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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Fifu Jaisalmer
A home away from home
Where to start ? Well, perhaps by saying that Fifu Kewalia and his brother Jitu have made their guesthouse an incredibly welcoming and warm place to stay in Jaisalmer... In many ways, I'd wish we could keep this place an intimate secret shared by only a few lucky ones in the know, to make sure that what makes a stay at Fifu's so special remains intact... But, the fact of the matter is that the very warm and family like welcome Fifu and Jitu give their guests ought to be heralded as a model for many in India to follow.
We stayed with Fifu last December, between Christmas and New Years. There were 10 of us travelling, 7 adults and 3 children, age 5 to 7. We stayed at the guest house at first, in delightfully decorated, clean and welcoming rooms. The food was fantastic, the view over the old fortress breathtaking, and there is a real feeling of freedom for guests. We had also organised a camel safari, a real highlight to our 15 day trip through Rajasthan. Fifu and his people were particularly helpful in organising this for us, taking particular care of the children. I can only strongly advise people going through Jaisalmer to take a desert trip with Fifu, and discover and enjoy an absolutely unique experience. Seeing the children's face as they went to sleep under an amazingly bright starry sky and enjoying their smiles as they awoke with the first rays of light are just another set of memories that none of us are about to forget.
Staying with Fifu can only be very highly recommended for all those wishing to exchange and learn about India, in a friendly and family like environment. It is my 10th trip to India, and Fifu's guest house really stands out as a unique place to enjoy and fully appreciate this country, all at very reasonable rates.
Philippe & Alix, Paris, France
A place to stay, to remember and to recommend
Jaisalmer, the "Golden City" is a "must" for every traveler to Rajasthan, and "Fifu Guest House" the perfect place to stay.
Perfect, because it is located outside the ancient walls of the fort, which is suffering a rapid erosion for the huge increases in water consumption caused by the tourist boom. Outside but still close enough to reach the city anytime without problem (less than 10 minutes walking distance.) - Perfect, because of an incomparable view from its roof terrace to the 99 bastions silhouetted against the sky, waiting to be transformed into pure gold every evening by the going down sun . - Perfect, because it is a quiet place, beautiful, calm and absolutely clean. A so called "Haveli", with tasteful rooms furnished in typical Rajasthan style, functional bathrooms, a lot of extra services and conveniences as well as excellent vegetarian food. - Perfect above all however because of Fifu and Jitu, the two owners, who worry personally about their guests. They do it as professional organizers for safaris, sight seeing or traveling, generous friends in need for who has whatever kind of problems, interesting conversationalist in various topics or invisible, but nevertheless always attentive, hosts for who wants to be on his own.
I've been to "Fifu Guest House" four years ago, not knowing about websites for travelers at the time. But now, since I learned about "TripAdvisor", I feel to write a review about this unique place in the middle of the Thar desert, even after such a long time. "Fifu Guest House" is best I found in three month traveling through the North India. - A place to stay, a place to recommend and a place to remember.
Charming and friendly
I spent a few weeks in Rajasthan during December 2006/January 2007 and the Fifu Guest House was easily the nicest place I stayed during the entire trip, providing a level of comfort and service far above its price bracket. The guest house is run by two brothers, Fifu and Gitu, who go out of their way to make sure that every guest is made to feel not only at home but a part of the family. The staff are efficient and very friendly, unobtrusively taking care of the guests' needs at all times. The rooms are furnished simply but tastefully, with comfortable beds and spotless bathrooms. The roof space has tables, chairs and comfortable seating where you can meet and chat with the other guests or simply relax and admire the stunning view of the fort. The kitchen offers a varied menu and can produce almost anything, from a light snack to a full meal, at almost any time of day or night at prices that are extremely reasonable. The guest house is located on a safe and peaceful road about 1km (10-15 minutes' walk) outside the fort, but transport is very easily available. They can arrange jeep and camel safaris, as well as onward bus and train tickets. Hot water and electricity can be a little erratic, but that is absolutely normal for Rajasthan and it was much less of a problem here than at some much more expensive hotels I stayed in. Fifu promises hot water in the mornings and evenings - and he's not the kind of man to break a promise! In summary, this is a fine guest house and I would recommend it without hesitation. I shall be returning to Jaisalmer later in 2007 and will most definitely be staying at the Fifu Guest House again.
Asecond home, Fifu's oasis in the Indian desert
I hope by writing this, more people will have the fortune to stay with Fifu in Jaiselmer.
