The Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand, synonymous with luxury and extraordinary adventure, will enter the India market, signalling a new direction for Accor in India, with a stronger focus on luxury and premium brands. Raffles Jaipur and Raffles Udaipur will deliver a palatial experience in an extraordinary setting along with the famously discreet and personalised Raffles service.
Raffles is renowned for setting the standard for luxury hospitality for over 130 years. With 13 properties across 11 countries, each Raffles hotel represents a carefully curated experience in the most distinguished addresses in the world. Since joining the Accor network in 2015, the brand has undergone a renaissance, with a strong pipeline that will see the portfolio double in the next few years.
India’s state of Rajasthan is unique for its rich heritage and tradition and is famous for its spectacular palaces and forts, which makes it the perfect setting to continue the Raffles legend. Jaipur forms part of the culturally rich tourist circuit known as The Golden Triangle, which comprises New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur; while Udaipur is a natural extension of this given its proximity to Jaipur. Both cities are renowned as epicentres for the highest levels of luxury, so it makes sense that the Raffles brand will make its presence in both. For the well-travelled, both Rajasthan and Raffles represent a perfect confluence of adventure, luxury, gastronomy and discovery.
“It is with immense pride that we announce the arrival of the Raffles brand in India, a hallmark of luxury and sublime service in a country that is famous for delivering luxury at the highest level,” said Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO Accor. “With our strategic partners, we look forward to providing an oasis of calm and charm in two of the most incredible destinations in India.”
“We thank Mr Ratankant Sharma and our partners for entrusting us with these landmark properties and we look forward to delivering the distinctive Raffles experience to travellers in India. We also thank Mr Sharma for bringing the first Fairmont to India in Jaipur and extending this partnership to the Raffles brand.”
“Today’s signing of the Raffles Jaipur and Raffles Udaipur marks a historic moment for Accor in India and certainly for tourism in India,” said Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer (COO) – India and South Asia, Accor. “We are seeing increasing demand for luxury travel in India and are looking forward to expanding Accor’s globally renowned portfolio of luxury brands in this incredible country. The addition of the iconic Raffles brand signals a new era for our group.”
Also commenting on this occasion, Rantankant Sharma, said “Bringing the Raffles brand, which is synonymous with excellence, taste and luxury, to India is a perfect fit for our vision to lead both Udaipur and Jaipur, the historic cities of Rajasthan, into their next chapter whilst keeping their historic values and ties.
“The opening of Raffles Udaipur and Raffles Jaipur is a key moment in our strategic growth in India and represents a new era of highly differentiated ultra-luxury experiences for Udaipur’s and Jaipur’s residents and visitors. These two hotels will be the jewel in the crown of our landmark developments and centrepiece in these vibrant, rich and magnificent cities.
The Raffles Udaipur will be located in the historic Udaipur, one of the most romantic cities in India. The hotel is set on a 21-acre private island in the midst of Udai Sagar Lake, one of the five prominent lakes of Udaipur. The 101 lake-facing rooms are surrounded by spectacular hill scenery with views of the 400-year-old temple in the background. The suites additionally boast of private pools. It will provide a rare and authentic experience of one of India’s most scenic destinations. Expected to open by mid-2020, the Raffles Udaipur is truly set to be an oasis for the well-travelled, at a short 15-20 minutes’ drive from the Udaipur Maharana Pratap Airport, followed by a short boat ride.
The Raffles Jaipur is being built at Kukas in the city of Jaipur as a set of secluded private residences and courtyards adjacent to the larger hotel complex that presently houses the Fairmont Jaipur. The development is planned as a discreet destination for guests to “be themselves”. The hotel is anticipated to commence operations in 2022 and is located close to key tourist destinations in Jaipur including the Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort and Jal Mahal palace.