In my Blog about our stay in Jodhpur I mentioned the Haveli where we stayed in the Old City. I guess the first thing is to explain what an Haveli is. Of course I’ve gone to Wikipedia as it’s the easiest way, so here goes … An Haveli is a traditional townhouse or mansion in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, usually one with historical and architectural significance. The word haveli is derived from Arabic hawali, meaning “partition” or “private space”. Well I can’t argue with that but George Bristow’s Haveli is much more than that.
Bristow’s Haveli as George’s web site says offers guests a unique experience inside the old walled city of Jodhpur. It’s a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city …and that is so right! From the time you step through the front door you’re met with not only a lovely warm welcome but a feeling of complete calm. This place is a real gem and the service is fantastic, we couldn’t fault a thing.
Every morning Abjez would bring us breakfast. Each day he would cook us something different, usually quite spicy but hey we wanted authentic Indian food and we were given it along with croissant, jam and other delights. Nikhil would arrive shortly after breakfast to check that all was well and to ask if we wanted Nehru to take us somewhere in his auto rickshaw. Nehru is one of the gentlest, kindest men I’ve ever met. He even rang us just after we got off the plane in Delhi from Jodhpur to check we’d arrived safely.
Our ritual after breakfast was first of all to walk round the roof top to check out was happening with our neighbours and also to admire the view of the fort. It’s another world up there; people drying papads (poppadoms) on their roof, children playing table tennis (true), someone regularly checking that his caged birds are alright oh and not forgetting the neighbour opposite doing his morning exercises and waving at us at the same time. I’ve already mentioned about the monkeys in a previous Blog …they only called in one morning but Nikhil was up there very quickly to shoo them away with the help of a very loud banger (firework). If the mornings at the Haveli sound interesting, well they are. You wouldn’t get all this in a modern hotel in the city.
One of our favourite spots to sit was in what we called ‘The Eyrie’. Actually scores of eagles soar around the fort so the name is quite appropriate. As soon as we got back to the Haveli Abjez would ask us if we wanted a beer …of course we did! Up the two sets of steps he’d come, balancing his tray with beer, glasses and always a plate of fruit. Yes we were thoroughly spoilt!
The larger picture show one of the lovely cool areas in the Haveli and the top three is our suite taken as we arrived in the evening. We loved the ‘swan towels’.
There were two other guests staying during the first two days of our stay and they were as enchanted as we were with everything. Their suite was more spacious than ours and had a balcony which was the perfect chill-out place. Nikhil suggested we move in once the girls had left but we loved our rooms so much, even the lure of the balcony didn’t persuade us. I did as you see take some pictures of this suite which was as delightful as ours.
There are many beautiful objects dotted around the Haveli, here are a few of my favourites. I especially loved all the lamps and the wall hangings.
The courtyard in the evening is magical and so peaceful. I don’t know how often they have stunning sunsets over Jodhpur or whether we were just lucky. For three of the five nights we stayed the sunset was magnificent. As a photographer you can imagine how excited I was and how many shots I took. On our last night not only did we have a superb sunset, there was a full moon too, a super moon! My little Panasonic camera did very well to pick it up but I wished I’d had my Canon with me with it’s long lens . Photographers are never satisfied my other half says! Actually as you can probably tell we were completely satisfied with everything at Bristow’s Haveli If you happen to be visiting Jodhpur this is the place to stay. Thank you Nikhil, Abjez and Nehru for looking after us – what a team!