PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget
Tucked away along one of the narrow streets within the old town of Jodhpur, India, the RAAS is hip Maharaja living at its best. A skillful combination of old world Rajput buildings with a new designer bolt-on with huge carved sandstone jali screens makes the RAAS Jodhpur a hot ticket.
As you enter from the street through the magnificent old wooden gates, you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. And it becomes even more spectacular once you walk through the fish tank glass reception out into the bright sunlight beyond, with the most incredible view up towards Mehrangarh Fort. So good that to quote Tatler Magazine, always reliable on matters of taste: ‘This is the most spectacular view from any hotel in India, maybe actually the world.’
The 18m infinity pool is lined with muslin-draped cabanas which are the perfect place for an afternoon doze and if you fancy a board game or just to brush up on some local history, there is no shortage of supplies in the alcoves to the side of the narrow gardens.
Spending time in the old haveli building is a treat enough, but to indulge in the ILA spa is a fast track to heaven. The cuisine is also as brilliant as you would expect. Lazy mornings are spent at the poolside Bandari restaurant drinking cappuccinos and wrestling with the immense problem of whether to go buffet for lunch or a la carte … or both. And throughout the day Mediterranean, Indian and Thai classics are dished up with zeal.
If you feel like a change of scenery and some very refined dining, head up the steps to Dari Khana to sample some of the finest Rajasthani dishes around, whilst lounging amongst chic sofas and white cushions, in air con if you so wish, gazing up at the glowing, ever-present hilltop fort.
The majority of the rooms are located in the new building at the front of the hotel. The Luxury rooms are perfectly formed envelopes of bliss with screened balconies looking directly over the roofs of the old town and up to Mehrangarh Fort. Liberal use of red sandstone provides texture and warmth, whilst the terrazzo bathrooms add a sleek streak to well-sized rooms. If you crave something larger, the heritage suites, all located in the old Rajput Residence, will leave you awestruck.
The Couples Connect ILA spa treatment amongst the soothing red sandstone pillars is the most sensual experience a deux we know of in India. If you want to intertwine in the early evenings, don’t hesitate to get your booking in.
On your doorstep
RAAS Jodhpur is literally in the middle of the old town. The ancient step well is just a few meters from the gates. Venture a little further, and you’ll stumble across antique shops and handicraft boutiques which will please the eye but probably not your wallet.