touch, as are the small eclectic items. I’m looking forward to reading about your date with the royal chef!

    1. Hi Melanie, this review targets my Western readers and those that can afford it of course. But you’ll be surprised. As a percentage of the one billion, it might seem minuscule, but the actual number of Indians who can afford this – starting at around $100 – might be larger than entire populations of several European countries put together. It is relative you know. India isn’t a poor country any longer. It is the distribution of wealth that is sadly, terribly awry.

  4. Could you take an old friend along the next time? 😉

    PS: Is there any way we could avoid typing our email addresses over and over again, Madhu?

    1. I would if you lived closer! 😉
      Scrapping the email form would open up my comment box to a whole load of spam Ashu. Filtering out genuine responses would be quite a task. Thank you for taking the time to do it regardless. Much appreciated 🙂

  5. Wow! Xquisite clicks Madhu! I feel like I’ve just visited this place! Gr8 narration! 🙂

    & now it is Odisha Calling for U! Do participate in a simple quiz I’m hosting on my blog & win awesome Toshali Resorts stays in the enchanting seaside pilgrimage land of Puri & the lap of Buddhism at Ratnagiri! Link is here: #UtkalaDibasaQuiz : Win 2N-3D Stay at Puri, Ratnagiri & lots more!

    Looking fwd 2 Ur entry! 🙂 All d best! Hurry- only 2 days remaining!

    1. Sorry I missed the deadline Amrita. Next time 🙂 Thank you for stopping by to share your generous feedback. Much appreciated.

  6. My kind of trip Madhu, elegance turned up a notch. Beautiful surroundings for this quick trip and the pampering, oh my – just loved reading all about it. As always you know the perfect scenes to tease us with!

    1. 🙂 I am past that phase, but I so wanted to take home some of those painted wooden accessories in the restaurant.

  7. I think I must visit this one, I suspect I would have a very difficult time ever leaving the resort though I would force myself to do so. Absolutely beautiful.

  8. What an awesome place, Madhu. It looks like you were extremely pampered and well fed. The food looks so appetising. I rather like the sound of a villa complete with butler. 🙂

  9. This looks to be a perfect oasis to retreat and enjoy… Wonderful post and one day hope to take a visit for myself…

      1. What a dream it would be to visit ~ one day, one day, one day ~ I keep telling myself. I just have to make it happen 🙂

  10. Well I never saw anywhere this posh in India, amazing! I wonder if a non Indian guest would have an authentic experience though? It looks as if they have some touches of décor that acknowledge Rajasthan and I imagine the food would be divine. I’m itching to see your festival photos!

      1. I suspect that the posher they are the less they are Indian and so i wouldn’t change the experiences I had – unless I could have both 🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. Madhu, we stayed at several ITC Hotels while traveling India last year and all were exceptional. This really looks luxurious with superb cuisine. We stayed overnight at Ranbanka Palace Hotel while in Jodhpur. Looking forward to hearing about your experience at the festival.

    1. ITC is an old and reputed chain. They have several brands across budgets, one in partnership with Sheraton. Were you happy with Ranbanka Palace?

    1. WelcomHotel Jodhpur is just six months old Lee. The location is its only drawback if you are focused on city sightseeing. But they do offer a lot of optional activities to make up for it.

  12. Madhu – you’ve made me want to be there this very minute! Your descriptions and photographs are so enticing…. sigh….!

    1. 🙂 Ha, I wouldn’t have taken all that effort to get there just to rough it out Frank 🙂

    1. Thank you Francine. My favourite photos are from the bazaars though. Coming up soon 🙂

  13. What luxury, Madhu. You make it sound very appealing to this roughing it, camping type woman, who is about to embark on life in a very small campervan for a week in North Queensland. Your photos are exquisite.

    1. Ah, I have no doubt your experiences will be richer in the true sense of the word Meg! 🙂 Thank you for you lovely comment.

  14. Wow Madhu sheer indulgence! Just want to pack my bags and leave now.

      1. I know Madhu….Was in Jaipur in April in the 50 degree heat!

  15. Looks like a beautiful place to stay in Jodhpur, Madhu. So were you put up by the hotel for free? Lucky you! When will we hear about the festival? 🙂

    1. Yes Cathy, I was hosted by them. My post on the festival will be coming up soon. My internet lines are down and uploading images via USB is a pain. Hoping all will be set right by this evening.

  16. Oh, I can see you had a terrible time! I suspected it all along so here I am with tea and sympathy 😦
    Hugs, Madhu! 🙂 🙂

    1. Ha, now you know how we feel when you pop over to the Algarve at the drop of a hat! 🙂 Hope spring is in full swing in your part of the world Jo. Hugs right back 🙂

      1. Actually it’s sunny and warm here (relatively 🙂 ), Madhu, and I’m back in the Algarve next week so it should be even better 🙂

  17. Sigh! You have transported me there with all the photos and great words..and this is one corner of the world I definitely want to wander to!
    Thanks for sharing this Madhu!

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