For a central jumping-off point to the many jewels of the Indian state of Rajasthan—think Indus Valley ruins, tiger reserves, and a UNESCO-certified bird sanctuary—look no further than Raas Jodhpur. Located at the foot of an immense 17th-century fort in the city of Jodhpur, the 39-room boutique hotel is a spectacular mashup of old and new.
The four largest suites sit in a 200-year-old sandstone building that once housed a ruling-class family. Each retains the original stonework but mixes in modern furnishings and the requisite flat-screen TV. The property contains six other structures that add up to a sort of private compound in loud, sprawling Jodhpur.
The majority of the rooms at Raas have views of the fort, called Mehrangarh, as well as the iconic cerulean bungalows that give Jodhpur its “Blue City” nickname. Also on site: a spa specializing in aromatherapy and hot stone massage, an outdoor pool, and two restaurants serving Indian and international cuisines (try Darikhana for its amazing teas, kebabs and outdoor seating).
Great amenities, all, but the best part about staying here is simply wandering the garden-lined grounds while every now and then gazing up at Mehrangarh to remind yourself that you are waaaay out of your element—which is a great place to be sometimes.
The Details: Average nightly rates range from $146 for the 484-square-foot “garden rooms” to $263 for the 1,157-square-foot “heritage suites.”