RAAS DEVIGARH, RAJASTHAN, INDIA
why stay here?
● Beautiful old palatial architecture
● Jharokhas and airy spaces with daybeds for languid mid-afternoon snoozes
● Delicious biryani
feel & design
Designer and architect Rajiv Saini has employed a colourful but minimalist aesthetic within the elaborate 18th century palace fortress that is Devigarh, and that high contrast is interesting. Originally constructed in 1760 AD, the tiered main building stands on a hill in the Aravalli range overlooking the village of Delwara, and has gone through significant renovations to get to its current luxe boutique hotel state. A hum of village life forms a natural soundtrack to your stay - you’ll hear the muezzin from the village mosque, temple bells from the local temple, and the sounds of cows and chickens going about their daily business throughout the day. Vivid orange marigolds floating in marble pots and an abundance of jharokhas, or overhanging enclosed balconies, from where you can admire the views and befriend friendly parrots, give this hotel a particularly unique feel. It’s a place of hidden alcoves - climbing up a narrow staircase in the palace building leads to a lovely series of low ceilinged spaces to curl up in with a book and a cup of tea.
It’s a suites-only operation at Devigarh, with 39 of them to choose from. Some have marble interiors and are bedecked in semi-precious stones, while others are less opulent and far more contemporary. There is an annex of new suites adjacent to the pool, but we strongly recommend booking a suite in the main palace building to absorb the full effect of your surroundings.
Indian and standard-fare international food is available. We highly recommend eating as much of the sumptuous biryani as you can during your stay. You can eat in your room, at the bar, the restaurant, or book a courtyard or the rooftop for an experience nonpareil. Eating dinner at the restaurant or in the courtyard during chillier times of year means cosying up next to their multiple fire lamps.
● Various dining settings
Smooth but we came away thinking that the staff would have done better to highlight all the lovely nooks and crannies of the palace available for guest use, as well as some of the services which weren’t immediately apparent, like being able to have croquet hoops set up in a lawn. On our car ride to the hotel, we observed that our driver had a questionable grasp of navigation. The staff was immediately apologetic when we shared the experience.
The city of Udaipur with its beautiful palaces and Lake Pichola. The Mewar dynasty era ornate temple complex of Eklingji. Right outside the hotel is the village of Delwara, which you can explore on foot. Local NGO Seva Mandir organises tours of the village through the hotel, if you’d like to support local artisans and their 600-strong women’s empowerment program called Sadhna Workshop. The price of the tour ticket is divided between the young local guides, a youth center and expenses tied to the walk.
how do you get here?
Fly into Udaipur and drive approximately an hour to get to the hotel. If you're flying in internationally, catch a quick flight to Udaipur from Delhi or Mumbai.
Please note that the photos of the palace door, the pool, and the restaurant have been provided by the hotel.