24-hour room service: Raas, Jodhpur, India

Exploring the province of Rajasthan in northwest India is one big adventure. But part of the joy of travel is mixing the raw, dusty desert experience with a touch of luxury. Which is why I was heading for Jodhpur's newest boutique hotel, Raas. The manner of the approach was unusual: in the back of one of the hotel's two customised sky-blue tuk-tuks, threading through the cobweb of tiny streets that form the city's rosy pink-tinged sandstone old quarter. The tuk-tuk's colour was a nod to Jodhpur's other title: the Blue City (so called due to the proliferation of houses painted this hue, which historically denoted the residences of its high-caste Brahmin population).

Once I'd passed the imposing carved wooden doors of this 150-year-old former noble residence, the turmoil melted away; I was enveloped in the tranquillity created by the thick, boundary walls.

Inside, a minimalist reception sits in the outer courtyard, and beyond lies a narrow corridor leading to a Mughal-style garden. Around the perimeter rises the restored mansion: two new wings house the guest rooms, a library, a restaurant and an inviting swimming pool fringed by sun loungers.

Equally impressive is the sight rising beyond. Sitting on a hilltop above the city is the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, the former home of the Maharajahs of Jodhpur and one of India's most astonishing forts.

Raas opened in December and is the brainchild of a Jodhpur local called Nikhilendra Singh, whose events-organising company had a hand in Elizabeth Hurley's wedding ceremony in the city in 2007. Singh has worked with architects from Mumbai and Bangalore to arrange the marriage of this historic mansion with some cutting-edge modern architecture.

The result is a harmonious mingling of old and the new. The historic buildings are complemented by the new extension, with the exteriors of the guest rooms clad in foldaway shutters hewn from the same pink sandstone as the original mansion. These are adorned with the traditional perforated stone decoration known as jali.

Location

Tucked away in the north-eastern quarter of Jodhpur's old walled city, the hotel is very tranquil considering the maelstrom that surrounds it. The airport is a 20-minute drive away and has regular flights connecting it with Delhi's international airport. Most visitors will usually get here from neighbouring cities such as Jaipur or Jaisalmer.

Comfort

There are 32 rooms spread across the contemporary wings and seven suites scattered between the modern and older part of the compound. All have balconies and 28 of the 32 rooms have views of the Mehrangarh Fort (the remaining four have their own gardens). The rooms are smooth, slick and unapologetically 21st-century. There are shiny black marble terrazzo floors on show, with creamy monochrome stone bathrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the garden. Furniture is tastefully dark and minimalist, and fabrics are kept light and neutral.

Raas, Tunvarji ka Jhalra, Makrana Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India (00 91 291 263 6455; raasjodhpur.com )

Rooms 4 stars
Value 4 stars
Service 4 stars

Doubles from £230 including breakfast

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
    Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

    Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

    The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
    Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

    Education: Football Beyond Borders

    Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
    10 best barbecue books

    Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

    We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
    Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most