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Destinations · Asia · india · Rajasthan · Where to sleep · Crème de la Crème

Devi Garh, Udaipur

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

There is no other hotel like that in India - and probably not in the whole world either. The 18th century fort palace was purchased for a measly sum of money from the local raja family by the Podars, a family of wealthy Delhi entrepreneurs and influential collectors of Indian art. At that time it was a miserable site of ruins instead of the present light-coloured picture-book hilltop façade visible from afar. The renovation design was based on old photographs. The concept of Devi Garh is truly unique: the façade is an express copy of the original look yet the interior is dominated by ascetic minimalism. Devi Garh was opened as a hotel in 1990s, in the heyday of the minimalist style, which made the whole design a true sensation at the time. Surprisingly enough, in spite of the ever changing weather in the world of fashion, the aesthetic laconism of Devi Garh still seems incredibly fresh. We are not speaking of the cool western version of minimalism here; for Indian minimalism colour is as natural as water and air. There is a lot of contemporary Indian art incorporated in the interior; some of the works can only be found after a long walk through the maze of passages and passes. Devi Garh is an adventure in the literal sense of the word - as a hotel and an art object. It is an experience for all five senses. You can choose between lounging by the pool with a view of the mountains (the hotel is located in the village of Delwara, an hour's drive from Udaipur) and settling down in one of the ornamental little towers: lying down on a white linen mattress and contemplating the landscape from bird's eye view while listening to the cooing of your neighbours - pigeons, that is. Or perhaps play a game of chess or draughts on a special, perfectly designed board. Devi Garh also houses an excellent restaurant, and it is one of the few places in the world where the staff refuse to take tips (even for carrying your luggage), no matter how you try to persuade them. You will be explained at the reception that tips are left only upon checkout and afterwards divided among the employees according to their seniority.
Once you've settled down at Devi Garh, you will think thrice before taking off for the nearby Udaipur. At sunset when you leave for the airport the gentle rosy light is surreally reflected by the façade, making it look as enchanting and mysterious as a woman in a sari. Yes, by the way, there is also a little shop in the hotel with such a "delicious" choice of clothes, jewellery and design objects that it's all but impossible to leave empty-handed.

Rates: USD 400 - 1300

Village Delwara, Tehsil Nathdwara, District Rajasmand

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