Fifu's guesthouse is the one place in India that we were truly made to feel like we were staying with friends rather than as paying customers. This is all down to Fifu. When we booked our room on the internet our hearts fell, Fifu's brother was getting married that week and we assumed we would have to look elsewhere. Instead we were invited to his brother's wedding! This set the tone for the whole of our stay with Fifu.
Like a previous reviewer, we arrived in the cold small hours of the morning and were shown into the warmth of a lovely room which we were not expected to pay for. The room was more expensive than the one we'd booked but Fifu insisted that we should not pay any more if we preferred it.
The hot shower was the best in India and like the rest of the airy sandstone building was beautifully designed - think carved horseshoe arches and stone balconies - and lovingly cared for. Out of the window we saw the sun rise over farmers herding cows past the guesthouse, all was quiet. Up on the roof, the view of the fort was spectacular, particularly in the glow of sunset. This is somewhere that makes you want to have no reason to leave. Our stay was made all the more charming by the appearance of treats of chai and the most delicious lassi I have ever tasted, all on-the-house.
I have no idea what the food is like in the evenings because at 8.30 we would wander into town - 10 mins walk - with Fifu to his brother's wedding feasts to eat/process/dance with his family and friends. This was a side of India I would never otherwise have experienced and I feel richer for it.
Fifu himself, intelligent, kindly and generous, is great company. Interesting and keen to chat, he is careful never to overstay his welcome. Refreshingly, in a country where so many conversations come round to the subject of selling you something, with Fifu, he knows that if you want something you will ask. I wish I had known about the tips jar (mentioned by a previous reviewer) but tellingly it was never mentioned. Not for nothing is his slogan "tourism with honesty".
Best stay in Jaisalmer
I have been to many places in India and worldwide. One of the nicest places I have found is Fifu Guest House in Jaisalmer.
I came to know Fifu when I was looking for someone to organize a Camel Salari into the Thar desert for me. Nobody wanted to do it for only one person except Fifu. And they prepared an unique experience for me and did it perfectly. As they do everything else in their Guest House.
It is located a 10 minutes leasurely walk out of Jaisalmer, with a wonderful view of the Fort and the desert. The rooms are beautifully decorated, respecting the indian style. Some have air con and all have fans AND SHOWERS WITH REALLY HOT WATER.
The staff is extraordinarily friendly and they make you feel at home almost at once. They help you with your meals, visits, camel safaris, train tickets, cars for onward travel and a long etc.
There is only one problem: you are feeling so well there that you are tented to stay much longer than you had planned. It happened to me the first time and it happens again whenever I am there.
Try it, it is absolutely worthwhile!
Can't fault it
I cannot fault this hotel. Arriving at Jaisalmer at 4am in the morning would be enough to put anyone off. However, Fifu sent a driver to come and collect us from the station. They took us swiftly to the guest house and showed us, bleary eyed, to our gorgeous rooms, and then led us up to the rooftop where they fed us with the most delicioius chai, made us a fire and gave us blankets. We stayed there and watched the sun rise over the desert and the fort and this was by far one of the most memorable moments of my trip to india.
The accomodation was spotless. The hosts were very pleasant and helpful and cooked amazing, freshly prepared food. I had a really good nights sleep here. The shower was very hot. All in all our stay here was perfect.
Our guidebook stays its a little way out of town, in a tone that makes this seem like a bad thing. Far from it. The town centre is a 10-15 walk from the hotel. Hardly anything really. I would actually go so far as to say this is one of the plus sides, it meant you were away from the hustle and bustle of the fort and the early morning calls to prayer. We payed about 850RS. They also offer good value camel trek tours, although I didnt go with FIFU.
We travelled all over Rajasthan and saved the best for the last. We booked the room in Fifu guesthous via e-mail. We stayed there 4 nights and were delighted by the friendliness of the owners (Fifu and Jitu), the impecabillity of the hotel, a perfect location (10 minute walk from the fort, but with amazing views over it and over the nearby village and lake), a lovely rooftop terrace with beds and cushions and very very comfortable and tasty decorated rooms. The owners try their best that you feel welcome and they help you with all possible advice (from organising a safari to buying a train ticket). For us it was very important that everything was super clean and that the rooms were new. Travelling on low-medium budget Fifu Guesthouse was by far the best hotel that we saw in Rajasthan.
An incredible guesthouse with an incredible staff
After traveling the world for almost 6 months, I must say that this guesthouse was the best by far. I ended up extending my stay by four days and was still sorry to leave the loving people and great accommodations. The rooms are spacious, well-decorated, and very clean. The location was peaceful and relaxing. Their restaurant on the roof is perfect for enjoying the sunset with a cup of tea. Most of all, the staff has the very best intentions to make your visit as good as possible. I strongly recommend this guesthouse to anyone wishing to visit Jaisalmer. In fact, the guesthouse alone is worth the trip.
