RAAS Jodhpur

City Centre, Jodhpur, India Book from

Sleek and chic, a rose sandstone haveli which blends old with brand new, and has spectacular Jodhpur Fort views
RAAS is the superb restoration creation of Rajput man-about-town Nikhilendra Singh and umpteen architects. Designed to reflect the unique character of Jodhpur, it combines modern blue and rose sandstone blocks with an ancient haveli. Jaali-slashed shutters dapple geometric light across 39 elegant bedrooms and suites and bathrooms, furniture is custom-made rosewood, and all the mod cons are in place.

Sitting in a big sunbowl beneath Jodhpur's 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, RAAS showcases exquisite craftsmanship and gorgeous detail throughout. There's a lovely big turquoise swimming pool with curtained loungers, a patchwork lawn-and-paving courtyard garden, waterfall-backed reception and a dedicated spa. When hunger strikes, choose from the shady Baradari fine dining restaurant, the informal yet spectacularly located Stepwell Cafe, or the Darikhana restaurant, which has its own street entrance and welcomes non-guests. Add excellent unobtrusive service and you'll not dream of staying anywhere else in Jodhpur.

Highs

  • The proximity to, and stunning views of, Jodhpur's deservedly famous Mehrangarh Fort; you're right in the walled city
  • The life-saving refreshment from a dip in the beautiful infinity swimming pool and dedicated spa
  • The mesmerising play of geometrically-patterned light in rooms and corridors, a modernist take on the dappled rays falling through the jaalis of old havelis
  • A beautiful bubble from which to dip your toes into the city
  • Surprisingly affordable for such a knockout creation; family-friendly

Lows

  • It can be a tad noisy (especially the call to prayer) but they offer earplugs and you are in the center of an Indian city, so it's to be expected
  • Heritage Suites lack fort views but compensate with lavish historic decor
  • Garden Rooms also lack views - they have outdoor space but the high walls felt a bit too enclosed for us
  • Book early - it’s popular

Best time to go

RAAS is open throughout the year, though May and June will be just too hot for many westerners at 45-47C, particularly given the open sunbowl location and lack of tree-shade in the garden. The monsoon happens here from (roughly) mid-July to mid-August, making the surrounding areas wonderfully green and weather 'very pleasant'. October to mid-April is their peak season.

Our top tips

Do take their guided and complimentary Jodhpur city tour as they'll show you hidden corners you'd be unlikely to find on your own. And know that walking unguided up to the Fort is not nearly as straightforward as it looks!

Like the look of this hotel? Combine it with a stay at their sister property RAAS Devigarh.

Great for...

City Style
Eco
Honeymoon
Family
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 39
  • Restaurants and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Courtyard
Room: Garden Room

Rooms

On our first visit, we stayed in a Luxury Room in one of the newer blocks, looking out across the Mughal-style garden courtyard to the Fort. Cool and contemporary, it had custom-made rosewood furniture, creamy-white walls and wouldn't look out of place in New York. Floor-to-ceiling windows slid open to the Fort-facing veranda, and folding jaali-pierced rose sandstone shutters slid across to veil the sun-bowl's glare - the top half can reveal the view, while the bottom half provides privacy.

On our second visit, we stayed in a ground-floor Garden Room. A simpler offering, these rooms lack fort views but have small gardens enclosed by high walls. For the best view of the Mehrangarh Fort, choose the Duplex Suites which are located in the one of the modern blocks.

But if it is historic gravitas you want, the Heritage Suites can’t be beaten. They’re enormous and reside in the original haveli, with separate living rooms and large verandas (though they lack fort views).

All beds are kingsize, firm and comfortable. In keeping with the metropolitan style, there are a flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, rosewood desks with beautiful stationery, white-cushioned sofas, and some rooms have a dressing alcove with a minibar.

Ensuite bathrooms are cream stone with separate baths and monsoon showers, plus complimentary Kama Ayurveda toiletries.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Evenings are a smart affair, with a choice of 2 on-site restaurants. It’s worth booking a table in advance for Baradari restaurant, as it was full during our visit. Here you’ll find a cool shady pavilion and open-air terrace serving global cuisine.

