Rajasthan’s Golden City of Jaisalmer is famous for its havelis and intricate Rajput style architecture. A large percentage of its local accommodation is boutique styled havelis, some of them new and recently constructed, while some of them so old that you can literally sense the history within their yellow-stone walls. When Ghumau Kya visited Jaisalmer, we stayed in one such boutique haveli—Hotel Helsinki House.

The name itself is misleading, making you think immediately of Finland’s well-known capital. But Helsinki House was not created by a Finnish bloke, rather a humble Rajasthani man from a poor background who dreamt of one day opening his own hotel. This man later went to Helsinki and earned enough money and luck to return to his homeland and make his dream come true. It’s a true rags to riches story that’s even more fascinating once you realize how much love and recognition the place has earned since it opened.

Situated close to the Gadisar Lake, this beautiful hotel has uninterrupted views of the desert on one side and an absolutely gorgeous view of the golden city on the other. The Jaisalmer Fort looms mightily in the distance, seen clearly from the rooftop restaurant at Helsinki House. You can imagine yourself having a meal under the stars while admiring the whole city of Jaisalmer before you.

The impressive exterior of the hotel features breathtaking architecture hand-carved by local artisans, giving a palace feel to this boutique establishment. This feeling is enhanced when you step inside the rooms that perfectly capture the essence of Indian heritage.

The interior is bright, colourful, and extremely comfortable. We felt at home and well taken care of at Hotel Helsinki House. The staff was truly a group of the warmest people we’ve ever met and we spent a lot of our time either chatting with them or relaxing in our rooms and the lovely rooftop restaurant. The food here is also great. This is where we tried Gatte Ki Sabji for the first time and fell in love with it.

It was a great experience staying at Helsinki House and we heartily recommend this haveli hotel to everyone who plans to visit Jaisalmer in the future. We also managed to shoot a short video of it that you might find interesting.

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