My two days at Hotel Silent Valley in the Kumbhalgarh/Ranakpur area were by far the most unique and enjoyable part of my two week trip to Rajasthan in May (low season). My friend and I (young women traveling without our spouses) felt totally safe and comfortable during our stay.
The hotel is, as others say, surrounded by nature and a welcome respite from the varying levels of chaos my friend and I encountered in Mumbai, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur. One afternoon I sat in the front yard (in a chair swing hanging from a large tree) and spent an hour watching a group of monkeys play in the front yard and peacocks hunting for their dinner.
Our room was simple but spacious and very clean. Nothing fancy, but there are subtle touches of the haveli style, including the restaurant windows, which came from the owner's family home.
Which leads me to the best thing about this hotel... the owner, Inder. His English is flawless, he's charming, thoughtful, intelligent, and knows the area and the people like the back of his hand.
Some concrete examples of his awesomeness:
- I off-handedly mentioned that it was my birthday (part of a longer narrative not worth your time) while we were visiting Kumbhalgarh Fort late in the evening. Somehow Inder managed to secretly order, purchase, and transport a birthday cake to the hotel within the hour. This may not seem incredible, but given how remote this area is and how the closest thing I had seen resembling a cake was a pakora at the fort snack shop, this feat was nothing short of a miracle - and extremely thoughtful. He and his staff presented the cake to me (and my shocked friend), candle and all, before dinner. Somehow the strange timing of the cake seemed only to underline how incredibly thoughtful an act this was - not just acknowledging my birthday but trying to do so in a Western way.
- He took us twice to Kumbhalgarh fort (once on VERY short notice) before sunset and arranged a guide to take us on a 16 km (beware - it is 16 km and not 6...) trek to the Jain temple in Ranakpur. He was at the temple on time to transport us back to the hotel.
- When we asked if he would help us arrange a car and driver to Jodhpur, his staff called three different individuals and negotiated prices for us. They then provided us with three quotes (for different types of vehicles) and asked us our preference.
I can't recommend Hotel Silent Valley enough. It's a diamond in the rough.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Silent Valley Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan