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Raas, Jodhpur 

Near Tunvarji ka Jhalra
Makrana Mohalla
Umaid Chowk
India 342 001
Tel: 91 291 2632207
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
It's a challenge to get to Raas through the confusion of old Jodhpur's narrow, congested streets. You at last reach an unprepossessing door in a cement facade that opens onto a leafy courtyard and a modern structure housing 39 guest rooms and suites. Through the alchemy of inspired design, the bold lines of this new building blend harmoniously with the elegant remnants of the eighteenth-century haveli (courtier's palace) on whose grounds it is sited. Through minimalist decor, the accommodations make adroit use of space, texture, and pattern (including pink sandstone lattice screens that, recalling traditional jalis, bring shade and privacy), which compensates for the fairly modest size of the rooms and bathrooms, with handsome tubs set in stone. Room terraces offer not just a view, but grand theater: In the foreground, a swimming pool with gauzy-curtained cabanas is set in a garden, and reflecting pools lead up to a graceful old pavilion, now the dining room. To your left, an ancient structure accommodates pillowed seating alcoves. And as the dramatic backdrop looms the Maharajah of Jodhpur's massive pink sandstone Mehrangahr Fort. The quality of the cuisine, with both Indian and international offerings, can be uneven, and the calls to prayer from the minaret next door can be jarringly loud. Mercifully, double glazing and the hum of the air-conditioning silences the 4 a.m. loudspeaker crackle.—2010 Hot List

Which room to book: Avoid the garden courtyard rooms which lack privacy and opt for one on the second floor with a retractable sandstone trellis screen.

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