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      RAAS JODHPUR

      from USD 139 /night

      Member since 06/2010   Rooms 39   Architecture Lotus Design Services   Interior Design Rajiv Majumdar (PRAXIS)
      The Original Nikhilendra Singh

      Hotels Facts & Figures
      Member since
      06/2010
      Rooms
      39
      Architecture
      Lotus Design Services
      Interior
      Design Rajiv Majumdar (PRAXIS)
      The Original Nikhilendra Singh

      Nikhilendra Singh

      The Beholder's Eye

      Nikhilendra Singh’s world-class Hotel RAAS offers a new, modern, and relevant take on India’s famed walled city of Jodhpur, while also blending seamlessly into its storied surroundings.

      Nikhilendra Singh may come from a privileged background (he was educated at the elite Doon School in India and his family tree connects him with HH The Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Johdpur), but he knows how to mix high and low, how to rely less on props—the trappings of wealth—and more on the power of quiet, understated beauty.

      I never want to tell our guests how to respond to us. They need to discover RAAS, to feel the modesty of the place, then be blown away by how the architecture plays to the fort, which dominates everything.

      NIKHILENDRA SINGH

      I never want to tell our guests how to respond to us. They need to discover RAAS, to feel the modesty of the place, then be blown away by how the architecture plays to the fort, which dominates everything.

      NIKHILENDRA SINGH

      The codirector of Natural Mystic South Asia, the travel and event management company that organized Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar’s wedding, Singh says he relies less on “million diamond-encrusted marquees but on an understated, deliberate style that comes from a deep-seated belief that less is much more powerful than going over the top.” 

       

      Hence the spirit of Hotel RAAS: the haveli (or nobleman's mansion) doesn’t declare its riches on the outside or the inside; rather, the moment one steps inside one discovers something more compelling than gilded ostentation, something that respects the history of the original 18th-century structures. Thus the baradari—the classic twelve-pillared open-air pavilion where one can eat in the heart of the courtyard—is mixed in with a chic sandstone swimming pool and modern, balconied rooms decorated in rich creamy colors and shiny blacks. “I never want to tell our guests how to respond to us. They need to discover RAAS, to feel the modesty of the place, then be blown away by how the architecture plays to the fort, which dominates everything,” says Singh of the city’s imposing Mehrangarh Fort.

       

       

      Behind this considered approach lies an influential father. Mahendra Singh was a key figure in the 1980s restoration of Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort. “My father’s knowledge was reassuring to me,” says Singh, who understood from the outset the enormous obligation of developing a site within the city itself. “My mother was also heavily involved. So for a long time, preserving history was very important to my family. It must have been ingrained in me.”

       

      And then there is Singh’s brother, Dhananajaya: a Cambridge history graduate, conservationist, and author who first found the haveli. The owner, in fact, would sell it only to Dhananajaya, so strong was the latter’s reputation as a historian. “My brother finds little jewels like this,” says Singh, “but he is also able to flip them. When he first took me to see the site, we could both see its uniqueness immediately.”

       

      But then every hotel owner has a habit of thinking his creation is singular. “I’m from outside Jodhpur’s city walls,” explains Singh, in considered response. “People who live inside say that if they don’t see the fort when they wake up in the morning, it’s like something is missing, like they’re living on an empty stomach. Until RAAS, I didn’t understand what they meant. Now I do.” 

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