Think Pushkar and images of the famous camel festival, foreigners sporting Indian ethnic wear and a little market with kitschy stalls comes to our mind. Pushkar also is a perfect backdrop for the 15-acre expansive Pushkar Resorts.
Pushkar Resorts is a quick 30-minute drive from Ajmer and is a boutique hotel from the stable of Sewara Hospitality. The group owns Lodi- The Garden Restaurant in Delhi, yes the one with that perfect romantic setting, and also the stunning Lakshman Sagar Resort. So even before I reached the hotel, I knew what to expect! I wasn’t disappointed.
A refreshing cucumber drink, enthusiastic staff and a pond with purple color lotus flowers welcome me at the resort. The property houses 40 cottages across three categories – Standard, Deluxe and Superior. The rooms are spacious- about 300 square feet- don subtle earthy interiors with a dash of kitsch that comes in the form of a Rajasthani moora or cushions adding that rustic charm. The superior rooms have a baithak or sit-out in the room, making this category of rooms luxurious. Bathrooms are not exactly lavish, but the Biotique toiletries add the zing.
What is great about the rooms at Pushkar Resorts is, the view. With lush gardens dominating the resort, every room has a view of green lawns and the higher category ones of the Aravallis. Not very far from the resort is the famous Savitri Temple perched on a hilltop and the splendid gardens of the resort offer an unobtrusive view of the temple.
Food: The resort has an all-day dining restaurant that offers Continental and Indian cuisine. Its a no-brainer that they serve delectable Rajathani fare. So try the laal maas, gatta curry and paapad ki sabzi. I loved the gulab kheer that they served us for dessert. Indian cuisine is not exactly what you crave for? Well then for breakfast or for that matter for any other meal of the day ask your server for waffles, they do them well. The kitchen at Pushkar Resorts uses lot of fresh organic ingredients and farm produce which give you a taste of rural living, literally! The hotel also has a bar that serves liquor, a rarity in the sacred town of Pushkar.
Spa: If you have been following this website regularly, you by this time know that I am a spa junkie. I will always remember a good spa treatment and for me it can make or break a hotel experience. Kaivalya Spa at Pushkar Resorts is a small spa with a gorgeous view! Located on the first floor, even before you enter the spa area the view heals you. My therapist, a local from Rajasthan, gave a relaxing one hour Aroma therapy massage. It definitely was a different experience compared to the usual Ayurvedic or Oriental spa treatments that I go for. So yes the spa treatment made my day. Most treatments cost about Rs 2500, so its pocket friendly as well.
Beyond Rooms: There is plenty to keep you engaged at this resort- games room that houses a Billiards table, library and swimming pool. They organize cultural performances during evenings where local fork artists enthrall with their dance and puppet shows. On weekends there are DJ nights. Of course you also have the option of doing nothing when at the resort- just sip cocktails by the poolside, take a walk in the mango orchards on the premises or indulge in some stargazing.
When we visited, Monsoons had just had their first brush with the manicured lawns of Pushkar Resorts and the rain kissed property looked stunning! While winters is the best time to visit Rajasthan, I would say Monsoon is your chance to see a different side and hues of Rajasthan. It is also a good time to grab a deal at this resort property.
The resort is ideal for weddings, conferences, weekend getaways or a short romantic holiday. The hotel can arrange for a visit to the Brahma Temple and also organizes a Kafila ride. The camel cart takes you to the temple and the holy lake, an experience you shouldn’t miss!
During our camel cart ride the concept of slow living unfolded in front of my eyes- the sun playing with the sand dunes, tiny huts narrating story of this small town, turbaned men returning from work and village kids running after tourist carts. It’s these images that will remain etched in my memory.
Coming back to the resort, for me the clincher was the service. No surprises here as Rajasthani hospitality is touted to be one of the best not only in India but world. Service was prompt and impeccable. Resort properties at times can be lax in their service owing to their size, but Pushkar Resorts does not use its expanse as an excuse. The staff is hospitable and I would like to give credit to the owners for the well-trained staff.