Raffles Udaipur recently commemorated its 2nd anniversary. The luxury hospitality establishment marked the occasion with an exquisite culinary experience, insightful dialogue and a glimpse into its future.
Raffles Udaipur, a mystical oasis located amidst the serene beauty of Udai Sagar Lake, has been creating ripples since its inception in 2021. Weaving together soirees, sojourns and stories, the brand’s maiden Indian outpost stands as the pinnacle of timeless opulence that encompasses classic luxury and conscious living, making it an ideal canvas for the discerning traveller. On its second-year anniversary, this charm continues to entice travellers, including me.
Bright and warm smiles greeted me at the marina. As I settled into the boat bound for the private island, a soft breeze delicately caressed my hair. It finally felt like I was in the city of lakes. The boat gently rocked on the tranquil waters, akin to a nostalgic lullaby, with the majestic Aravalli Hills as the perfect backdrop. 20 minutes later, I could see the icon glistening at the horizon — Raffles Udaipur.
The Majestic Oasis
After a swift check-in and the signature high tea at the iconic Writer’s Bar, I made my way to the room. Walking through the pruned gardens, the porter tells me about the 101 rooms sprawled across the property. As I stepped into mine, I was immediately whisked away to a bygone era of royal opulence. Standing on the balcony overlooking the enchanting Udai Sagar Lake, it was easy to picture myself in a world of enchanting tales and magical journeys, especially since the hotel blurs the lines between old-school fantasy and reality. Every corner reminds me of the rich cultural heritage pieced together for a new contemporary world — from its European-inspired decor and private pool to the one-button butler service and lavish spa treatments. ‘Distinctly Raffles,’ I think to myself as I explore the room.
This time, I’m visiting to celebrate this very essence of the brand that has been enthralling Indian audiences for two years now.
Two Years of Raffles Udaipur
The evening’s commencement of Raffles Udaipur’s two-year anniversary was marked by an inaugural round table discussion that delved deep into the intricate interplay of travel, culture, wellness, luxury and art, all woven around the central theme of sustainability.
The panel, boasting esteemed thought leaders, innovators, and influencers from diverse domains, sparked a dynamic discourse that discussed the future of a world where sustainability and luxury seamlessly converge. This included David Abraham, co-founder of Abraham & Thakore; Kriti Tula, co-founder of Doodlage; Niharika Rajput, founder of PaperChirrups; and celebrity and wellness enthusiast Vidya Malavade. The discussion was deftly moderated by journalist Pooja Singh.
The essence of the panel discussion lay in the diverse backgrounds of the panellists, which brought forth thought-provoking viewpoints — spanning from the drawbacks of fast fashion and working with local artisans to addressing soil nutrients depletion, seeking balance across various facets, and tackling the environmental impact of fashion waste. The stimulating conversation explored the significance of responsible travel and how the hospitality sector can benefit the environment and local communities.
The discussion culminated with the panellists delivering insightful remarks that gently urged the evening’s attendees toward embracing a more holistically sustainable lifestyle as an imperative in these times. Abraham encapsulated the sentiment with a parting thought: “Question everything and don’t take anything for granted.” Following suit, Tula added encouraged individuals to “learn more and start small, but let that small step be consistent. And it will inherently pave the way for change.”
Dine and Drinks
With enough food for thought, it was time to satiate my rumbling stomach, too! Continuing the evening’s progression, the spotlight turned to Ami Shroff, India’s pioneer women flair bartender, displaying her extraordinary talent and mixology expertise. Captivated by her mesmerising performance, attendees indulged in the thoughtfully concocted cocktails that artfully captured the very essence of the destination.
As enchanting live music echoed through the hotel’s halls, the talented chefs at Raffles Udaipur prepared a magnificent and mouthwatering feast inspired by the captivating flavours of Rajasthan. Ranging from a live pasta station to an extensive dessert counter, there was something for everyone!
“As we celebrate the second anniversary of Raffles Udaipur, we wanted to showcase our commitment to creating experiences that not only offer luxurious indulgence, but also prioritise wellness and sustainability. It is essential for us to tread lightly on the planet while providing our guests with the best of hospitality”, said Jui Kulkarni Sharma, Owner of Raffles Udaipur when asked about her vision for the anniversary celebrations.
Rajesh Namby, General Manager of Raffles Udaipur, expressed his delight at the success of the second-year anniversary celebration, stating, “At Raffles Udaipur, we strive to curate exceptional experiences for our guests. The second-year anniversary celebration stood as an unequivocal testament to our unwavering commitment to wellness, sustainability, luxury and travel. We are proud to have created memories that will last a lifetime.”
This night, too, will remain etched in my mind for years to come. Meanwhile, I gaze at the calm Udai Sagar Lake’s water glisten under the moonlit night, mentally preparing my next visit to Raffles Udaipur.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Located 13 kilometres east of the city, the island on which Raffles Udaipur shines is easily accessible by road. Once you land at Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur, the hotel's fleet of Range Rovers will be present to transport you to Raffles Lakeshore (arrival lounge) to complete the check-in formalities.From there, a private boat completes the journey to the property.
Answer: Raffles Udaipur sits on Udai Sagar Lake, one of the most celebrated lakes of the city, surrounded by the hills of Aravalli.