Raffles Udaipur, India’s first Raffles hotel, opens on August 2, 2021, offering a fresh perspective on the city of Udaipur and the region of Rajasthan from a 21-acre private island set in the middle of the serene Udai Sagar lake. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the expansive property is reminiscent of a magnificent country estate, with beautifully manicured, ornamental gardens and panoramic views of the surrounding hills, a tranquil lake and a 400-year-old temple. Arrival is via a scenic 20-minute drive from the airport, followed by a calming boat ride tailed by migratory birds, as a natural spectacle unfolds before the eyes of visiting guests. The hotel itself is an architectural marvel of 101 luxurious rooms, suites and signature suites that elegantly interweaves western cultural references with Rajasthan’s royal heritage and elements of Mughal architecture. Guestrooms have uninterrupted lake views, private gardens, balconies, plunge pools and an east-west design aesthetic with murals, handcrafted furniture and other crafts by local artisans.
Under culinary director Prasad Metrani, Raffles Udaipur is a culinary aficionado’s paradise with fresh, new flavours to relish every day. At Sawai Kitchen, the Indian speciality restaurant, guests can expect to be graciously served the lost recipes from the region’s royal households, reinvented for modern tastes. Harvest, set to open in October, offers an interactive farm-to-table dining experience with produce foraged from the estate farm, spotlighting the region’s food traditions; while culinary enthusiasts can enjoy a co-cooking experience at Rasoi, the cookery school. The Raffles Patisserie offers freshly baked bread, classic French desserts, signature Raffles pastries and more. Mindfully crafted alfresco dining experiences, framed by the picturesque hills that surround the lake, draw inspiration from the five elements: earth, fire, water, air and space.
For a sophisticated and discreet experience, guests can linger over intimate conversations or take a book to read at The Writers Bar while indulging in bespoke artisanal and classic cocktails and a champagne & caviar menu. In contrast, the iconic Long Bar, a hallmark of the Raffles brand designed with European wood and leather, with engravings by local artisans, is a perfect place to socialise. It offers fine Indian spirits, single malts, local brews from across Rajasthan and the signature Udaipur Sling – the Singapore classic remade with fresh produce from the island and homemade syrups. 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 work-out and the swimming pool invites guests to take a languorous dip while enjoying a beautiful sunset. Raffles Udaipur, as with every Raffles hotel around the world, 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, yoga and meditation. Raffles’ legendary service is delivered by private butlers and thoughtfully tailored to individual travellers’ needs. “Whether you are looking for a rare place of extraordinary discovery or a romantic getaway with captivating sunsets, Raffles Udaipur is the ideal choice,” said Abhishek Sharma, General Manager.
“With breath-taking 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.” Guests can also choose this is and location as a memorable setting for special events and celebrations. The Grand Ballroom of 9,000 sq ft, including a pre-function area, multiple outdoor gathering areas and an on-site temple, is set to make landmark moments simply unforgettable.
Speaking about the opening, Puneet Dhawan, Senior Vice President of Operations – India & South Asia, Accor, said, “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.”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. Visitors 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. Enjoy culinary sensations at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The experience comes with the opportunity to upgrade to the next category of room subject to availability, with a relaxed late check-out time of 16:00 hours. The inaugural package ‘A Royal Escape’ is attractively priced at INR 45,000 plus taxes per night and is valid only for stays between August 2 and September 30, 2021.