Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – India chapter Rajasthan has to say about The Pal Haveli:
“This stunning haveli, the best and most attractive in the old city, was built by the Thakur of Pal in 1847. There are twenty-one charming, spacious rooms, mostly large and elaborately decorated in traditional heritage style, surrounding a central courtyard. The family retain a small museum here. The rooftop restaurant, Indique, is one of the city’s finest and boasts unbeatable views.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
We checked out the Pal Haveli when we visited Jodhpur for the first time in March 2008. We thought we would like to stay in a heritage hotel and because we liked the fact that it was so centrally-located. We checked at the reception desk and asked about availability. At that time, when we were travelling in India it wasn’t as easy as it is now to book accommodation on line, and besides, I wanted to see a room before we stayed for the night because a non-smoking policy was rare in those days.
We had a look at a few of the rooms but I found them rather musty, and though the furnishings were attractive, there wasn’t much attention paid to the linens and the other features ones looks for when travelling. I thought they were asking far too much for what they were offering. Instead, we stayed at the Yogi Guesthouse, a backpacker-style place that had a couple of large private rooms and a terrific rooftop terrace. It was good for those early days of travel, but it was located in the crowded, dirty back streets, we wouldn’t stay again.
Fast forward to 2013, when we came to Jodhpur for the second time. Things had really changed in India, and hotels and guesthouses had really upped their game. Unfortunately, when we tried to book two rooms, one for ourselves and the other for our travelling companions, the Moreaus, the were no rooms available. At that time, I was still trying to avoid international chain hotels, because I wanted a more authentic experience, and we ended up staying in a heritage hotel further from the centre of the city. It was just okay, and I felt badly that the Moreaus were somewhat restricted by my preferences.
Fast forward again to 2020, and this time I wasn’t interested in authentic experiences, we were both looking for creature comforts after so many visits to India, and fortunately, so were my sister and her husband. We booked into a recently-built Radisson, styled like the palaces of the former rulers and we enjoyed every minute of our stay there.
However, getting back to the Pal Haveli, we had dined there twice in 2013 with our friends the Moreaus. The first time was at night, and we’d had such a terrific meal, that Paul suggested we have lunch there the next afternoon when we’d come into the center of the city to see the sights and the Mehrangarh fort. For that reason, I suggested that we see if we could get a reservation at the Indique rooftop restaurant, though I thought it would be difficult at the last minute.
To our surprise, we were able to get a table and had a great meal. The only downside was that we had to wait quite a long time for our meal because of the evening rush, but the setting was so fantastic, with a view of the fort looming about us, that we didn’t really mind. The other reason that we didn’t really mind, was that now that we were out of ‘dry’ Gujarat, we could have drinks with out meals, and that helped to pass the time while we waited.
The only problem about eating so late at the Pal Haveli, and then having to travel outside the centre to get to our hotel in the suburbs, was the fact that the Uber drivers that we connected with us on our app weren’t willing to take us there because of the slim chances they would have of getting a return trip back into the busier old town center.
Eventually, we had to take our chances with a black and yellow taxi that had been waiting nearby. It all turned out well though, we had enough cash to pay the driver and he delivered us safely to the Radisson’s gate.