The Blue House Hotel in Jodhpur, India

by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 28, 2019

Review of The Blue House Guest House in Jodhpur, India.

The Blue House – Quaint, historic, and family-run, located in the depths of the Old City.

First opening its doors to westerners way back in 1968, The Blue House is one of the oldest guesthouses in the Old City still run by the original founding family. Along a decrepit alley, as is typical in the historical city, the very modest entrance belies the pleasingly spacious rooms spread over several levels. With its triple-layered rooftop terrace, this is the loftiest building in the immediate area, so some rooms – and certainly the rooftop area – provide superb views of the magnificent fort. Most rooms also feature private porches and walls painted with Rajasthani legends. Coated in blue like most of the city, the guesthouse is not within the most appealing area of the Old City but is only a brief auto-rickshaw trip away from the fort and some decent cafés.

The Blue House – The Location

  • Address: Near Moti Chowk market/junction in the central part of the Old City. Most drivers know The Blue House because it’s been around for so long.
  • Area: In the Old City, with all the vibrancy (and chaos) that entails. Very easy to get lost, so take a business card with the hotel name and remember nearby landmarks.
  • How to Get There: About 6km (17-minute drive) from the airport. At the attractive (and low-key) terminal, there are pre-paid booths for taxis and auto-rickshaws, but note: taxis cannot enter this part of the Old City. The train terminal (1.6km, 10-minute drive) and main bus station (2.3km, 9-minute drive) are also quite convenient, and best accessed by auto-rickshaw.
  • Handy to: Old City. Mehrangarh Fort.

The Blue House – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters to independent travelers of all ages, but be wary of the steep and sometimes, rickety steps, which would NOT suit young children or anyone less able.
  • Views: Being such a tall building, many rooms offer decent street views, while a couple are angled perfectly towards the fort.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Certainly not expected or provided at a historic inner-city guesthouse like this in Jodhpur.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout. Quick and reliable.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +91 (0)291 262 1396
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: bluehousejodhpur.com

The Blue House – Amenities

  • Pool, Spa, & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided.
  • Other Facilities: Travel advice/bookings. Money-changing. Laundry.

The Blue House – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: The Mama’s Rooftop Restaurant offers superb views and an extended range of Indian (particularly Rajasthani), Chinese, and western meals (e.g. pizza). Guests have raved about the food here for years.
  • Breakfast: Excellent a la carte breakfast included in most rates and served on the rooftop café.
  • Room Service: Not available in a low-key guesthouse like this.

The Blue House – Rooms

  • Room Types: 13 rooms called ‘suites’. Each are different and individually named.
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking anywhere on the premises.
  • Best Room: Each room is different in theme and layout, but the finest would be those further up (i.e. away from traffic noise). The best of these offer views of the entire width of the fort.
  • For Families: Some rooms could fit in 1 or 2 extra single beds, but the location and steep steps in the guesthouse are not recommended for young children.

The Blue House – Local Transport

  • Walking: The Old City is fascinating to wander around, but there are no sidewalks, so pedestrians share the scarily narrow streets and alleys with maniacal motorcyclists and anarchic auto-rickshaw drivers. Watch out for huge piles of fresh cow dung.
  • Public Transport: Nothing of use for tourists anywhere in Jodhpur.
  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Taxis (unmetered) can be ordered through the guesthouse for day-trips, but can’t possibly enter the Old City. Auto-rickshaws are good enough for going anywhere in Jodhpur, and can be found around junctions in the Old City. Taxis and auto-rickshaws can also be ordered through the Uber app.

The Blue House – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Nothing worthwhile within walking distance, so get an auto-rickshaw (600m) to Stepwell, an ancient pond and square, also known locally as ‘Tunwarji ka Jhalra’. These places are clustered together:

  • Open House Cafe – Quaint, inviting, and directly overlooking Stepwell. For Indian, Chinese, and western meals. And beer available. 7-minute walk (600m).
  • The Stepwell Café – Along the same lane as the Open House. More spacious seating and loftier views, but a little pricey. 7-minute walk (600m).
  • Jharokha 360 – Rooftop of the incongruous modern building. Broad views and classy Indian food. 7-minute walk (600m).
  • RAAS – Multi-star hotel providing 2 restaurants: one casual alongside the pool, and the other more formal, on a higher level and facing the fort. 9-minute walk (700m).
  • Otherwise, try one of the 3 places inside the fort: Chokelao Garden Café (lunchtime buffets), Mehrangarh Fine Dining Evening Restaurant (spectacular, dinner only, and booking required), and Palki Café (snacks and drinks). 14-minute drive (3.4km).

Shops & Markets

  • Facilities in the general area are for locals, not tourists. Take an auto-rickshaw to Sardar Market (500m), based around the iconic Clock Tower and opposite the renowned Pal Haveli hotel. Open all day every day, the market is clean, quiet, and hassle-free, so it’s fun to wander around.

