No trip to India is complete without a stay at one of its opulent resorts. A royal retreat is the perfect way to detox from the hustle and bustle of city life. During my final weekend in India, I decided to escape from the city of Udaipur and head for the Aravali Hills. A pristine hideaway awaited me at Raas Devigarh, a Mr and Mrs Smith member.
A Peaceful Hideaway
After a winding and quiet drive up to the property and through the gates, a gleaming white palace emerged. A lovingly tended garden of fragrant purple flowers complemented the sprawling outer courtyard. The concierge guided us up the steps to the palace. Suddenly, fresh rose petals rained upon us from the balcony above. More eager than ever, we stepped through the enormous front door guarding the entrance to see a little piece of heaven ahead.
Our visit began with a refreshing house lemonade in the open air restaurant. We enjoyed the amazing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and village of Delwara. I had not felt this peaceful in ages. There was something about the minimalist design of the fortress and the quiet little village beyond that arrested the senses in an almost zen like state.
After lunch, we checked into our suite and then explored the property. Around every corner was something new and awe inspiring. A giant swing in the courtyard made the perfect reading spot for the morning. While a natural stone sofa in the next courtyard was shaded by the most brilliant palm tree.
Hints of marigold were hidden around the palace, creating brilliant pops of color amongst all of the gleaming white marble.
Ornately decorated nooks to dine in and grand archways made each corner its own work of art.
As it was Diwali weekend, there were a handful of guests. The property was especially quiet with only the sounds of birds chirping above to disrupt our reverie. We watched the sun change from yellow to orange and pink until it set beneath the hills. At night we dined under the stars and enjoyed a selection of fine international cuisine. As it was a bit chilly, the staff offered us shawls for warmth. We took in the evening air and the lights from the village below.
Waking Up with Pajamasutra
The next morning I awoke with a wish to never leave. The peace I felt was like nothing else — as if all my cares were distant memories. The only things that occupied my thoughts were the beauty and simplicity of the life lived within these walls.
We took some time to enjoy breakfast in the serenity of our Palace Suite. Fit for a queen, it included an entrance room with dining area, an inner lounge and dressing area, a massive bedroom with a separate seating area and views of the Aravali Hills, and a his/hers bathroom.
We also took in the views one last time in the Durbar lounge, a gorgeous place for evening drinks and snacks. The night before a private party filled its halls. As Udaipur is only 45 minutes away, it seemed like the perfect place for a pre-wedding get together for out of town guests.
One night at Raas Devigarh was not enough. It’s certainly somewhere I’d love to spend a few days, particularly to enjoy its spa treatments and explore the nearby village and temples. Udaipur is known for its palaces, but the surrounding forts are equally as rich and rejuvenating. I’d also love to stay at Bujera Fort, which is outside Udaipur as well.
Have you stayed at any of the palaces around Udaipur? I’d love to hear about your experience.