Successful applications of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) rely on their physicochemical properties which are mainly governed by their comprising materials (e.g., lipids, emulsifiers) and preparation methods. We have prepared biocompatible solid lipid nanoparticles with glycerol monostearate as lipid and varying combinations of bile salts sodium deoxycholate and sodium cholate (bile salts to lipid ratio 8% w/w) as emulsifiers. The detailed characterization of solid lipid nanoparticles was performed using a combination of light scattering, microscopic, calorimetric, and spectroscopic techniques. It was seen that different compositions of bile salts yield nanoparticles with different sizes. The use of only sodium deoxycholate (8% w/w) produces nanoparticles with average sizes ∼487 nm. The average particle size increases with increasing cholate fraction. A higher average particle size around ∼652 nm is obtained with 8% (w/w) sodium cholate. All the SLNs show good physical stability at room temperature and do not show polymorphic transformation during the storage. In order to study the microenvironments, solid lipid nanoparticles are loaded with an external fluorescent-probe fisetin (probe to lipid ratio 1% w/w). Photophysical properties of fisetin loaded SLNs indicate the micro-heterogenicity inside the nanoparticles. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.