A vision in blue with thronging bazaars, labyrinthine streets and a rich imperial heritage, Jodhpur is majestic and magical. With stars such as Laura Bailey falling for the city's charm – the British model visited at Christmas - now's the time to discover this Indian marvel…
An oasis of calm amid the hustle and bustle, RAAS Jodhpur is a lesson in thoughtful juxtaposition. Contemporary verve melds seamlessly with 18th-century architecture, the scent of incense lingers in the maze-like corridors and the sleek pool, flanked by white canopied loungers, is the perfect antidote to the blazing Indian sun. In the mood for treasure hunting? Hitch a ride to the bazaars on the hotel's tinsel-festooned tuk-tuk.
Set above the cornflower houses, stunning Merangarh Fort is imposing and other-worldly, while Jaswant Thada cenotaph is a triumph in snowy white marble. See both as you soar overhead on a zip-wire tour, or escape the chaos and ramble through Navchokiya, a more serene pocket of the city with ornate carvings and temples.
For classic Rajasthani dishes (from flavoursome Laal Maas to Chakki Ka Saag) book a table at Risala, an opulent dining room with golden drapes and walls hung with royal portraits. The iced tea at laidback Mehran Terrace will chill you out in the burning heat of the day, perched in plum position at Merangarh Fort's magnificent main gate.
Soulful pampering is on hand at RAAS Jodhpur's Ila Only Spa, where age-old Ayurvedic healing traditions are at the heart of the therapies. Try the Kundalini Back Treatment – a nurturing, hour-long wonder that uses chakra healing to restore harmony and recalibrate the body.
WHAT TO WEAR
Embellished embroidered cotton-gauze maxi dress, £370, Dodo Bar Or from net-a-porter.com
Grow Strong Hair Oil, £29, Mauli; visit maulirituals.com
Classic Yara sandal, £79.95, Birkenstock; visit Birkenstock.co.uk