Rajasthan is a fairy tale trip, and every fairy tale has its castle.
RAAS, is an elegant and grand 300-year-old mansion situated in the heart of Jodhpur. Local brothers Nikhilendra and Dhananajaya Singh have brilliantly restored the heritage buildings, creating the first and only luxury hotel within an Indian walled city. The 39-room hotel comprises three restored 18th century buildings in Jodhpur’s very own ‘rose-red’ sandstone. They are combined with four new buildings which have been designed by the acclaimed Delhi-based architect Ambrish Arora and Rajiv Majumdar.
Jodhpur’s first boutique hotel is a seamless three-way fusion of antiquity, innovative technology and ecological sustainability. Each bathroom, for instance, contains solar-heated cast-iron bathtubs and floors hand-laid by Jodhpur craftsmen. Everything from cocktail glasses to rose sandstone shutters were transported on bullock-carts through the walled city’s labyrinthine alleys. The arresting vistas, different styles and angles, central pool, square and garden and warm feel throughout, makes RAAS a microcosm of the city around it. The 39 rooms, all with balconies, include seven suites with separate sitting rooms. Shiny black marble terrazzo floors and dark and minimalist furniture combine beautifully with creamy monochrome stone bathrooms and light fabrics. Most rooms have views of the Mehrangarh Fort, while four have private gardens overlooking the old, restored buildings.
Entering through an imposing stone gate, guests are led into a peaceful, spacious inner courtyard which is home to Mughal-style terraced gardens and a stunning infinity pool. A cozy, elegant terraced dining room is nearby, while the café and the al fresco terrace line one side of the property. A range of activities are also on offer, from rides through the city in the hotel’s own Tuk Tuks to camel safaris and desert picnics.
“Every red sandstone, every pebblewash terrazzo panel is the product of hundreds of hours of local craftsmen. I’d be very happy if people who stay here don’t perceive luxury from just a big bed, but the luxury of the handcrafted work done especially for this place,” says RAAS co-founder Nikhilendra Singh.
Restaurant and Spa
The Darikhana restaurant, a terraced dining room, and the Baradari Café, both offer traditional Rajasthan specialities, as well as continental food. For pampering the Serena Spa, situated in one of the old ‘havelis,’ or private mansions, offers four treatment rooms, a steam room and a relaxation area. Treatments are inspired by the rich heritage of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life, as well as from European health concepts, Aromatherapy and traditional remedies found throughout Southeast Asia.
RAAS lies at the foot of the mighty Meherangarh Fort, in the heart of Jodhpur’s walled city, the oldest of Rajasthan’s great cities. It is situated in the prestigious northeastern quarter of the walled city, just a stone’s throw from the Clock Tower. Rather than a remote, sterile gated community, the hotel is inextricably linked with its surroundings.
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For reservations, please refer to the webpage: www.designhotels.com/RAAS