When we arrived we were greeted with a very warm welcome by the owners and staff. We were quite apprehensive at first sight as the place has a lost in time appearance similar to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
We were shown to our room in the main house and the view that greeted us through the open rear room double doors was spectacular, the Shatrunjay Mountain was in full view. We had a swing chair on the balcony and was bought a welcome chai.
I could go on for hours about this place and felt very comfortable and welcome here. Everyone was friendly and warm.
As you are more or less in the middle of nowhere, its hard to get a phone signal and wi-fi is limited. There is not really anywhere to eat in the local village but you could go to Palitana in a Tuk Tuk if you really need to...... BUT DONT...... just eat here.
Oh my goodness, the food is incredible ! breakfast is simple, toast and an omelette, coffee, jam, tea, water, bananas. But if you stay for lunch and dinner, prepare for your senses to be overloaded, and your stomach. For 200 rupees you can have a lunch fit for a king. I am vegetarian and how they managed to create such a variety of home cooked food is beyond me. Dinner is a 300 rupee banquet, again, loads of different dishes are served every meal with rice and chapati and then puddings are milk based heaven. The food is cooked fresh for you and the kitchen is spotless. I have been to India many times and always get the dreaded Delhi belly, but not here !
I must admit to wondering how I would spend 8 nights here as there is not a lot to do. However, after 2 days I was so relaxed that I could have stayed longer. This place allows you the freedom from a hectic life, it makes you rest and relax, a trait that most of us have lost ! We did climb the mountain twice, once from the local village, Adpur and once from Palitana. We then took a Tuk Tuk to Hastagari and climbed to the temples here as well.
The experience was summed up when I asked if I could get a bottle of water out of the fridge and was informed "This is your home" and it really did feel like home and staying with family.
I will be back......
Vijay Vilas is an older building that has been in the owners family for two or more generations. From the outside the building has the feel of "magnificent old charm decay" to it, a feel that carries over to the inside. The decor, furniture and fittings are special, taking us back to earlier days. It has accommodation and eating downstairs in the main building, and newer accommodation outside the back of the building. We stayed one night in a large room in the main building. The main building is full of family memorabilia and harks back to the old days of the building and family.
Booking was done via email from Australia with no problems at all. Room was clean and huge, as was the bed which was very comfortable. It is very quiet and we slept soundly. The room had a large en-suite. Dinner was a little pricey but it was huge with a lot of variety and tasted excellent. Breakfast was OK and filling. The owner and staff were welcoming and friendly, they even provided a place for our driver to rest.
It is a little hard to locate but well worth the effort. In particular it is very close to the alternate route to the Shatrunjay Mountain, the one that avoids Palitana proper and the ocean of aggressive touts. Shame we could have not stayed a little longer here.
A detour to Palitana wasn't in my original Gujarat plans, but I am soooo glad it was added. My only regret about Vijay Vilas; staying only one night.
The owners are wonderful, very down to earth, and will share the history, as well as the numerous challenges of maintaining, their home. The staff members were polite and helpful. The house is fantastic--filled with history!!! Built in 1906, it was the country home of a local Rajput famiy headed by Yuvraj Vijay Sinhji. There's a letter and accompanying thanking him for his help with polo, written by Lord Louis Mountbatten.
The home's surrounding gardens and grounds are lovely. You ca see Shtrunjaya hill in the distance. There's a vegetable garden, from which parts of your meals will come. The food was among the best I had on this trip to Gujurat--light and fresh, not heavy at all. There's a wide verandah that calls out for relaxation.
You're out in the countryside here, in an agricultural area away from the main town.
The perfect trip would be to check in, relax, get up early next morning to ascend part way or entirely the hill to the Jain Temples, then return to Vijay Vilas and relax for another evening/ night.
Treat yourself to a visit to this wonderful corner of Gujarat--it's is"Incredible India" at its best with warm, friendly people both in the house and the nearby village, and gently beautiful scenery.
To spend some time in the Vijay Vilas Palace is an extraordinary experience indeed.
Especially if one likes historical architectures.
The rooms are very charming. We loved, staying there for 4 days. The rooms are spaces and equipped with antique furnitures. We had the chance to clime up the stair (3500 steps) to the 900 Jain-Tempels of Shatrunjaya from there. This was a grate experience indeed. The food also was excellent and the stuff was very friendly and helpful.
After all, we take the opportunity to thank all the charming, helpful and hospitable people whom we met on our way. Special thanks to the Taxi- and Motorikshah drivers, who always brought us safely to our destinations. Thank you all for the patience and for your help in manyways on our journey through this incredible India - we will be back!
We loved our two day stay here. The service was friendly and attentive. The newly refurbished cottage rooms are spacious, well appointed with large well-equipped bathrooms. The old house is delightful - slightly run down but very homely and packed with original old furniture. And there is a signed letter and portrait of Lord Mountbatten on one of the sideboards. It is run by descendants of the original owners who also live there. It is in the countryside with views of Shatrunjaya hill with the Jain temples high on the top. Perfect place to stay after the 3,500 steps up to the temples - and 3,500 down! To wind down, take a stroll through the nearby village calling on the neighbours and pop into the local temple. Staying here is one of the few chances to experience village India deep in the countryside. It is 7 kilometres from Palitana in the village of Adpur - the turning is next to the post office in Palitana.