North India and Rajasthan camps - The Serai
The Serai is an unexpected oasis in the middle of Rajasthan's Great Thar Desert. Surrounded by miles of desert scrub this glorious tented camp is a marvellous place to experience desert life in absolute comfort. Jaisalmer and its spectacular living fort seems a world away, though in reality it’s little more than half an hour’s drive to the town.
The camp design is inspired by the military camps of the Raj and the attention to detail is superb. Instead of a refrigerator there’s a leather encased cool box with ice in each of the 21 tents, brass-plated service buttons beside your bed and glass-stoppered bottles. There is plenty of space with a terrace, sitting room with writing desk, bedroom and a stylish bathroom with rain shower. Despite the luxury, you are still under canvas so be prepared for night time noises and lizards and insects that will invade your tent if you leave the lights on and the flaps open!
Physical comforts aside, the real treats here are fantastic service and unobtrusive staff for whom nothing is too much trouble. There are no meal timings so you can eat exactly as and when you like. Fresh herbs, salads and vegetables come straight from the camp’s organic garden. Before dinner you can enjoy a sun downer in the dunes or kick back with a cocktail in a leather armchair as the sky turns shades of orange and pink.
If you can tear yourself away from the pool, desert picnics and excellent spa, the fort and bazaars of Jaisalmer are within easy distance. Pristine sand dunes are just a camel ride away from the camp, the desert views are sublime and the night skies filled with an impossible number of stars.
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