Attractions

  • The overwhelming attraction is the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort that dominates the Old City. The main entrance is about 3km by auto-rickshaw. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. 14-minute drive.
  • Jaswant Thada – Also known as the Taj Mahal of Mewar, a marble marvel amidst lush, landscaped gardens and next to a serene lake. The intricate marble lattice screens as well as the city views are superb. Easily paired with a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort. 9 am to 5 pm. 15-minute drive (3km).
  • Umaid Bhawan Palace – An architectural marvel; one part of the palace still serves as a Royal Family residence, the rest has been converted to the Taj Hotel and museum. Only the museum is open to the public, and it’s very popular for the vintage car and clock collections and vast gardens with peacocks. Great spot for a romantic meal. 10 am to 4.30 pm. 15-minute drive (5km).
  • Mandore Garden – Historic garden, home to beautiful empty tombs of the Royal Family. The Hall of Heroes, temple of 330 Million Gods, and Government Museum are worth seeing. Visitors can also explore the Mandore Fort ruins or have a picnic on the grounds. Located just outside the city. 25-minute drive (8km).

The Blue House – The Hotel

The guesthouse is located in the middle of the Old City.

The guesthouse is along a nondescript alley deep within the Old City of Jodhpur.

The modest entrance leads to lovely mid-range rooms.

The very modest entrance is easy to miss and belies a cluster of lovely mid-range rooms.

The original guesthouse owners live on the ground floor.

The family who opened the guesthouse way back in 1968 still lives on the ground floor.

The guesthouse building is among the tallest in the area.

The handful of rooms are along several floors within the tallest building in this part of the Old City.

The guesthouse features old hand-painted walls.

The hand-painted walls are just some of many historic touches around the guesthouse.

The rooftop cafe offers views of the entire width of the fort.

As the highest building in this part of the Old City, views of the fort are fantastic from the rooftop café, and uncommonly, the views include the entire width of the fort.

All rooms have small, cozy porch areas.

All rooms feature small but cozy porch areas.

True to its name, the guesthouse features blue paint throughout.

The blue paint throughout the guesthouse is obviously reflected in the name, and synonymous with this part of Jodhpur, which is called The Blue City.

Unlike rival guesthouses, the rooms are spacious.

Unlike most rival guesthouses in the area, rooms are spacious and don’t feel cramped.

The décor and layout of each room is different, but all are reflective of the rich history of Jodhpur and Rajasthan.

The rooms offer fantastic views of the Mehrangarh Fort.

A couple of rooms face the Mehrangarh Fort, with views that 5-star hotels would charge the earth for.

Open House Café in the Old City serves good food and beer.

Along a lane next to the Stepwell pond and square is the lovely Open House Café, about 600m from the guesthouse.

The Stepwell Café next door features comfortable seating and excellent views.

Just behind the Open House Café, The Stepwell Café offers comfy seating and fabulous views.

Several shops and cafes are located in a modern building opposite the Stepwell.

Inside this very modern building at Stepwell are several places to eat, drink, and shop.

Jharokha 360 is a rooftop cafe with a classy Indian menu and excellent views.

On the rooftop of the modern building at Stepwell, Jharokha 360 provides magnificent views and classy Indian cuisine.

The RAAS hotel next to Stepwell has 2 restaurants.

The top-end RAAS hotel virtually next to Stepwell provides 2 restaurants.

The fort's main entrance is 3km from the guesthouse.

The main entrance to the Mehrangarh Fort is about 3km from the guesthouse.

It's advisable to visit the fort early in order to beat the crowds.

To beat the crowds – which are overwhelmingly Indian – start early.

The fort is best enjoyed leisurely.

Allow plenty of time to explore the magnificent fort – perhaps, at least a half-day.

The Chokelao Garden Café with the fort is popular for its lunch buffets.

The Chokelao Garden Café within the fort overlooks gardens, and offers tourist-priced buffets at lunchtime.

Dinner at the Mehrangarh Fine Dining Evening Restaurant is a great experience.

Better is the Mehrangarh Fine Dining Evening Restaurant, which provides one of the most amazing settings in India.

Palki Café is a budget place at the fort serving basic snacks and drinks.

The cheapest place to eat at the fort is Palki Café, which sells basic Indian and western snacks and drinks.

The Clock Tower in Sardar Market is a prominent landmark.

A prominent landmark in this part of the Old City is the Clock Tower, about 500m from the guesthouse.

The Clock Tower in Sardar Market is a prominent landmark.

The Clock Tower is in the middle of Sardar Market, indicated by these huge gates.

The Mehrangarh Fort is visible from across the Old City and Sardar Market.

The omnipotent Mehrangarh Fort dominates the Old City and fascinating Sardar Market.

Sunset views of the magnificent fort are impressive.

The fort is even more impressive for a few hours after sunset.

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