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Stylish retreats, ideal for Rajasthan’s folk festival

Heritage hotels and tented luxury in India

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Stylish retreats, ideal for Rajasthan’s folk festival

September 26 2010
Maria Shollenbarger

From October 21 to 25, the International Folk Festival in Rajasthan ( – of which Mick Jagger is the international patron – will take place across various venues in the ancient walled city of Jodhpur, and feature more than 100 regional and international performers. Having just made a timely début, The Ranvas (first picture;; from Rs7,500, about £103) – a marvellously realised heritage hotel within Ahhichatragarh Fort in nearby Nagaur, comprised of 10 18th-century havelis that once housed the city’s maharanis – is soon to be joined by Rasa (; from $200), a state-of-the-art “camp” (where the tents are actually grey and silver glass-and-canvas cubes) outside the walls of the Amber Fort, near Jaipur.

Meanwhile, Sher Bagh (third and fourth pictures;; from £370), next to Ranthambore National Park, has just undergone a complete update of its 12 luxury tents without sacrificing any of its authentic charm. Owner Jaisal Singh specialises in unadorned chic and doesn’t miss a beat on service.

And in Madhya Pradesh, Samode Safari Lodge (second picture;; from $850) is a new, more opulent affair on the edge of Bandhavgarh National Park, with 12 suites and villas, a swimming pool and a small spa. Both of the latter feature tiger-sighting drives, birding excursions and visits to local villages.