Village Narlai, Near Desuri, Rajasthan

Narlai, the perfect stopping point between Udaipur and Jodhpur, is a sleepy little village of about 5,000 people and doesn’t look like a tourist mecca when you drive in. That’s what makes this 17th century heritage hotel, sitting at the foot of a giant granite boulder, so special!  One of those true hidden gems of Rajasthan! Make no mistake – you will feel like royalty at this former hunting lodge of the royal family of Jodhpur – the incredible staff here won’t have it any other way. And DO NOT leave without dining in their 16th century well – a true once in a lifetime experience.

  1. Baby cot
  2. Doctor on call
  3. Interconnecting rooms


Family Favourites:
  1. Spacious and tastefully done rooms.  Our bathroom was large enough to store 4 large suitcases (point well made?).  The room had a huge terrace overlooking the town, where we lunched several times. Luxury tents by the poolside.
  2. Swimming pool with a separate section for children.
  3. The Step Well theme dinner (chargeable) organized by the hotel deserves its own post. The food was good but the magical location made it the best dinner I’ve probably ever had! The night started at dusk in the courtyard with the General Manager sharing drinks with us and then loading us into a bullock cart for our 15-minute ride to the well.  By the time we arrived, it was completely dark and the well was lit with kerosene lanterns.  A local musician was playing an instrument and singing. The Indian food was plentiful. A local woman and her daughter were making Indian bread and they let my 4-year-old daughter help them, which she enjoyed immensely.
  4. The hotel can also arrange a number of activities including horse riding and customized local trips. We tried a guided walk in the local village.  We were invited into local homes and given tea and cookies by some of the friendliest and most welcoming people we’ve met.
  5. The hotel also arranged safaris (there are a number of big cats in the area) for us and were able to see 2 leopards getting ready for their nightly hunts.
  6. The staff was great with our kids and played hide and seek with them and chased them around the property.


Parent’s Perks:
  1. Adult pampering at the Narlai Spa.
  2. Well stocked bar, with evening cocktails (chargeable) in the courtyard. The ambiance here was amazing. A couple of local villagers would come in the evening to give free head and arm massages to those in the courtyard.


The Hotel:
  • Jodhpur Airport – 135 km; Udaipur Airport – 133 km
  • 32 Rooms
  • 3 Restaurants
  • 1 Bar
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa

Mandy’s Tip: Food at the hotel is very good and there aren’t really other dining options in the village. Accommodating chef for special dietary requests or requests for kids – there was no pasta on the menu but they threw something together for our kids.

Travelling mum Lisa Harris contributed parts of this review.

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