A hip, modern conversion of an 18th-century haveli located within the old walled city of Jodhpur, RAAS is the Blue City’s most stylish hotel and restaurant option, offering impressive views of Mehrangarh Fort, by far the most spectacular fort in India, and easy access to exploring the medieval city on foot.
It’s surreal to enjoy this level of contemporary design and luxury within the labyrinthine old-walled city of Jodhpur (incidentally my favourite city in Rajasthan), sipping cocktails beside the pool and gazing up at the towering crenellated ramparts of the 15th-century Mehrangarh (Majestic) Fort that dominates the city’s skyline. Easy access to both the fort and the best possible base if you want to explore the old city on foot.
Address: Tunwarji ka Jhalra Makrana Mohalla, Jodhpur, 342001, India.
Style & character
Brothers Nikhilendra and Dhananajaya Singh have made a most artful transformation of this 18th-century haveli (“royal mansion”), renovating four different wings (comprising the original family residence, various pavilions, stables, the guard houses and family temple) into a cohesive hotel that is now not only Jodhpur’s most stylish, but also offers the city’s best restaurant and a sexy rooftop bar.
Service & facilities
Professional, efficient staff at every level, unobtrusive but present; reception is able to advise on anything from where to shop to how best to courier the stuff home (Jodhpur is good for big-ticket items like salvaged doors and windows). Given that you are within the confines of the old walled city, the architects have done a superb job — it’s worth booking here just to swim in the rooftop pool, with that sensational fort view; there is also a spa.
Rooms are modern, minimalist, uncluttered; the usual five-star luxury amenities, plus a few more — mini-bar, air-conditioning, DVD player, Wi-Fi, daily newspaper. It’s definitely worth the extra to book one of the Luxury rooms (rather than Garden) for the fort views, or one of the three Heritage suites located in the original Rajput residence. The only potential irritation is the total dearth of any twin-bedded options – they will make the king-size bed up with two duvets, or make up an extra bed.
Food & drink
RAAS has two restaurants, both under the auspices of excellent chef Vishal Gautam. All-day Bandari serves an international menu (predominantly Italian and Thai, and a variety of fresh salads) in the cool (in every sense) indoor dining room that spills out to the poolside terrace. Come evening, you’ll want to book a cushioned banquette and candle-lit table at rooftop Dari Khana, which serves authentic Rajasthani fare. Both restaurants enjoy fort views, and note that they must observe the pork-and-beef-free rules of the Old City.
Yes. An extra bed can be placed in room, but do note the lack of twin beds.
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