Located on a private island in the centre of a serene lake, we won’t be surprised if this one is chosen as a location for the next Bond film! Meanwhile, here’s what you can expect.
The much-awaited Raffles Udaipur, the first Raffles in India, is ready to open its doors to guests starting August 2. Picture this: A 21-acre private island set in the middle of the serene Udai Sagar lake, just a 20-minute drive and short boat ride from the airport. An impressive edifice that reflects the best of western cultural references, Rajasthan’s royal heritage, with some elements of Mughal architecture, surrounded by beautifully manicured, ornamental gardens and panoramic views of the hills, tranquil lake and a 400-year-old temple.
“Whether you are looking for a rare place of extraordinary discovery or a romantic getaway with captivating sunsets, Raffles Udaipur is the ideal choice,” says General Manager Abhishek Sharma. “With breathtaking views of the lake from every room, the chance for long, leisurely, romantic walks around our magnificent gardens, and experiences like star gazing and full moon rituals, we are a sanctuary for travellers on a quest for peace and rejuvenation.”
Prepare to be entranced by the individualistic décor of the 101 luxurious rooms, suites and signature suites. Think beautiful murals, handcrafted furniture, and other decorative touches by local artisans. If you can drag your eyes away from the fabulous lake views outside, that is.
Culinary director Prasad Metrani offers a range of dining options. Sawai Kitchen will serve reinvented Indian cuisine, adapting traditional recipes from royal kitchens of the region. From October, the aptly named Harvest, will feature interactive farm-to-table dining experiences with produce foraged from the estate farm. At Rasoi, the cookery school, guests will get a chance to don their aprons and get tips from the hotel chefs. The onsite patisserie promises freshly baked breads, classic French desserts, signature pastries, and more. Raffles Udaipur will also have a host of curated dining experiences that can be created al fresco day or night, framed by the picturesque hills that surround the lake, and lit by the sun or the stars.
Going solo? Linger over a bespoke drink and a book at The Writers Bar. Or share an intimate conversation over the Champagne and caviar menu. Conversely, the iconic Long Bar, a hallmark of the Raffles brand, is the perfect place to socialise over the signature Udaipur Sling (the Singapore classic remade with fresh produce from the island and home-made syrups), or sip on local brews from Rajasthan, if you’re not savouring fine Indian spirits and single malts.
The Raffles Spa, a space full of natural light with an embroidered canopy to encourage a sense of nurturing, offers a private escape, with authentic treatments and personalised programmes that prioritise both emotional and physical well-being. The fitness centre is well-equipped for an invigorating workout and the swimming pool invites guests to take a languorous dip while enjoying a beautiful sunset.
Raffles’ legendary service is delivered by private butlers and thoughtfully tailored to individual travellers’ needs. Guests can also choose this island location as a memorable setting for special events and celebrations. The 9,000 sq ft Grand Ballroom, including pre-function area, multiple outdoor gathering spaces, and even an on-site temple, vows to wow you and your guests.
Like Raffles hotels around the world, the one in Udaipur too reflects the cultural and natural heritage and mood of its location and offers unforgettable experiences, from a celestial cruise under the moon, to guided farm tours, astronomy, and meditation. Guests can plan their first stay at Raffles Udaipur with an exclusive Royal Escape featuring Raffles high tea, morning yoga with the in-house master and sunset cocktail hour. Guests are encouraged to breathe in the enchanting views of the Udai Sagar Lake and discover the lush green landscapes with the in-house naturalist during their stay.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts, which is part of Accor, one of the world’s leading hospitality groups, boasts an illustrious history and some of the most prestigious hotel addresses worldwide. It was back in 1887, that Raffles Singapore set the standard for luxury hospitality, introducing the world to private butlers, the Singapore Sling and its enduring, legendary service. Today, Raffles continues this tradition in leading cities and lavish resort locales, enchanting travellers with meaningful experiences and service that is both gracious and intuitive. Connoisseurs of life choose Raffles, not merely for its aura of culture, beauty and gentility, but for the extraordinary way they feel when in residence with Raffles. They say that each Raffles, be it Paris, Istanbul, Dubai, Warsaw, Jakarta or the Seychelles, serves as a venerated oasis where travellers arrive as guests, leave as friends and return as family.
Speaking about the opening, Puneet Dhawan, Senior Vice President of Operations – India & South Asia, Accor, says, “India is a strategic market with long-term growth potential for Accor and it’s an exciting time for us as we present the iconic Raffles brand to the ‘Venice of the East’. The rich cultural heritage, the regal past, and the grand architecture that gives the city its splendour all contribute to the Raffles Udaipur experience. Discerning travellers will now be able to experience the bespoke and immersive hospitality that is quintessentially Raffles. We look forward to warmly welcoming our guests and allowing them to discover what we have created – a confluence of Raffles’ global ethos and local Indian sensitivities.”