Situated equidistant from the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the magnificent Gadisar Lake, Zostel Jaisalmer shies away from the bustle of the fort and lends itself an entrance to the tranquil landscape of the Thar Desert. It is a 10-minute walk from the fort and major shops; there are smaller, convenience stores nearby but these sell very basic items.
Zostel shares the haveli -style complex with a highly reputable hotel in the area, Hotel Helsinki House. Both share the reception areas, social spaces and the rooftop bar and restaurant. The tasteful interiors are luxurious yet simple, modernised Arabian nights to the eyes of many.
The building is comprised of four floors and a rooftop resto bar, with the dorms dominating the first two floors, whilst the private and double rooms (owned by Hotel Helsinki House) occupy the higher floors.
Based on my stay at a 6-bed female dorm room:
- R 399 per person per night
- Free transfers (if booked in advance)
- Large lockers under the bed
- En-suite bathroom (soap and toilet paper provided)
- Restaurant, bar and tea and coffee facilities (opening times for restaurant applies)
- Room service possible
- Good kitchen facilities
- Offers a camel safari trek ** (R 1750 for 25-hours to the Sam sand dunes incl. transfers, food and bedding)
- Offers a free map and guide of the city
** – I personally did not do the Zostel’s camel safari, but read Georgia’s account of it here.
What stuck out most about Zostel Jaisalmer was the glamour and attention-to-detail attached to the hostel. The free soap, the possibility of breakfast in bed, and the hospitality of the amazing brothers behind the establishment.
Since picking me up from the train station, Maru had the grimace that he would wear for the next few days. Him and his staff were one of the friendliest, warmest and most generous people I have met in India. It was unfortunate that I was struck down ill in Jaisalmer, a day before my camel safari trek, but Maru and the rest of the staff made sure I was looked after. From a warming bowl of porridge in bed, to some well wishes the day after, I was fortunate enough to suffer a bout of Delhi belly surrounded by pure kindness.
It’s not everyday you can live like a mughal for R 399/ night, with a very decent menu of Western and Rajasthani dishes, and a very detailed notice board by the entrance (check-out times, camel safari deals, restaurant opening times, and wi-fi password); if that isn’t a good, efficient hostel, I don’t know what one is.
This post was created in partnership with Zostel. I’d like to thank Zostel Jaisalmer for their hospitality and kindness during my stay at Jaisalmer. All pictures and opinions are my own, as always.