Ranvas at Nagaur
Ranvas at Nagaur in Rajasthan, India, is the epitome of a secret escape down the road less travelled. It is undoubtedly off the beaten track. In fact, it’s completely hidden from public view. And it is discovered only by those who have the tenacity to dig deeper in order to be enriched. As such, it is a true Yonder favourite, hitting every one of our selection criteria square on.
The hotel itself occupies a tiny corner of the huge fort, an area built as a cluster of havelis in the 18th Century by the Maharaja of Jodhpur to house his wives. Today these magnificent havelis have been converted into guest bedrooms, with three or four rooms per haveli, with a central courtyard and covered seating area.
The rooms, woven into the original buildings, vary in size and shape, but all come with original stone floors, marble bathrooms, rain showers and are delicately finished with colourful cushions and interesting reading books. They can be a little dark due to the ancient window sizes. But they were built that way for a reason… and you will welcome the coolness of the interiors. After being out in the hot sun. Some of the suites on the first floors have balconies. But because the wives of the Maharaja were not to be gazed upon by ordinary mortals, the surrounding walls are high and the views limited.
The havelis are all located around a central quad which is stunningly beautiful. The swimming pool is just off-centre and the dining room, more an arched, open pavilion, cascades down. Staff dressed in brilliant white or jungle green uniforms, depending on their roles, all with deep saffron-coloured turbans are on hand to cater for your every need. The Indian food is superb and the Western food is pretty good on the whole. A cup of tea, using fine china of course, n in the afternoon whilst lounging on the elevated day bed in the quad is a delight.
The palace is literally within touching distance. The hotel offers free private tours of the palace and the small museum.
On your doorstep
The new town of Nagaur is pretty hectic so stay inside the fort and go for a 2km wall of the ramparts at sunset for some spine tingling views and sounds.