MINIMAL DETAIL. RAAS JODHPUR & RAAS DEVIGARH IN UDAIPUR.
There are many majestic hotels in India, with an old flavour of colonial Raj or impressive architecture. But his hotel, being over all of that, offers a special perfectionist atmosphere. That’s why RAAS Jodhpur is probably the best hotel in India, and became Home in Jodhpur for the likes of Sir Mick Jagger and Sting. Situated in the heart of the old city, right under the XV century Mehangarh Fort. Contemporary design with an old school treat and attitude makes luxury feel easy. It is a project leaded by the brothers Nikhilendra and Kanwar Dhananjaya Singh which expand much further than the hotel walls into regenerating the old area of town (recently restored the step well to its former glory) with big input onto make the “Blue City” the cleanest city of Rajasthan.
Located in the prominent north-eastern quarter of the famous Walled City, RAAS Jodhpur is based around an original eighteenth century Haveli. Echoes of the Rajput architecture can be found throughout the building, in everything from its intricately carved stone panels to its antique shrines to the arches surviving from the stables. Indeed, entire original buildings are interspersed with the rose-red modern architecture. The Darikhana, also known as the 'Chamber of Carpets', was built towards the end of the eighteenth century and served as the Haveli's guest-house.
Now it is RAAS's most popular alfresco dining venue. In comparison, the Baradari was the haveli's 'newest' addition; built in the 1850s as the Thakur's personal entertainment pavilion, it was where the he spent his days, and no doubt many a night, entertaining and being entertained. It has retained this purpose through the centuries and now serves as a restaurant at the heart of the hotel, hosting events all year round. The pavilion has also retained its original multi-pillared structure, indeed ‘baradari', its very name, means 'twelve pillars'.
Original stables, converted into snug alcoves for reading and relaxing, and a small 18th-century temple make up the sides of the picturesque courtyard and we pride ourselves on the beautifully cultivated gardens filling the open space.
The expansion of RAAS Group takes us to Raas Devigarh, a stunning fort only twenty five kilometres outside Udaipur, standing over a tinny laid-back village where time appears to have stopped. On the same line of “progressive conservation” (signature of the fast growing hotel Group) this fort have been converted into a piece of art. The new design intervention has carefully respected the original property (restored in 1980), maintaining its mysterious grandiloquence and adding to it a soft touch of contemporary art making it one of the newest must-know destinations in India with stunning views of the Aravali Mountains nearby - the perfect base to explore Udaipur.
Strategically placed on top of a hill in the Aravalli Range, the Devigarh Palace overlooks the village of Delwara. Its construction was completed in the year 1760, under the reign of Rajrana Sajja Singh II. The palace was originally built using locally mined marble, a practice that was followed once again during its restoration.
Known earlier as Delwara Fort Palace, the origins of the building lie long before its completion in 1760. In recognition of his service to the famed Maharana Pratap of Mewar, the principality of Delwara was gifted to Rajrana Sajja Singh and his brother, Ajja Singh, following the battle of Haldighati in the year 1576.
The palace fortress, as it can be seen today, tells the tale of its brave and loyal benefactors, and with the coming of the modern era it has been transformed into one of the most spectacular luxury travel destinations of the region. The restoration of the hotel was undertaken by a team of 750 people over a period of almost 15 years. Finally, in 1999, Devigarh opened its gates to the public, offering visitors a blend of new-world comforts and old-world charm.