Raas Devigarh

Udaipur, India Book from IRs15,000

Traditional Rajput palace meets contemporary minimalism - an immaculately conceived and luxurious boutique hotel
Like the secret gateway to Narnia, and just as magical, this glorious 18th-century fort-palace - imposingly grand with its ramparts of domes, turrets and balconies - reveals an inverse interior that's gleaming, sleekly minimalist and quite breathtaking. You're suddenly encased in a modern and airy hotel, delicately carved from white marble and sweeping sheets of glass to create a clean, uncluttered aura that's a rarity in Rajasthan.

Flashes of colour - the walls are hung with dramatic art or sparkle with semi-precious inlaid stones - highlight the elegant suites spread over the 14 floors of RAAS Devigarh. Venture from these superb hideaways for an Ayurvedic massage, a splash in the green marble pool, or supper in the pavilion restaurant, with spectacular views over the Aravalli hills to the tiny Delwara village below. This vista of eternal India from one of the country’s most contemporary constructions is an unbeatable combination for romantics and families alike. Exquisite.

Highs

  • The old fort exquisitely fuses traditional and modern style - our jaws hit the ground as we arrived
  • The suites are all epic and totally unique; many have mind-blowing views over the surrounding landscape
  • There's a huge green marble pool and sublime views from all areas of the fort
  • Outstanding service, plus an excellent restaurant and terrace for sundowners
  • The marvellous spa offers a range of Ayurvedic massages and other pampering treatments using L'Occitane goodies

Lows

  • Some would say it's too far from Udaipur, but we see it as the perfect base for visiting the increasingly large and polluted city
  • Returning guests may feel that the hotel has lost some of its former shabby charm in favour of full-on glamour
  • As this is a bit of a labyrinth, there are many steps to get up and down - but there is a lift
  • The extras - transfers, food, drinks - are pricey

Best time to go

The best time to visit is from October to early April, when it's dry, warm and less humid (though nights can be chilly). Temperatures rise to around 38C from March onwards, before the monsoon season arrives in July. The rains usually last until the end of September, though RAAS Devigarh remains open all year round.

Our top tips

This hotel is a beautiful maze. Stay for at least 2-3 days; you'll wish you could stay longer in this unique masterpiece, and a week could easily be filled by all of the local sightseeing and relaxation options. If you're travelling around India, considering pairing your experience with a stay at sister property RAAS Jodhpur.

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 39
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Board games
Room:

Rooms

Having checked out many of the suites, we can assure you that they are all epic and utterly unique. Some have balcony seat windows, others have old original painted corner terraces and ring-necked parakeets abound (noisy things, but beautiful).

We stayed in a Palace Suite; very large and modern, as they all are. Despite giving very little sense of history, the styling works. Perhaps it’s because the palace is dripping in authentic details that the suites feel like a welcome respite?

The Aravali Suites are also palatial, with mind-blowing views over the peaceful village and rural expanse beyond. Most luxurious of all is the Devi Garh Suite, which has a private sun deck and a Jacuzzi, plus a black marble swimming pool (which it shares with one of the Palace Suites).

In a separate area near the pool, the Garden Suites are surrounded by a verdant manicured lawn. They have cute little outdoor terraces with canvas umbrellas, but forgo the views and prestige of the palace as a result.

Sophisticated design is matched by up-to-date amenities throughout, including entertainment systems, WiFi and air-conditioning. There's also a pillow menu to choose from. Huge bathrooms come with power showers, marble tubs and clean, contemporary lines.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • IPod dock (on request)
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • Wifi internet

Eating

The glistening white restaurant was created in the fort’s upper pavilion and our evening meal was taken on the terrace; under the stars, overlooking the Aravali hills. The kitchen turned out excellent Thai ginger and soy steamed fish as well as an authentic, home-cooked spicy Laal Maas lamb curry, demonstrating both the eclecticism off the menu and skill of the chefs. Don’t miss the wine list, either.

For sundowners, sample the eclectic mix of cocktails at the terrace bar, where music and candlelit charm sooth the soul. For an especially romantic evening, arrange a private dinner - perhaps on one of the verandas or in the intimate, ornately mirrored Sheesh Mahal hall?

Come morning, the breakfast venue hops around to keep things interesting. Ours was taken in a balcony overlooking the village and included creamy house-made yoghurt, tasty jams, hot drinks and freshly pressed juices (including a lovely sweet lime and pineapple). Eggs were cooked to order, but we preferred the Indian dosa stuffed with potatoes.

Lunch - we had a tasty prosciutto and parmesan salad, washed down with cold beer - is perhaps best taken on a lounger by the pool. Afternoon tea, served traditional-style with finger sandwiches and clotted cream scones, is available daily. Room service and boxed lunches are also on offer.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Picnics and boxed lunches
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Swim in the huge outdoor pool and indulge at the fabulous spa, where treatments range from both Western and Ayurvedic massages to L'Occitane scrubs and facials
  • Borrow one of the hotel's bicycles to explore the local village; camel safaris and horse-riding are also available nearby
  • Greet the sunrise with a rooftop yoga class, relive your childhood with some kite-flying, play croquet on the lawn, or use the rooftop telescope for a spot of star-gazing
  • Enjoy a guided heritage walk around the palace, the on-site vegetable garden and the local village
  • Go walking and trekking in the surrounding hills, or ask staff to arrange a picnic in the countryside
  • Visit the stunning city of Udaipur, with its lakeside setting, buzzing bazaars and glorious palaces
  • Enjoy excursions to Kumbhalgarh and Chittorgarh Forts, or head to the temples at Nathdwara and Eklingi (the hotel can provide transport)
  • Explore the 14th-century Jain temples at Ranakpur

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Camel rides
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

RAAS Devigarh is an outstandingly beautiful place to explore whether you're an adult or a child - with maze-like staircases, views and pools all around. Children of all ages are welcome; the atmosphere isn't exactly hushed but it's not theme-park-hectic either, so do bear that in mind.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms have sofabeds, bathtubs and space for a baby cot.

Babysitting:

Available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Stairgates where necessary
  • Baby bedding
  • Potty
  • Night light
  • Baby bath
  • Bottle warming

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Although the restaurant looks rather formal and sophisticated, don't panic. Staff can arrange dining in other areas of the hotel, and you can order food here all day, including half portions for children.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Games room (pool table + board games)
  • Children's DVDs
  • Bicycles to borrow
  • Toys

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Camel safaris
  • Visiting temples and bustling towns nearby

Families Should Know:

The many tricky staircases, unfenced pool, high terraces and general atmosphere mean this isn't the ideal place for toddlers. Bring nappies and baby food with you - there's nowhere nearby to buy them.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Hospital: 30 minutes
  • Doctor: 30 minutes
Kid Friendly: Garden Suite

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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