Dev Niwas in Bundi

Dev Niwas in Bundi

Since COVID-19 upended all our lives, we have scarcely travelled, and the little we have done has been to stay with friends, or in home-stays run by friends. So the current trip we are on right now, driving down to south India, was our first experience of staying in “normal” hotels, and not in “known” places.

Our first stop was Bundi in Rajasthan, and we had found the hotel online, and booked it ourselves.

Call us paranoid, but we packed our own sheets, towels, and pillowcases – just in case.

We had been advised that Dev Niwas was operating a reduced service, with less staff and less food options, which was indeed the case, but paradoxically these COVID restrictions worked in our favour.

Our arrival coincided with veggie deliveries at the hotel’s entrance

We were the only people staying in this delightful hotel, so we had the pretty courtyard and the lovely roof terrace all for ourselves. What a treat.

The 4 of us all felt totally at ease with the sparkling cleanliness of our rooms, with crisp sheets and lovely fluffy towels, so our “just-in-case” linen supplies stayed unused in the car.

Our rooms were cool and large and spacious, and since there was no-one else in the hotel, the skeleton staff wasn’t an issue.

We only had breakfast in the hotel, opting to eat out for our other meals and the menu was basic, it must be admitted. Tea/coffee. Toast. Jam. Butter. And that was pretty much it. But it was fine.

Both evenings we had drinks on the roof terrace which has THE most breathtaking view of the fort.

The staff were super sweet, fixing up tables and chairs for us, and bringing ice and glasses, and we sat there and marvelled at the view.

Panoramic views from the roof terrace of the little town of Bundi

We even had a jolly wedding procession one night, wending its way below us.

Prepping for the wedding later that night

As I said, I can’t speak to the quality of the cooking in the hotel.

One thing to note about Dev Niwas is that there are lots of steep steps to get to the rooms on the first floor, where we were staying, and then up to the roof. There is no lift.

The only quibble is that we were not told that there is no parking at the hotel – Bundi’s streets are very narrow and crowded and noisy, and we caused quite a jam on arrival. We offloaded our bags and then parked the car at the fort, which is a short distance away.

But it would’ve been nice to know that before we had to manoeuvre crowded streets and be shouted at by some pretty obnoxious locals. For a city with NO tourists, as in NO tourists at all, the locals were distinctly unwelcoming on that first drive into town.

Dev Niwas is a very sweet place to stay.

No-one knows that I blog and write reviews, and we paid our own way.

A props – I don’t know if this was due to Covid/skeleton staff, but we were unable to pay by credit card, so settled our bill in cash. Might be worth checking.

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