After exploring Rajasthan’s busy cities, RAAS Devigarh is the perfect place to totally chill out. Located just under an hour north of Udaipur (we used it as our base for exploring the city) the former fortress is set in the blissfully calm Aravalli Hills. It’s a fine old place to spend a couple of days relaxing, lapping up the sweeping valley views, feasting like a king, and lounging poolside. It’s as über-luxe as you’re gonna find in India.
Clean and contemporary interiors are sophisticatedly stripped back, with a largely white palette peppered with highlights of silver and gold. The property is a web of courtyards, sprawling terraces and narrow staircases that lead to the rooms and suites which are scattered across the gardens. Our Garden Suite room was an oasis of calm, all creamy-coloured and zen-inducing, with bamboo blinds, pale marble floors, and a palm-tree embossed feature wall. The pièce de résistance of our large bathroom was the grand and most marvellous sunken marble bath I’ve ever seen — so momentous it fitted the two us side-by-side!
Rise early to catch the beautiful morning light on the pool terrace — without a doubt the real highlight of a stay at RAAS Devigarh. The sun rises up over the mountains, casting the whole place in a peachy hue. Start your day here with a coffee and a book, before a refreshing morning dip, and then eat. Breakfast is served in the restaurant, which is located up on an open-air terrace, which offers the most magical views of the surroundings, shroud in misty morning fog. Chefs cook up masala dosas and puri bhaji to order. You quickly grow very accustomed to curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and quite frankly, I couldn’t get enough. If you are looking for a break from curry, curry and more curry, you’ll appreciate the internationalism of the dinner menu here, which offers a myriad of wordly dishes including the likes of mozzarella and tomato salad, pad thai, and roasted chicken with herbed potatoes.
There’s no shortage of places to relax here, in fact, you could probably stay a week and never sit in the same spot twice! Soak up the sun on the ivory-leather loungers that surround the pool, snooze on a shady sun-bed in the afternoon, read your book up on the panoramic roof terrace, or, if you’re in the market for a total reset, book in for a treatment at Ila Spa. If like me, you suck at spending more than a day chilling, the charming village of Delwara is just a 10-minute walk away, and is celebrated for its ancient Jain temples. Otherwise, do what we did and spend one day relaxing and one day exploring Udaipur. It’s only a 45-minute drive away and it’s one of the key cities of Rajasthan — a must-see! Soak up the chaos, explore the City Palace and beautiful Lake Pichola, and haggle for colourful garms in the bazaars, before calling it a day and heading back at divine Devigarh for the night.
RAAS DEVIGARH, RATES FROM £220/ NIGHT AT SMITH HOTELS