We loved our 2 nights in Rawla Narlai. It is an ideal break between Jodhpur and Udaipur but more than that it is a destination in its own right. It is owned by the Jodhpuri royal family and if you do the dinner at the step well, then you will probably get to meet one of the family as we did.
The hotel..you can opt for the new block if you wish but we had a heritage room in the old part and it was fine. A little dark but we liked the antiques and it was quiet and comfortable. Outside the room was an airy verandah with sofas and below it was the most beautiful courtyard garden with several loungers for 2 and a babbling fountain.
The wifi was patchy and the hot water erratic but we could forgive that as we loved our stay overall.
A big factor was the warm, hospitable, energetic personality of Garima the manager. On our first day she took just the two of us out in the jeep for lakeside birdwatching and a splendid Desi-flavoured sunset afternoon tea. It was just a fantastic experience, seeing all the birds under her guidance and feeling both pampered and that we were seeing a beautiful rural area of India.
Dinner on the rooftop was spicy and delicious and the Huntsman Tandoori platter great value at R600. That plus veggies and breads made an economical and delicious dinner for two.
The next day we did the sunrise walk up Elephant Hill which was excellent ( free including chai and biscuits but tip expected ) and then the local village walk. The friendly local people and the bat-filled cave temple were highlights. We barely had time for a swim in the chilly but clean sunny pool before it was time for the dinner at the step well.
Quite honestly in all my travels this was one of the most magical, unique experiences I have had. From the drinks reception with the regal Rana Sahib to the oxen carts and then the genuine yogi in the woods. It was unreal. Then the stepwell, illuminated by hundreds of small lamps and candles. The musician, the local ladies making traditional breads. Delicious nibbles and a wonderful thali. It just could not have been more special. Garima says marriage proposals often happen here.
We squeezed in one final activity on our departing morning which was the Leopard Safari. Alas no leopards but Garima found us plenty of other wildlife and tales of the countryside and India in general.
We wished we had stayed longer here. It is special indeed. Just watch at the very end for them charging you in your home currency at a poor rate. This slipped by us and annoyed somewhat. But overall- really very good indeed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Stepwell Dinner : Guests are taken on a magical journey from the Rawla through the village streets into the jungle before arriving at the 1100 year old “step well”. The magical setting is brought to life by dimly lit oil lamps that illuminate the setting through flickering light. The very private dinner is laid out in a traditional manner, it promises to remain unmatched experience to anything you will ever experience for a long time. The entire evening is like a secluded sanctuary inspired by the mystical past, bracing Indian spirituality and the unique experience of one being completely with nature. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rawla Narlai Hotel Narlai
- Rawla Narlai Rajasthan