Thursday, April 1, 2010

Swimming in Raas Hotel Jodhpur

An inviting swimming pool in the strong Jodhpur sun. This is the heritage Raas Hotel in the walled city of Jodhpur beneath the Mehrangarh Fort (image from Blacktomato).
Financial Times
Raas, Rajasthan’s most innovative boutique hotel. Last December, it became the first luxe hostelry to open in the heart of an Indian walled city. Snazzy blue-painted tuk-tuks ferry guests and baggage from the clock tower through buzzing bazaars; a wooden gateway opens into a calm courtyard and pillared reception; beyond rises a modern 35ft wall of rose sandstone; above it, blue cubes merge into the city’s skyline.

Besides the pool and terraced gardens are a 19th-century pleasure pavilion for dining; and 300-year-old ornamental buildings of the women’s purdah quarter, which now include a spa – all juxtaposed against a second block of suites clad in geometric jaali-work. Dhananajaya Singh, a Cambridge-educated farmer, purchased Raas in 2007 from an elderly feudal chief; his brother Nikhilendra found two British investors and engaged architects, Amrish Arora and Rajiv Majumda. Each of Raas’s rooms is a statement in cool, pared-down style, from their black terrazzo floors to the private balconies with 11ft-high stone jaalis in metal frames that roll back, like shutters, at the flick of a finger.

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AVANTIKA RESORT Located on the main highway from Ahmedabad to the port of Kandla in the vibrant state of Gujarat