The Serai is perhaps what some would call a hotel. However, to me, it was truly a home away from home.
We arrived late in the evening. It was a long journey across Rajasthan. However, nearby Jaisalmer and the Thar Desert are some of the most incredibly unspoiled wonders of our world. Therefore, I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone to travel to Jaisalmer. Once we stepped out of our car, we immediately felt the warmth of the Desert. In Jaisalmer, the sky is lit with thousands of stars. The general manager welcomed us immediately. He is simply one of the most generous and kind people I have met. He is also extremely proud of his camp and of the many staff members who help him make the Serai a wonderful place to stay.
The camp is laid well with a small number of private tents. First, off the motor court are the main tents which house the lobby area, the restaurant and the bar/lounge/library. All are furnished with colonial pieces as well as local decorative objects. Passed the main tents is an incredibly large courtyard with in-ground canals. Although not destined for one function specifically, the courtyard is used for functions of all types. Then, one will find a raised pavilion onto which the pool is perched. The pool deck is ideal for sunbathing while gazing at nature. Below the pool deck are the shop and the bathroom/changing area.
From the pool one path leads to the spa, another to the private tents. The spa is a beautiful place centered around a courtyard. The massages are exceptionally healing. Our masseur, a kind and discreet man, came to escort us from our tent to the spa at every scheduled treatment session, with an umbrella to veil us from the scorching sun!
The tents are very large. One enters through an outdoor seating area into a space that serves as a reading/writing nook. It is appointed very nicely and jars of local delicacies are replenished throughout the day. The bedroom is located in the center of each tent. The beds are soft and plush. Bottled water is being constantly provided. In a large ice chest, other drinks are available for purchase. A well concealed cooling unit maintains a comfortable temperature in the bedroom area at all times. The bathroom offers a very very large shower built of local stone. The amenities are exceptional. The organic soap, shampoo and conditioner are divine and dispensed very generously. Last but not least, in the enclosed courtyard, at the rear of our tent, is a private spa of very good proportions. It was warm of course, being in the desert.
The Serai is simply an experience. For instance, the general manager gave us a private tour of the herb garden the hotel maintains. In fact, many of the ingredients used in the cooking are farmed on the property. Dinner is quite a show at the Serai. The venue is ever changing. One evening it is served pool side, while the next, it may take place in the courtyard. The objective is to always create a memorable experience for the guests. In fact, everyone who stays at the Serai feels right at home. The staff is constantly available and always glad to have a conversation about local traditions or to discuss any other topic of interest. It is perhaps the service at the Serai that exceeds all expectations. I felt as if I had known most of the people there for years, while we had just met. I find it remarkable that after only three short days, it became very difficult to say goodbye... we were truly touched...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A luxury desert camp and spa, The Serai has 21 large canvas tents set on a hundred acre estate of indigenous desert scrub in the Great Thar Desert. The Serai spa is the new Indian jewel in the global crown of spa company Raison d’Etre. ... more less
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