Northern India's Rajasthan has no shortage of evocative castle and palace hotels, but RAAS Jodhpur, an 18th-century pink-sandstone haveli, set directly beneath Jodhpur’s immense Mehrangarh Fort, has been one of our favorites. Now the property has been joined by a rural escape, RAAS Chhatrasagar, a camp of 16 air-conditioned tented villas, located amid serene countryside, 70 miles east of Jodhpur. Perched atop a broad dam, overlooking a late-19th-century artificial lake, the villas come with canvas canopies, linen-lined walls, granite baths, retractable skylights for stargazing and private terraces with fire pits. An open-sided dining pavilion built of glass and pink Jodhpur stone affords panoramic views of the lake and its teeming birdlife. Nearby, guests may lounge beside a heated green-marble infinity pool or indulge themselves at a spa with outdoor massage tables.
The camp’s owners have long been passionate conservationists, and they have rewilded tracts of the lakeshore and adjoining grasslands. As a result, the area has seen the return of nilgai (the largest Asian antelope), jackals, jungle cats and leopards. Aside from bird-watching, activities include escorted visits to local villages, as well as rowing and kayaking on the lake. Perhaps the chief attraction of RAAS Chhatrasagar, however, is the immemorial tranquility of its setting.