“In the mid-1950s the so-called ‘Blue’ train from Paris’ Gare de Lyon lead passengers along the route from Paris to the Côte d’Azur. A road was built in parallel to the train, and outposts of fine French taste started to flourish along this route. As the owners of one of these establishments, Marcel and Nelly Tilloy saw an opportunity to band together with other locales sharing the same unflagging passion for hospitality and excellent cuisine. They offered an enticing culinary itinerary, encouraging travellers to explore all the spots. Soon this itinerary acquired the moniker “La Route du Bonheur” or “Road of Happiness”.”
Relais & Châteaux
The Serai, Jaisalmer sits on desert scrubland with a rolling as-far-as-the-eye-can-see-view of the horizon, where pink skies bid farewell to blazing, fiery sunsets and cranes flying overhead to their nesting grounds signal the end of the day in wintertime. This is a timeless landscape, a roundabout of history that has witnessed the arrival (and departure) of armies and caravans, of princes, priests and mendicants each of whom settled down or passed through in the rise and ebb of medieval dynamics. Not far from The Serai, in about as much time as it would take you to enjoy the on-board picnic, you can drive to the centre of this historic landscape, Jaisalmer Fort.
The festival of Holi symbolises a celebration of the victory of good over evil, heralding the arrival of spring and the end of winter, in vast parts of India. For many it is a day for social gatherings to splash each other with colours, of laughter, forgiveness and to reset and renew ruptured relationships.
Blink and you’ll miss the undulating desert track that meanders off the surprisingly well-paved Jodhpur/Jaisalmer highway and plonks you in the middle of a sublime mirage. But one wonders whether this is a deliberate attempt to protect a treasure?
The Serai is one such treasure comprising of supreme luxury, of whiter than white tents infused with understated elegance, coupled with unrivaled attentive care and, hold your breath, gingerly nestled in 100 acres of desert where you can stand on a clump of bush and watch the weather roll in… Read More A visit to The Serai, Jaisalmer
Unheard of rain fall levels are greening the Great Thar Desert in Rajasthan where all was previously sand. The great fort of Jaisalmer rises today not from dunes but from a rough sea of hardy shrubbery. The sun nevertheless fights back with undying force; if it fails to dehydrate the land so dramatically as in the past it will certainly succeed in dehydrating you and visitors to the remarkable oasis that is The Serai, Jaisalmer tented camp are strongly advised to drink plenty of water, wear hats and layer on the sun cream. The temptation though is to drink more of the delicious range of cocktails on offer and, if the sun gets too much, to retire to a beautifully appointed tent or to the hedonistic luxury of the Spa for a massage with wondrous smelling natural oils. I may have been camping recently on a desert island with no visible amenities or even fresh water and thought it good entertainment but I could get a serious taste for really high class hotels and no cockroaches. Read More The Serai, Jaisalmer
With the upcoming Jodhpur RIFF which has been endorsed by UNESCO as a “Peoples’ Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development,” we bring you a blog on the legendary Manganiyars by Malvika Singh. Read More The Manganiyars
Here is a collection of some photographs taken around The Serai, Jaisalmer. The landscape, the skies, each element has a depth of it’s own. Read More The Thar
When I heard the brief about creating a short promotional video for The Serai I instantly had a picture in my mind of the opening shot. A distant, wide angle shot, of a camel walking through the sand dunes in the golden light. I thought that orchestrating this would be as hard as getting a tiger to walk in front of the car…how wrong I was! Read More How do you Photograph a Camel in the Desert?
The other day someone asked me what my favourite Disney movie was. I was torn between the Lion King and Aladdin. The Lion King is so familiar to me, filling me with a warm homely feeling. I can relate to everything and feel so proud of how my continent, Africa, is portrayed. On the other hand Aladdin appeals to me for exactly the opposite reason… it is so completely foreign. Transported, momentarily, out of one’s comfort zone and into an entirely new life. Read More A Whole New World…