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Hospitality

Published on: Aug. 7, 2021, 12:37 p.m.
An ode to luxury
  • A panoramic view of Raffles Udaipur

By Suman Tarafdar

It’s been a long wait, but one of global hospitality’s top brands – Raffles – finally has an Indian address. That too in Udaipur, a top destination for the leisure traveller, which in the past has been host to many luxury events, including celebrity weddings. Yes, it’s also a lake resort, set in a 21-acre private island in the middle of the Udai Sagar lake. No, not Pichola, but about 15 km to the east of it.

“India is a strategic market with long-term growth potential for Accor,” says Puneet Dhawan, senior vice-president, operations, India & South Asia, Accor. “The rich cultural heritage, the regal past, and the grand architecture that gives the city its splendor 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.”

In keeping with the brands’ luxurious attention to detail, this 101-key resort elegantly interweaves western cultural references with Rajasthan’s royal heritage and elements of Mughal architecture. The more or less V-shaped layout of the resort ensures that 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.

It is also designed to be a tranquil getaway from the city and reminiscent of a sumptuous country estate, with manicured, ornamental gardens and panoramic views of the surrounding hills, tranquil lake and a 400-year-old temple.

Breath-taking views

“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 Abhishek Sharma, general manager, Raffles India. “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.”

It is designed for grand events of course, with a 9,000 sq ft Grand Ballroom. Multiple F&B outlets include Sawai Kitchen, the Indian specialty restaurant, while Harvest, set to open in October, will offer an interactive farm-to-table dining experience with produce foraged from the estate farm, spotlighting the region’s food traditions. Culinary enthusiasts can enjoy a co-cooking experience at Rasoi, the cookery school. Of course, the Raffles constant, the iconic Long Bar, is present, complete with the ‘Udaipur Sling’. The Writers Bar offers bespoke artisanal and classic cocktails and a champagne & caviar menu.

The Raffles Spa adds another layer of relaxation, while 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. Of course, to do justice to this latest shrine to luxury hospitality, experiencing it first hand is the best way.

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