We ate alfresco on Darikhana restaurant’s beautiful terrace, with the fort lit up in the background. From the extensive pan-Indian menu we sampled akara chicken curry and lamb Biryana, with kofta to start. Though pricey for Jodhpur, it’s very romantic and you’re paying for the surroundings - a chorus of frogs serenaded us from the nearby pond.

During the day we enjoyed a light Caesar salad lunch from our sun lounger by the pool; perfect in the heat. If you want a night off, they have a parred down 24-hour room service menu.

Breakfast was highlight, and probably the best of our trip… There was a good mix of Indian and European dishes, so we went for eggs Benedict with grilled tomatoes, hash browns and some kind of Indian chicken sausage (don’t ask). They also have mounds of fresh fruit and rolled-over omelettes with spicy fried potato and tomatoes. The homemade jam with breads was very good, as were the fine leaf teas and fresh coffee.

Next door to the hotel, RAAS also has a café overlooking the renovated (and seriously impressive) stepwell. If you’re here for a few days, it would make a lovely spot for an informal dinner, as during the evening the stepwell is candlelit.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit the impressive Mehrangarh Fort, rated 'Asia's best fortress' by Time Magazine in 2008, just a 15-minute walk or 5-minute tuk-tuk ride away from RAAS
  • ... Or laze and gaze up at the fort from the lovely big pool
  • Explore hidden corners of the Blue City guided by a staff member in their blue tuk-tuk
  • Refresh with Ayurvedic treatments in the small spa (sauna and 3 massage rooms)
  • Weave through the lively narrow streets of next-door Sadar Market and buy spices, sweets, silver and handicrafts
  • Take a 60km drive to the famous, wondrously-carved Jain temple of Osiyan
  • See the grand hill-top Umaid Bhawan Palace and museum - built 1929-1944 by over 3,000 workers as a job-creation scheme during a severe drought
  • Play a round of golf at the 100-year-old club in Ratanada, south of Jodhpur
  • Go on a village safari to see how the local Bishnoi live, make pots and weave rugs and, if you're game, sample a palmful of their ritually-prepared (but very weak) opium tea
  • See puppets and instruments, and catch a music, dance or theatre performance, at the Sangeet Natak Akademi Folk Art Museum
  • Other excursions could include the Mandore gardens, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Jain Temples at Ranakpur

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Day trips
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Performance
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

There are some things that speak against RAAS as a family-friendly hotel: it's been designed as an oasis of calm and that's what other guests are expecting, and there's a policy of having only 1 child per room. But there's plenty to love about it and its surroundings, from the pool to the blue tuk-tuk, narrow lanes, ancient fort and range of enticing activities.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Garden Rooms can interconnect and have private outdoor space ideal for children to let of steam in. Luxury Room, Heritage Suites or Duplex Suites can accommodate 1 extra bed. All rooms have bathtubs.

Babysitting:

Available on request.

Baby listening:

Baby monitors are available, but they only work in selected areas.

Baby equipment:

  • Cot
  • Baby bedding
  • High chair
  • Potty
  • Night light
  • Bottle warming

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

Children's meals:

Non-adventurous tastebuds will find something at the Baradari restaurant onsite, which serves global cuisine. You can order food all day, there are children's menus, early mealtimes and takeaway food too, plus plenty of other places to try nearby. You can borrow a blender or microwave for baby food if needed.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Games consoles
  • Playroom
  • Outdoor toys
  • Farm animals nearby
  • Toys and books
  • A fantastic array of activities is organised for kids here: treasure hunts, heritage walks, rangoli making (floor paintings), badminton, cookery and music lessons, yoga, gardening

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Trekking
  • Mehrangarh fort
  • Temples, markets, forts and village excursions

Families Should Know:

We feel the hotel is better for older kids as there are lots of steps, drops, unfenced pools and ponds. There's a shop for nappies, food and sundries half a mile away.

Distances:

  • Airport 20 minutes
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
  • Doctor: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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