A Desert Oasis
This is one of the best hotels I've stayed at in India. Fifu Guest House is an oasis of calm in what is normally a crazy desert city. The hotel is run by two very friendly and outgoing brothers, Fifu & Jitu. They go out of their way to welcome you into their hotel and make you feel comfortable. Upon arrival into Jaisalmer, Fifu will show you your room and then treat you to a drink at the roottop terrace. He loves getting to know his guests, and is very eager to practice his french and spanish!
The rooms are immaculate, spacious, and very nicely decorated. The hotel is fairly new and the bathrooms are wonderful. The hotel is a few minutes outside the fort, but has postcard worthy views!
I had a great room with a cushon ledged window overlooking the fort. The hotel is safe and the staff great.
India can be taxing on any traveler no matter how experienced. Everytime you turn around someone is trying to take advantage of you. Fifu does not take part in the all famous India commision sceme!!!!!!!!
If you are in Rajasthan and need a break definately stay at Fifu's!
What a fabulous surprise
Who would have expected, in a "frontier town" to find the treasure that we did. Fifu, Jitu and their staff were amongst the most courteous and truly caring folks we found during our entire trip. We arrived on an overnight train at 5 am. Jitu settled us into a rickshaw and sped back to the hotel ahead of us to arrange a room for us to stay in till our room would be available!! There was no paperwork to deal with, or any questions, simply courteous concern.
We awoke in a lovely room with a view of a plain, some homes and folks going about their agricultural business.
Breakfast on the roof was delicious, prompt, and accompanied by lovely morning ragas. and a stunning view of the Fort.
We were welcomed warmly by Fifu and JItu and served by staff that quickly felt like family.
The hotel is a 10 minute walk from the Fort and far enough away from the bustle of the city to appreciate the oasis of quiet and calm. The guests were both international and Indian, and somehow the unobstrusive friendly manner of the staff extended to the guests as well.
Our room was lovely, well decorated, bathroom was clean and hot water was plentiful.
An added delight of the guest house was the availabilty of the family barber for a shave and a welcome scalp and face massage, the family driver was called upon for a safe and scenic drive to Pushkar, our next destination.
Fifu has also instituted a "tip box". Instead of feeling besieged by hands always stretched out for a "baksheesh" - a private box is provided for those feeling that the lovely services were worth offering a tip for.
An extra offering of the guest house, is a day long fascinating jeep tour to some of the surrounding villages. Jitu and Fifu seem to know many of the inhabitants of the villages, so we were able to meet folks in the villages we entered, and enjoy cups of Chai or learn a bit more about their way of life. A real treat and a worthy day long venture. The trip included a stop (by our request) at a school that has been built by an NGO, Ecoles de la Terre and supported in part by the guest house! Sadly it was after hours so we were unable to see the children from the 3 surrounding villages attend the only school that would be available to them - FREE.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Fifu Jaisalmer
Travel Blogs from Jaisalmer
... didn't starve in the desert that's for sure. After dinner we were then treated to some traditional songs around the camp fire by Jonnie and Fabbio. Having sung a couple they then offered to teach us one which was suitably entertaining for them, but also enjoyed by us. We then chilled and upon request sung some British songs before setting up the beds for our sleep under the blanket of stars that had appeared. Thankfully the beds, were set up behind the wind break ...
... in clothing and for their bones which are now used to make sculptures and furniture since ivory became illegal. I saw no signs of animal cruelty where we were taken and all the camels were sat down resting with their individual owners. I understand many of the families here have their own camel which becomes their only source of income. The government initiatives should focus on educating the local people on how to keep their camels strong and healthy whilst still being able ...
... Palace. The Maharaja's throne was fancy and stylish, but the bed looked uncomfortable. The open rooftop featured a carved stone sundial, and panoramic views of the city stretching out into the distance.
A Jaisalmer "must", done by Arthur years ago, is camel trekking in the Thar desert. Unsure how much the "kids" would tolerate, we booked instead a jeep ride into the desert, followed by a short ride on a camel. This ...
... allowed us to dismount, fixed us with haughty stares and wandered off to munch some grass, while Ali settled beneath a tree to rest. After a long, looong wait the car finally arrived. We thanked Ali profusely, took a couple of pictures and tipped him IR 500, a pack of Taiwanese cigarettes and Cathy’s lighter / flashlight combo which he seemed to think was the coolest thing ever.
Despite all the aggro leading up to the trip, it had been really enjoyable ...