I stayed at Chhotaram Prajapat's Homestay with my family – wife and two young children – and can’t recommend it enough. Why? Lots of reasons:
Whilst touring Rajasthan, staying in hotels, eating every day in hotels and restaurants, being hassled by hawkers, drivers and hotel owners, always looking to find another way to profit from our stay, Chhotaram was an oasis of tranquility in so many ways.
Firstly, the owner is very relaxed, polite and welcoming; he’s a well-educated family man. There was no hard-sell, no staff hanging around all the time - his wife cooks and they just want to know whether they should cook for you or not. Breakfast is there if you want it. It is truly a family experience, but only if you want it to be. You can spend all day in Jodhpur if you want and just use it as a base.
We did look around the Binwas villages, participate in ‘the ceremony’, see pottery being made and make some ourselves, spot the local wildlife, but it wasn’t like an organised tour – it was like staying with a friend who showed us around the local area that he was proud of. His family have lived there for generations, and he’s trying to diversify from cow-herding and weaving, for which the village is famed. It cost of bit of money, but without realising it I had done all the tours which I had pre-booked at my next stop for a fraction of the price.
Then there’s the food. Simple, vegetarian, home-cooked Indian food, cooked by the host’s lovely wife. I can’t stress enough what a relief it was to have a break from the oily, bloating tourist food you can’t escape everywhere else. We stayed here mid-trip, and my body really needed the break. It was my favourite food all trip. I don’t think the pictures do it justice – looks like a bit of a backpackers commune – but it’s not. It’s hygienic and authentic – noodles made of chickpeas anyone?
Location-wise, if you want to be in the centre of it all, this isn’t for you. But having been in hotels in the centre of Delhi, Jaisalmer, Jaipur etc, this was a good break from the craziness. It’s a 20min took-took drive from central Jodhpur, and the ride is a fun way to see India outside of the tourist destinations. The trip goes past a western supermarket too, with pre-priced food, no haggling!! if you want to get some chocolate, crisps, bread, cheese or whatever you want for a break from the local fare. You can take a bus into town (they drive you to the bus-stop and talk to the driver – or they will give you a lift if they are going in themselves. They also picked us up when we arrived in the early hours at the train station in Jodhpur. So you can easily pop into Jodhpur (do the zipwire around the fort at sunset, btw), and took-took back from the clock tower in the centre. The owner will tell you how much to pay so you aren’t being ripped off. We also headed on from here to Pushka, and the owner organised a taxi for far cheaper than I had booked online.
As I said, I don’t think the pictures really do it justice – it’s actually quite smart. The mud huts are really quite cool, they’ve got electricity and are very clean. They resurface them after every stay: I know this because they paint these beautiful white patterns on the floor and walls which wear away whilst you use it, so they mush refinish them. And the huts lead onto their own large en suite westernised bathrooms: great showers, hot water, marble, and in one case, larger than the hut itself. They’ve tastefully hidden them so you can’t see them from the front.
What else? After dinner one evening, the owner’s wife henna tattooed my wife and daughter – no money, no pressure, just from lovely people. And when I left something there after we left, they got someone to bring to my next hotel. I could go on.
As a break from the normal touristy hotel, to see a bit of really India, and stay with lovely people, who restore your faith in the locals, I can’t recommend it enough as a needed break during the trip.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC