My last trip to India in December 2019, had me exploring the sights and sounds of Rajasthan. Our itinerary included a couple of days each in Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Jaipur. The city of Jaisalmer is popularly known as ‘The Golden City’, derived from for its architecture built in yellow sandstone, was the first of our stops on this trip. For our stay, we chose the palatial property of Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa. In line with the city’s character, this property gets its distinct features from the yellow sandstone used to build the property.
Booking and getting there
The cash rates in December were ~$250/nt. I was delighted to have booked this property on points, where I paid the standard rate of 12,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. For 25,000 points (2 nights), this was the most luxurious Category-2 property I have experienced.
Jaisalmer is conveniently located within 1.5 hour flight from Mumbai and Delhi. Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa is just under 30 minute taxi ride from Jaisalmer airport (JSA), and within 10 minutes to most prominent sites in town.
Review: Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa
Our taxi was flagged into the property and pulled up to the main entrance, where we were greeted with live local music, singing (they did a bit every time people walked in/out of the property!) and the staff adorned us with beautiful Rajasthani pag (turban).
The main reception area was beautifully decorated with ornate art collection and high marble walls. The staff quickly looked us up in the system and directed us to the Elite lounge for a personalized check-in experience.
Th elite check-in desk (for Bonvoy Platinum members and above) was located in Dunes Bar & Lounge, where the staff welcomed us with a refreshing drink and collected our passports for check-in formalities.
Unfortunately, there was a mix-up and the staff was unable to locate my Suite confirmation (Suite Night Award). This is where the leadership and customer service excellence of the property really shone through – The front office manager, Narendra, came by and assured us that this was not going to be an issue and that his team would need a few minutes to make the changes and get us the suite. He pre-empted that this procedure would take a while, and offered us a round of drinks while we waited.
Once the suite was ready, the manager took the time to explain all the benefits that came with it and also offered local recommendations for sightseeing and restaurants. I must also tip my hat to his colleague Pushpender, who not only found us the suite assignment but was a delight to chat with throughout our stay. He was genuinely proud of the city and took over the role of being our daily planner, all the way from recommending the best time/route to local sights, to the cafes with the best views of Jaisalmer fort!
As our bags were being brought to our suite, we decided to walk around the property to soak in the calm, and the beautiful architecture on display. The main building of the resort was a square shaped palace with a giant courtyard, aptly named ‘Oasis’, with lawn space, water fountain, a performance stage and plenty or seating area for guests.
Marriott Jaisalmer Suite
The ‘Jaisalmer suites’, 785 sqft in size, offered a layout which included separated living/seating area with ‘powder room’, window day bed, bedroom and full bathroom with a deep soaking tub. Each section of the suite offered breathtaking courtyard views. As we walked into the suite, our welcome gift was already setup on the dining table, and included a personalized note, full size bottle of wine, a cheese plate, and dessert samplings. Wow.
Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa: Breakfast
For the most important meal et al, Bonvoy Platinum members and above were invited to one of the 4 restaurants on the property, Jaisalmer kitchen, between 6:30am – 10:30am. The restaurant offered a massive spread of live stations, that spills over into the courtyard. The seating likewise, includes indoors and outdoors options. I can’t speak enough good things about the ability to have a meal out in the open. Add to it the sheer array of creative food on display, including local and global fare, just a splendid experience all around!
Other Resort Features
Everything pictured above does not begin to document the amenities at the resort. Among the things we missed out on was the heated pool, Quan Spa, and the rooftop restaurant Wyra, which offers sweeping views of Jaisalmer Fort.
Clearly, a two night stay was not enough to experience both, the city and the resort. While we chose to explore the city over the resort, the one thing we did not skip on was the evening cultural show that the resort hosts for all guests, which included folk dance and music, and a puppet show!
The staff and their genuine warmth was my take away from this stay. A big shout out to the entire staff at the resort, especially Narendra and Pushpender, for making our stay quite special. As someone that looks to extract the most value from all my experiences, this stay could not have been any better. As a category 2 property, Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa definitely punches way above, and lived up to the standards of a true 5-star experience. Unfortunately, this property is part of the 2,200 hotels that will be changing reward categories, staring March 4th, changing from cat-2 to cat-3. Even as a cat-3, this resort remains an incredible deal. I will definitely be coming back to Jaisalmer, and no other resort I rather be in.
Other reviews from my India trip: